Press Releases

JDC—Supported Taub Center for Social Policy Studies in Israel Appoints Top Economist and Educator as New Director


Michael Geller / JDC Telephone: (212) 885-0838

Jamie Epstein / JDC Telephone: (212) 885-0849

Laura Brass / Taub Center Telephone: 972.2.567.1818

For Immediate Release

The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), an overseas humanitarian aid organization which works in over 70 countries worldwide, and the Board of Directors of the Taub Center for Social Policy Studies in Israel (Taub Center), an independent social economic think tank that analyzes and develops macro-level policy alternatives, are pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Dan Ben-David as the Taub Center’s new Director. Effective November 1, 2008, Ben-David succeeded Professor Yaakov Kop, who joined the Taub Center at its inception in 1982 and who helped the Center become an internationally renowned institution. Since Kop’s retirement in June 2008, Dr. Tuvia Horev, the Taub Center’s Deputy Director, has served as Acting Director.

“Social policy is at the cornerstone of JDC’s work in Israel. Ben-David’s extensive knowledge on the topics that impact the country’s most vulnerable populations will help the Taub Center and JDC accomplish its goals of strengthening the State of Israel vis a vis social policy,” said Steve Schwager, Chief Executive Officer, JDC.

Ben-David joins the Taub Center after an impressive career as one of Israel’s most cited academic researchers. Specializing in macroeconomics, economic growth, international economics, and the Israeli economy at Tel-Aviv University, Ben-David received the University’s Outstanding Teacher Award in Social Sciences. In addition to his career in academia, Ben-David has advised Israel’s prime ministers, cabinet ministers, Knesset members, National Security Advisors, and other leading policy makers on issues in economic and social policy. He earned his B.A. at Tel-Aviv University and his M.A. and Ph.D. in economics from the University of Chicago. Ben-David is also a Research Fellow at the Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) in London and has served as an advisor to the World Bank and the World Trade Organization.

“Ben-David’s appointment as Director reinforces our commitment to unearthing critical insights about Israeli society that will ultimately help enhance the quality of life and social well-being for all of its inhabitants,” said Caryn Wolf Wechsler, Chair of the Taub Center Board of Directors.

Ben-David follows an impressive line of professionals who have led the organization, including its pioneering leader, Dr. Israel Katz. Under Ben-David’s leadership, the Taub Center will continue its work towards advancing national dialogue on economic and social challenges facing Israel.

About JDC

The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) is the world’s leading Jewish humanitarian assistance organization. JDC works in more than 70 countries and in Israel to alleviate hunger and hardship, rescue Jews in danger, create lasting connections to Jewish life, and provide immediate relief and long-term development support for victims of natural and man-made disasters.

For more information, please visit

About The Taub Center for Social Policy in Israel

The Taub Center is an independent, non-partisan, socioeconomic research institute based in Jerusalem. It conducts quality, impartial research on socioeconomic conditions in Israel, and develops innovative, equitable, and practical recommendations for macro public policies that advance the well-being of Israelis. The Center strives to influence public policy through direct communications with policy makers by maintaining an active publication program and by convening conferences and other education activities in Israel and abroad. Established in 1982 under the leadership and vision of Herbert M. Singer, Henry Taub, and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, the Center is funded by a permanent endowment created by the Henry and Marilyn Taub Foundation, the Herbert M. and Nell Singer Foundation, Jane and John Colman, the Kolker-Saxon-Hallock Family Foundation, and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee. More information can be found at

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