Dr. Yizhar Hess

Invited Guest - Vice Chairman, WZO

Dr. Yizhar Hess is a 10th generation Jerusalemite. Following his military service, Yizhar earned a BA in Political Science and Hebrew Literature at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. A member of the Israeli Bar, his law degree is from the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya. He holds an MA in Jewish Studies from the Schechter Institute in Jerusalem and his PhD in Sociology and Education from Sussex University in Brighton, England. Yizhar has a broad range of experience in Jewish communal service.

After holding the Deputy Director position at the Shorashim Centre for Jewish Studies, Yizhar served as the Jewish Agency’s community shaliach to Tucson. On his return to Israel, he worked for the Jewish Agency as Director of Partnerships. Yizhar has professional experience in advertising and journalism. He is a regular contributor to the Israeli press on the subjects of religion and state and is the co-editor of the book, Questions About God, published by Ma’ariv.

From 2007-2020, Yizhar served as the Executive Director of the Masorti Movement in Israel - part of the worldwide Conservative/Masorti Movement dedicated to a traditional, egalitarian and pluralistic vision of Israel and Judaism. Yizhar represented the Masorti Movement in the negotiations with the Israeli government regarding egalitarian prayer at the Kotel, and he is one of the leading voices in Israel promoting Jewish pluralism.

As of November 2020, Yizhar has started his new position of Vice Chairman of the World Zionist Organization, representing the worldwide Conservative/Masorti Movement in the National Institutions.

Yizhar lives in Modi'in with his wife Yael, a former colonel in the IDF, and their two children Achiad and Mikah.

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