1. Of the many causes and organizations to get involved with, why the Taub Center?
To build a stronger Israel for all its citizens, I think it is important to support research that sheds light on the social and economic trends that shape Israel today and that will shape the country in the future. These are the issues that Israelis encounter in their day-to-day lives and that strongly contribute to quality of life. Also, in an increasingly polarized world, it is very important for leaders across the political spectrum to have a trusted and reliable source of data to inform their decisions.
2. What do you hope to accomplish in your tenure as Chair of the Taub Center’s Board?
I hope to support the organisation to continue to do the wonderful work that it already does. We recently completed the process of establishing a five-year strategic plan for the Center. During my time as Chair of the Taub Center Board I hope to work with my fellow board members and the staff of the Center to turn this wonderful vision into reality. I’m looking forward to hitting the ground running and helping to improve the Taub Center in this new capacity.
3. What piece or area of research over the past few years has most spoken to you and why do you feel that it is so important?
I’m fascinated by the changing demographic trends in Israel. Accurate information about the make-up and size of the various population groups is vital for planning and running the country. My favourite piece of research, however, is the study that shows that girls tend not to study high level maths and science (5-units). I believe that the findings of this study have already caused people to ask “why not?” and to encourage girls to study maths and science at higher levels.
4. We held our most recent board meeting at the Taub Center in Jerusalem – hearing from Taub Center researchers about ongoing research projects and from leaders outside of the Center who are working “on the ground” in the areas the Center studies. What was your biggest take-away from this experience?
The highlight of the board retreat for me was going to the Knesset and meeting with MK Aida Touma-Sliman. Not only was it interesting to be in Knesset and to hear MK Touma-Sliman’s perspective, but I also learnt a lot about the differences between the Arab and Jewish education streams. The unique structure of Israel’s school system is important to understand because of the implications this has on tackling issues such as inequalities in Israeli students’ educational achievements.
5. What gives you hope for Israel’s social and economic future?
Increasing the transparency in political discourse gives me hope for Israel’s future. At the Taub Center, our most important task is giving people the facts to allow them to make better decisions. Not only does the Center bring attention to the most pressing socioeconomic issues in Israel, but its findings also help leaders and the public stay well-informed and serve as a common jumping-off point for policy debate and decisions.