The director of an organisation that raises awareness about issues affecting Arab citizens of Israel, has stepped down after more than three years at the helm.
Alice Wood has left UK Task Force to take up a consultant position at a public affairs company.
“I’m sad to go, but I’m really ambitious and want to try new things. I decided that I needed a new challenge,” she said.
The former Labour Friends of Israel deputy director, who is not Jewish, joined the group in March 2010.
She said: “I initially faced a lot of challenges from the UK community around the issue of equality in Israel for Arab citizens. It’s a sensitive topic.
“But the Israeli government made my job a lot easier because they’re doing a lot to help address the issue. The community were more open once I explained that.”
Dr Wood said she was proud that Task Force had taken a total of 120 people to Israel over the past three years on trips to promote educational and economic equality for Arab citizens.
“Whether it’s an economic push to help Arab enter the high tech sector, or an educational push, British Jewry can help establish a level playing field in Israel. People have to remember that there are not just Jews in Israel — 20 per cent are Arabs.
She hoped that her successor, yet to be announced, would promote the Task Force as “a resource available to people who want to engage in the issues.
“It’s a lot of work and this job needs someone with a lot of energy.”
Task Force co-chairs Trevor Pears and Michael Wegier thanked Dr Wood for her work in “building the organisation”, and said that the process to recruit a successor would be started over the next few weeks.