Yaron Ashkenazi, Executive Director
Yaron Ashkenazi is the Executive Director of the Canadian Society for Yad Vashem. He was appointed to this position in September 2007, as part of a join venture between Yad Vashem Jerusalem and the Canadian Society.
Previously, Yaron served as Executive Director of the Israeli Society for Yad Vashem, the fundraising division of Yad Vashem Jerusalem. Yaron took the Israeli Society from a fledgling status to being a dominant, active part of Yad Vashem’s global fundraising efforts. In his ten years at this post, Yaron established a wide range of creative activities, resulting in substantial sums being raised to fund many of Yad Vashem’s educational and commemorative programs.
Before joining Yad Vashem, Yaron earned his Law degree from East London University, England, and practiced commercial law in Israel. True to his entrepreneurial spirit, he founded a hi-tech patent start up to advance projects in the field of medicine and biotechnology.
Mr. Ashkenazi served in a special paratroop unit of the Israeli Defense Forces, and as an officer in the Personal Protection Unit of the Israeli Shin Bet – General Security Services for a decade preceding his legal studies. Yaron headed the team that protected former Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir, former Foreign Minister Shimon Peres, and former Security Minister Yitzhak Rabin zt”l, as well as many other cabinet ministers.
Born and raised in Israel, Yaron considers his work with Yad Vashem to be a personal mission. He is joined in Toronto by his wife, Orly, and their three children – Yuval, Danielle and Jonathan.