Britain’s Ambassador to Israel Matthew Gould is to remain in post for an extra year, he announced last night.
The country’s first Jewish envoy to Israel took up the role in September 2010 and had been due to return to the UK next year. But he told guests at the UJIA dinner that the foreign office has now agreed to he and wife Celia remaining in Israel, where their two daughters have been born, until 2015.
Expressing delight at the extension, Gould told the Jewish News: “ In that time I hope to continue to build the partnership between Britain and Israel across the full range of issues and to enjoy this amazing country and its people. We are very happy here – we have many Israeli friends, our children were born here, and we feel we are pursuing worthwhile and important goals. So to have another year here is a blessing.”
Among Gould’s most notable achievements over the past three years has been the establishment of a hi-tech hub to encourage partnerships in digital, biomedical and cleantech, while more than £1m has so far been raised to establish a series of social clubs for Holocaust survivors in Israel following the a fundraising drive launched in 2011 by Gould and then Israel Israeli Ambassador to the UK Ron Prosor.