Support, love and engage
Following an extensive search and recruitment process, UJIA today announced the appointment of its new Chief Executive, Michael Wegier, who will take over from outgoing CEO Douglas Krikler in September.
Wegier, who made aliyah (emigrated to Israel) from London in 1989, has spent the last five years as Executive Director of Melitz educational institute in Jerusalem, where he was responsible for setting and implementing the overall strategy of the organisation, fundraising and the development of strategic partnerships with major Israeli and overseas Jewish organisations.
Prior to that, Wegier had spent five years as a shaliach (an emissary seconded from Israel) with UJIA, based in London in the role of Director of Programme and Planning from 2002-2007, where he led the development of UJIA's strategy for Jewish education in the UK in areas of informal Jewish Education, Israel Experience Programmes and Educational Leadership. During that time, Wegier was also central in helping to develop UJIA's new Galil-focused Israel strategy in co-ordination with the Israeli Ministry of Education and Ministry for Development of the Negev and Galil, the Jewish Agency and Israeli and international foundations.
Between 1996-1999, Wegier was Director of Jewish Education at the Jewish Community Centre (JCC) in Baltimore, USA.
Wegier is a graduate of the Jerusalem Fellows programme, where his research focused on public policy. He holds a Masters degree in Contemporary Jewry from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and a BA in Jewish History and Hebrew Literature from University College, London.
Commenting on the appointment, UJIA Chairman, Mick Davis said: "We are delighted to have appointed someone of Michael Wegier's skills and experience to this post, at an important time in the development of UJIA and in the context of the evolving relationship between Israel and the Diaspora, where UJIA and the British Jewish community continue to play such an important and historic role. Michael is a hugely respected professional, who combines both a profound knowledge and understanding of Israel and the Jewish world with top level leadership and management experience. He inherits a first class team and a firm foundation on which to build for the future and we look forward to welcoming him on board."
Michael Wegier commented: "UJIA's vision of a community which supports, loves and engages with Israel is deeply relevant, and key to ensuring the positive future both of Israel and the British Jewish community. Deepening young Jews' engagement with Israel is fundamental in strengthening their Jewish identity and commitment. At the same time, when Israel is facing huge social, economic and strategic challenges, British Jewry, through UJIA, is making a profound contribution through regenerating areas of need and building the educational infrastructure on which the future of the State depends. It will be an honour to lead UJIA as we meet these challenges with vigour and determination."