Israel: Global Leader

Published Monday, February 20, 2017


Merage JCC panel discussion
Israel: Global Leader


One of the most innovative, inspiring countries in humanitarian
and social issues, technology and biomed issues


In country with just over 8 million residents, the number of innovative breakthroughs is mind-numbing. In humanitarian and social issues, in technology and biomed, Israel is a global leader in rapid-response, research, innovation, and patents. The Bloomberg Innovation Index, ranked Israel number five overall, in their annual measure of performance in research and development, patents, and technology prowess.


Broadening public understanding of Israel beyond typical portrayals, March 30, the Merage Jewish Community Center of Orange County brings three of Israel’s passionate and inspiring global leaders to share stories of innovative spirit, wide-ranging contributions to humanity and technology.


Rick Matros, a local entrepreneur, will facilitate a rich panel discussion featuring Gidi Grinstein, Reut Group; Yotam Politzer, IsraAid; and Jack Mayer, Save a Child’s Heart. The conversation promises to wow and impress you.


All three speakers and their respective organizations are innovators on the frontline making impact. Gideon (Gidi) Grinstein’s Reut Group founded TOM (Tikkun Olam Makers). Tikkun Olam refers to the Jewish value of “repairing the world”. TOM hosts weekend events around the world bringing together innovators and scientists to address neglected societal problems faced by people with disabilities, the elderly and underprivileged. In April, TOM will bring together a group, here in Irvine, over one weekend to develop technology solutions for community members with disabilities. Gidi’s inspiration is the vision of Israel as a model society of inclusive prosperity and vibrant and resilient communities, making a significant and distinctly Jewish and Israeli contribution to humanity.


Yotam Polizer  is Co-CEO of IsraAID – Israel’s biggest humanitarian NGO (non-governmental organization, another term for an international nonprofit) and often the first international organization to offer extensive humanitarian aid relief in the wake of some of the world’s most catastrophic disasters. Following the September 2015 refugee crisis in Europe, he led IsraAID’s humanitarian mission in Lesbos, Greece, to support Syrian refugees on the island and also established IsraAID Germany, which provides long-term support for Yazidi and Syrian refugees in Germany.


For 15 years, IsraAID has been helping people all over the world overcome extreme crises and has provided millions with the vital support needed to move from destruction to reconstruction, and eventually, to sustainable living.


Jack Mayer, lives in Calabasas, and runs the Western Regional Director for Save a Child’s Heart, an international humanitarian medical organization based in Holon, Israel, will join the panel to discuss. Save A Child's Heart’s efforts to provide urgently needed pediatric heart surgery and follow-up care for indigent children from developing countries. Every 29 hours the Save a Child’s doctors save a child's life in medical facilities in Israel or on medical missions in partner countries around the world. Save a Child’s Heart have given thousands of children from across the globe a new lease on life with free lifesaving heart surgeries.


They are on the front lines and the forefront for making positive impact. Their stories are not the usual stories that come out of the tiny country. Their stories are of resilience, of innovation and bravery.



Israel: a Global Leader

Thursday, March 30, 7 -9 p.m.

Reception following. FREE and open to the community. Registration