MEET ISRAELI AGENTS OF CHANGE. HEAR THEIR STORIES. LEARN ABOUT THEIR IMPACT.
The Jewish Federation’s Imagine Israel Changemakers Series brings dynamic Israeli agents of change to DC to lead community conversations focused on their impact on transformative social issues in Israel. These prominent Israeli Changemakers share their unique ideas and influential actions that challenge Israel’s status quo and effect social change in Israeli society.
Join Federation’s 2017-2018 Changemakers Series:
Meet Joseph Gitler, CEO and Founder of Israel’s Largest Food Bank
Wednesday, April 25
Learn how Gitler turned his one-man mission into Israel’s largest food bank rescue network, known as Leket Israel, The National Food Bank, which provides food for over 200,000 impoverished Israelis every week. After making aliyah (moving to Israel) from the US in 2000, Gitler began his food rescue efforts from his car by rescuing meals from catering halls and delivering them to local nonprofits that serve the needy. Eventually, Gitler founded Leket in 2003, working with 200 partners to collect and redistribute more than 28 million pounds of fresh, perishable, quality food that would otherwise be considered waste from farms, hotels, military bases and catering halls. Hear Gitler’s inspiring story as he visits Greater Washington.
Federation’s Changemakers Series with Yuval Bdolah and Hadas Goldman in February 2018
Two Pioneers represent thousands of ideologically-motivated young adults who are moving to Israel’s underdeveloped inner cities, transforming previously neglected towns into mission-driven communities of culture, opportunity and prosperity.
View photos from our February 2018 event
More than 250 cooperative societies exist across Israel’s social and economic periphery, combining community life and a communal lifestyle with social action. Driven by their personal passions and skills, young and innovative Israelis are working to establish value-focused communities, strengthen educational initiatives, and create opportunities for underprivileged youth in their cooperative societies. Each mission-driven community focuses on a specific area established by the community values, from education to the arts, agriculture to infrastructure, to coexistence with other populations and more. Yuval and Hadas discussed their separate community developments, how this larger network of communities interact and how this movement is evolving throughout Israel.
Federation’s Changemakers Series with Rabbi Esteban Gottfried in November 2017
Warrior for Jewish Pluralism, Rabbi Esteban Gottfried shared how a new model for prayer has introduced a secular, spiritual outlet for all Jewish Israelis.
Listen to our podcast with Gottfried to learn about this modern movement in Israel.
Rabbi Gottfried is Co-Founder and Director of Beit Tefilah Israeli, a fast-growing, multi-generational community that is renewing and revitalizing the landscape of Judaism in Israel. Under the radar from the official Jewish religious establishment in Israel, and for more than a decade, a grassroots movement of Israeli Judaism is emerging, gaining supporters and slowly changing the way Israelis connect to their Jewish identity. Gottfried’s modern, creative and cultural approach to prayer, song and celebration introduce an alternative outlet for spiritual expression that has become an international phenomenon.
Federation’s Changemakers Series with Oren Helman in May 2017
Renowned Israeli disability inclusion advocate, Oren Helman shared his legislation that is revolutionizing employment regulations for individuals with disabilities in Israel.
View photos from our event with Oren Helman.
Vice President at Israel’s largest government-owned electric company, Oren Helman applies his extensive experience working with Israel’s Knesset (legislative body) to his disability inclusion advocacy work. Helman was a key creator of the Equal Rights for People with Disabilities Bill, a major advancement in the field of disability inclusion, passed by Knesset in August 2016. The bill requires that every public agency and organization with 100 workers or more employ individuals with substantial disabilities to at least 5% of its workforce. This law also stipulates that each such institution appoint a disability employment officer to oversee the implementation and annual reports of this regulation.
Federation’s Changemakers Series with Dr. Dalia Fadila in February 2017
Arab-Israeli educational pioneer, Dr. Dalia Fadila led an electrifying discussion on the complex cultural and political dynamic for Arabs living in Israel.
View photos from our event with Dr. Dalia Fadila.
On a mission to empower Arab-Israeli citizens and advance societal standards for women through education, Dr. Dalia Fadila is pioneering a revolutionary schooling system in Israel. She has developed an English-intensive curriculum and reoriented the Arab educational construct to impart progressive values of individuality, encouraging students to become citizens of the world.
Dr. Dalia Fadila’s Outlook on Arab-Israeli Complexities: Dr. Fadila believes Arabs in Israel haven’t yet mastered a balance of heritage. Unable to identify as Palestinian, reluctant to adapt as Israeli and observant of Islam, she says the tension from this identity crisis continues to impede their progress. “Arab-Israelis can and must strengthen themselves through integration with the Jewish majority,” the ultimate lesson this educational pioneer strives to teach at her Q schools. Having grown up as a minority herself, Dr. Fadila has grappled with her own identity clash. She confidently considers herself an Arab, Muslim, minority, Israeli woman. Her mission is to advance “a new generation of Arabs who have the right thinking tools and the right leadership tools to see themselves as part of the elite.”
Federation’s Changemakers Series with Gal Uchovsky in November 2016
Leading Israeli LGBTQ advocate, Gal Uchovsky was captivating at Federation’s inaugural Changemakers Series as he divulged his personal and professional experiences as a gay man in Israel.
View photos from our event with Gal Uchovsky.
Over the past few decades, there has been a substantial change in the visibility and portrayal of the LGBTQ community in Israeli media and Gal has been at the forefront of the movement. Recognized as “The most influential LGBT person in Israel” by the monthly gay magazine Pink Time, Uchovsky has been a vigorous advocate of gay rights in Israeli arts and culture. His dynamic work as a journalist, filmmaker and TV personality has made him a popular role model for gay youth and an instrumental leader in forming Israel’s future LGBTQ culture.