Israel has been in the post since June 2009. He said of his departure: "My father passed last summer and I am returning to New York to look after my mother and to begin a new journey as an independent artist. I know that Contact will only grow stronger because of the staff, board, partners, funders and young people who keep Contact's vision clear and expansive."
Born and raised in New York, Israel's previous directorial work includes the Project 2050 (New World Theatre), Countryboy Struggle (Maxwell Golden) and Sharpening SAWDS. He was co-founder and Artistic Director of Playback NYC Theatre Company which brought theatre to under-represented communities.
"‘When I first came to Contact on tour with my father in 2005 I was amazed at what I found, a theatre that was so much more", he added. "Contact is a dynamic social space full of creativity and diversity where young people hold real influence. As artistic director I am proud to see Contact reaching beyond its walls collaborating virtually and physically across the world."
Charles Lauder, chair of Contact's board said: "Contact would like to be pay tribute to the tireless effort Baba brought to his role. He particularly embraced the task of pushing forward Contact's digital profile, engagement and offer... We would like to thank him and wish him well in his future endeavours."