Michael (Mike) Naftali is a social entrepreneur, social inventor, social activist and teacher, and researcher in voluntarism and civil society. 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.