JNF-KKL elects Ifat Ovadia-Luski as first-ever woman to head organization

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's religions and Diaspora affairs correspondent.

Ifat Ovadia-Luski (WZO)
Ifat Ovadia-Luski (WZO)

The board of the Jewish National Fund-Keren Kayemet LeYisrael taps Ifat Ovadia-Luski to serve as its chair, the first time that a woman will hold the position in the organization’s 121-year history.

Ovadia-Luski, a member of the Likud party, will replace outgoing chairman Avraham Duvdevani, who is due to end his tenure at the end of the month.

Ovadia-Luski currently serves as the head of the Department of Hebrew and Culture in the World Zionist Organization and has long served in international Zionist organizations.

She previously served as CEO of World Likud, also being the first woman to hold that position.

JNF-KKL, which owns some 13 percent of Israel’s land, has long been dogged by accusations of corruption, mismanagement and inappropriate political activities, and calls have grown in recent years to nationalize the organization and bring its real estate holdings and massive budget into government hands.

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