The Jewish Agency has encountered financial difficulties in recent years, and the troubles forced the Agency to cut staff members and redirect their attention from overseeing immigration to Israel to educating Jews in the Diaspora. A particular acute fiscal challenge arrived recently when the Jewish Federations of North America made plans to terminate funding to the agency. In the past, the Jewish Federations had provided the Jewish Agency with more than 75 percent of its overseas budget, according to the JTA report.
Natan Sharansky, the agency’s chairman, allegedly implored Yaron Neudorfer to stay at the agency. Neudorfer declined, according to Jewish Agency spokesman Joshua Berkman, JTA said. The CFO will hold his post for another month until a replacement is found.
In the wake of the resignation, the Jewish Agency released a statement.
“After serving 6 1/2 years as CFO, Yaron feels that he is ready to seek new challenges,” it read. “Throughout this time, he was a partner to all major decisions and changes that the organization undertook, and played a crucial role.”
“During this period the Agency suffered declining income while facing fluctuating exchange rates and global economic instability,” the agency’s leadership continued. “The Finance Department, under Yaron’s leadership, put in place a reporting system used in the private sector with maximum transparency.”
“During his tenure, he improved the financial positions and shrunk the accumulated deficit to an unprecedented level,” they added.
Neudorfer said his decision to leave did not stem from any disillusionment with the agency.
“It’s been six excellent years but the time has come to move on,” he told the Jerusalem Post. “JAFI is undergoing changes, and there will always be those who like it and those that dislike it but my decision has nothing to do with that.”
According to the JAFI spokesman Haviv Rettig Gur, these feelings were mutual.
“He is one of the most brilliant CFOs in the industry and has faced all sorts of different problems but he has kept us balanced,” Gur said.