Video: "Israel in 3D: Civil Society in Action"

At the fifth Y&S Nazarian Center "Israel in 3D" community conference, young civic activists, artists and social entrepreneurs shared with guests how they are addressing pressing societal and economic issues in Israel and around the world in innovative ways. These young leaders were joined by veteran journalists affecting change through their coverage of political and economic trends in Israel.

Introductions and Overview of Israeli Civil Society


Introductory remarks were delivered by Y&S Nazarian Center Director Yoram Cohen, Chair of the Y&S Nazarian Center Community Advisory Board Sharon Nazarian, and "Israel in 3D" Master of Ceremonies Daniel Housman. Veteran Israeli journalist Tal Schneider also presented an overview of civil society's role in strengthening Israeli society from the ground up.


Building a Shared Society


The "Building a Shared Society" panel included activists and non-profit leaders using grassroots activism and their organizations to build an inclusive Israel that respects, reflects and embraces Israel's deeply diverse population. Speakers included:

  • Mickey Gitzin - CEO of Yisrael Hofsheet (Be Free Israel), an organization that advocates for religious pluralism in Israel and for respect for the diversity of Jewish religious movements
  • Daniel Jonas - Chairperson of Havruta, a grassroots group which works to build tolerance and respect for the LGBTQ community in Orthodox society and provide support to Orthodox LGBTQ individuals
  • Nawa Jahshan Batshon - Executive Director of Collective Impact - The Partnership for a Breakthrough in Arab Employment, an initiative dedicated to improving Arab employment both quantitatively and qualitatively
  • Pnina Tamano-Shata - Lawyer, journalist & the first Ethiopian-born woman to serve as a Member of Knesset. Tamano-Shata advocates for Ethiopian and other minority communities in Israel
  • Moderator: Eitan Arom - Staff Writer, Jewish Journal


The Voice of the Arts


The artists featured on "The Voice of the Arts" panel are using the creative media of film, dance and painting to give voice to Israelis who have traditionally been marginalized and to reflect on a wide variety of societal and economic issues facing Israelis. Speakers included:

  • Avner Faingulernt - The Director of the School of Film & Television at Sapir Academic College, Sderot who has helped revitalize the diverse, traditionally neglected city of Sderot and surrounding areas through film
  • May Zarhy - Choreographer and founding member of collaborative dance group MAMAZA, whose work has helped bridge barriers between diverse elements of Israeli society and confront societal stereotypes
  • Asya Lukin - Visual Artist and founding member of the New Barbizon group, a group of five Israeli artists born in the former USSR who have used their work to reflect the realities of those on the margins of society in Israel
  • Moderator: Shulamit Nazarian - Fine Art Presenter, Shulamit Nazarian Gallery, Los Angeles


Keynote Remarks: Guy Rolnik


Guy Rolnik is considered by many to be “Israel’s most influential economics and business journalist.” His groundbreaking work as Founder of Israel's leading business publication TheMarker and as Deputy Publisher of Ha'aretz has focused on inequality, lack of competition and concentration of power in Israel’s economy. During his remarks and conversation with fellow veteran journalist Tal Schneider at the conference, Rolnik spoke about the media campaign he led in those positions and the results of that campaign, which have included new laws and other government actions to significantly change the structure of the Israeli economy such as the “Anti-Concentration Law” passed in 2013 and the introduction of competition into the mobile phone service market, which led to substantial savings for Israelis.


Doing Well by Doing Good


The social entrepreneurs who joined the "Doing Well by Doing Good" panel are creating, investing in and supporting the growth of for-profit companies that are working to solve some of Israel and the world's most pressing societal and economic challenges. Panelists included:

  • Cecile Blilious - Founder and Managing Partner of Impact First Investments, Israel’s first impact venture fund that focuses exclusively on investing in technology companies creating innovative ways to address global challenges
  • Narkis Alon - Co-founder of Ze-Ze, a platform for social enterprises led by young people and Double You, a global platform for supporting young women entrepreneurs
  • Sinan AbuShanab - Program Manager of Our Generation Speaks, a fellowship program for Israeli and Palestinian community leaders to create high-impact ventures together and build shared prosperity within the region
  • Neta-Li Meiri - Managing Director of the 8200 Social Program, an incubator that helps support entrepreneurs through accelerated training, networking activities, and the support of the 8200 Unit alumni network
  • Moderator: Lisa Greer - Investor, Entrepreneur and Philanthropist