BUDAPEST, HUNGARY and MOSCOW--(Marketwired - May 13, 2013) - The 14th Plenary Assembly of the World Jewish Congress in Budapest re-elected Ronald S. Lauder as president of the WJC for another four-year term. He has held the position since 2007. "I see this as the top assignment for the Jewish people and I am excited to serve as president of the World Jewish Congress for another four years," said Lauder.

Commenting on the election results, Russian Jewish Congress President Yuri Kanner, also a new vice-president of the WJC, said: "I congratulate Ronald S. Lauder on his re-election, and also the entire new WJC Executive. I believe this is a fantastic team that represents world Jewry as a whole. Together with my colleagues I will make sure that the voice of Russian-speaking Jewry will be heard in the World Jewish Congress."

Delegates also elected Baron David de Rothschild from France as the new chairman of the WJC Governing Board, which is the highest decision-making body between plenary assemblies. Chella Safra from Brazil was named as the new treasurer of the organization and will oversee the financial management of the WJC.

Moshe Kantor, the president of the European Jewish Congress, was elected as chairman and Mervyn Smith from South Africa as co-chairman of the WJC Policy Council, which advises the Executive Committee on matters of policy, programming and the implementation of the mission of the WJC.

The Plenary Assembly also changed the WJC Constitution to ensure that the sitting senior lay leaders of the 12 largest Jewish communities in the world, including Russia and Ukraine, automatically have a seat on the new WJC Executive. Other vice-presidents that were elected include Rabbi Yaakov Dov Bleich, the chief rabbi of Kiev and Ukraine. Representatives from Georgia and Kyrgyzstan will also be represented on the new WJC Executive.

Also this week, Robert Singer, 56, was presented as new chief executive officer and executive vice president of the WJC. Prior to joining the WJC, Singer, who was born in Ukraine and speaks Russian, spent eleven years in the Israel Defense Forces, twelve years in Israel's Prime Minister's Office and 14 years at World ORT, the world's leading Jewish educational organization.

Short biographical information

PRESIDENT: Ronald S. Lauder, 69, WJC president since 2007, has established philanthropic organizations such as the Ronald S. Lauder Foundation, an organization dedicated to rebuild Jewish communities in Central and Eastern Europe. He has also been actively involved in numerous civic initiatives and organizations, including the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, the Jewish National Fund, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, the Anti-Defamation League, the Jewish Theological Seminary, Brandeis University and the Abraham Fund. From 1986 to 1987 Lauder served as US ambassador to Austria.

CHAIRMAN, GOVERNING BOARD: Baron David de Rothschild, 70, is chairman of Rothschild Continuation Holdings, parent company for all Rothschild banking companies, which are global and currently serve as one of the world's oldest banks. David de Rothschild was born in New York City as a result of his parents escaping the Nazis during the German occupation of France in World War II. His family moved back to France following the liberation where he ultimately took over the family banking business. Like his father Guy, David de Rothschild was chairman of the Fonds Social Juif Unifié and the United Jewish Appeal in France before becoming head of the Fondation pour le Mémoire de la Shoah founded by Simone Veil.

TREASURER: Chella Safra, 62, was born in Beirut and currently resides in São Paulo, Brazil. She has been a leader of the Jewish community in Brazil for the past 40 years and has been involved in Karen Hayesod, the Safra Foundation and many other Jewish and non-Jewish philanthropic organizations. She is a member of the Executive Board and the Consulting Board of Karen Hayesod of Säo Paulo. Safra was editor-in-chief of Kol News, a Jewish magazine in Brazil. She was also the president of the Women's Committee for Social Welfare at the Beit Yaacov Congregation in São Paulo.

Contact Information:

Andreas Scheuermann
+49 611 1747517