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Social Media Influencer Avi Mayer Named as New Editor-in-Chief of the Jerusalem Post

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Edited by: Fern Sidman

It appears that the iconic Jerusalem Post has a new editor-in-chief. On Tuesday, the newpaper, which was founded in 1932, announced that Avi Mayer has been appointed to take over the role as editor from Yaakov Katz, who has been in that position for the last seven years.

Mayer, 38, previously served as the international spokesman of The Jewish Agency for Israel and of its then-Chairman, Natan Sharansky, and as a foreign media liaison for the Israel Defense Forces. His professional experiences have included stints with the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee; the Embassy of Israel in Washington, DC; the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC); and Hillel International.  Before enlisting in the IDF, Mayer briefly worked for Eretz Acheret, an Israeli magazine that has ceased publication. He most recently served as the managing director of global communications and public affairs for the American Jewish Committee and was a a lay leader with ACCESS, the organization’s young leadership program.

In 2016, JTA named Mayer the third most influential person on “Jewish Twitter,” just behind Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. In 2017, he was named one of the most influential English-speaking immigrants in Israeli politics by The Jerusalem Post.

On Tuesday, Mayer said, “I am honored to take the reins of this venerable paper from Yaakov, who has cultivated and grown it over the past seven years.”

He added that, “For 90 years, The Jerusalem Post has offered the world a vital window into events in Israel. Today, the paper is the leading English-language media outlet in Israel and the Jewish world, and it plays a central role in shaping and strengthening the connections of millions around the world to Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish people. “I look forward to working with the Post’s outstanding staff to continue upholding the highest standards of journalistic excellence, to offer our readers content of relevance and quality, to fortify the paper’s position as a leading media outlet in Israel and the Jewish world, and to lead it into the future.”

Katz, who previously served as the Post’s military correspondent, will continue to write a weekly column for the paper, the JPost reported.

“It has been a great privilege and honor to edit The Jerusalem Post in recent years,” Katz said. “I would like to thank Eli Azur and Inbar Ashkenazi for their confidence and wish Avi great success in the role.”Ashkenazi, CEO of The Jerusalem Post Group, praised Katz for his leadership of the paper.

“Yaakov led The Jerusalem Post across various platforms with great success. He has contributed greatly to making the paper, which this year celebrated its ninetieth year, the leading English-language media outlet in Israel and the most-read in the Jewish world and for that I thank him on behalf of myself, of the Post’s staff, and of the paper’s readers,” she said, according to the JPost report.

Mayer was born in New York and raised in Jerusalem.  He was a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Maryland, where he was a writer and editor for the Jewish student newspaper. Mayer has one of the largest online followings of any Jewish communal figure, and his writings regularly appear in major publications and media platforms around the world.

The JTA reported that Mayer is perhaps best known for his presence on Twitter, where he has more than 140,000 followers and posts a mix of news updates, advocacy for Israel and pictures of freshly-baked challah.

His recent posts on Israel’s current judicial crisis have mostly focused on documenting the protests, though he has expressed his opinion in Hebrew from time to time on Israeli domestic politics, according to the JTA report.

Mayer tweeted the word “insane” regarding news that the far-right national security minister, Itamar Ben-Gvir, was halting a program because it was run by the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, which Ben-Gvir called “leftist.”  The JTA also reported that Mayer tweeted regarding Israeli President Isaac Herzog’s compromise plan on judicial reform, “The outline has been presented. The time has come for both sides to climb down from their trees and begin dialogue. Enough.”

The JTA also reported that the Jerusalem Post, was for decades the most prominent English-language newspaper published in Israel. Now it is one of several news organizations covering Israel in English, including the Times of Israel, founded by a former Jerusalem Post editor, and an English-language edition of the Hebrew newspaper Haaretz.

The newspaper’s previous editors include Bret Stephens, who is now a conservative columnist for the New York Times, and David Horovitz, who went on to found The Times of Israel, as was reported by the JTA.

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