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In the Shadow of War, Global Women Leaders Meet Online

A Global Leadership Conference for Jewish women entrepreneurs & leaders, which was originally scheduled to be held in person in Jerusalem in January, will happen online instead, due to the war in Israel, on January 21, 2024.
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January 18, 2024
Nathalie Garson Photo by Sarah Raanan

A Global Leadership Conference for Jewish women entrepreneurs & leaders, which was originally scheduled to be held in person in Jerusalem in January, will happen online instead, due to the war in Israel, on January 21, 2024.

Under the banner “Become the Leader That the World Needs!” this conference was initiated and is led by Nathalie Garson, who has been a business mentor for 12 years in Israel. She launched The Global Network for Jewish Women Entrepreneurs in 2020, and in 2023 it became a nonprofit with the mission to create bridges between Jewish women from Israel and from all around the world, and to empower them to become the Jewish leaders they were born to be.

”Now that the very existence of Israel and the Jewish people are at stake, it is our responsibility as Jewish women to connect to our Jewish identity … and to become the leaders that this world needs to be agents of change.” – Nathalie Garson

The goal of the conference, Garson said, is “to raise awareness around Jewish leadership. A few months ago, we could not imagine that this horrible war would break out in Israel on Oct. 7th 2023, and that we would all be going through such difficult times in Israel and around the world. Now that the very existence of Israel and the Jewish people are at stake, it is our responsibility as Jewish women to connect to our Jewish identity, to align with our values and to become the leaders that this world needs to be agents of change.”

Garson’s hope is that, by moving the conference to an online presence, more women from around the world will be able to join “and be a part of this paradigm shift.”

Every woman who participates will “leave the conference feeling even more connected to her people and to her values, and will know what it means to be a Jewish leader and to take responsibility on how she will be part of the solution during this important time in the history of Israel and of the Jewish people as a whole,” she said. 

Garson herself has an intriguing background and journey. She was born in France, then lived for many years in the U.S. In New York she studied at the Rika Breuer Teachers Seminary in Washington Heights and attended City College, then lived in Lakewood and worked as a teacher, and later lived in Los Angeles, where she was a teacher and lived in the Pico Blvd. area. She returned to France in 1997 and made aliyah in 2004. She has two children, 28 and 29 years old, and lives in Jerusalem. 

Asked if anything in her personal life led her to creating this organization and conference, Garson said that while living in France and the U.S. she had always felt a strong connection to her Jewish identity, and that she decided to come live in Israel to be able to align fully with this identity. 

Today, she wants to offer this opportunity to women from all over the world, even if they cannot physically be in Israel. “The Global Network” she said, “is a place for women from all over the world to connect with their Jewish identity. Especially after what happened on Oct. 7th, women feel that they need to connect with other like-minded Jewish women, because it doesn’t feel safe to be in other circles anymore.”

Garson said “I have always been passionate about my Jewish identity and feminine leadership. The Global Network is bringing my two passions together and I really believe that the Jewish people need more women leaders.” 

Among the questions addressed at the conference will be: Do you feel that it is not safe to be Jewish anymore, whether you are in Israel or anywhere in the world? Do you feel powerless and frustrated because you don’t know how you can contribute? Is it difficult to focus or find meaning in anything? Are you not sure how you can support the Jewish people and the Jewish nation?

Inspirational keynote speakers include Rivka Ravitz, chief of staff of former Israeli President Reuven Rivlin; Fleur Hassan Nahoum, deputy mayor of Jerusalem in charge of foreign relations, who has been very active in Hasbara on the international scene since the war began (and before); Justine Zwerling, head of The Middle East for Shore Capital Markets and founding member of The UAE-Israel Business Council and Gulf Israel Women’s Forum; Adrienne Gold Davis, director of experience and engagement for Momentum and an international Jewish educator; Joelle Eckstein, chair of the Eckstein Fund, board member of the Global Network; Daphne Lazar Price, executive director of Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance; and Maayan Hoffman, deputy CEO of strategy & innovation and senior correspondent for The Jerusalem Post, among others.

The conference has partnered with Momentum, and will include Jewish leadership round tables which will be spearheaded by Dana Sender-Mulla, Momentum’s director of leadership development, to discuss, brainstorm and reflect in small groups on Jewish leadership, facilitated by female Jewish leaders from around the world. 

Questions in the round tables and panels will include: 

• How do you want to show up for yourself, your family, your business, your community, your people and your country in these difficult times?

 • Where do you think that you could make a difference, share your expertise and be an agent of change for the Jewish people?

• What are the core Jewish values that you want to emphasize in your life and your business?

 • How to respond when Israel is being attacked by people who are spreading lies or ignoring the facts?

• How can you contribute to the war effort in Israel and how can you fight antisemitism around the world?

• How is being resilient in the Jewish people’s DNA and how can one be resilient even in the most difficult times?

And most of all: What is the vision for the future of the Jewish people and of Israel and how can Jewish women contribute to it and be a part of it?

For more information on how to register, go to https://bit.ly/GlobalLeadershipConference2024

For questions contact: contact@gnjwel.org.


Toby Klein Greenwald is an award-winning journalist and theater director, editor of WholeFamily.com, and will be leading one of the Round Tables at the conference.

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