We are pleased to share news of the appointments of Anna Kislanski as the IMPJ Director General and Orly Erez-Likhovski as IRAC Director. IMPJ Chair Yair Lootsteen said: "With the support of our Movement's other exceptional professional staff members, Anna Kislanski and Orly Erez-Likhovski will lead our Movement to significant achievements which will positively impact the face of Israeli society."
A Rosh Hashana Message from Yair Lootsteen
Chairperson of the Board of the Israel Reform Movement
Erev Rosh Hashanah 5782
September 6th, 2021
We're starting this New Year with Especially Exciting News!!!!
A moment before entering the New Year I am thrilled, proud and particularly happy to announce that at the conclusion of a very serious and exhaustive search process, last Friday, September 3rd, the Executive Board of the Israel Reform Movement convened for an extraordinary meeting, together with the members of the search committee established several months ago, and decided to appoint Anna Kislanski as our next Director General. In doing so, the Executive Board met its own goal of appointing a new Director General before this Rosh Hashana.
Anna Kislanski began her professional career within the framework of the Israel Reform Movement almost 20 years ago, in 2002, as the Community Coordinator at Kehillat Or Haddash in Haifa. Between 2005 and 2009 she served as the Central Shaliach (emissary) of the Jewish Agency for Israel to the North American Reform Movement and since 2010 has held high level positions at the head office of the Israel Reform Movement in Jerusalem, including Director of the Community Development Division, and since 2016 as Deputy Director General overseeing Community and Education Activities. This past March, after Rabbi Gilad Kariv was elected to the Knesset, Anna agreed to serve as Acting Director General until the permanent position was filled.
Anna is deeply rooted in our Movement. With strong management skills, she brings strategic vision and the ability to deal with complex situations. Based on her management abilities, skills and vision for the future of the Movement, the Executive Board strongly believes Anna is the right person at the right time to serve as Director General. She will lead the Movement forward, expand its influence on Israeli society during the coming years, and will initiate steps to deepen that influence. I am convinced that you, friends and supporters of the Israel Reform Movement from around the world, join me and the Executive Board in congratulating Anna and in wishing her a hearty Mazal Tov and tremendous success in her new position.
Anna Kislanski's appointment as Director General of the Israel Reform Movement is not the only important news I want to share with you. As I reported several weeks ago, Rabbi Noa Sattath, Director of the Israel Religious Action Center (IRAC), was recently appointed as CEO of the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), starting November 2021. We wished Noa success and thanked her for all she has done so successfully for IRAC and for our Movement. I am now delighted to report that Orly Erez-Likhovski, head of IRAC's renowned legal department, has agreed to take on the position of Director of IRAC, upon Rabbi Sattath's departure in November. The success of IRAC's legal department and Orly's appearances before the Israeli High Court of Justice and other courts throughout the country are celebrated in Israel and throughout the Jewish world.
Orly received her Bachelor's Degree from the Tel Aviv University's Faculty of Law. After clerking at the Israeli Supreme Court, she received her Master in Law from Columbia University in New York with a focus on Human Rights Law. Orly is a member of both the Israel and New York Bar Associations.
Orly has been at IRAC since 2004, heading its Legal department since 2014. She has successfully led many important legal battles on subjects relating to human rights, racism, gender equality, and specific issues relevant to the rights of the pluralistic streams of Judaism here in Israel. One of her most well-known professional achievements was leading the legal battle for recognition and funding of the Government of Israel for Reform and Conservative Rabbis - known as the Rabbi Miri Gold Supreme Court Case. Orly's efforts in that case led to a ground breaking Supreme Court decision in 2012, ordering the government to provide salaries to Reform and Conservative Rabbis serving in Regional Councils around the country. Other achievements include the abolition of gender segregation on public buses and the disqualification of racist candidates from running to the Knesset.
With the support of our Movement's other exceptional professional staff members, Anna Kislanski and Orly Erez-Likhovski will lead our Movement to significant achievements which will positively impact the face of Israeli society. I am confident in their success and convinced that with them at the professional helm of our Israel Reform Movement, our Movement will deepen and broaden its influence here in Israel and around the Jewish world.
I know I speak on behalf of all the lay and professional leadership of the Reform Movement in expressing my pride in the Israel Reform Movement's achievements over the past year, even in the face of the ongoing Covid pandemic. I will write you separately about some of those achievements before Yom Kippur.
I wish all of you, your families and your communities a Happy, Healthy, Prosperous and Sweet Shana Tova,