Labour Friends of Israel director to step down in September

Jennifer Gerber has guided LFI under three Labour leaders


Labour Friends of Israel’s Jennifer Gerber has announced that she will be stepping down in September, after more than a decade as director.

Ms Gerber, who has led LFI since 2010, is to be replaced by political director Michael Rubin. 

Under Ms Gerber the organisation adopted a new strategy to make the case for Israel within the Labour Party by relaunching itself as a membership body. 

Ms Gerber said that it had been a “huge honour to lead LFI”, adding that she was “proud of what the LFI team achieved against an incredibly challenging backdrop”.

“It has not always been easy to be a friend of Israel on the left, but we at LFI have never shied away and continue to make the case for Israel,” she said.

Ms Gerber had previously been the director of Progress, an internal Labour Party pressure group, and a special adviser to Andy Burnham.

Ms Gerber added that from the autumn she “will be working in the NHS, hopefully playing a part in shaping a new post-Covid policy landscape.”

Mr Rubin said: “I’m delighted to have been appointed at this crucial time for friends of Israel on the left. We now have a tremendous opportunity make Labour a party that is proud to be both pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian.”

Adrian Cohen, the lay chair of LFI, paid tribute to Ms Gerber’s achievements, saying: “Jen took the helm at LFI just as the environment started to become difficult, with the party going into opposition and the elections of new party leaders less sympathetic to Israel, first Ed Miliband and then Jeremy Corbyn.

“The past five years have obviously been particularly challenging,” he continued, “and we at LFI – and the Labour Movement as a whole – have been lucky to have someone with Jen’s judgement and tenacity to lead the charge against anti-Zionism and antisemitism in the party and beyond, while retaining the support of a large chunk the Parliamentary Party.”

LFI currently counts around one quarter of the Labour Parliamentary Party and one third of the Labour Shadow Cabinet among its membership.

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