Funding the Future: Advancing STEM in Israeli Education

Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Education in Israel
Event Date: 
December 4, 2012 - 8:30am to 5:00pm
Event Location: 
3 West Club
3 W 51st Street
New York, NY 10019

Funding Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Education to create the future generation of Israeli scientists and inventors

Join funders for an international conversation on the role philanthropy can play to improve outcomes in Israel's education system, focusing on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM).

Sponsored by the Rashi Foundation and in partnership with JFN, this important event will bring together experts from Israel, the US and elsewhere to share successes and ideas on how philanthropy can help Israel's education system focus on the future. Learn how philanthropy can kick start educational innovation, and drive government R&D to improve outcomes.


All sessions are in the Grand Salon on the 3rd floor unless otherwise indicated

8:00 a.m.–
8:30 a.m.


8:30 a.m.–
9:00 a.m.

Welcome, Introductions and an Overview of the Current Israeli Education System, Its Aspiration and Challenges

  • Itzik Turgeman, Director General, Rashi Foundation, Israel
  • Eli Hurvitz, Executive Director, Trump Foundation, Israel

9:00 a.m.–
9:45 a.m.

Framing the Issues: Strategic Philanthropy Leading STEM Education

  • Michele Cahill, Vice President, National Program, and Program Director, Urban and Higher Education, Carnegie Corporation of New York

9:45 a.m.–
10:45 a.m.

Panel: Design for Success

The panel will address the importance of system design and how that fosters innovation as it relates to transformational work experiences.

  • Larry Rosenstock, Principal, High Tech High, San Diego, CA
  • Barak Ben Eliezer
  • Moderator: Jan Morrison, CEO, TIES

10:45 a.m.


11:00 a.m.–
12:00 p.m.

Small Groups: Innovative Strategic Philanthropy

Leading STEM Education Participants will select one of the following small group discussions:


Topic 1: STEM Teacher Recruitment and Retention

Grand Salon, 3rd floor

  • Talia Milgrom-Elcott, Senior Manager of STEM Teacher Initiatives, Carnegie Corporation of NY, 100K in 10
  • Asaf Banner, Teach First Israel

Topic 2: STEM Teacher Certifications, Building a Culture of Innovation in Training STEM Teachers

Grand Salon, 3rd floor

  • Arthur Levine, President, Woodrow Wilson Foundation
  • Eli Hurvitz, Executive Director, Trump Foundation, Israel

Topic 3: Adding the Missing “S”: Creating STEM Leadership for a Better Society

Lincoln Room, 4th floor

  • Liat Ben David, CEO Wolf Foundation, Israel
  • Yariv Bash, Founder/CEO, SpaceIL

Topic 4: Beyond the schools: Informal and Distance Learning and STEM

Library, 4th Floor

  • Kathleen Traphagen, Informal STEM Consultant for private philanthropies
  • Itzik Turgeman, Director General, Rashi Foundation, Israel
  • Gila Ben Har, CEO, Center for Educational Technology in Israel

Topic 5: STEM Education and Workforce Development

(Solarium, 9th floor

  • Sam Pinto, President, Alliance-Kol Israel Haverim (KIAH)
  • Mindy Feldbaum, CEO, The Collaboratory LLC / Former Director for Workforce Development Programs, Academy for Educational Development, US Department of Labor
  • Stephen D. Shapiro, Chair, International Advisory Committee of the Ahed High School for Science, Negev Bedouin / Board Member, UJA Federation of NY

12:00 p.m.–
1:00 p.m.

Lunch and Facilitated Discussion

1:00 p.m.–
2:00 p.m.

Panel: Creating a System to Support STEM Education

How are existing STEM programs’ assets mapped and networked? How can the creation of a STEM education system in Israel address the needs of the schools while building Israel’s place in the world market? How can private philanthropy set such a system in place?

  • Suzanne Immerman, Director of Strategic Partnerships, US Department of Education
  • Gerald Solomon, Executive Director, Samueli Foundation
  • Ofer Rimon, Head of Science and Technology Division, Ministry of Education, Israel
  • Moderator: Richard Rosen, STEM Fellow at Johns Hopkins University

2:00 p.m.–
3:00 p.m.

How Do We Make Things Happen? Testimonials from students

How do we learn from the students how to implement their vision and experience for all students?

  • Students from Science Leadership Academy, Philadelphia, PA
  • Students from Israel’s “Future Scientists and Inventors”
  • Moderator: Frederic Bertley, Vice-President, Science and Innovation, Franklin Institute; Founder of Student Leadership Academy

3:00 p.m.


3:15 p.m.–
4:00 p.m.

Deep Dive: Facilitated Conversation in Small Groups

We heard from many experts and innovators. How do we take the lessons learned from this conference and continue the discussion in Israel? How can private philanthropy be the driver?

4:00 p.m.–
4:30 p.m.

Closing Keynote: Ada Yonath, Nobel Laureate in Chemistry

Ada Yonath won the 2009 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for her work on the structure and function of the ribosome, and is Director of the Helen and Milton A. Kimmelman Center for Biomolecular Structure and Assembly of the Weizmann Institute of Science

  • Ada Yonath

4:30 p.m.–
4:45 p.m.

Next Steps: Where Do We Go From Here?

  • Hubert Leven, President, Rashi Foundation
  • Andrés Spokoiny, President, Jewish Funders Network


JFN has arranged a discount rate of $345/night plus tax for rooms at the nearby Roger Smith hotel. Rooms in the block may no longer be available but contact to inquire. Cancellation of a reservation will result in a charge of one night’s room rate.

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