As the fall semester began on TAU campus, the University’s Bloomberg-Sagol Center for City Leadership opened its doors to the program’s first cohort of students. 20 mayors and municipal heads from across Israel arrived to participate in the intensive, yearlong executive education and training program that will equip them with the tools and skills needed to enhance the residents’ quality of life.
Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Sagol family launched the Center earlier this year as a major new effort to strengthen local leadership across Israel. Inspired by the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative, the new program aims to help mayors of cities across Israel – north and south, large, and small, Jewish- and Arab-led – deliver better and more equitable public services to residents, strengthen social bonds, and deepen ties to the global community of innovative city leaders.
“Israel’s local authorities have a much greater impact on citizens’ lifestyles and quality of life than the central government,” said Prof. Ariel Porat, TAU President. “The quality of sanitation, transportation, welfare, education, and health services mostly depends on the local authority’s performance. The City Leadership Program aims to improve the management of local authorities in Israel, thereby enhancing the quality of life of Israelis throughout the country.”
“The Bloomberg-Sagol Center builds on all the work Bloomberg Philanthropies is doing to help local leaders around the world innovate, lead effectively, and share ideas for tackling complex problems,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, 108th Mayor of New York City and founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies and Bloomberg L.P. “This inaugural class brings together a dynamic group of mayors from across Israel. We’re looking forward to working with them, and to seeing the results in their cities and beyond.”
The Center was established at TAU’s Coller School of Management and is led by Prof. Moshe Zviran, the former Dean of the School, who serves as the Head of the Center and the Academic Director of the Program. The mayors will conclude the year with additional training and networking hosted by Bloomberg Philanthropies and Harvard University in New York City and Boston, in the United States.
“When I became aware of the Bloomberg Harvard City Initiative, I realized how suitable it can be for us in Israel, by creating a long-lasting impact on our cities and local leadership”, said Yossi Sagol, Chairman of Sagol Holdings Corporation and the founding partner of the Program.
“Mayors serve as the first and most significant line of leadership for the citizens in Israel, and they manage the most important matters for its residents. Through learning and training at the Bloomberg-Sagol Program, they will be exposed to the best and latest management practices in the business world and will be able to apply their newly gained skills in local leadership. Doing so, we hope, will support bold public innovation and create more effective city halls. Our partnership with Mike Bloomberg is very exciting and will undoubtedly strengthen the leadership of the local authorities across Israel.”
Meet the Students
The first class of the City Leadership Program includes: Ran Konik, Mayor of Givatayim; Itzik Danino, Mayor of Ofakim;Samir Mahamid, Mayor of Umm al-Fahm; Rotem Yadlin, Head of the Gezer Regional Council; Liat Shochat, Mayor of Or Yehuda Municipality; Israel Gantz, Head of the Benjamin Regional Council; Israel Gal, Mayor of Kiryat Ono; Tzvika Brot, Mayor of Bat-Yam; Avraham Rubinstein, Mayor of Bnei Barak; Abed Elaziz Nasasara, Head of the Local Council of Kseifa; Israel Parosh, Mayor of Elad; Oshrat Gani Gonen, Head of the South Sharon Regional Council; Moshe Fadlon, Mayor of Herzliya; Shoshi Kahlon Kidor, Mayor of Kfar Yona; Niv Wiesel, Head of the Mateh Yehuda Regional Council; Moshe Koninski, Mayor of Karmiel; Rafik Halabi, head of the Dalit El-Karmel Local Council; Nissan Ben Hamo, Mayor of Arad; Shay Hajaj, Head of the Merhavim Regional Council; and Yaala Maklis, Mayor of Yehud-Monoson.
Israel has 257 cities and towns with mayors. Each class of the City Leadership Program will accommodate 20 participants, who will invite two key members of their team to attend as well.
Featured image: Israeli Mayors and heads of municipalities participating in the yearlong training program (Photo: Maxim Golovanov)