Dr. Michael (Mike) Naftali – Chairperson


Michael (Mike) Naftali, is a social entrepreneur, social inventor and social activist. For more than 35 years he has taken an active part in advancing, managing and leading a wide range of social endeavors, including the formation of social entrepreneurship platforms, volunteering and civil society infrastructure programs, youth at risk services, formal and non formal educational settings, mental health programs, community based art programs and a variety of  international development initiatives. Much of his work has been incorporated in heading and leading Civil Society organizations.

 To date, Dr Naftali serves as the founding chairperson of  Brit Olam – International Volunteering and Development, Topaz – Leading Social Innovations and Inspiration – Arts for Humanity. Formerly Dr. Naftali served as the chairperson of the National Council for Voluntarism in Israel, the national Civil Society umbrella association for Voluntary Effort. He is also co-founder of Natan – The Israeli Coalition for Disaster Relief,  and recently has been elected as vice chairperson of S.I.D. Israel – The Society for International Development. 

In the past Dr. Naftali served as the founding director of Enosh- the Israel Mental Health Association and between the years 1984 – 2003 the founding C.E.O.  of Elem – Youth in Distress in Israel  . During this period Dr. Naftali initiated and advanced numerous endeavors challenging the unique needs of at risk, neglected and delinquent youth. Dr. Naftali is one of the founders of Platforma – for Civil Society, a non profit consulting and development firm and initiator of the Israeli national new program for expanding the Israeli voluntary effort “Life Long Volunteering and Giving” .

Dr. Naftali has written a variety of research reports on youth programs and strategies, over two dozen articles and numerous working papers on various issues in the areas of volunteer management and civil society, social entrepreneurship, international development and community and local involvement.  He also specializes in issues concerning youth at risk and delinquency, youth empowerment and leadership and cross cultural intervention strategies. For the last three decades he has been teaching these topics in both graduate and post graduate courses –  both in Israeli academic institutes including Tel Aviv, Bar Ilan and The Hebrew Universities, as well as in Tel Aviv and Tel Hai Academic Colleges. He has also run international work shops for Mashav (Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs) in African countries, in South East Asia including in the Philippines, Thailand and India and in Mediterranean countries.

Dr. Naftali is a Social Worker by profession, and received his Ph.D. from Tel Aviv University School of Social Work in 1996. Michael is married to Dr. Timna Naftali – a specialist in Internal Medicine and in Gastroenterology. They live in Tel Aviv and have four children. He is also a keen Yachtsman and holds a Skippers Certificate for Mediterranean and Ocean Voyages.