(July 8, 2019 / JNS) With CEO and president Josh Block stepping down at the end of the month, The Israel Project’s board of directors met on Friday to discuss the future of the organization, including what to do with its digital infrastructure, two sources close to TIP told JNS.
The Israel Project seeks to educate the media and others about Israel and the Middle East, and provide “real-time background information, images, maps, audio, video, graphics and direct access to newsmakers,” according to its website.
“Josh Block understands modern communications and brought a strong digital focus to TIP,” Israel on Campus Coalition executive director Jacob Baime told JNS. “He hired experts like [senior adviser for research and digital communications] Gary Rosen and built a digital operation that is a crown jewel of the global pro-Israel movement.”
“TIP takes a thoughtful and creative approach to developing content and tracking engagement,” he continued. “The digital strategies and properties that Josh and Gary pioneered are potent tools that drive the conversation about Israel.”
For example, TIP’s Facebook page consists of videos from protesters chanting “Death to Israel” to an educational video about Israel going to elections in September.
Rosen declined to comment on the record to JNS.
Lior Weintraub, TIP’s vice president and director of its Israel office, also declined to comment.
Block told JNS that he was not at the meeting.
TIP board chairman Allan Myer and the organization’s chief operating officer, Elliott Mendes, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported, citing “an insider,” that TIP has laid off its entire staff “without notice or their final salary.”
A source close to TIP called that into question.
TIP has faced financial trouble as donations to TIP have decreased by almost half, according to its latest available tax returns. In 2016, it raised $4,922,854—a $3,773,198 drop from the previous year.
Block announced on Monday his departure in a post on the blogging site Medium, mentioning that he notified TIP’s board of directors in June.
“It has been an honor to head such a dynamic organization, led by a wonderful board and an amazing chairman, full of talented people who didn’t seek credit or the limelight, but do this work because they grasp the vital nature of ensuring that the truth about Israel is reflected in the media, and lies and defamation of the Jewish people are defeated,” he told JNS.
Under Block’s tenure, the organization launched its publishing platform is TheTower.org, with The Tower magazine. Newsweek has called it “a must read.”