This year, like every year since my aliyah, I find myself encouraged, inspired, motivated and impassioned by the women of valor who have also made a choice to be here and call Israel their home. From the far-reaching corners of the earth, many have given up fame, fortune and family to impact and contribute to the State of Israel, our people and our homeland.
Please join me in celebrating and honoring this year’s list of 69 Extraordinary Women of Israel. These women inspire, lead, fight, change, teach, create, envision, encourage, challenge, unify and help shape what we are as a society and a nation, and are a major force in determining what our future will become.
No mother wants to be the first person on my list. A mother who has been transformed by grief and loss into something of a national matriarch. I pray that this is the last year my list starts this way.
1. Rena Ariel –
Mother to beloved Hallel. Hallel was just 13.5 when she was murdered this past year at their family home in Kiryat Arba Rena was instantly transformed into a national “mother” to us all. Since the murder, Rena has tried to add life and strength to the world by creating projects in Hallel’s memory. Including creating an educational center in memory of Hallel, Kerem Hallel right next to their home in Kiryat Arba as well as the Hallel Playground in their local school. Rena and her husband are also involved in reconstructing a dance studio where Hallel used to dance, in Kiryat Arba.
2. Frimet Roth – Founder of Keren Malki in honor of their daughter, Malki Roth, murdered in the Jerusalem Sbarro bombing, August 2001. Frimet and her husband chose to honor and remember Malki by helping families that love and raise their severely disabled children at home. Their own youngest child, Chaya, now 22, suffers from profound physical and cognitive disabilities and still resides at home. Malki adored Chaya and selflessly helped us raise her. Malki also sought out children with disabilities in their neighborhood, at her school and in Ezra, the youth movement she belonged to and spent many hours caring for and befriending them. Frimet and her husband, work to influence the way people think about terror via their frequent published articles, and most recently by focusing attention on the murderer of Malki – the mastermind of the atrocity at Sbarro Jerusalem – a terrorist who currently lives in total freedom in Jordan. She has been treated as a local hero and a celebrity and has been actively inciting others to terrorism since being “expelled” by Israel in the 2011 Shalit deal.
Last month, the Roth’s were gratified to learn that their efforts over the past five years in bringing the US Department of Justice to issue an arrest warrant and an extradition request against that woman have finally born fruit. The Kingdom of Jordan has brazenly rejected the US request to extradite her so that she can face justice in a US Federal court, but the Roth’s continue to work hard to raise public awareness on this issue. Jordanian signed an extradition treaty with the US in 1995 and are now repudiating it. Frimet’s goal is to galvanize the world into pressuring them to abide by that treaty and rectify this travesty of justice. Let’s honor Malki’s memory, the other 14 murdered that day and the 130 injured and commit to doing what we can to help.
3. Chantal Belzberg – Born 50 years ago in Antwerp Belgium to a family, that suffered many losses in the Holocaust. Chantal chose to come to Israel to study Jewish philosophy, law and history after finishing college. After meeting her would be husband, Marc Belzberg on a short trip to New York they chose to get married, not in the city that either of them came from, but in the city they hoped to move to, Jerusalem, the capital of Israel. Five years after their marriage, Marc and Chantal moved to Israel with three little girls under the age of 4, and Chantal later gave birth to four more children in Israel. Their first three girls did their army service in Sherut Leumi, and their first son of army age, Yoni, served two and a half years in the Golani Brigade. On August 9th of 2001, the day of their daughter Michal’s, Bat Mitzva, the Sbarro Pizza store in the centre of downtown Jerusalem was attacked by a suicide bomber, killing 15, many of them children, and wounding 85 others. The Belzbergs to cancel their daughter’s bat mitzvah celebrations, and instead decided to create and fund a new foundation to care for the needs of victims of terror. Chantal Belzberg, as a volunteer, assumed the responsibility of being the operating Director of OneFamily a few years later.
Today, under the stewardship of Chantal, and almost 16 years after that fateful day, the OneFamily Fund, has raised and distributed more than $50.0 million dollars in financial, legal, medical, social and psychological aid to more than 11,000 individuals, of all ages, religions and color. Chantal has taken a small seed and grown it into a towering tree of strength supporting thousands with programs for bereaved children, for orphans of both parents, young adults, bereaved parents, widows and widowers and the seriously wounded.
4. Pircha Lottner – President of Ullman Medical Biotech, as a child, Pircha served as a messenger for the Etzel and Lechi underground in pre-state Jerusalem. Ben Gurion remarked to Pircha’s father at the time “Jerusalem will be an international city, the men are needed elsewhere.” So as a youngster, Pircha’s energies were not directed at play, but rather at helping the Jewish fighting forces in Jerusalem, tasked with delivering messages across the city from one group to thother. A contemporary of Rav Kook, Ben Gurion and other founding leaders of the modern State of Israel, Pircha’s family departed to Canada for her father’s medical research -she would return to Israel, already a wife and mother, many years later. Upon her return, Pircha served as Adviser on Foreign Affairs to Member of Knesset, Rafael Eitan, worked as a curator for the government publications bureau, produced special documentaries for both Israeli and foreign television, served as a special emissary to the Soviet Union on behalf of the Israeli government during the early stage of Perestroika, rallied hundreds of volunteers to assist Russian immigrants in political involvement and serves as an active board member of the National LIBI Foundation as well as her work on a memoir and Ullman Medical. Pircha is mother to 5, grandmother to more than 20 and great grandmother to more than 30-all of whom proudly call Israel home.
5. Dr Diddy Mymin Kahn – Clinical psychologist and trauma specialist. Over 25 years of experience working in the UK, Hong Kong, Israel, Sierra Leone, and Haiti as a psychologist, supervisor, trainer, group facilitator and open art studio director. Diddy has been involved in assisting African refugees in Tel Aviv since 2009, managing a psycho social service and co-founding, Kuchinate (meaning “to crochet” in Tigrinya), an arts based women’s empowerment NGO. To date, Kuchinate has helped hundreds of women including those who have survived trafficking, torture, and gender-based-violence. Kuchinate provides psycho social support together with income generation and capacity building. Kuchinate provides a unique a way for refugee women, who may otherwise be at risk of homelessness or extreme poverty, to earn a dignified living. The project gives a platform for women who are otherwise invisible in the society, to become visible. Apart from selling the products, they also teach crochet and host groups in their studio, thus building social cohesion. Diddy also serves as a professional advisor for IsraAID, an international humanitarian organization and has several publications including co-authoring a book for survivors of torture published by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees.
6. Noa Choritz – Coordinator of Women’s Health Services for Terem Urgent Health Clinics, Noa is devoted to improving accessibility to urgent gynecologic care. She made aliyah in 2002 and is a graduate of Hebrew University – Hadassah School of Nursing. Noa is mom to 3 active children (ages 11, 8 and 5) and wife to Bryan. Founder of a breast pump and free lactation advice gemach, Noa is also active in BRCA education. Part of her dedication to improving women’s healthcare includes serving as a good role model, and to that end Noa has completed 4 marathons and an ultra-marathon. All of this helps to balance out her other hobby of discovering amazing restaurants throughout the country.
7. Irena Levit – Founder and director of the ELIS organization, created in 2007 on the initiative of mothers whose sons and daughters died or were hurt as a result of drug or alcohol abuse. Levit, who was born in Sakhalin Island in the former Soviet Union, studied engineering in Belarus and arrived in Israel for the first time in 2002. Shocked to find her only son in the hospital after having his leg amputated, following an attempt to stop an infection that spread through drugs use. Irina, was entirely unaware that her son was using drugs, followed him to Israel and began to be exposed to the complex world of treatment, rehabilitation and confrontation with the various authorities. ELIS was created to support mothers and families of drug addicts and provide guidance in the context of coping with addiction and tools to enable parents to help their children start and stay in rehab and recover. In addition to help change government policy regarding the prevention, treatment and rehabilitation of drug and alcohol addicts in Israel. Today, the organization supports more than 500 parents from all over the country and operates with 24 volunteers – parents and professionals – doctors, psychologists, narcotic experts, lawyers, social workers, students and cultural figures.
8. Sarah Levy Lewis – Sarah came on aliyah with her husband and five daughters less than 3 years ago. She holds a degree in Occupational Therapy, a Masters in Biobehavioral Studies from Columbia University and a PhD in Neuropsychology. Sarah is the psychoeducational supervisor of Kol Koreh,a not-for-profit organization that raises awareness and advocates for children with dyslexia and other language based learning disabilities in Israel. She is passionate about the importance of social emotional learning (SEL) for all children and has developed a SEL curriculum for Jewish schools. Sarah also runs parent workshops on how to communicate with children about puberty and other sensitive topics. Dr. Levy leads workshops tailored to address the mental health concerns of new Olim and their children and has served as a clinical supervisor, adjunct professor, and researcher– authoring articles and a book chapter. She specializes in conducting neuropsychological assessments as well as treating children with a variety of developmental and psychological issues. Sarah is one of the few Brooklyn-bred Bait Yaakov graduates who earned a purple belt in martial arts and can break karate boards. Watch out – Dr. Sarah is just getting started!
9. Yehudit (Yudit) Zicklin-Sidikman – The Israel to which Yudit made aliyah on her own to to 30 years ago, was a place of strength, inspiration and opportunity. This special energy sparked a flame which fueled Yudit’s path to earning her fourth degree black belt in Judo, certification as an empowerment self-defense instructor, and co-founding El HaLev, for which she serves today as CEO. A nationally recognized non-profit organization in Israel, El Halev is dedicated to providing self-defense and martial arts training to women and girls, in a safe and empowering environment. To date, Yudit and her staff have trained more than 50,000 participants, primarily women, from all walks of life, socio-economic backgrounds, religions and abilities. Yudit is open about being a survivor of sexual assault and abuse, and uses this to inspire women to share their stories, heal from past trauma and move on to become more active in their own communities. Yudit is the proud mother of five wonderful kids and is enjoying bring a first-time Grandma.
10. Sylvia Dombey – Following many trips to Israel with her late husband throughout their married life, Sylvia made aliyah to Jerusalem four years ago at the young age of 86. Growing up in London, Sylvia always enjoyed singing and dancing and making aliyah didn’t stop her passion. She continues to this day entertaining the retired active and the general community at AACI in Jerusalem with her well-loved musical acts and performances. Sylvia (otherwise known as ‘Nanny’) enjoys spending Shabbatot and Chaggim with her grandchildren and great grandchildren all around Israel) where she continues her singing and dancing with them too!
11. Lena Russovsky – Journalist and feminist activist, Lena has become a leading voice for the rights of “olot” from the former Soviet Union, against the continuous ethnic and gender discrimination they face. With more than 9500 active members since its establishment in 2014, her “Russian women with no sense of humor and their friends” Facebook group serves both as a platform for exchange of experience and ideas, a forum for mutual support, and a tool for mobilization for protest actions, charity events and flashmob activism. Lena’s efforts and dedication have resulted in increased attention and action relating to the problems of Russian-speaking immigrant women in the Knesset, government, Israeli women’s organizations and the Israeli press.
12. Sylvia Kamowitz-Hareven – Sylvia is Director of Education for Sifriyat Pijama (“Pajama Library”), Israel’s largest preschool reading readiness and values program. Sifriyat Pijama provides the gift of children’s books to 90% of Israeli preschoolers, fostering a cultural cannon common to Israelis of all walks of life: religious, traditional and secular; veterans and immigrants; disadvantaged and wealthy. Through the program children acquire personal home libraries of 24 read-aloud picture books that spark a sense of identity and belonging to Jewish-Israeli heritage. Sylvia, an early childhood specialist, is a seasoned lecturer and educator. She is a member of Sifriyat Pijama’s book selection team and is responsible for book-based curricula and professional teacher training throughout Israel for Sifriyat Pijama. She holds a B.A with honors from Brown University and a master’s degree (summa cum laude) in Early Childhood Studies from Hebrew University. Originally from Boston, Massachusetts (USA), Sylvia now lives in Jerusalem with her husband, is the mother of 3 and the grandmother of 2.
13. Shira Reifman – A Wexner Graduate Fellow, Shira holds a a B.A. from Columbia, an MSW from Columbia School of Social Work, and an MBA from Columbia Business School. Today, Shira is the is the Director of Development at Kishorit, a kibbutz where 171 adults with special needs live and work alongside a growing mainstream population. The kibbutz provides a wide range of long term residential services, social services and vocational placements, either in the broader community or in one of Kishorit’s own businesses. Kishorit’s businesses include a dog kennel, a goat dairy, a winery, a communications center, an organic garden, a bakery, and more. Shira made aliyah ten years ago and lives in Southern Israel with her husband, Daniel, and five daughters.
14. Judi Axelrod – A talented vocalist, coach and conductor., originally from London, Judi is a graduate of the Royal College of Music London, and recipient of the Julliard School of Music Scholarship . Shortly after immigrating, she joined the Cameran Singers and was invited to be joint founder of the Jerusalem Chamber Opera Theatre where she sang and directed for the stage and TV. She was appointed Music Director of the Madrigal Quartet in 1988 who went on to perform in all the major vocal festivals of Israel, at State occasions in the presence of Yitzchak Rabin and Shimon Peres, Chaim Herzog in the President’s House, for the Vatican Holy Emissaries on their official recognition of the State of Israel and abroad.Ms. Axelrod has given workshops on vocal technique, opera and the art of performance in high schools, at the Matan Summer School of Music and the Hebrew Union College. She also wrote, directed and performed specially designed programs on opera for children and youth, sponsored by the Ministry of Education, Arts Nationwide and Jeunesse Musicale. In 2002, Judi decided to concentrate on conducting. This led to appearances in the Knesset, the Israel Museum and concert venues all over the country. Judy has conducted the Zamir Chorale, the Jerusalem Oratorio Choir with the Ra’anana Symphonette Orchestra and is the Artistic Director and Conductor of the Jerusalem A-Cappella Singers. She has coached (and inspired) many talented Israeli singers performing around the world today.
15. Heather Dean – The host of “The Modern Jewish Home” on Israel News Talk Radio, Heather Dean brings two seemingly divergent parts of life together. Before coming to Israel, Heather lived and worked in NYC as a premiere entertainment journalist, interviewing hundreds of celebrities for popular magazines and television, including MTV, the Associated Press, People Magazine, and E! Entertainment Television. Her long roster of celebrity interviews included the likes of Oprah Winfrey, Madonna, Robin Williams, Natalie Portman, Johnny Depp, Sean Penn and many more. More than sixteen years ago, Heather chose to leave that life behind and instead live a more meaningful life in Jerusalem with her husband. Subsequently, all of their children were born in Jerusalem. Today she is back to on-air interviewing, but now talks with the “stars” of the Jewish world. Heather also frequently speaks with schools and groups in Israel about interviewing, about her exciting experiences in the celebrity world, and why she ultimately embraced her life in Jerusalem. She has written a book about her intriguing and unique journey due to be published later this year.
16. Karin Kloosterman – Karin was born an activist, focusing that spirit to align human desires with Earth-friendly approaches. She’s a published scientist, award-winning journalist (www.greenprophet.com) and a serial entrepreneur who founded flux (www.fluxiot.com) to cognify Earth’s data. She knows that solutions from Israel can accelerate this mission and is excited to bring the company’s first product Eddy (www.growwitheddy.com) to home growers in the United States, and in the not-so-distant-future to Earth’s first colony on Mars through Mars Farm Odyssey. Mars Farm Odyssey is a venture she founded this year to start space farming on Mars (www.marsfarm.org). A pilot for Mars Farm Odyssey will soon launch in the Mohave Desert in California.
17. Shaindy Babad – Director of Temech, a non-profit organization for the development of employment and entrepreneurship opportunities for religious women in Israel. Shaindy joined Temech after playing a pivotal role in multiple charitable initiatives: Kemach, a multi-million dollar scholarship fund for professional training, OneFamily, the largest organization supporting terror victim in Israel, MiBereshit a youth organization for enrichment and education and Mishnat Yaakov an organization supporting the weak social strata of Jerusalem in their fight against poverty. Prior to entering the non profit world, Shaindy spent over 12 years in the hi-tech industry.
18, Caryn Meyerowitz – Born in South Africa, Caryn started swimming competitively at age 7 and was nationally ranked until age 12. She moved to California at 14, along with her high school relay teammates smashed the medley record at California State Finals. Caryn continued swimming competitively in college. Caryn started coaching and teaching swimming a year after high school, and hasn’t stopped since. Caryn holds a masters in physical therapy from Emory University, has a certification as a personal fitness trainer and as a hydrotherapist. “There are no secrets in the water — the water gives you what you give it. When you fight and struggle against the water, it fights and struggles right back. Learning to be harmonious with the water is what ultimately brings results.”
Caryn’s is a much loved girl’s swim coach, across the religious spectrum. She and her can do attitude make use of sport to build bridges of understanding. In the pool, every girl is alike, and relationships are built, and walls torn down. Her annual finale to end of the year is doing the Swim4Sadna fundraiser as a community team. The girls feel accomplished both by swimming the Kinneret, and by having the opportunity to help those that are “differently abled”.
I don’t believe in the words “I can’t” but push for “I’ll try”. In therapy or in fitness this is the attitude that Caryn uses to brings about change. Come join us and see for yourself! Caryn and her team will be swimming the Kinneret for Sadnat Shiluv, Mar 26th. If you aren’t up for the swim, you can still support Caryn’s team here:
19. Daniella Farrin – A new immigrant at the age of 15, Daniella decided that rather than struggling at school she would turn her talent for fashion and design into her future. She’s and her brand Daniella Faye are now a household Israeli name. With her popular head wear gifted to Oscar ceremony celebrities last year, a trendy store in Jerusalem and a customer list that reads like the Who’s Who of Israel; Daniella is the classiest immigrant entrepreneur we know. With and young daughter and son at home, Daniella still finds time to design all of her own collections, be present at the store, and host intimate style events throughout the country. We applaud Daniella for her spirit and energy and wish her only continued success in the international fashion world as she takes the runways by storm.
20. Shara Shetrit – Shara Shetrit is a mom of 3 (her oldest a Sabra) and the social media and community manager at Nefesh B’Nefesh, a non-profit that helps North American and UK Jews make their home in Israel. Her experience in Marketing Communications spans 17 years and over 40 start-ups. Shara is an Aliyah expert, having moved to Israel twice, once immediately after college, and then again almost two decades later with her husband and children. Her grandparents made Aliyah from New York in the ‘70s, and her mother made Aliyah recently. In addition to managing several Nefesh B’Nefesh Facebook groups and making sure everyone’s Aliyah questions get answered out there on the Web, Shara manages the Nefesh B’Nefesh Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook page where she posts multiple times a day about immigrants, communities, or benefits of living in Israel. Her spotlights on immigrant posts explore their backgrounds, what they’re doing here, their motivation for making Aliyah. Shara tries to give some idea of what can be possible here, the opportunities that are available. As the voice of Nefesh B’Nefesh, her message is that Aliyah allows you to be a big fish in a small pond. Immigrants have a lot to contribute. The country is still growing and it’s exciting to be a part of it.
21. Jane Olman – Partner at Rachlin-Olman Law in Jerusalem. After making aliyah on her own, Jane graduated with a degree in Law from Bar-Ilan University and has now been an attorney in Israel for 16 years. Jane is well known for helping olim navigate business aspects of the Israeli legal system. For the past decade, Jane has provided pro-bono legal work to various causes including Bishvilaych, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting women’s health and screening awareness in the Haredi community. Jane is married with four children, (including a daughter currently serving in the search & rescue unit of the IDF), and lives in Modi’in.
22. Sister Azezet Kidane – Originally from Eritrea, Sister Aziza is a member of the Comboni Missionary Sisters. She is Co- Director of Kuchinate, the African asylum seeker women’s empowerment NGO in Tel Aviv and is a volunteer nurse for the hysicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR-I) NGO. In addition, Sister Aziza also works with Bedouin communities assisting them with children’s programs, and she is an active member of the Coordination Commission for pastoral work with migrant workers and asylum seekers of the Latin Patriarchate. Since 2010, she has worked actively to end the torture of asylum seekers and enslavement for sexual exploitation happening in the Sinai. Today, she acts as an advocate, counselor, nurse and spiritual leader of the African refugee community in Israel. Sister Aziza has co-written a self
help book for refugee survivors of torture.
23. Paula Stern – Paula Stern is the founder and CEO of WritePoint Ltd, Israel’s leading technical writing company. She is the founder and conference coordinator of MEGAComm, an annual gathering of over 300 hi-tech communication professionals from Israel and around the world. After making Aliyah in 1993, Paula now calls Maale Adumim home with her husband, 5 children, and 4 grandchildren. Paula, is an official Adobe Influencer, and developer of the highly-respected WritePoint Technical Writing Course, which has helped hundreds of olim find work as qualified technical writers throughout Israel. Outside WritePoint, Paula is a prolific writer on life and times in Israel. Her articles have appeared on dozens of websites and her popular blog, A Soldier’s Mother, has garnered over one million hits and led her to start a Facebook support group with more than 1,000 English-speaking parents of IDF soldiers around the world.
24. Natasha Shine-Zirkel – Born in London, raised in California and a new immigrant at the age of 19. Natasha has a Bachelor’s Degree with a major in Marketing and a minor in Finance from The IDC Herzliya. Natasha served as the program coordinator for the Zell Entrepreneurship Program and then took the role of Compliance Coordinator at SafeCharge, prior to her joining the Rounds start-up team at their 9th employee in 2009. Rounds was acquired by Kik Interactive, a chat community with over 300M users, in January 2017, and Natasha now leads Product Marketing at Kik. In her free time, (when she’s not spending time with her husband and young son), Natasha enjoys helping start-ups and mentors at multiple accelerators and programs such as Google Campus Launch Pad, Campus for Moms, Up West Labs, The Junction, Siftach, Artemis @ IDC, The Zell Entrepreneurship Program and others. Natasha also guest lectures on Mobile Marketing at various academic venues.
25. Miriam Schwab – Founder and CEO of illuminea, one of Israel’s leading WordPress website development agencies. Miriam regularly speaks on the topic of WordPress, SEO, and online marketing at conferences around the world and is considered a thought leader on the subject. Miriam recently founded a startup in the web security space called Strattic, in order to solve the pains related to site hacking that she and her clients have been experiencing over the last few years. Miriam is the proud mom of seven, her oldest having recently joined the IDF as an elite paratrooper. She’s still not sure how she got to the point where she has a son who is a soldier…
26. Dr. Efrat Altshul Schorr – CEO of Ceremonie Tea Ltd since 2013. Efrat has successfully grown the Israeli gourmet tea company more than three-fold and brought the locally manufactured tea to over a dozen new foreign markets. Since entering the business world, Efrat has generously shared her entrepreneurial spirit and advice with other women starting their own businesses, assisting them in advancing professionally. In addition to being a trailblazing CEO (only 6% of CEOs of TASE100 companies are women), Efrat is an accomplished research psychologist. Her groundbreaking work on social and emotional development of children with hearing loss continues to improve the lives of children in Israel and around the world. Efrat holds a PhD from the University of Maryland in Developmental Psychology and made aliya in 2005.
27. Sandrine Kespi – 10 years ago, Sandrine and her family made aliyah from Paris to Maale Adumim. Sandrine sees herself as first and foremost as a mother to her 4 children, but she is also a trained psychologist, teacher and painter. Struggling to find herself after making aliyah, she decided to create a new to her form of Judaica with her feelings and emotions. Sandrine is now a recognized and successful Judaica designer with well over 1600 ketubah designs in print and her artwork is sold throughout the world. As part of her desire to embrace her new life in Israel, she started a challah baking project for the Maale Adumim Geriatric Center every Friday. Gathering neighbors and friends, she coordinates baking and delivery to the center of over 200 challot each week.Those visits are a highlight at the center and I’m told the residents wait in anticipation for her and her challot at the door.
28. Margo Sugarman – After making aliyah from Cape Town, South Africa in 1989, Margo studied for her Masters at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Proud mother of 2 sons and a daughter – Amit, Hadar and Anna, and wife to Peter, Margo works as a business communications consultant. Ten years ago, when her younger son was 8, he started playing baseball in Tel Mond and was asked by the local organizers to “help out”. This is how her volunteer life as a baseball coach, umpire, and then Secretary General of the Israel Association of Baseball began. On a local level, Margo runs the baseball program in Tel Mond, and works hard to make baseball an Israeli sport. Margo has managed several national teams that have traveled aboard to represent Israel – which is always touches her heart. Margo served as the press liaison for Team Israel at the World Baseball Classic qualifiers in Brooklyn last year in September, and this past in March at the tournament in Korea and Japan where Team Israel gained International fame. Go Team ISRAEL!
29.Michele Chabin – Award-winning Jerusalem-based correspondent for USA TODAY, Religion News Service, the New York Jewish Week and the National Catholic Register, and recently named an FIJ-Schuster Institute Social Justice Investigative Reporting Senior Fellow. She writes about the everyday lives of Israelis and Palestinians. Read and enjoy more of her work here.
30. Shoshana Rubli – Busy mom of 3, originally from Morristown NJ, Shoshana has a background in the Performing Arts. After making aliyah in 2009, she started making soap as a hobby for her family and quickly transformed her love of Israel and nature with her natural soap making processes into the wildly successful, Jerusalem Soap Company. Raised in a multicultural and diverse family, Shoshana keenly appreciates and celebrates what Israel means both to Jews as well as to the rest of the world. Shoshana is proud to be bringing her soaps to the country of Azerbaijan. Each bar of Jerusalem Soap is associated with a different local charity including projects close to her heart including women’s shelters, environmental education, families in crisis and ALS research.
31. Shira Amsel Sachs – Founder and director of Shiraliga. Born in the U.S., Shira moved to Israel with her family and lived in Jerusalem. She found no educational or community sports frameworks that were appropriate for the religious sector. She felt that it was up to her to continually fight for sports and athletics. She focused mainly on swimming and martial arts and at the age of 20, she began to learn and to play professional basketball. She later obtained professional training as a coach and that’s when she understood that her life mission is to establish a program of sports training for girls, teens and women, to give others the same opportunity to be exposed to sports. Fighting to establish basketball teams for girls in Jerusalem was considered a revolutionary move that faced opposition from schools and community institutions, but Shira did not quit. With complete faith together with enormous investment of time and resources, she set up more and more teams, started tournaments and built a professional and logistical base. Other professional coaches joined the staff and the activities expanded. To her credit, Shiraliga (“Shira’s League”) now includes five basketball leagues for elementary, middle and high school, and for Midrashot and women and provides diverse, structured sports frameworks integrating community service and personal development. Kudos to Shira and her continuing dedication to sport and personal excellence!
32. Amanda Klahr – Leading nursing consultant in geriatrics championing the “aging-in-place” approach, which minimizes moves between home, hospitals and nursing facilities. Supporting elderly people to stay in their own domain, even as they face medical issues and require more care, has shown to lead to better long-term health and quality of life. Amanda developed an innovative care model while working with Maccabi Health Services and Bituach Leumi early in her career. During a temporary return to Australia, Amanda transplanted these models of care to eldercare programs in Sydney during a six-year stay there. Since returning to Israel in 2014, Amanda successfully implemented her unique approaches as Director of Nursing at Jerusalem’s Beit Tovei Ha’Ir assisted living facility. She is also teaching her model to other professionals as the Academic Director of Gerontology Care Management at Machon Be’er.
33. Leah Zak Aharoni – After a 10-year-long entrepreneurship stint, Leah undertook to share everything she knows about business-building with other women. As a business consultant, she empowers women to combine their passion and skills for professional and personal success Through lecturing, prolific writing, and individual work, Leah has helped thousands of women to establish or expand their businesses in Israel. After realizing the extent to which Israeli female consumers are under served, she has created SHEvuk, a consulting firm that assists companies to better understand, market to, and serve the women among their clientele. Leah believes that positioning the female consumer at the center of corporate decision-making will lead to more women advanced to key managerial and decision-making positions
34. Kerry Bar-Cohn – With a background in stage performance, first as a child, then attending the High School of Performing Arts in New York, and subsequently returning to performance ten years ago after making aliyah, Kerry was born to entertain. Starring in a number of all-women’s stage productions in Israel, Kerry also goes by the name “Rebbetzin Tap” (tap dance), and has produced popular music and dance DVDs for children, as well as online courses and a plethora of YouTube videos, whose goal is to emphasize the “joy” component in Judaism and in life, and to teach self-esteem and empowerment. Kerry has performed for children, teens and adults around the world, giving concerts and inspirational talks. She also recently started the “Kol Isha” Facebook group, where women and girls can post their singing and dancing with one another. In just a few months, the group has drawn more than 1,300 members. When not doing all of that (or running), Dr. Kerry treats patients as the only female chiropractor in Ramat Beit Shemesh, where she lives with her husband David and four sons.
35. Ronit Peskin – Through her blog, PennilessParenting.com and Frugal Israel
Facebook group, Ronit Peskin has helped millions around the world to live a rich life on a minimal budget. Her classes on foraging wild edibles have been widely acclaimed throughout Israel, popularizing this useful skill, especially among immigrants. Ronit’s new cookbook, Penniless Foodie in the Wild teaches people how to make gourmet recipes from around the globe in their frugal kitchens, adaptable to multiple different special dietary needs.
36. Eve Harow – Transforming her singular passion for Israel and her people into a vocation, Eve guides visitors across the country as a licensed Israeli Tour guide, and hosts a weekly radio show “Rejuvenation” on The Land of Israel Network, as Director of Tourism at The One Israel Fund, and as a popular guest speaker in many global forums. A refreshingly articulate, professional and educated voice on Israel’s Biblical history and modern political reality, Eve weaves the two together with insight and optimism revealing an Israel the media normally doesn’t know, share or show. Eve made aliyah with her physician husband from California to Efrat in Gush Etzion in 1988 after earning a Master’s Degree in Psychology. Eve and her husband have 7 children, one currently serving in the IDF, and 7 grandchildren.
37. Naomi Elbinger – Naomi is one of the movers behind Leshomra, the inspiring non-profit that’s building and strengthening the Charedi community’s relationship with nature and the environment. To date, she has helped train close to 200 Charedi educators to bring Leshomra’s green education programs into Charedi classrooms around Israel. As a result, Charedi kids and teachers are now composting, cleaning up litter and growing their own watermelons. Australian-born Naomi is also CEO of the website company YesPotential.com, owner of the successful Jewish business blog MyParnasa.com and one of the leading initiators of the Temech Conference for Women in Business. I can absolutely certify that Naomi is not a cartoon character; she just plays one on the internet.
38. Ruth Jaffe Lieberman – Director of Jaffe Strategies Ltd, a political consulting firm specializing in Israel advocacy. Ruth works with political figures in Israel and in the United States, to bring together people dedicated to Israel’s stability and well-being, in legislative efforts and advocacy work. With frequent trips to DC, Ruth is well known in the halls of Congress and the White House for her team’s reliable, creative efforts as an authentic, authoritative voice from Israel. Lieberman has worked on Israeli election campaigns, including PM Benjamin Netanyahu, Cabinet ministers and members of the Knesset; as well as on US Senate, Congressional and Presidential campaigns, supporting pro-Israel candidates by appealing to their pro-Israel constituents. Ruth has spearheaded campaigns to affect public policy on issues of Israeli security, funding and government policies. She is a member of the board of Israel’s Ariel University and served two terms as an elected Councilwoman to the Gush Etzion regional council. Ruth shares her love of the Land of Israel with visiting guests and dignitaries, as a licensed tour guide, throughout the country. Ruth originally hails from Cleveland, Ohio, and remains an unthwarted Cleveland sports fan, enjoying the Cavs championship, the Indians’ almost-win, and rooting for her true sports love, the Browns, as President of the Holy Devoted Biblical Browns Backers here in Israel (!)
39. Maayan Steele – Maayan is the Administrative Director of the new Biblical Museum of Natural History and owner of iAssist – Project Management Services. A recent olah from South Africa with her husband and 4 children, Maayan is passionate about business growth, project management and environments which thrive! At the Biblical Museum of Natural History, Maayan is focused on creating an international visitor experience which educates and inspires about the wonders of nature and the animals of Tanach.
40. Hannah Katsman – Advocate for maternal and child health; current chair of La Leche League Israel, a non-profit providing breastfeeding information and support; lactation consultant (IBCLC); writer. A mother of six, her sharp social commentary on Jewish and Israeli life can be found in the Forward, Jerusalem Post, Times of Israel, and on her websites, A Mother in Israel and Cooking Manager.
41. Devorah Saban – Director at WeiserMazars LLP, Devorah is a licensed CPA and CFP with a Masters in Taxation from Baruch University and is also a graduate of the Machon Gavoha at Nishmat. Proud wife to Guy and mother of five active children under the age of 12, Devorah has spent the last 25 years in public and private practice in accounting with an expertise in tax for American ex-patriots. Devorah is renown for balancing a challenging career while actively raising her children and being active in her community.
42. Sivan Felder – Just 26-years old, this energetic mother of two, is the director/ screenwriter/video editor at Shoot East Productions. Sivan is an avid story-teller who loved making movies, and from a young age had a video camera attached to her hand. Upon making Aliya 6 years ago, Sivan decided to take the less traditional route and drop out of college to pursue film full-time. Although the film industry is typically a male-dominated one, Sivan found a home for her talents in a supportive and growing production company and is realizing her dream to raise the standards of Israeli cinema and advertising,. She is also dedicated to getting more women involved in film and opening the market to women from all sectors of society. Her passion project, a short film she produced with her younger sister, recently won the Grand Prize in a video contest run by the Israel Video Network.
43. Rachi Hain – After making Aliya at the age of 13 from Boston with her mother and two siblings, Rachi Hain now calls Jerusalem home. Wife to Moshe and mother to nine children ages 3 to 15, this former IDF soldier, worked in the IVF department of Bikur Cholim hospital as part of her social work program and there found her found her passion in life. Recognizing the tremendous need for emotional support for woman and couples going through fertility challenges and pregnancy loss, in 2011, Rachi established and now runs the first NPO of its kind, providing emotional and physical support to anyone going through fertility treatments or who had lost a pregnancy at any stage. Learn more about her incredible project at Merkaz Panim.
44. Miriam Green – Miriam worked as a counselor for AACI (Association of Americans and Canadians) in the South since 2001. She assists olim and vatikim in their absorption process in Israel and is proud to promote southern Israel as an ideal option for aliyah. Miriam also writes a weekly blog at http://www.thelostkichen.org, featuring anecdotes about her mother’s Alzheimer’s and related recipes. Her blog also appears on the Alzheimer’s Association website, http://blog.alz.org/. Her poetry has been published in several journals, including Poet Lore, The Prose Poem Project, Ilanot Review, The Barefoot Review, and Poetica Magazine. Her poem, “Mercy of a Full Womb,” won the 2014 Jewish Literary Journal’s 1st anniversary competition. Her poem, “Questions My Mother Asked, Answers My Father Gave Her,” won the 2013 Reuben Rose Poetry prize. She holds an MA in Creative Writing from Bar Ilan University, and a BA from Oberlin College. Miriam made aliyah in 1991 to Beer Sheva, where she raised her three children.
45. Eddie Berg – Edie Berg is the host and founder of The Strong Jewish Women’s Summit, an online conference for Jewish women leaders. Edie is also the host of The Strong Women’s Club podcast, highlighting the behind-the-scenes stories of successful Jewish women around the world. Based in Israel, Edie empowers women globally with local and online mastermind events.
46 &47. Daniella Teutsch & Sara Wolf
– Dynamic duo and co-founders of HydroChic Sun Protective Activewear. World-renown swimwear that meets the needs of women of every shape and size from around the globe. When they founded their company online 10 years ago, they had no idea how they would impact the lives of so many women from so many walks of life. For many women, HydroChic gave them the courage to go back into the water after years of beach or pool hiatus. For others seeking all different levels of sun or body coverage, they also found a solution. Sara and Daniella have expanded their line to include plus-size, items for breast cancer survivors, and for women with skin ailments that require maximum coverage. Hearing how customers have changed their lifestyles and how they feel about themselves because of HydroChic has made the struggle to create a whole new brand worth it. Sara, a mother of 5, has an MA in Jewish History from Hebrew University and is currently part of an intensive tour guiding course at Yad Ben Zvi while working full time as the CEO of HydroChic. Daniella, the COO of HydroChic, was previously a teacher and holds an MA in special education.
48. Leah (Charney) Prejserowicz –
Raised in South Africa and Canada, Leah is a pioneer in equine-assisted adult learning in Israel. Through teambuilding workshops, leadership development, therapy and parental guidance sessions, Leah helps people gain valuable insight into their communication styles via experiential learning with horses. Leah claims that “who we are with horses is who we are in life”.
49. Margo Stern – Multipotentialite and entrepreneur. Margot is CEO and co-founder of StellarNova Ltd., an award-winning Israeli startup in child entertainment. StellarNova creates STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) based consumer products combining storytelling, role models and hands on science to engage and inspire kids in science. She is also a partner and senior advisor in multiple global entities in the fields of private equity, media, BigData, and CleanTech. Beyond the workplace, Margot is a member of the ROI community, volunteers with the Jewish Diplomatic Corps, rock-climbs, loves music & cooking, and is proudly raising her family in Jerusalem.
50. Chana German – Founder and director of Lookstein Virtual Jewish Academy, an award-winning online school for Jewish studies. Chana’s interest in the possibilities of online Jewish education stem from her experiences as an online student and her understanding of the complex realities of North American Jewish schools. She has been working with Jewish educators and schools for close to two decades, focusing on educational technology projects, including online professional development, edtech curricular development, and the use of social networks to promote professional growth. Her graduate work was done in educational technology and instructional design, at Boston University and the University of Massachusetts. She lives with her family in Jerusalem.
51. Sarah Goldstein – Sarah entered the field of childbirth more than 32 years ago, with the birth of the first of her six children, and professionally, nineteen years ago, becoming a doula. Sarah is a childbirth advocate, promoting safer and more empowering birth experiences. Sarah has trained doulas in the States and Israel since 2005. Her inspirational and informative books, Special Delivery, More Special Deliveries and A Doula’s Journey; Into the world of Birth, serve to provide women with strength as they enter mortherhood. To date, Sarah has merited attending over 1,800 births.
52. Barbara Shaw – Founder and Owner at BarbaraShaw Gifts, Barbara made Aliya with her husband 30 years ago from Australia, while pregnant and carrying her then, one and a half year old in her arms. With not much of a clue, but Zionism burning in their hearts, Barbara set out to use her background in retailing and art to find her place here. After looking for gifts with interesting designs, that were practical, well priced and nicely packaged and unable to find what she wanted, she set out to make my own unique line. At first, she started selling at markets and then wholesaling, and later opened her beloved stores. Herself not an artist, Barbara worked with a variety of designers to create and produce a wide range of popular gifts for the home in Israel. Now an international household name, Barbara sells around the world. She takes great pride in producing innovative gifts that touch peoples’ hearts from her workshop in Givat Shaul, Jerusalem. She remains grateful that Israel has given her the opportunity to become the person she was meant to be.
53. Michal (Miiko) Shaffier –
The creator of a unique 6 week program for learning to read Hebrew. Thousands of students worldwide have attended her free live broadcast course. Her book “Learn to Read Hebrew in 6 Weeks! ” is an Amazon best seller. “Reading Hebrew is a basic but incredibly meaningful skill that many people think is unattainable. There are so many over-complicated methods out there. I simplified reading as much as possible and I’ve been overwhelmed by the positive response. A grandmother is now able to read Tehillim for the first time. A home schooling parent in Kentucky can teach her kids to read Hebrew. People are excited about Hebrew and about Israel!” Michal is a mother of nine and the community organizer for Neve Chabad, a new developing community in the Negev. Michal made aliyah from California with my husband and five children almost 10 years ago and hasn’t looked back.
54. Elana Kronenberg – Wife to Ely for 19 years and extremely proud mother of seven precious children, Elana generously gives of her time organizing various chesed opportunities in her community and helps the IDF soldiers stationed in Gush Etzion, Kiryat Arba and Hevron. Elana is a popular actress who has performed through singing, dancing, and acting, in all the “Raise Your Spirits” theater productions since 2005. Utilizing her strengths as an avid social media user, project organizer, and logistics coordinator, Elana has been assisting the Ariel family effort to raising funds towards establishing an educational center, Kerem Hallel, in memory of their daughter Hallel, who was murdered by a terrorist, in their home, last year. Elana has a contagious passion for life, a deep love for Israel, and tirelessly works to spreading goodness and blessings to the world- one good deed and one smile at a time. Spend a few minutes with Elana and your whole day will feel brighter!
55 &56. Elisheva Ben Ze’ev & Tova Hametz
– Elisheva Ben Ze’ev, 36, is a marathon runner and mother of three living in the Golan Heights. She came to Israel alone from New Jersey at the age of 18 and has since opened two successful businesses. Her swim school, Nachshon, which focuses on drowning prevention and water safety is the only swim school in Israel to use the starfish aquatics swim program. She is a lifeguard instructor for the American Red Cross of over 10 years and aspires to reform the Israeli life guarding course to better equip local lifeguards to prevent the countless numbers of drownings that take place here in Israel every year.
Tova made aliyah on her own from NJ on September 11, 2001. She lives in the Old City of Jerusalem with her daughter (and dozens of adopted children). Tova has worked in the world of philanthropy and philanthropic education for more than 15 years, bringing millions of dollars into Israel through various projects and organizations, building nonprofits, as well as cultivating direct giving and strategic partnerships. Tova makes sure everyone knows — whether for business advice or personal support, her door is always open.
After teaming up in 2014, they opened their famous Groovesters Golan studio which runs wildly popular tiedye workshops and programs all over Israel. Highly recommend you come and get your groove on in the studio or at an event!
57. Pnina Salomon –
Since making aliyah with her family from the US, Pnina has dedicated much of her time to advancing absorption and community building. An acting member of the Zichron Yaakov city council, she is breaking ground to enable immigrant women from around the world and other minorities to participate in municipal government and make their voices heard.
58. Laura Novich – A resident of Tel Mond, Laura made aliyah 23 years ago from New York. Laura has over 20 years of Israeli hi-tech experience and is currently a Technical Writer at Verint Systems. She and her husband have three amazing children (Talia, Rafi, and Aliza) and 7 years ago, (via Talia), Laura became involved as a volunteer in FIRST Robotics. Laura is now a mentor of the award- winning Orange Fox FTC team in Ra’anana. For Laura, teaching, mentoring, and working with kids means she is helping cement the future of STEM right here in Israel. Laura hopes all the students she works with think to themselves, “When I grow up I want to be an engineer”.
59. Leah Laukstein – Originally from Latvia, personal stylist Lea Laukstein has made it her mission to promote positive a body image among Israeli girls and adolescents of all shapes and sizes. Drawing on her own personal journey and story, empowerment tools, and fashion advice, Lea tours the country speaking in front of young women, teaching them to love their bodies as they are and develop a personal sense of style.
60. Dr. Miriam Hershkovitz – After making made aliyah to Israel from Netherlands, Dr. Hershkovitz has worked for more than 30 years in the Nahariya hospital as Deputy Department Director. Over the last few years she has begun travelling as far as Ramat Hagolan (across the entire North of the country) to treat children in need of ultrasound services. She offers her skill and knowledge out of love and a deep sense of Zionism. Wherever she is needed, she comes to help. May we each merit to give our ourselves as selflessly as Dr. Hershkovitz does to the benefit of others.
61. Rena Reiser – Founder of Mind Over Munchies, Rena Reiser is a certified Intuitive Eating Counselor. She has changed the lives of countless women all over the world who have tried dieting, and are “fed up”. For those who are ready to leave diets behind for good and create a healthy relationship with food, Rena steps in as their guide. She helps women truly get pleasure from the food they are eating. Many people think that Intuitive Eating means eating whatever you feel like, and Rena points out that that’s not Intuitive Eating — it’s impulsive eating. Rena’s work is a high intensity on both the emotional and spiritual levels. The end result is coming to peace with both food and life by discovering and satisfying our real hunger. Rena made aliyah in 2007 from Toronto together with her husband. Her family now lives in Karmiel.
62. Lena Shore – Lena Shore is the Coordinator of The Place, The Jerusalem Center for Emotional Wellbeing. Lena founded The Place in 2009 with a team of like minded professionals with the aim to providing top-quality, affordable therapy and emotional support to improve people’s lives. Since its inception, The Place has serviced hundreds of members of the community through its professional services for people aged 3-92; community workshops and support groups. The Place also is a training center for mental health professionals and Lena especially enjoys providing a venue for young professionals to get their feet wet helping others. Lena made aliyah in 1991 with her husband, Shimon. She and her 7 children and 2 grandchildren all live in Jerusalem. Lena holds a Bachelors’ degree in Applied Human Nutrition, a second Bachelors’ Degree in Education and a Masters in Clinical Sociology with a specialty in Family Therapy. To date there over 30 mental health professionals affiliated with The Place. Lena hopes that the future will see a breaking of the stigma surrounding mental health so that individuals will free to seek help with pride and dignity.
63. Elisheva Blum – Mother of 5, artist, writer, and entrepreneur. As an action based response to domestic boycotts against Jewish communities within Judea and Samaria, Elisheva and her husband launched “Dapei Katom” – (“The orange pages”) as an online business directory dedicated to strengthening businesses located in Judea and Samaria through commerce. To date, they actively promote over 2500 businesses, working daily in order to strengthen the local economy and initiate further growth and political stability. Dapei Katom has made a significant impact on local businesses and will be launching a international project in the near future.
64. Marna Becker – Originally from Wilmington, Delaware and now based in Jerusalem, Marna is a business development and sales professional, as well as a private career consultant that has helped many find jobs and identify their career paths in Israel. A social media enthusiast and advocate for women in tech, Marna serves as a judge and mentor at MassChallenge Israel, and speaks throughout the country on the power of networking. She is also an acroyoga enthusiast in her “spare” time.
65. Anne Gordon – Currently the Deputy Ops & Blogs Editor for The Times of Israel, Anne is a writer and editor par excellence (she’s also Interim Copywriter at MyHeritage.com, and has been freelancing in all walks of writing and editing for more years than she cares to count), and is a founding member of Chochmat Nashim. Anne’s first long-term stint in Israel was back in the ’90s, when she took up residence in the batei midrash of Nishmat, Midreshet Lindenbaum, and. Matan, long before Orthodox ordination for women was a possibility (lo and behold, kollel was okay). She returned to the US for nearly a decade, both learning (Drisha Insitute) and teaching at several high schools and Stern College, when Midreshet HaRova insisted she return to Israel to teach there (Anne credits them with getting her on the plane for what became aliyah). She hopes to complete her doctorate on girls’ Talmud education one day, but put the degree on hold a few years ago — thanks to the wonders of technology and the generosity of Israel’s health coverage, Anne has a little boy whom she is raising on her own.
66. Yael Shoshani –
American-born, French-raised, Yael has spent the last two decades helping women create and experience more happiness by combining therapy, art, and humour. Over 5,000 people have taken part in Yael’s programs all over Israel to date. Following the tragic death of Naama Henkin a year and a half ago, Yael has personally undertaken to empower and motivate single mothers as part of the Lifrotz Kadima project.
67. Rachel Rosensweig
Director of Business Development at Made in Jerusalem, dedicated to empowering and connecting Jerusalem’s tech and startup ecosystem. Rachel is a true believer in Jerusalem as a city of the future of innovation and dedicates her work to achieving this goal. She recently organized the city’s largest ever monthly tech event in Jerusalem “HappyHourJLM” and leads delegations from all over the world to experience and connect to the tech ecosystem. Rachel made aliyah on her own after a year in Israel with Habonim Dror, and served 2 years in the IDF as a lone soldier and Commander in Sarel (unit dedicated to bringing volunteers from around the world to volunteer for the IDF). She spent 5 years as the volunteer Social Team Coordinator at the Lone Soldier Center, in memory of fallen soldier Michael Levin, and works non-stop to strengthen and building the lone soldier community in Jerusalem and previously Tel Aviv. Her goal remains to continue to support and build Israel in the best way she can.
68. Erica Sachne
Editor, writer, foodie, Facebook enthusiast. The granddaughter of Holocaust survivors, Erica knew from a very young age that she wanted to live in Israel, where Jews would always have a home — a dream she realized in December 2009. Now the editor of the In Jerusalem and Metro supplements at The Jerusalem Post, Erica is thrilled to be able to share the stories of the Holy City and the Holy Land with the wider public – the people and places that make it inimitable, at once ancient and modern. As part of her editorial post, she makes it her business to get to know the ins and outs of the fascinating metropolis that is Jerusalem – its quirky neighborhoods, diverse and accomplished residents, exciting food scene and matchless spirituality. Erica also has tackled deeper issues such as the city’s homeless and the unique challenges facing its LGBT population, taking a special interest in women’s issues such as agunot, infertility and the erasing of women from publications/advertising in the haredi sector. She looks forward to continue making her life in “the Jewish people’s greatest and most successful experiment.”
69. Malynnda Lyttky
Made aliyah with her family 10 years ago from the Detroit suburb of Oak Park, Michigan. After nearly two decades as a customer service professional, a chance encounter with Times of Israel led her to write a series of popular blogs which developed into a full blown passion for writing. Eventually she turned her talents into a full-time career as a content writer in the financial services industry. Following the success of her Times of Israel posts, Malynnda soon became interested in performing stand-up comedy and participates regularly in the largest English language comedy night in the country, sharing amusing (and often embarrassing) stories about the pleasure and pain of working and raising a family as a new immigrant in Israel, along with her unique perspective as both a convert and a Jew of Color.
This list was conceived as a means to inspire and celebrate the vast diversity, accomplishments and contributions of the immigrants and residents Israel has brought home.
Sport, culture, art, education, business, health, research, environmental advancements, technology, advocacy -everyone can find their place here.
Like any other country -Israel is ultimately what we make of it. Let’s continue to push ourselves towards building a society that we are proud to be a part of.
This post would not have been possible without the generous contributions and work of numerous IWEN (Israeli Women Entreprenuers’ Network) members throughout the country. All photographs have been personally provided for this article. This list was organized and determined by me and is in no way a reflection on the Times of Israel. Compilation of this list was a labor of love and as such, all omissions, mistakes and errors are my own. In addition, the “order” of the women on this list is entirely random — I consider each one of the women here extraordinary.