Mashkevitch to resign as WJC Euro-Asian branch headBy GIL SHEFLER 06/22/2011 02:49
One of the world's richest Jews, Israeli-Kazakh billionaire says he wants to devote more time to creating Jewish "Al-Jazeera."
One of the richest men in the world has decided to step down from the Jewish organization he founded, and focus on creating a news television station, and growing his other businesses, The Jerusalem Post learned on Tuesday.
A source close to Israeli- Kazakh billionaire Alexander Mashkevitch said he will resign from the presidency of the Euro-Asian Jewish Congress in September, and elections will be held to fill the position.
Kazakhstani Jew plans news channel to rival Al-Jazeera
“Mashkevitch made the decision because of the responsibility he has undertaken to build a new television station – and after helming the Euro-Asian Jewish Congress, which has 25 affiliates, for 10 years,” the source said. “On the one hand he wants to focus on other businesses, on the other, to nurture the next generation of Jewish leaders.”
Born in 1954 into a Jewish family in Kyrgyzstan, which was then part of the Soviet Union, Mashkevitch grew closer to his Jewish identity as an adult after he made a fortune in the mining industry of Kazakhstan.
In 2002, he created the Euro-Asian Jewish Congress, one of the five branches of the World Jewish Congress.
As its founder and president, he donated millions to Jewish charities and causes in the former Soviet Union, including buying and renovating the grave of Rabbi Nahman in Uman, Ukraine, which attracts thousands of Jewish pilgrims each year.
Several months ago, Mashkevitch announced his intention to create a news televisionstation that received the unofficial moniker “Jewish Al-Jazeera,” after the media outlet he said it would balance. [Read more]