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August 14, 2011 3:00pm - 8:00pm


Israel advocacy in the 21st century: How should the Israeli and Jewish diaspora begin to act? In what sphere is advocacy taking place and in what direction does it need to move? How should we share Israel’s story? What tools are at our disposal? How do we shift from reactive to proactive advocacy?

The Israel Advocacy Conference 2011 brings together experts on various components of the new hasbra to better arm young leaders with the tools for Israel advocacy. IAC ‘11 will help transform the community’s passion for Israel into activism that will make a difference. A network of informed and active young Israeli and Jewish community leaders will strengthen Israel and enhance the ongoing advocacy work conducted in Los Angeles. The IAC ‘11 seeks to engage and empower these influencers in LA to better succeed in local and global Israel advocacy.





Doors Open



Conference Welcome & Opening Remarks


Gil Artzyeli, Deputy Consul General, Consulate General of Israel in Los Angeles

The role of the Israeli Consulate in advocacy work

Gil Artzyeli serves as Deputy Consul General of Israel in Los Angeles as of August 2008 and has been a member of Israel’s Foreign Service since 1994. During his diplomatic career he held three overseas positions, as Deputy Head of Mission in Bogota, Colombia (1995-1998) and in Mexico (2003-2005), and as the Spokesperson of the Embassy of Israel in Madrid, Spain (1998-2000). Artzyeli received his Law Faculty degree from Tel Aviv University and is a member of the Israeli Bar Association.


Theories & Tools for Advocacy


Sasha Strauss, Managing Director/Chief Strategist, Innovation Protocol

Nation Branding and how to Brand Israel

Sasha Strauss is the Managing Director and Chief Strategist at Innovation Protocol, a brand strategy consulting firm that exclusively serves innovators by evolving industry defining ideas into brands. With over 16 years in strategic brand development, Strauss has led international programs for companies such as Microsoft, TiVo, Thermos, Electronic Arts, Yahoo!, eBay and Adobe. In addition he is an Adjunct Professor at USC’s Annenberg School for Communication, where he teaches graduate brand strategy.



Nicholas J. Cull, Director, Master of Public Diplomacy program, University of Southern California

Theories, Tools and Application of Public Diplomacy

Nicholas J. Cull is Professor of Public Diplomacy and Director of the Masters Program in Public Diplomacy at the University of Southern California. He took both his BA and PhD at the University of Leeds. While a graduate student Cull studied at Princeton as a Harkness Fellow of the Commonwealth Fund of New York. After completing his doctoral degree, Cull was lecturer in American History at the University of Birmingham and was Professor of American Studies and Director of the Centre for American Studies in the Department of History at Leicester.



Dan Schnur, Director, Unruh Institute of Politics, University of Southern California

Effective Communication Tools and Strategies

Dan Schnur is the Director of the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics at the University of Southern California, where he works to motivate students to become active in the world of politics and encourage public officials to participate in the daily life of USC.  For years, Schnur was one of California’s leading political and media strategists, whose record includes work on four presidential and three gubernatorial campaigns. In addition, he has been an analyst and political commentator for CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, and National Public Radio.


Coffee Break


Advocacy in Action


Sharone Levinson, Executive Director, Act for Israel

Israel Advocacy in the world of Social Media

Sharone Levinson is a Founder and the Executive Director of Act For Israel (AFI). After the 2010 Gaza Flotilla incident, she decided to commit her knowledge and experience to ensure that Israel has a clear and noticeable voice in the digital realm. Prior to AFI, Levinson founded and was CEO of WorldFlash Software, Inc., a company that developed Intelligent Agent software applications. In addition, Levinson held positions such as Director of Marketing, VP of Marketing and Sales, VP of Business Development for an number of firms.



Raanan Gissin, Israeli Analyst & Consultant, former adviser to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon

Speaking on behalf of Israel

Ra'anan Gissin's career with the Israeli Defense Forces began in 1979 with his position as a Strategic Analyst in the planning branch. Gissin was Senior Adviser to former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. He is one of Israel's leading spokesmen for the foreign press and the international community on security, strategic issues, terror, the Iranian and Radical Islamic threats, and the peace process. Gissin earned an MSc in Broadcast Journalism from Hebrew University of Jerusalem and his PhD in Political Science and Public Administration from Syracuse University.


Closing Remarks



Dinner & Discussion



Conference Concludes


Israel Advocacy Conference 2011 Leadership

Ariel Blumenthal
Amir Give’on, BINA LA Chair
Naomi Leight 
Shira Shimoni

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