San Diego Movie Screenings with Israeli Director, Nitzan Gilady (May 2018)
Gilady premiered his films Wedding Doll and The Last Enemy in San Diego at the San Diego Jewish Film Festival and UCSD for their inaugural Middle East Film Festival. Wedding Doll tells the story of Hagit, a young woman with a mild mental deficiency, who works in a toilet-paper factory. She lives with her mother Sarah, a divorcee who gave up her life for her daughter. Hagit strives for independence and Sarah is torn between her desire to protect her, and her own will to live. The Last Enemytells the story of a group of nine Israeli, Jordanian, and Palestinian actors who work on a play that was written especially for them by the American Playwright Jim Mirioene.
In total, Gilady presented his films to over 300 students and community members.
SDSU and Technion Joint Engineering Capstone Project (Spring 2018)
San Diego State University, under the guidance of Professor Joseph Katz, and Technion, under the guidance of Professor Gil Yudilevitch and Professor Oded Naveh, cooperated in providing their senior students an aeronautical engineering design capstone project, whereby teams of five students from both schools worked together to develop a proof of concept for an efficient Vertical and/or Short Take Off Landing (V/STOL) Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV).
The program was a unique experience for students to experience the real-life application of methods and models learnt during their studies together with peers from Israel and test possible technical methods for such distant but close cooperation. Finally, this unique opportunity for San Diego and Israeli students allowed for exposure to their respective high tech industries’ practices and processes as well as cultures, with the hope of building and maintaining long-term relationships.
CSUSM MediaMakers Series Hotel Everest (May 2018)
The MGSDII sponsored a screening of the film Hotel Everest at CSUSM to over 300 students. The film explores a literal hotel on the border of Israel and Palestine. The hotel sits at one of the very few locations between Israel and Palestine where members of both communities are able to interact with one another. In the film, a meeting is arranged: to understand the humanity in “the other” and forge connections that promote empathy, understanding and, in their wildest hopes, peace.
MGSDII Presents: Israeli Author Ruby Namdar (May 2018)
Israeli author Ruby Namdar gave a UCSD presentation and discussed his book The Ruined House, winner of Israel’s biggest literary award (the Sapir Prize).
The Ruined House is a fascinating novel about the overwhelming presence of myth and historical trauma in our lives. A cross between Saul Bellow’s disintegrating intellectuals and Bulgakov’s mystical revelations, this is a fiercely inventive novel. – Amos Oz
MGSDII Presents: Israeli Aging Expert, Issi Doron (April 2018)
Professor Israel (Issi) Doron, Head of the Center for Research and Study of Aging at the University of Haifa, came to San Diego for a lecture series. Doron is Israel’s foremost experts on aging and is known worldwide as the field’s international academic expert. He shared his expertise at the UCSD Stein Institute for Research on Aging Grand Rounds as well as at SDSU’s Department of Anthropology. In addition, a MGSDII SalonSeries was hosted at a private home in Del Mar for supporters of the program.
MGSDII Funds Joint UC San Diego Scripps Center for Marine Archaeology – University of Haifa Project (Fall 2017 through Fall 2019)
Visiting Professor Assaf Yasur –Landau (University of Haifa) and Professor Tom Levy (UCSD) presented their joint marine archaeology program and field school, which investigates the impact of long term climate change and rising sea levels. Their presentation, Searching the Seas Along Israel’s Coast for Clues to Our Past, Present, and Future, was enjoyed over a Farm-to-Table dinner with supporters of the MGSDII program.
MGSDII Presents: Israeli Author Ayelet Gundar-Goshen (March, 2018)
With over 100 community members in attendance, the MGSDII hosted a Book Group Salon with Israeli author Ayelet Gundar-Goshen as she discussed her critically acclaimed new novel Waking Lions. The following day, Gundar-Goshen spoke to an audience of 75 SDSU students about writing and fine tuning her craft.
Waking Lions offers a commentary on privilege and otherness, challenging readers to confront their own blind spots and preconceptions… It is a sophisticated and darkly ambitious novel, revealing an aspect of Israeli life rarely seen in its literature. – New York Times Book Review
Legal Symposium: Indigenous Communities in the Modern Economy – A Comparative Analysis of the U.S. and Israel (March, 2018)
The symposium was facilitated by MGSDII visiting faculty members Dr. Morad Elsana and Dr.Tamar Arieli, with visiting Israeli Appellate Judge Rachel Barkai and U.S. Federal Judge Barbara McAuliffe. In addition, the lead lawyer for the legal defense of the Sioux Indian Tribe presented. Presented by the California Western School of Law International Law Journal.
I was honored to participate in the California Western School of Law International Law Journal’s symposium, Indigenous Communities in the Modern Economy: An Analysis of Land Right Dilemmas in the United States and Israel. The Murray Galinson San Diego-Israel Initiative and the Law Journal crafted a dialog between experts on indigenous land rights that exposed fascinating parallels between lands, culture, and political status of disparate indigenous people around the world. Recognizing the similarities between the struggles of Native American water protectors in the United States, indigenous activists in South America, the Bedouin people of the Negev in Israel, and other indigenous communities provides us with an important opportunity to collaborate on resolving the conflicts that arise from the finite lands and resources that we call home. This was one the best symposia I have attended and I am grateful to the Murray Galinson Initiative and the Law School for sponsoring it. -Nicole Ducheneaux, Panelist and Lead Counsel for the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe in their action involving the Dakota Access Pipeline
USD Tours Tiijuana/San Diego Border with Visiting MGSDII Israeli Professor, Tamar Arieli (January 2018)
On January 16th, Tamar Arieli, visiting MGSDII Israeli Professor, accompanied students from University of San Diego’s Masters in Social Innovation on a full day visit to Tijuana. Tamar shared about the similarities and differences between Israel’s borders and those of the U.S. and Mexico. Led by Dr. Everard Meade, Director of the Trans-Border Institute at USD’s Kroc School, it was an opportunity to learn about some key initiatives fostering social innovation and urban renewal in Tijuana as well. The group met with many organizations fostering true social and economic change along the border. This included Estacion Federal reflecting urban renewal in mixed use buildings, Escuela Libre de Architectura creating the next generation of architects and Pasaje Rodriguez, showcasing art and cultural transformation. They also met with several regional leaders in cross-border collaboration.
Karen Henken, Professor of Practice in Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship at USD, welcomed Tamar on the visit. Tamar shared many insights from her own work in cross-border collaboration and opportunities at Tel Hai College.
David Ofek, Renowned Writer and Director (November, 2017)
Ofek premiered his films In Between and No. 17 in San Diego at the San Diego Jewish Film Festival and CSUSM for their Fall 2017 MediaMakers Series. In Between tells the story of a marriage between a secular and ultra-orthodox couple. Another one of his popular films, No. 17, tells the story of a bus bombing in Tel Aviv and the search to identify the lone unidentified victim.
In total, Ofek presented his films to over 550 students and community members. He was a visiting MGSDII Professor at SDSU this past Fall, teaching screenwriting in the Literature Department.
Ronit Ziv, Acclaimed Israeli Choreographer & Dancer (November, 2017)
One of Israel’s most active choreographers, Ziv has performed and created work for dance and theater companies in Israel, Europe, and the former Soviet Union since 1999. An experienced teacher, she taught Batsheva – The Youth Ensemble for three years and currently teaches at the Maslool Professional School for Dance in Tel Aviv, a current focal point for contemporary dance, attracting students from around the world.
Ziv taught a Master Dance Course at UCSD this past fall, inspiring over 45 students and showcasing the rich dance culture of Israel.
Nir Bergman, Award Winning Israeli Director (September and October 2017)
Bergman is one of Israel’s most acclaimed directors. He is the co-creator of BeTipul (In Treatment), the successful Israeli television series that inspired several international adaptions including shows on HBO. His feature films have won awards at some of the most prestigious international festivals. His film “Broken Wings” won the Best Film at the Jerusalem Film Festival, the Grand Prix at the Tokyo International Film Festival, Best Debut Feature at the Palm Springs International Film Festival and the Berlin International Film Festival Panorama Audience Award. It also won the Israel Academy Awards Prize for the Best Director, Screenplay, Picture, Cinematography, Actress and Supporting Actress. “Broken Wings” has been distributed in the U.S.A, England, Germany, Mexico, France, Belgium, Holland, Luxembourg, Greece Romania and others. Bergman taught a joint class with David Ofek at SDSU Fall 2017.
While in San Diego, he presented his films to over 400 students and community members at SDSU, UCSD, and the San Diego Jewish Film Festival.
MGSDII Brings San Diego Community to Experience the 2017 Jerusalem Biennale! (October 2017)
Twenty-three San Diegans joined Biennale founder, Rami Ozeri and were welcomed by Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat for a very special week long art tour. This highly curated trip featured visits to the homes of Israeli collectors, artists’ workshops, and a behind the scenes VIP visit to the world-renowned Israel Museum, led by chief curator of Israeli Art, Dr. Amitai Mendelson, and Curator of Architecture Dr. Dan Hendel. Other trip highlights included exclusive access to Biennale exhibits, a unique day in East Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Ramallah, visits to artists and collectors and a tour of the Um-El Fahem Art Gallery near Zichron-Ya’akov. Meals were spent experiencing chef dinners with Jerusalem’s most famous restaurant owners, many featured in the film “In Search of Israeli Cuisine”.
Now in its third year, the Jerusalem Biennale is dedicated to exploring the spaces in which contemporary art and the Jewish world of content intersect. It is a platform for present-day professional artists and curators to exhibit works and present exhibitions that refer to Jewish thought, spirit, tradition or experience.
Read the San Diego Jewish Journal’s cover story of the Jerusalem Biennale HERE.
View a video highlighting the Jerusalem Biennale HERE.
Yossi Sucary, Bestselling Israeli Author (October 2017)
Sucary writes in a universal perspective about issues of identity and place. His books deal with meta physical questions, as well as with socio-political question of Oriental Jews in Israel and world-wide. Sucary has received a number of exclusive literature prizes for his work: the Brenner Prize for Hebrew Literature, the Prime Minister Prize for Hebrew Literature, and the Washington Israeli Institute Prize. His latest book, “From Benghazi to Bergen-Belsen,” tells the story of the Holocaust of Oriental Jewry and was chosen by the Ministry of Education to be part of the Holocaust curriculum for high school students in Israel.
While in San Diego, Sucary taught an undergraduate course in the sociology department at UCSD and gave a lecture at Congregation Beth Israel titled, “Israel’s changing attitude to the lost story of the Holocaust of North African Jews.”
Curated Art Exhibit with Visiting MGSDII Faculty Member, Morad Elsana (October 2017)
For this year’s Sukkot** celebrations, the MGSDII invited the Jerusalem-based artist collective Sala-Manca Group to curate an exhibition, film screening, and artist talk on two of their recent projects. Absentee Landscapes and Eternal Sukkah represented two distinct yet equally inspiring projects that reimagined a quintessential symbol of Jewish culture – the sukkah.
This informational exhibition told story of how the artists bought a makeshift structure from the exiled Jahalin Bedouin community, re-purposed it as a Sukkah in the center of Jerusalem, sold it to the Israel Museum, and gave the profits to the Bedouin family. The exhibition also shared the story of their efforts to build an unauthorized replica of what is widely considered to be the most beautiful Sukkah in the world, the Deller Sukkah, in the basement of the old leper colony in Jerusalem and how their research led them to become experts on a tiny village in Bavaria.
Following the screening, visiting MGSDII California Western School of Law Professor, Morad Elsana, was part of panel discussion diving deeper into themes featured in the film.
**Sukkot is a week long Jewish celebration commemorating forty years of travel through the wilderness after the exodus from Egypt. During the celebration, temporary dwellings called sukkah are built with simple materials and commonly used for eating, entertaining, and even sleeping.
Visiting Israeli Professor Speaking Series, Adi Shany (June 2017)
“Moving to Opportunity – ‘Operation Solomon’: How Immigrating from Ethiopia to Israel While in the Womb Can Affect Life Development”
Adi Shany earned her Ph.D. in Economics from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Specializing in the economics of education and human resources, her recent publications include “Out of Africa: Human Capital Consequences of In Utero Conditions,” which she will discussed at an event following services at Congregation Beth El on Friday, June 9.
Water Recycling Academic Workshop: the Success Found in Emek Hefer (May 2017)
In partnership with Hebrew University and the Milken Innovation Center, the MGSDII hosted an academic conference connecting a visiting delegation of 10 Hebrew University MBA candidates to meet UCSD MBA candidates, UCSD and USD professors, and other San Diego sustainability experts at Leichtag Commons. Together they discussed and focused on the water recycling efforts in the Emek Hefer region of Israel and what San Diego can learn about Israeli innovation.
Sofaer International Case Competition at Tel Aviv University (May 2017)
The MGSDII awarded four travel scholarships to UCSD Rady School of Management MBA students to compete in the prestigious Sofaer International Case Competition at Tel Aviv University! The San Diego team will compete against eight global teams from leading business schools worldwide.
Each year, 8 global teams from leading business schools worldwide compete alongside the Tel Aviv University team for the Barton M. Biggs Prize, totaling $10,000. Participating teams receive a strategic case the day after arrival. The strategic case, designed specifically for the Competition, focuses on a strategic challenge or dilemma facing an Israeli company operating in global markets. The teams will have the next 3 days to analyze the case and develop their strategic solutions. The San Diego-Israel Initiative is proud to say that the only U.S. team to compete last two years was from the UC San Diego Rady School of Management. Learn more.
Israeli Artists in Conversation: A Film Symposium (April 2017)
Over 400 students, faculty, and community members attended three separate events showcasing some of the most cutting edge and award winning Israeli actors, directors and writers examined Modern Israeli society through film. Drawing on their own works, the panelists focused on the meeting and mixing between social groups, identities, conflicts and art forms, exploring how film reflects Modern Israel today.
Meet the Award Winning Actors, Directors, Writers:
Dana Ivgy is a three-time recipient of the Israel Film Academy’s Best Actress Award, most recently for her role in Zero Motivation (2014), which won Best Narrative Feature at the Tribeca Film Festival. In addition to her critically acclaimed success in Zero Motivation, she is also known for her roles in Or (My Treasure) (2004) and Jaffa (2009). Ivgy is also an Artistic Director of the Israeli stage comedy troupe Tziporela, which performs internationally.
Nitzan Gilady is a film director who has written, produced and directed the documentary films In Satmar Custody (2003), Jerusalem Is Proud to Present (2008) It Runs in the Family (2010), and Wedding Doll (2016). His films have received 13 international awards, participated in over 120 international film festivals and broadcast In prestigious TV channels over the world including Sundance Channel and ZDF-ARTE.
Elite Zexer is the director of the critically acclaimed Sand Storm (2016). The film was shown in the Panorama section at the 66th Berlin International Film Festival. At the 2016 Sundance Film Festival it won the Grand Jury Prize in the World Cinema Dramatic section. It also won the Best Film Award at the Ophir Awards. It was selected as the Israeli entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 89th Academy Awards.
Eran Polishuk (Moderator) is the Director of Film and Media at Israel’s Office for Cultural Affairs at the Consulate General of Israel, New York. In his previous role as producer of the Jewish and International Jerusalem Film Festival at the Jerusalem Cinematheque-Israel Film Archive, he collaborated with numerous cultural organizations in Israel including the Tel Aviv Cinematheque, the Tel Aviv Museum of Arts, Cinema South International Film Festival and many more.
San Diego-Israel AgTech Innovation Showcase Delegation (March 2017)
In partnership with the Government of Israel Economic Mission to the Midwest, the San Diego-Israel Initiative connected the innovation centers of agricultural technology in Israel with those in San Diego. At the Leichtag Commons, a delegation of Israeli companies, that are undertaking the challenge to solve a myriad of major concerns faced by the agricultural community, came together, with major San Diego agricultural industry stakeholders, to explore business and investments opportunities and the prospects for joint R&D efforts. We look forward to sharing upcoming collaborations with you soon!
about the program and view photographs from the event here
Visiting Israeli Professor Speaking Series, Featuring Oded Brosh (March 2017)
Following a Saturday’s morning service at Congregation Beth El, San Diego-Israel Initiative visiting professor at SDSU, Brosh, gave a talk titled, “The Iran Nuclear Agreement: Prospects, Opportunities and Perils – for Israel and America (and Who’s in Charge in Tehran?).” Brosh is a political scientist from IDC Herzliya who specializes in security studies, specifically nuclear politics, strategy, deterrence, proliferation, and related WMD issues. A Senior Research Fellow at IDC Herzliya’s Institute for Policy and Strategy (IPS), he is the author of “IAEA 26 February 2016 Iran Inspection Report Summary” (IPS Publications, 2016) and “Iran in 2025: Four Scenarios” (IPS Publications, 2015).
California State University, San Marcos Dance Studies: Shahar Biniamini, Internationally Acclaimed Choreographer & Dancer (February 2017)
The San Diego-Israel Initiative was proud to host Shahar Biniamini, visiting Israeli choreographer, as he taught three master classes at CSUSM.
Biniamini was born in 1988 in Lod, Israel. He danced in Batsheva Ensemble from 2006-2008 and in Batsheva Dance Company from 2008-2013. Today, as an independent dancer and artist, Shachar creates artworks and dance works, shown in theaters and galleries all over the world. He is also a Gaga instructor, an assistant to Ohad Naharin, and teaches his works abroad. To view more photographs from the classes, please click here.
Hear what students had to say:
What stuck out to me from the movement experience with Shahar Binyamini was how freeing it was. At first, many of the students including me felt extremely uncomfortable and tense. But, I started to become more comfortable in my body and tried not to think too much. By the end of the class, everyone was shamelessly, freely moving in their own world. I thought that was a major breakthrough. The GAGA technique was used to cultivate self-awareness through body movements. To me, this brought awareness to how flexible and spontaneous I can actually be once I stop listening to my head and start listening to my body.
My experience with Shahar Binyamini was exquisite. It was definitely not what I had expected. The movements that he directed us to do was very different from what I have experienced. I learned a bit more of what self-awareness is other than what you have led me to learn! The movements I made, were very natural and flowed just perfectly. I used to believe that it was almost impossible for my body to catch rhythm without the help of music. But Shahar lead me to believe differently, my body found its own rhythms and movements. My body was moving with passion!
Celebrating the Naming of the Murray Galinson-San Diego-Israel Initiative (February 2017)
In partnership with a growing consortium of funders that care about deep, multi-faceted education about Israel, the Intiative was proud to honor Murray Galinson’s legacy by naming the Initiative after him.
It was beautiful setting to come together to honor Murray’s commitment to the State of Israel and his belief in the importance of scholarly academic discourse. Because of this newly named Initiative, there will be greater opportunities for faculty and students to experience multi-faceted education about modern Israel. Through subjects as diverse as art, film and law to science, technology and innovation, students on San Diego university and law campuses will have the opportunity to learn about Israel beyond the headlines, slogans and sound bites.
To view more photographs from the evening, please click here.
Tasting Rooms and Wineries in Israel: The Magical Connection (February 2017)
A lively panel discussion was held at SDSU with guest viticulturists from Israel and SDSU Business of Wine certificate instructors. Over 80 students, faculty, and guests heard about the making of wine, as our international panel discussed the multi-faceted role of a winery’s tasting room.
Dr. Michal Akerman from Tabor Winery, Eran Goldwasser from Yatir Winery, and Victor Schoenfeld from Yarden-Golan Heights Winery each shared about Israel’s progress in emerging as a burgeoning wine culture.
To the Moon and Beyond with Yonatan Winetraub, Co-Founder of Space IL (November 2016)
Winetraub recently toured UC San Diego, USD, and SDSU as part of a speaking series put on by the MGSDII. Over 300 students and faculty learned how SpaceIL is making history as part of a global Moon race sponsored by Google to place an unmanned spacecraft on the Moon’s surface before the mission deadline of December 2017. Landing a spacecraft on the Moon will make Israel the fourth nation to do so, following the success of the three superpowers (US, Russia, and China). To learn more about Yonatan’s work with SpaceIL, please click here.
Update, January 2017: SpaceIL was just selected as one of 5 finalists competing for the $20 million Google Lunar XPRIZE!
San Diego-Israel Water Conferences (March and June 2016)
The Initiative hosted the first ever San Diego-Israel Water Roundtable in partnership with Sustainability Matters, the City of San Diego, and Mayor Kevin Faulconer at the Rady School of Management’s Ernest & Evelyn Rady Sky Pavilion on March 2.
The purpose of this roundtable was to bring San Diego and Israel, two leaders in water innovation and policy, together to share their experiences, exchange ideas and identify opportunities to collaborate further. This high level roundtable included leaders from the Consulate General of Israel, Qualcomm, World Trade Center San Diego, Hagihon Company Ltd., Building Industry Association, IDE Technologies, Atlantium Technologies Ltd., Netafim, BIRD Foundation, Leichtag Foundation, among many others.
The Initiative hosted a follow up conference to the San Diego – Israel Water Round table in partnership with Sustainability Matters, the City of San Diego, and the Leichtag Foundation on June 30 at the Leichtag Commons.
The program presented a panel discussion followed by structured meetings between Israeli and California companies involved in various aspects of the water industry. Panelists included Jason Anderson (President and CEO, Cleantech San Diego), Barbara Bradley (President, Advanced Onsite Systems, Inc.), Michael Schneider (VP, SDG&E), and Robert MacLean (President, California American Water), Gili Ovadia (Consul, Head of the Israeli Economic and Trade Mission to the West Coast), among others. View more photographs here.
San Diego-Israel Rain Barrel Project (February 2016)
Israeli science teacher and inventor Amir Yechieli flew to San Diego in February to install new rainwater harvesting systems at two schools in San Diego and one in Encinitas, bringing with him the potential to change how water is viewed and used in Southern California and beyond. The rainwater harvesting program was funded by The Leichtag Foundation. At Pacific Beach Middle School and Franklin Elementary School in City Heights, the collected water will be used to irrigate school gardens. At the Encinitas Union School District Farm Lab, the rainwater also will be used to flush toilets.
Coolnet CEO, JEST Founder, and TEDx Scholar Hani Alami Professional Seminar (December 2015)
Alami spoke to over 100 students and faculty at UC San Diego and shared about the successes and trials in starting JEST (Jerusalem Entrepreneurs Society Technology), the first entrepreneurship center and tech hub for startups in East Jerusalem, as a philanthropic venture. His career of successful business exits in the technology sectors, gave Alami an ability to overview and steer management decisions through disorders, stress and challenging projects and illustrated these experiences with those in attendance.
Let There Be Water: Israel’s Solution for a Water-Starved World, A Seminar and Discussion with Author Seth Siegel (November 2015)
Speaking to over 175 students and faculty at UC San Diego, Siegel shared from his New York Times best selling book and detailed how much San Diego can learn from Israel. Beyond securing its own water supply, Israel also created a high-export industry in water technology, a timely example of how countries can build their economies while making the world better. Built on meticulous research and hundreds of interviews with both world leaders and experts in the field, “Let There Be Water” tells the inspiring story of how this all came to be.