Signature community event focuses on contemporary Israeli society

Signature community event focuses on contemporary Israeli society

“Israel in 3D” logo

The Y&S Nazarian Center's upcoming community conference, “Israel in 3D: Civil Society in Action,” will spotlight Israel's rising generation of young civil society leaders and how they are addressing critical social and economic issues in the country.

UCLA International Institute, May 10, 2017 — The Younes & Soraya Nazarian Center for Israel Studies will hold its largest community conference, “Israel in 3D,” on Sunday, May 21, in the Grand Horizon Ballroom of UCLA’s Covel Commons. Paid parking will be available in UCLA Sunset Village Parking (Lot SV). The event runs from 10:00 am through 4:00 pm; pre-registration and a modest registration fee (which covers continental breakfast, lunch and a post-conference reception) are required.

This is the fifth year that the Y&S Nazarian Center has organized the “Israel in 3D” conference. The popular conference series has grown to become a showcase for Israelis from diverse professions and social sectors to speak about their country, from scholars to practitioners to artists to business and civic leaders. The event gives participants an opportunity to learn from and engage with Israelis from all walks of life.

Past conferences have featured such speakers as veteran U.S. diplomat Dennis Ross, former deputy prime minister of Israel Dan Meridor and executive producer of the “Homeland” television series Howard Gordon. (“Homeland” was adapted from the Israeli television series “Prisoners of War.”)

“This conference is our major community outreach event,” says Maura Resnick, deputy director of the Y&S Nazarian Center. “This year’s focus is on Israel’s dynamic and diverse civil society.

“The conference will highlight how a new generation of active, engaged citizens — not politicians — are addressing critical societal issues facing the country,” adds Resnick. “We wanted to look to the future of Israel and to do that, we had to include the young Israelis who are influencing public discourse and working for change from the ground up.”

Israeli life from multiple viewpoints

Speakers at the May 21st event will include community leaders working to create an Israel that respects and reflects the nation’s diversity; visual and performing artists whose work directly responds to the country’s social challenges; and Israeli social entrepreneurs who are investing in profitable businesses that address pressing problems in Israel and the world.

Media executive, entrepreneur and “Israel’s most influential economics and business journalist” Guy Rolnik will be the conference keynote speaker. Founder of Israel’s leading business publication, TheMarker, and deputy publisher of the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz, Rolnik is also a professor of entrepreneurship and media at both Tel Aviv University and the University of Chicago.

The business journalist has worked to engage everyday Israelis in successfully pressuring their government to institute much-needed economic reforms to address inequality, reduce the concentration of economic power in the hands of a few and increase competition for the benefit of all Israelis. Rolnik was awarded the “Sokolov Lifetime Achievement” award in 2013 for the success of his media campaign on these issues, which led to the passage of new laws and other actions that significantly changed the structure of the Israeli economy.

Rolnik will be joined by another prominent Israeli journalist, Tal Schneider, a political blogger and former D.C. correspondent for the Ma’ariv newspaper, who will kick off the day with a brief introduction to Israeli civil society and later interview Rolnik following his remarks.

Positive community response

The Israel in 3D event regularly draws a crowd of enthusiastic participants from throughout the Los Angeles metropolitan area. A number of them wrote the Y&S Nazarian Center in appreciation of the previous conference:

“Thanks for all your efforts in organizing a great event. I look forward to future programs from the Center.” Gary Gilbert, associate professor of religious studies, Claremont McKenna College

“We found the program very worthwhile and illuminating; we were glad we had the opportunity to attend and learn.” Debra Vilinsky and Michael Sopher (UCLA faculty)

“This was a most informative and thought-provoking meeting and I learned a LOT. The day went smoothly, the lunch was fresh and delicious and the atmosphere friendly and stimulating.”  Deborah KennelLos Angeles resident

The 2017 conference is shaping up to deliver another fascinating look at life in Israel. 

Complete information and links to register are the Nazarian Center website -  - or call the Center at (310) 825-9646.