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Israel Museum appoints Denis Weil director, following extensive search

Swiss-born design professor, whose family has long supported the cultural institution, will take the reins in March

Jessica Steinberg covers the Sabra scene from south to north and back to the center.

Denis Weil, the newly appointed director of the Israel Museum who will be moving to Jerusalem and into his new role in March 2022 (Courtesy John Faier)
Denis Weil, the newly appointed director of the Israel Museum who will be moving to Jerusalem and into his new role in March 2022 (Courtesy John Faier)

The Israel Museum has announced the appointment of Prof. Denis Weil as the institution’s new director.

Born in Switzerland, Weil is currently the dean and a professor of design at the Institute of Design at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago. He was unanimously elected by the museum’s board of directors after an extensive search.

He will be moving to Jerusalem and begin work at the museum on March 1, 2022.

Weil’s parents, Ernst and Jacqueline Weil-Bloch, were longtime supporters of the Israel Museum who founded the Swiss chapter of the Friends of the Israel Museum. Weil’s father was a business executive and banker, and Weil’s brother Philippe Weil lives in Tel Aviv and is chairperson of the Israeli Friends of the Israel Museum.

Weil is replacing Prof. Ido Bruno, who led the museum for the last four years, helping to navigate the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, when the museum was closed for months at a time and had to furlough its staff.

Bruno succeeded James Snyder, a New York City museum professional who held the role for two decades and was revered for his fundraising prowess.

Weil has worked in both the public and philanthropic sectors, including Bloomberg Philanthropies, Year Up, Mercy Corps, and Sanergy. He has held leadership positions in innovation, design, and digital technology at McDonald’s, Interactive Media Group, Procter and Gamble and IDEO.

“It will truly be an honor to lead one of the most important museums in the world during this time to expand the cultural, educational, and civic roles it plays in Israel and internationally,” said Weil.

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