Fresh out of leading the anti-apartheid movement at Boston University, Yossi Abramowitz took on six other candidates for the WUJS leadership and, at 21, became only the second American chairperson and the youngest. Using his activism skills, and bolstered by the professional stability of having Daniel Yossef as Executive Director, WUJS during his tenure (1987-90) rallied with success for the release of Soviet, Ethiopian and Yemenite Jewries, as well as status at the United Nations and dignity and fairness for Israel on campuses during the challenge of the first intifada.
His propensity for lobbying governments for human rights issues turned out to be a useful habit, as he now leads a global solar power enterprise, opening up new and challenging markets for green energy, particularly for the poorest of people in Africa. Like at WUJS, Energiya Global—located in Jerusalem—offers (unpaid) internships to students to join the movement toward energy for all and is also an impact investment platform for individuals and family offices.
In addition to spreading the light of solar energy in the name of Israel and the Jewish people, Abramowitz was the first private-sector candidate for President of the State of Israel and also served on the Israeli negotiating team at the Paris Climate Conference. He accompanies Prime Minister Netanyahu on his trips to Africa. Winner of numerous environmental, business, educational and journalism awards, he is married to Women of the Wall’s Rabbi Susan Silverman and they have five children, including Hallel Abramowitz (IDC ‘2019), Communications Director of WUJS.
He can be followed on Twitter @KaptainSunshine