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Israeli-American Exchanges

Israel in 3D Community Conference

Photo for Israeli-American Exchanges

In the Y&S Nazarian Center's latest community conference, Israeli and American speakers will explore how the US and Israel have experienced and influenced each other in three key areas: entertainment, religion, and business and technology.

Sunday, May 5, 2019
10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
UCLA Covel Commons
Grand Horizon Ballroom
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About the Conference

Israel is a nation that has been greatly impacted by America. But the country of 8 million people has also influenced the United States in many ways.

At Israeli-American Exchanges, you will hear prominent Israeli and American speakers explore “cross-border” connections between the two countries in three major areas – Entertainment, Religion and Business & Technology.



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10:00 AM - Welcome Remarks

10:10-11:25 AM - Religion

Can Israel nurture its Jewish national and cultural identity, without regulating the religious life of its citizens (Jews and non-Jews) or alienating diaspora Jews?  What are the trends in Israeli Jewish observance today, and how has it been influenced – or not – by American liberal Judaism? How are relations between American Jews and Israel affected by the nature of Judaism in both countries?  

Rabbi Daniel Bouskila - International director of the Sephardic Educational Center, teaching the moderate halakhic approach of Sephardic Judaism; spiritual leader of Westwood Village Synagogue

Chaya Gilboa - Faculty member of the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America and the Leichtag Foundation's Director of Jewish Engagement

Aliza Lavie - Member of Knesset and leader in efforts to promote religious pluralism, gender equality, and strong relations with the Diaspora 

Rabbi Erez Sherman - Rabbi at Sinai Temple and advocate for closer ties between the United States and Israel

Joshua Holo (moderator)- Dean of the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion/Los Angeles and Assoc. Professor of Jewish History

11:25-11:35 AM - Coffee Break

11:35 AM-12:50 PM - Business and Technology

What are some of the challenges Israeli companies face in conducting business with and within the United States? What are some of the biggest/most innovative growth areas for Israeli-American business cooperation? What are the impacts of both new and established Israeli and American companies on the economies of both countries?

Chedva Kleinhandler - Founder and CEO of Emerj, an app used by Fortune 500 companies to empower employees with in-house mentoring; pioneering entrepreneur from the Haredi community 

Guy Rosenthal - Business Development Officer of Biopharmaceuticals at UCLA Technology Development Group

Yair Vardi - Co-Founder and Partner at Fusion LA, the first accelerator for Israeli start-ups in Los Angeles

Maya Vardi Shoshani - Director of Business Development & West Coast Division Head of the Bi-national Industrial R&D Foundation

Carmit Yadin - Cybersecurity expert and Co-Founder & CEO of ArcusTeam, an Israeli Internet of Things (IoT) security startup

Stuart Gabriel (moderator) - Professor of finance, UCLA Anderson School of Management and visiting professor at the Coller School of Management at Tel Aviv University

12:50-1:40 PM - Lunch

1:40-2:55 PM - Entertainment

A growing number of Israelis are making their way in the American entertainment industry. What happens to Israeli stories and styles as they make their way to America, and how is Israel advertised to American consumers? How, in turn, has Israeli culture become “Americanized”?

Gideon Raff - Executive producer of the hit series Homeland, adapted from his Israeli show Prisoners of War

Ninet Tayeb - Israeli singer, songwriter, and actress, one of Israel’s biggest entertainment figures and now a rising star in the U.S.

Alesia Weston - Former Executive Director of the Jerusalem Film Festival

Nicole Yorkin - television writer and producer currently working on an American series with the creators of the hit Israeli show, Fauda

Ronit Weiss-Berkowitz (moderator) - Veteran screenwriter/editor and professor of film at Tel Aviv University

Ninet Tayeb will also give a short solo acoustic performance during the program.

2:55-3:00 PM - Closing Remarks

3:00-4:00 PM - Reception



Pre-registration is required. Registration fees includes continental breakfast, lunch and a festive post-conference networking reception.

Lyft Discount: Guests will be offered a $5 Lyft discount code for travel to the conference while supplies last. Please note, UCLA faculty and staff are not eligible and the promo code (1) will only be provided to the email given at registration.

Table Reservation: If you are planning on attending with a group of 6-10 individuals and would like to reserve a table, please notify us by email with the names of the guests who will be joining you.


Student (Valid ID required) $5
University Faculty & Staff/Young Professionals (35 & Under) $20
General Public $35