UJIA announces first female chief executive
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UJIA announces first female chief executive

London-born Mandie Winston will take over at the British-Jewish charity which supports Israel

Mandie Winston
Mandie Winston

UJIA has announced that its new chief executive from January is the current head of disaster response at the global Jewish humanitarian organisation JDC.

Mandie Winston, who grew up in London, will move from Israel to head the United Jewish Israel Appeal in London, becoming the first woman to hold the role, as the charity approaches 100 years of age.

The charity connects British Jews with Israel and funds several initiatives in the northern Galil region, but has been without a permanent chief executive since February, after former academic Michael Wegier left.

UJIA chair Louise Jacobs said: “We looked far and wide and I am thrilled that Mandie is our new chief executive. She knows and loves the British Jewish community, shares our vision and has a superlative record of leadership.”

She added: “I am so grateful to our Israel director Natie Shevel for stepping into the breach as acting chief executive, allowing us the time and space to find the right candidate. I am confident we now have the right senior team in place to lead us into our centenary year.”

Winston was a Mazkira of Liberal Judaism’s Zionist youth movement LJY-Netzer and a graduate of the Machon programme before making aliyah. She was an educator on gap-year programmes for British Jews before moving to JDC.

There she led emergency response and disaster recovery programmes in Haiti, the Philippines and Nepal, helped African farming communities access Israeli agricultural technology, and supervised aid in Sri Lanka following the 2004 tsunami. She also worked in Moscow and founded women’s health programmes.

She joins UJIA at a time of rebuilding. Last year then Prime Minister Theresa May spoke at the charity’s annual dinner and this summer it recorded the highest number of Jewish teenage Israel Tour participants since 2013.

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