Comings & Goings: Nevzlin Kogan to chair museum, Loeser leaves Bloomberg, Obama’s Holocaust council

By Adam Soclof JTA

Stuart Schear was tapped as the vice president for communications at the American Jewish World Service. Prior to his appointment, Schear’s private communications company took on numerous public health issues and clients. As vice president for communications of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, he led the communications team that helped defeat efforts by members of Congress in 2011 to bar Planned Parenthood from being reimbursed by federal programs for providing breast exams and other preventive health care services for women.

Irina Nevzlin Kogan, 34, was elected active chair of Beit Hatfutsot’s board of directors. She replaces Jacob Perry, former head of the Israel Security Agency, who chaired the board for three years. Nevzlin Kogan will leave her role as president of the NADAV Foundation that she held for five years. She is the daughter of Leonid Nevzlin, co-founder of NADAV, whose $6 million gift to Beit Hatfutsot helped jump-start its forthcoming rebranding as the Museum of the Jewish People.

Dr. Tal Ben Zvi was named vice president of the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem. She was previously curator and researcher of Israeli and Palestinian art.

President Obama named seven members of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council. Entertainment industry mogul Tom Bernstein was appointed to his third consecutive five-year term. New appointees include Amy Friedkin, Susan Lowenberg and Elliot Schrage, all of San Francisco; Deborah Oppenheimer of Los Angeles; Cheryl Peisach of Miami; and Richard Price of Chicago.

President Obama also appointed Susan Stern to serve as chair of  the President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. Stern, who currently serves as a special adviser on government affairs to the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, will be joined on the council by newly appointed member Rabbi Julie Schonfeld, executive vice president of the Rabbinical Assembly of Conservative and Masorti Rabbis.


Stuart Loeser, 39, will leave his post as press secretary to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to start his own communications company, The New York Times reported Sunday. Loeser, a Sabbath observer, has held the job for 6 1/2 years. Bloomberg was honored this year as the godfather, or kvatter, at the brit of Loeser’s third child.

Haviv Rettig Gur has left his post in Jerusalem as spokesman for the Jewish Agency for Israel to become a reporter and special U.S. elections correspondent in New York for the Times of Israel. Gur, a former reporter for The Jerusalem Post, will be returning to work for his boss there — David Horovitz is the founder of the Times of Israel.

Rabbi Mel Gottlieb, president of the Academy of Jewish Religion in California, is leaving his academic posts to devote himself to full-time writing. Last year he co-founded the interfaith graduate studies program at Claremont Lincoln University with Imam Jihad Turk and the Rev. Jerry Campbell, who will be retiring as the school’s president in June. Gottlieb previously was the Hillel director at MIT and Princeton, and served as rabbi at Kehillat Ma’arav in Santa Monica, Calif., and at the Westwood Village Synagogue.

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Adam Soclof writes for the JTA Archive Blog. “Like” the JTA Archive on Facebook and follow @JTAarchive on Twitter.

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