Israel & Overseas
Skip Navigation LinksHome > Israel & Overseas > Israel & Overseas Sessions at the International Lion of Judah Conference

Israel & Overseas Sessions at the International Lion of Judah Conference, 2012


At the Lion of Judah Conference taking place this September in New York City, the Israel & Overseas Department of JFNA has helped organized nine different sessions that will help you take Israel & Overseas issues back home to your communities. These sessions - ranging from pluralism to Iran – will provide ‘hungry lions’ with insiders’ perspectives on the global Jewish agenda. This year’s speakers include philanthropists turned film-producers, activists, health professionals, scientists, and teachers – all of whom are traveling great distances to share their knowledge. 


For those of you who are already registered, we encourage you to take advantage of the Israel & Overseas menu listed below. If you cannot attend the conference, then stay tuned for updates and information on the session topics.


Global Giving - Tuesday, September 11, 1:30 - 3:00 PM

Session Creators: JFNA/JFNA Israel/Lion of Judah Israel/Keren Hayesod

More than 17,000 women around the world have committed to making a Lion of Judah level gift. This very special session will recognize the many faces of women’s philanthropy. Meet generous women from Israel, Europe and South America and participate in a dialogue about what motivates each of us to give generously of our resources and of ourselves. 

Corporate Sponsor: Amsterdam Sauer

Presenters: Yohanna Arbib Perugia, Marcia Kelner Polisuk, Judith Yovel Recanati, Joanne Moore


Chutzpah in High Definition - Tuesday, September 11, 1:30 - 3:00 PM

Session Creator: Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford

How are women leaders in American and Israeli cinema and the Jewish film festival world pushing the envelope on social and political issues impacting the Jewish universe? What is the source of inspiration for philanthropists to use film to stand up against injustice? Some of today's top women behind the lens will help us explore how Israeli and American Jewish filmmakers and producers are tackling social trends and making the case for tikkun olam. This interactive session will combine film clips with behind-the-scenes true stories and fun.

Presenters: Elise M. Bernhardt, Lisa Gossels, Joyce D. Mandell, Harriet J. Dobin


Breaking the Glass Ceiling in Israel’s Science and High-Tech Sector - Tuesday, September 11, 1:30 - 3:00 PM

Session Creator: World ORT

The high-tech and science industry in Israel is on a path of clear growth and is responsible for 16% of total business product in the country. Today, women comprise over 35% of high tech employees and over 30% of them hold management positions. Each year more girls choose to enter science and robotics fields in high school, getting on track to technology and science education in university and beyond. What trends in contemporary Israeli education have led so many women to pursue and succeed in high-tech and science industries? Join a conversation with dynamic women from Israel’s science and high-tech sectors to learn about their experiences.

Presenters: Nechama Kenig, Nawal Zaroura, Nell Racabi


Riding at the Front of the Bus: Partnering for Pluralism in Israel - Tuesday, September 11, 3:15 - 4:45 PM

Session Creator: JFNA Israel/The Jewish Agency for Israel

Over the past year, clashes between Israel's secular and religious communities have threatened the social cohesion essential to Israel’s long-term survival and caused rifts between Israel and Diaspora Jewish communities. Learn about partnerships between North American Jews and Israelis that are working to enhance pluralism in Israel. Learn about some creative solutions already being piloted to address some of Israel's greatest social challenges. We’ll take a close look at how these issues affect women and at women's roles in the struggle for pluralism.

Presenters: Wendy Rudolph, Rebecca Caspi


Food vs. Medicine, Children vs. Elderly: Decision-Making on the Ground - Tuesday, September 11, 3:15 - 4:45 PM

Session Creator: American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee

Take a look at real-life dilemmas faced by Jewish community leaders every day. How do you choose between feeding an elderly woman in Ukraine or keeping the only Jewish kindergarten in India open? When leaders make such decisions, what Jewish values and practical considerations are in play? In this session, you will stand in their shoes, considering real scenarios and making seemingly impossible choices.

Presenter: Elizabeth Fine


How to Expect the Unexpected: The U.S., Israel, and the Iran Question

Wednesday, September 12, 9:00 - 10:30 AM

Session Creators: JCPA/JFNA Washington/JFNA Israel

The Iranian regime’s theocratic nature, its efforts to spread Shi’a fundamentalism, its support for terrorist groups including Hezbollah and its pursuit of nuclear weapons have put it at odds with the U.S., Israel and their allies. This panel chronicles the development of U.S. and Israeli policies toward Iran and explores different policy options at hand – diplomacy, sanctions and military action.

Presenters: Shlomi Kofman, Ambassador Mark D. Wallace, Martin J. Raffel


Transforming the State of Women’s Health in Israel

Wednesday, September 12, 9:00 - 10:30 AM

Session Creators: ISHA/WHC (Women's Heath Collaborative), The Jewish Federation of Cleveland

It’s a shocking fact: in high-tech, modern Israel, women’s life expectancy is lower than that of other women in the developed world. Learn about the problems and challenges of Israeli women's health, and find out about some successful Federation-funded projects and new initiatives that are addressing these issues. Two inspiring leaders who are working to change the status quo will share their personal stories and talk about their groundbreaking work with women's health.

Presenters: Dr. Rani Polak, Hana Shalata, Hannah Soltz-Aharony


Racism and Prejudice in Israeli Society

Wednesday, September 12, 9:00 - 10:30 AM

Session Creator: ENP

Jewish. Israeli. Black. The Ethiopian-Israeli experience is one of contradictions. Are Israelis welcoming of their Ethiopian brothers and sisters, or have Ethiopian olim encountered prejudice and even racism? How much of a role does skin color play in Israeli society? Are opportunities lost because of the color of one's skin? Is it accurate or a misnomer to use the term "intermarriage" when referring to marriage between Ethiopian Jews and other Israelis? Ethiopian-Israelis share their personal experiences with prejudice and racism, acceptance and integration.

Presenters: Roni Akale, Rachel Nega, Grace Rodnitzki


Listening as Leadership: Women’s Leadership and the Israeli Palestinian Conflict

Wednesday, September 12, 9:00 - 10:30 AM

Session Creator: Encounter

Join us in this interactive workshop, led by Yona Shem-Tov, the Executive Director of Encounter, a non-partisan educational organization that has brought over 1,200 emerging and established Jewish leaders from across the religious and political spectrum – Orthodox, Conservative and Reform, supporters of AIPAC and J Street, Americans for Peace Now and American Friends of Likud – into the West Bank to meet with Palestinian civilians and communal leaders. Utilizing multi-media, Jewish texts and critical communication skills, together we will examine women at the forefront of groundbreaking paradigms of conflict transformation and the ways they lead in and around the conflict – from the voices of Palestinian non-violence activists to women rising in rabbinic and communal leadership. Participants will experience Encounter's innovative methodology, entering a space in which they are encouraged to challenge their own assumptions and engage in constructive conversation with a diverse group of fellow leading women.

Presenter: Yona Shem Tov


More information can be found on the website, and on the Israel and Overseas webpage,