On Monday, Masa Israel Journey released its inaugural list of Masa's Inspiring Twelve: Jewish Women Working to Make a Difference. 

The release coincides with International Women's Day and honors 12 women driving change in the global Jewish community. Each of the women on the list works directly with or parallel to Masa, the leader of long-term, immersive Israel experiences founded by The Jewish Agency for Israel and the Israeli government.

Masa's list celebrates Jewish women who have reshaped businesses, redesigned strategic thinking and revolutionized the communities they serve. Honorees represent different industries, from nonprofit to STEM, and include veteran professionals and recent Masa alumni.

This year's honorees are
Director General of the Israeli Ministry of Communications, Liran Avisar Ben-Horin; CEO and Director General of The Jewish Agency, Amira Ahronoviz;
SVP for global operations of the Jewish Federations of North America, Rebecca Caspi; Co-Chair of the Azrieli Foundation Israel, Danna Azrieli;
CEO of Genesis Philanthropy Group, Marina Yudborovsky;
Digital Content Producer Host at i24 News, India Persaud;
Trans advocate and English Teach at Israel's Ministry of Education, Alex Sanchez;
Hillel Springboard Fellow, Caroline Spikner;
Student and Social Justice Advocate, Marjorie Tolsdorf;
Human of Judaism Founder, Nikki Schreiber;
Senior Scientist at Sonovia, Dr. Maria Nadakka; and
CEO of Aardvark Israel, Debbie Goldsmith.

In the face of Covid-19, these women have been at the forefront of innovation and advocacy, identifying opportunities to strengthen and bridge the global Jewish community. For example, Amira Ahronoviz led The Jewish Agency in supporting the arrival of 20,000 immigrants from 70 countries to Israel and helped launch JReady.org for Jewish communities battling Covid-19 to share best practices for safely opening schools. Marina Yuborovsky, one of the youngest women in history to lead a major Jewish organization, helped organizations secure emergency aid grants during the pandemic. Dr. Maria Nadakka developed a cutting-edge reusable anti-pathogen facemask at Sonovia, alongside her team, which includes Masa Fellows and alumni from all over the world.

"Masa is so proud to honor and acknowledge these women for the strides they are making and the ceilings they are smashing," said Meara Razon Ashtivker, North American COO of Masa. Adding, "Their work makes possible the vibrant Jewish community that we at Masa envision for the world." 

The full list of Jewish Women Working to Make a Difference is available on Masa's website here.

About Masa Israel Journey: Masa Israel Journey is the largest immersive, long-term educational experience for young adults ages 18-30. 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 pipeline for the Jewish Diaspora 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 160,000 young people from more than 60 countries.