Federation’s Imagine Israel podcast connects Washingtonians to Israel and Israelis through the lens of social change. Israeli Theater Artist Robbie Gringras facilitates thought-provoking dialogues with interesting Israelis, focused on the intersection of their lives, work, passions and Israeli society.
Episode 10: From One Man’s Vision Into a National Mission
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.
Episode 9: The Refugees and Refused in Israel
Patrick Levy was one of the first individuals in Israel to be diagnosed with HIV and soon after became an activist for policy change to improve the lives of those living with the virus. Patrick eventually worked his way up, serving for three years on the Israel AIDS Task Force. To this day, Patrick continues his life’s work to advocate on behalf of those whose voice is not heard in Israeli society.
Patrick is the Co-Founder and Director of Israel’s Alumot, an advocacy organization for individuals with disabilities. Previously, he worked for many years at Healing Across The Divide (HATD), a foundation committed to improving health for those living in underserved communities across Israel, including refugee communities. He has worked as a counselor for Human Rights and other nonprofit organizations on organizational strategy, peer education and fund raising in Israel through the Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, the New Israel Fund and other bodies as well as abroad through the United Nations.
Episode 8: Investing in Israel’s Next Generation
*Israel’s War on Road Safety *
*Or Yarok Association for Safer Driving *
More people have died on the road than in the Arab-Israeli conflict – on both sides – since 1920. In 1997, Avi Naor founded the Or Yarok Association for Safer Driving in Israel following the tragic death of his son Ran in a road accident. Today, Or Yarok is a leader in Israel’s public agenda on road safety, and Israel’s road safety ranks among the ten safest countries in the world. The organization has helped raise public awareness of traffic accidents and influence the government agenda to shift the driving culture in Israel and substantially reduce the number of traffic accident casualties. Or Yarok also supports research in this field through the Ran Naor Foundation, as well as supporting relevant projects in academic institutions.
*Bringing Israel’s Geographic and Economic Periphery into Focus
Shahaf Foundation *
Only 20% of the Israeli population live in the bustling cities of Tel Aviv, Jerusalem or Haifa, and their immediate surroundings. The other 80% of Israeli citizens live on the margin of Israel’s map referred to as the geographic periphery. The social, economic and educational gaps between the country’s developed core and the neglected periphery are astounding and continue to decline. As part of Avi Naor’s philanthropic efforts to help at-risk children and youth, Naor established the Shahaf Foundation in 2010. Shahaf builds social, mission-driven communities, transforming underdeveloped towns and cities on Israel’s periphery from places of deprivation and irrelevance to places of culture, opportunity and prosperity. In doing so, Naor is expanding educational opportunities for disadvantaged youth, rebranding the periphery as an innovative, vibrant and desirable place to live.
Episode 7: Crossing Continents to Connect Communities
At age seven, alongside her parents and many of her 12 siblings, Oshra Friedman left Ethiopia and escaped to Israel via Operation Moses.* Now a proud Israeli, Oshra has devoted her adult life to bridging socioeconomic gaps and promoting social mobility for groups on the periphery, including but not limited to Ethiopian, Russian and Arab Israelis.
“I saw my journey as an adventure to know more and learn more. We saw people dying on the way, children are starving, but I always looked up at my parents eyes and I knew that there was hope.”
Oshra received the esteemed 2014 Yaffa London Yaari Prize of the New Israel Fund for her work helping single mothers while working for Rashi’s Katzir Scholarship Fund. Her goal is to protect the basic rights and well-being of all Israelis and provide justice and equality for all makes her a true social change warrior!
*Operation Moses: refers to the covert evacuation of Ethiopian Jews from Sudan during a Civil war that caused a famine in 1984.
Episode 6: Israel’s New Way to “Do Jewish”
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. Hear how Esteban’s approach to prayer, song and celebration has introduced an alternative outlet for spiritual expression that has become an international phenomenon. Explore the balance between sustaining religious tradition and accommodating social change with Federation’s Imagine Israel Podcast host, Robbie Gringras.
Episode 5: Celebrating 50 Years of Diversity in Jerusalem
This episode is dedicated to the memory of Rabbi Dr. David Applebaum who revolutionized the field of emergency care in Israel. In 1990 Dr. Applebaum opened Israel’s first private emergency care clinic, which today sees over 150,000 patients a year. Emergency medicine in Israel is a new specialty, recognized for the first time in 1999. Dr. Applebaum was tragically murdered in a terrorist attack alongside his daughter, the day before her wedding. As we hear from his former colleagues, it is apparent that Dr. Applebaum’s memory lives on.
This is an awesome podcast series! I'm looking forward to learning more!