New strategy for Labour Friends of Israel

Labour Friends of Israel has appointed a new director to oversee the parliamentary lobby group's work.

Jennifer Gerber replaces former director Luciana Berger, who was elected as an MP for the Liverpool Wavertree constituency in May.

Ms Gerber, from Finchley, north London, is a former director of Progress, a New Labour pressure group promoting radical and progressive politics.

She edited its magazine, for which she has written articles on Israel and antisemitism.

She was previously special adviser to Andy Burnham, the former Labour Health Secretary, working with him in three government departments. He is now running for the Labour leadership.

Ms Gerber said: "As Labour develops its foreign policy in opposition, LFI has a crucial role to play in ensuring that the party's decision makers appreciate the complexity of the situation in the Middle East.

"This is a challenging time for both Israel advocacy and the Labour Party, and I look forward to working with our longstanding supporters, and building relationships with the new intake of MPs."

She said LFI would take MPs to Is-rael "so they can see the reality on the ground for themselves".

Andrew Gwynne MP, LFI chair, said: "I'm delighted that someone with Jennifer's abilities has been appointed to lead LFI.

"Her extensive political experience and judgment, clear understanding of the issues, and passion for the organisation's goals make her the ideal candidate for this role."

Before starting her new job Ms Gerber spent six months on a sabbatical travelling around South America.

A member of West
London Synagogue, she will get
married there at the end of November.

Last updated: 10:22am, September 8 2010