A chance to return to work focused on Israel persuaded Mark Moskowitz to leave the regional directorship of the Anti-Defamation League for a new position with the Jewish Agency for Israel.

“My beating heart really is in Jerusalem,” Moskowitz said. “This was an opportunity for me to get back to where my first line of passion really is.”

He thus gave up a Buckhead office and the job of ADL’s Southeast Region director in mid-June, two years after replacing Bill Nigut in the role. He is working from home as vice president for Israel and global philanthropy for the Jewish Agency, where he’ll be part of the agency’s redoubled effort to establish a fundraising base in the Diaspora.

Moskowitz said his job description doesn’t exist yet, but he’s one of several people being brought in for similar roles under the Jewish Agency’s new international development CEO, Joshua Fogelson, a former professional with the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta, as well as the Nashville, Tenn., and Minneapolis Federations and, most recently, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee. When Moskowitz was the Southeast director for AIPAC from 1989 to 2007, he worked with Fogelson in Atlanta and Nashville.

Moskowitz, who is not leaving Atlanta, expects his new territory to include the Southeast, where he’ll work with local Jewish Federations to bring in more money for the Jewish Agency.

The effort will take two tracks, he said. First, he’ll try to persuade Federations to increase their allocations to the agency. Second, with Federation approval, he’ll go to individual donors and ask them to give directly to the Jewish Agency, which operates in four areas: bringing people in the Diaspora to Israel; bringing Israelis to the Diaspora; overseeing Jewish social action; and overseeing aliyah.

The fundraising push is the Jewish Agency’s response to stalled giving to Jewish nonprofits in general and to a shift in allocations from the Federation system, which as recently as 20 years ago gave 70 percent of the money it raised to the Jewish Agency and the JDC but now keeps 70 percent at home, Moskowitz said.

“A lot of donors don’t realize that the programs they like are being funded by the Jewish Agency,” which is trying to educate them and raise its profile, he said.

Shelley Rose

Shelley Rose

“The Jewish Agency is working every day to strengthen the larger Jewish community,” Moskowitz said. “We see ourselves sitting at the intersection between the Diaspora and Israel — the government of Israel and the people of Israel.”

Moskowitz’s departure from the ADL is not the first time the Jewish Agency’s fundraising push has affected Atlanta’s communal leadership. The previous CEO of Jewish Agency International Development, Misha Galperin, was hired from the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington, creating the opening that Steve Rakitt left Atlanta’s Federation to fill in 2011.

For ADL, the Southeast’s senior associate director, Shelley Rose, is leading the region on an interim basis during the search for Moskowitz’s replacement. Rose said she’s not a candidate for the post.

Anyone interested in the job can find details and apply at www.idealist.org/view/job/hwPkckgG22Jd.