The 12 honorees have shattered stigmas and set shining examples across various industries.
Masa Israel Journey, founded by the government of Israel and The Jewish Agency, honors International Women’s Day 2022 by recognizing female Jewish leaders who have paved new paths for generations to come. From activism to business leadership to community building, the fields in which they lead are enhanced by the power of their example.
Masa salutes the achievements of influential women such as:
- Ashager Araro, founder of the Ethiopian-Israeli Heritage Center Battae and renowned Israel activist who received the “Light of Israel” award in 2021;
- Carole Solomon, a trailblazing Jewish leader who was the first woman to chair the Board of Governors of The Jewish Agency;
- Natalie Shnaiderman, Director of Global Grantmaking for Genesis Philanthropy Group;
- Erika B. Rudin-Luria, an integrative leader who connects individuals within and beyond Cleveland’s Jewish community as president of the Jewish Federation of Cleveland;
- Paula Harris, a dedicated supporter of Jewish communal life and Masa who works as assistant vice president of community outreach and engagement at the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago;
- Ginette Searle, a selfless advocate who supports young Jewish adults and strengthens their connections to Israel as the CEO of the Zionist Federation of Australia;
- Dana Talmi, Founder and Execute Director of Yahel, a leading educational organization that advances social change and inspires individuals and organizations to engage in responsible volunteering within diverse communities in Israel; and
- Sarah Mali, Vice President of Masa Israel Journey and head of the Masa Leadership & Impact Center, who dedicates her professional life to advancing the field of leadership education as a vehicle for building Jewish communal capacity.
These remarkable Jewish women exemplify the mission of Masa Israel Journey —to enlighten minds and expand opportunities for all—creating an inspired, connected, and engaged global Jewish community.
The honorees also include Jewish community leaders and Masa alumni like:
- Sharona Shnayder, a young Nigerian-Israeli environment activist who co-founded Tuesdays for Trash, an initiative that promotes sustainability around the world;
- Lindsey Heller, a Jewish communal leader who inspires diverse audiences as manager of Overseas Missions and Speakers Bureau for the UJA-Federation of New York;
- Jill Comer, a manager at Deloitte who leads projects connecting global multinational corporations to the Israeli innovation ecosystem; and
- Maayan Belding-Zidon, a former BDS movement supporter who is now a fierce advocate for Israel and Jews everywhere and is currently studying in rabbinical school in Jerusalem.
See the complete list of our 12 honorees and their accomplishments here.
These leaders have created significant impact in communities across Israel, North America, Russia, Australia, and other parts of the Jewish world. Masa Israel Journey is so proud to honor and acknowledge these women for the strides they make and the advancements they enable for women everywhere. Their work contributes to the vibrant, interconnected Jewish community that we at Masa envision for the world.Masa Israel Journey
Masa Israel Journey is the largest immersive, long-term educational experience for young adults ages 16-35. On its programs that range from two months to a year, Masa offers an authentic, unmediated, and challenging journey into Israeli society, culture, politics, and history – and acts as the largest provider for global Jewry to access the finest Israeli businesses, social enterprises, and academic institutions. Since its 2004 founding by The Jewish Agency and government of Israel, Masa has served over 180,000 young people from more than 60 countries.