Avivit Ohana is a 28-year-old Israeli entrepreneur and former IAF officer.
Avivit embodies the fusion of Zionism, entrepreneurship, and female empowerment.
Her story begins at the age of 13,
“When I was 13, I flew for the first time to a summer camp in the USA.
It was a dream experience spending the best time at camp, getting to know Jewish kids my age who live in America, experiencing a different culture, and sharing the story of Israel through my eyes. The friends I met there are friends for life.”
But this isn’t the only part in her story that inspires her.
“After completing high school, I directly joined a course that aimed to train me as an officer in the Israeli Air Force within 10 months.”
Avivit served for 5 years at the Israeli Air force as an officer in different positions.
After the army, she started to study at Reichman University Business Administration and Digital Innovation in the Honors Program, this is where her love for entrepreneurship begins.
“While I was a student, I founded my first business – La Unica. It was an ecommerce website specializing in unique home items. My brother and I managed it, and we successfully sold products all over the country.”
Avivit navigated various paths in her career, both contributing to Israel and engaging in business. However, a year ago, she discovered her true purpose.
“In January 2023, I decided to follow my heart, taking the advice of a good friend, and flew to the US alone, without knowing how long I would be there or where I would go. I started in Austin, Texas, at the IAC 8th National Summit. I met many people who eventually had a profound impact on my life. Only a year later can I truly appreciate how much. From there, I continued to San Diego, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Miami, visiting Jewish communities and meeting many businessmen and women. These two perfect months led me to where I am today.”
Today Avivit is the founder and owner of ELI, an exclusive program that connects the Global Jewish community to Israel through entrepreneurship and leadership.
What made you create Eli
“When I was in San Diego, I was invited to give a lecture at San Diego State University. I shared my experiences in the army and the entrepreneurial journey that brought me to that point. After my talk, people applauded and approached me, asking for a picture. At that moment, I realized the significant value we, as Israelis, can contribute to the world. The unique combination of living here, serving in the army, and our entrepreneurial spirit is something special that can impact and influence many.
Additionally, my deep connection with the Jewish community in the US and the war that started on October 7th prompted me to launch ELI immediately.”
ELI was born from a vision to strengthen and empower the Global Jewish community and Israel, ELI is a non-profit organization offering a select online program with limited spots, specifically designed to empower young adult Jewish business leaders.
ELI provides exclusive access to experts and entrepreneurs from the Israeli ecosystem. ELI fellows, have the chance to cultivate both personal and business skills, leading them to success. ELI Fellows not only experience direct exposure to the startup nation but also become integral members of ELI’s global community, expanding their valuable network – for a lifetime.
It’s an online program of 10 sessions that starting on January 14, 2024.“
Were you afraid that Eli will be impacted by the war?
“The opposite is true. Because of the war, the antisemitism we witnessed globally, and the unity demonstrated by the Jewish people worldwide, I knew that ELI would provide an incredible opportunity to come together, empower young adult Jewish aspiring business leaders, and grow stronger, regardless of our location in the world.
The speakers and organizations like Reichman University, Hillel, Kimama, Masa, the IAC, quickly became actively involved in the project, and it greatly touched me.
I realized with all my heart that I am working on one of the most important missions now.”
There is a rise of antisemitism of college campuses, do you think it’ll impact Jewish students on participating Israel related programs?
“Not at all. I have Jewish American friends who might not openly display their Jewish identity on social media, but they are actively supporting Israel in various ways. They participate in advocacy events to explain the situation in Israel, raise donations, and are eager to play an active role in connecting with Israel, especially in these challenging times.”
Why did you choose entrepreneurship as a way to connect Jews in the Diaspora to Israel
“Firstly, Israel is the Startup Nation. If there’s one thing we excel at, it’s startups. Despite Israel’s small size compared to other countries, our ecosystem is one of the most impactful globally. There are many exceptional individuals here from whom we can learn and draw inspiration. Secondly, being an entrepreneur myself and intimately familiar with this world, coupled with my passion for fostering connections between Jewish communities and Israel, motivated me to create ELI.”
What is waiting for us in the program
“WOW! First of all, the program starts on January 14th so make sure to submit your application ASAP on the website (www.eli-org.com). Spots are limited, it’s an exclusive select program. If you have a passion to entrepreneurship and to Israel we want you there!
With ELI, the participants gain exclusive access to experts and entrepreneurs from the Israeli ecosystem. By being a part of ELI, they will have the chance to cultivate both personal and business skills, leading them to success.
After completing the program ELI Fellows will be awarded a certificate of participation and completion from ELI and seamlessly become part of the Global ELI Community.
We have 10 amazing sessions about:
- Israel-Gaza situation
- Israel’s Image in the World
- Starting a Multi-Million-Dollar Startup
- How Israel Became a Startup Nation
- Networking as a Growth Engine
- How to Live Our Best Selves
- Online Advocacy and Influencing for Israel
- Mastering Entrepreneurship from an Investor’s Lens
- Personal Branding in the Digital Age
- Networking between all the participants
ELI guest speakers are:
- Niron Hashai – Dean of Arison School of Business at Reichman University
- Joanna Landau – President and former CEO of Vibe Israel
- Yoav Vilner – CEO & Co-Founder of Walnut.io
- Ronen Nir – Managing Director at PSG Equity
- Lirone Glikman – Global Biz Dev Consultants, Expert on Networking & Personal Branding
- Hilla Bakshi – Tech Ecosystem Leader & Networking Expert
- Shahar Peled – IDF Reserve Commander & VP Business Development at Jit.io
- Yuval Teren – Master Communication Coach & Human Analyst
- Jonathan Tal – Community Manager at ACT-IL
It’s a unique and special opportunity, and we can’t wait to see you there.”