Dr. Michael Naftali
For more than 40 years, he has taken an active part in advancing, managing, and leading a wide range of social endeavors, including the formation of social entrepreneurship platforms, volunteering and civil society infrastructure programs, youth at risk services, formal and nonformal educational settings, mental health programs, community-based art programs and a variety of international development initiatives.
Much of his work has been incorporated in heading and leading Civil Society organizations.
To date, Dr. Naftali serves as the founding president of a network of leading Israeli Civil Society Organizations (C.S.Os.) Topaz – Leading Social Innovations, Brit Olam – International Volunteering and Development and Inspiration – Arts for Humanity.
Formerly Dr. Naftali served as the chairperson of the National Council for Voluntarism in Israel (C.S.O.), the national Civil Society umbrella association for Voluntary Effort. He is also co-founder of Natan – The Israeli Coalition for Disaster Relief (C.S.O.), and until 2016 served as vice-chairperson of S.I.D. Israel – The Society for International Development (C.S.O.). In 2017 Dr. Naftali was nominated as the chairperson of the “The Israeli Academic Forum for Social Enterprise, founded in 2009 by the Bob Shapell School of Social Work at Tel Aviv University, SHATIL – Leading Social Change (C.S.O.), and Topaz.
In the past, Dr. Naftali served as the founding director of Enosh- the Israel Mental Health Association (C.S.O.) and between the years 1984 – 2003, the founding C.E.O. of Elem – Youth in Distress in Israel (C.S.O.). During this period, Dr. Naftali initiated and advanced numerous endeavors challenging the unique needs of at-risk, neglected, and delinquent youth. Dr. Naftali is one of the founders of Platforma – for Civil Society, a nonprofit consulting and development firm and initiator of the Israeli national program for expanding the Israeli voluntary effort “Life Long Volunteering and Giving.”
Michael Naftali is a Social Worker by profession and received his Ph.D. from Tel Aviv University School of Social Work in 1996. Michael is married to Dr. Timna Naftali – a specialist in Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology. They live in Tel Aviv and have four children. He is also a keen Yachtsman and holds a Skippers Certificate for Mediterranean and Ocean Voyages.
Dr. Kizito Maria Kasule
Kizito is currently the Dean of the Margret Trowell School of Industrial and Fine Art, Makerere University. A graduate of Makerere University, Kizito holds a PhD in Art History and MAFA in sculpture (Makerere University) and an MFA in painting from the Burren College of Art, National University of Ireland Galway. From 2010-2014, Kizito was the chair Department of Fine Art at Makerere University. His teaching career extends to over 20 years.
Kizito has attended several artists in residence program worldwide. He sits on several Education boards of governs and is the founder of Dembe primary school in Masaka. He has exhibited widely in Africa, Europe, North America, and also in Israel. His mission is to transform lives of the disadvantaged youth, single mothers and children through Art and Design Education.
Keren Bittan Shemesh
As part of her role, Keren promotes and directs over 20 projects, programs, and academic courses which integrate academic discourse with social responsibility and community involvement. ‘ Shenkar s leading community projects in Israel include “Shenkar Youth” which brings high school students closer to art and design, and “Students in Pardes Kats” which promotes student accommodation in disadvantaged neighborhoods in order to contribute to those communities.
Keren holds two Bachelor’s degrees, in management and social sciences and a master’s degree in law. She also holds a diploma in alternative medicine and therapy.
Keren’s dream is to create bridges and synergy between academia in the worlds of design and art to geo-social-economic communities in Israel. “I believe that the combination of art and leadership can inspire change and promote social well being “.
He is currently lecturing ceramics in the Department of the Industrial Art and Applied Design at Makerere University. He has been involved in a number of research and projects promoting crafts, including, gender and development (GAD) small project, Artists in Development UNESCO project, NORAD collaborative project, the British council EPA and EAP projects, the Art in Medicine Training project with the University of Florida, USA and the decolonization Art Education: NIAAD- IAE staff and curriculum development project.
He has participated in many national and international solo and group exhibitions since 1993 and has won various pottery and ceramics prizes including the UNESCO crafts prize for Africa. He is a member of NIAAD Governing Council; the skills sector for culture and tourism of the skilling Uganda program; Uganda Visual Artists and Designers Association (UVADA) and the National Association of Cultural Crafts of Uganda (NACCAU). Bruno is a mentor on the Topaz Inspiration Academy program
For the past decade, she has been learning and motivating herself and others about personal and public awareness.
Hagit cares about the planet we live on, the air we breathe, and also the leaders who lead us. She cares and believes we can create equal opportunities for everyone. She wishes uniqueness and creativity prevailed and not everyone looked alike, that each and every one of us will be able to bring their voices to be heard in its unique form. She has been going through a life journey in her deep acquaintance with herself. Together with a big curiosity about us Humankind, she marches and lives through social and community paths.
She conducts workshops, gives lectures, and brings to life her activism. She is interested in understanding what drives us to step out of our comfort zone and bring real change to our lives. And most importantly, she is interested in how we can take greater responsibility in our lives in the most unique and creative way for us.
Hagit always prefers to see the half-full glass and holds optimism about our ability to bring about any change we want
Prof. Rivka Lazovsky
Rivka is also counseling who published many articles and books, a Social Activist since she was a young girl. She has more than 30 years of management experience. Recently, she finished 2 terms as Chairperson of World WIZO [volunteer work!], an international women movement with hundreds of educational and social projects in Israel, and branches all over the Jewish world.
To date, she serves as Vice-President of TOPAZ [C.S.O.], including Topaz in Israel and in the world, through its international departments: Brit Olam, Inspiration, Improve, IGI –Israeli Global Initiative. She also serves as member of the Public International Council of SID [Society for International Development] in Israel.
Formerly, she served for 13 years as Educational Counselor in the famous “Gimnasium Herzlyia” in Tel Aviv [the first Hebrew high school]. She was the founding President of the “Association of Educational Counselors in Israel” [IAED] and led it many years. She wrote the Code of Ethics of counselors, founded the professional and academic journal “Educational Counseling” and served as its first editor, and in the board. She was elected and served for 6 years, representing Israel, in the International Editorial Board of the 2 most important Counseling Journals in the world [“Counselor Education and Supervision”, “Professional School Counseling”].
Prof. Lazovsky is also the founding President of the “Association of WIZO Graduates” [October 2018]. She wrote the first WIZO’s Code of Ethics for this centennial organization, went on mission to Jewish communities in 32 cities. She knows 6 languages.
Professor Lazovsky has been awarded twice, by the Ministry of Education and IAED, the Educational Counseling Award for her outstanding professional and academic work. And she received 4 awards from World WIZO for her volunteer work throughout the years, including Life Honorary Membership.
Prof. Lazovsky received her Ph.D. from Tel Aviv University, School of Education, in 1992. She is married to Leon Lazovsky, an architect and town planner. They have 2 children and 4 grand-children.
Mr. Sorek is a Mechnical engineer with close to 40 years of senior management experience of various companies, factories and of associations, and active public service.
Born in Jerusalem to a Holocaust Survivor mother and Second War veteran father, he started his professional career as an R&D engineer in I.M.I (Israeli Military Industries) Jerusalem, became there a plant manager and for the last 20 years has been consulting, managing & rehabilitating companies & businesses that have failed up too even receivership and closure, being appointed by the courts, banks & the owners themselves.
He also recovered and managed a home for very disabled people.
His public activity started when he was elected as Chairman of Engineers representative committee in I.M.I, later being elected as the Chairman of the Association of Engineers & Architects in Israel (AEAI).
He also served as the Chairman of the association – Next Generation of Holocaust & Heroism Legacy – Israel, in which he is still a member of the Executive Committee, and he is also a member of the Executive Committee of the Center Organization of Holocaust Survivors in Israel.
His regular army service had been in the Golani infantry brigade. On reserves, his last duty had been a battalion commander holding the rank of lieutenant general before retiring active service.
Shmuel has vast experience in managing associations, a deep knowledge of the operation of the parliament (Knesset) and government offices, local authorities, and academic & public institutions.
Gita teaches at the department of criminology and a is member of several human rights and children’s’ rights organizations. Her main research themes concern power-structure and social construction and refine practices of opposition to oppression in educational and correction settings. She specializes in researching facilities of education and rehabilitation and also spiritual rehabilitation for people in social exclusion, especially youth and young adults and young women who experience social exclusion.