Montrealers ready to take part in Global Summit in Jerusalem
June 1, 2012 | Norm Gordner, Editor
MONTREAL – Two Montrealers, Tamara Kramer and Mike Savatovsky, are excited to be among 150 Jewish social and business entrepreneurs, technology whizzes, thinkers and artists to be part of the ROI Global Summit in Jerusalem. The five-day gathering, which begins on June 10, will connect participants to leading global innovators and activists.
ROI is an international network of more than 800 social entrepreneurs and innovators in more than 40 countries who are leaders and change agents shaping the Jewish world. This year's summit participants hail from 26 countries, including first-timers from Bolivia, Iceland, Peru and Uganda.
Highlights of the seventh annual ROI Summit will include master classes by top Israeli entrepreneurs and thought leaders such as social media wizard Lior Zoref, who gave the first crowd-sourced TEDtalk in February; Jerusalem Global Group CEO Dr. Shlomo Kalish; Jerusalem YMCA CEO Forsan Hussein; Start-Up Nation co-author Saul Singer; former Israel ambassador to the United States and Syria expert Itamar Rabinovich; and, environmental sustainability expert and TEDxAmsterdam organizer Irene Rompa. Participants will also engage in peer-to-peer training and collaborative project-building.
Kramer is the creator, editor and host of Shtetl Magazine and Shtetl on the Shortwave – an eclectic magazine and radio show that bring together artists and thinkers who are shaping the fabric of Jewish life today. She regularly interviews cantors, circus performers, rock stars, rabbis – anyone who has a story to tell about the hidden sides of Jewish culture.
“I’ve been to Israel four times,” said Kramer. “But it has been a very long time since my last trip – maybe more than 10 years ago so I am very curious to see the country with fresh eyes and to learn about all the new developments and hear about people’s lives first hand. It is a very charged and complicated place and I look forward to enjoying the beauty and exploring all the complicated and tricky parts as well.
“This summit will provide me with the opportunity to meet other people from around the world who are working on innovative projects that I can learn from and be inspired by. As someone who is working on my own to build a creative community project, it is extremely meaningful to feel a sense of community support – and in this case, from the international Jewish community.”
Savatovsky is the director of outreach and engagement for Montreal’s Federation CJA and the Claudine and Stephen Bronfman Family Foundation. A native Montrealer, he leads a social-capital initiative focused on incubating and accelerating ideas that engage Jewish young adults in Jewish life through festivals, reforestation projects and reinterpreted rituals, new business ventures, rooftop gardens and art exhibits.
“I am fortunate to be returning to this conference for the second year in a row,” said Savatovsky. “It was an experience that inspired me in terms of knowledge sharing. I have already worked with four or five people since the conference and hosted a major regional conference here in Montreal. Eleven people participated. They came from…New York, Philadelphia, Holland, Latin America and Israel. So here is a good example of an offshoot from the Israel conference. We met over the course of four days in a think-tank fashion.”