Nefesh B’Nefesh announced the appointment of former Director General of the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption, Erez Halfon, as Vice Chairman of the organization. Halfon will assume the new position on September 1, 2009 and be responsible for enhancing the organization’s strategic partnerships with Israeli government bodies and agencies, and furthering its ties within the Jewish World.
The appointment comes at a pivotal time for Nefesh B’Nefesh, as it experiences a record year of Aliyah, with over 3,000 Olim arriving this summer alone, and as its operations are increasing in order to meet the growing demand.
Halfon will be joining the organization after serving as Director General of the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption for nearly three years, in which time he instituted various reforms which vastly improved the absorption process for Olim and returning citizens. Most celebrated among them was the implementation of an extensive international campaign to attract returning citizens back to Israel, including the introduction of new tax breaks for Olim and returning citizens.
As Director General, he was responsible for 650 employees while overseeing a budget of over NIS 1.5 billion. Prior to his tenure at the Ministry, Halfon served under Prime Ministers Ariel Sharon and Ehud Olmert (2001-2006) during which he served as special counsel to the Prime Minister with regard to the Municipal Councils, was a member of the special planning forum for the Prime Minister as well as additional leading supporting roles for each Prime Minister.
“We are privileged and deeply honored that Erez Halfon has decided to continue his work towards enhancing western Aliyah, by joining Nefesh B’Nefesh,” said Co-Founder and Chairman of Nefesh B’Nefesh Tony Gelbart. “His wealth of experience, dedication to Aliyah and intimate knowledge of Israeli governmental bodies will be an invaluable resource to our organization and will greatly help improve the Aliyah process for Olim.”
“After working closely with Nefesh B’Nefesh over the last few years and observing their dedication, professionalism and major achievements in increasing western Aliyah, I am excited to join the organization,” said Erez Halfon. “I look forward to continuing to help further improve the Aliyah process for Olim by working with Nefesh B’Nefesh, from within, to meet this challenge.”
“Having such a prominent key player in the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption join our executive team, as we approach the milestone of bringing our 25,000th Oleh, is a significant achievement for the organization,” said Rabbi Yehoshua Fass, NBN Co-Founder and Executive Director. “Erez has been a true friend and supporter and we are confident that his commitment and passion for Aliyah will be an invaluable resource in helping us bring thousands more Jews to Israel.”