What Does Better Look Like?

Shark Tank is a hit ABC TV show that features a panel of five wealthy investors called “sharks” who consider offers from entrepreneurs seeking investors for their business. Based off of this hit TV show, this program gives participants the opportunity to champion an Israeli social cause. The entrepreneurs make pitches to the investors for their business or product to try to convince the wealthy investor to give them the funding they need to start their business idea. Teams will work together to choose a cause that they feel passionately about and compete through presentations for a “grand prize.”


Introduce the Shark Tank TV Show

Explain to the group that we are going to enter the Shark Tank. Each group is going to be the entrepreneurs championing a cause, while the other teams will be the wealthy investors.

Split participants into small groups and ask each group to select an Israeli cause to create a pitch for—you may download the Israel Causes Booklet (see right-hand column), or research your own organizations. It's best to print a sheet with a description of each of these organizations and a few pictures so that everyone can have it front of them, and can see a visual image of each cause.

Each group will create a campaign for why the cause they chose is so important and why they need the $10,000 grand prize. Presentations may consist of a visual sign and a 1-2 minute pitch or skit.


1. Why is your cause innovative?

2. How is it creating widespread change?

3. Why is it urgent to support this cause


At the end of the program, you may want to have participants reflect on the activity. Here are a few open-ended discussion questions:


1. What did you enjoy about this activity?

2. What is something you learned through this program?

3. How might this activity relate to your own lives?

4. What is something you are taking with you from this program?


Jewish Heart for Africa

Jewish Heart for Africa (JHA) is a non-profit organization that brings sustainable Israeli technologies to African villages. JHA’s mission is to save African lives with Israeli innovation, all while supporting Israel’s economy and image abroad. Founded in 2008, in less than three years Jewish heart for Africa has provided light, clean water, food and proper medical care to more than 150,000 people in Ethiopia, Tanzania, Malawi and Uganda. One project example is JHA’s efforts to deliver Israeli made solar-powered electricity to medical clinics and schools in Africa, improving the delivery of medical care and education to adults and children in rural areas.

JHA was founded by Sivan Borowich Ya’ari. Born in Israel and raised in France, Sivan is a social entrepreneur who has been working in Africa for over ten years. During that time she realized the importance of a more sustainable energy solution and developed the groundwork for JHA.


Kishorit is an innovative new model for treating the mentally disabled in Israel. Based on the Israeli commune idea, Kishorit has emerged over the last decade from the ruins of a crumbling kibbutz. Called Kishorit, the village in northern Israel has become a utopia for about 150 people with varying degrees of mental handicap, who have all found a home for life. Some have autism, Asperger's, or schizophrenia, but as much as they can, they are all steering their own careers, social time, family life, and destiny. They don't focus on what disability they have, but on what they can do.

Kishorit was founded in 1997 by several Israeli social entrepreneur families who joined forces with professionals in the Mental Health field to find a more fulfilling alternative for their disabled loved ones- something better than lifelong dependence on an institution, or perpetual childhood at home.

The Good Energy Initiative

The Good Energy Initiative (GEI) is a non-profit organization that provides carbon offset in Israel. For every car that drives, every plane that flies and every appliance that gets plugged into the wall, a price is paid by the environment. The burning of fossil fuels for use in transport, industry and our day-to-day lives, emits carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Through donations, GEI lets people and organizations neutralize their “carbon footprint” by funneling cash investments into local grassroots educational and social projects. Carbon offset money also goes toward developing new alternative energy projects.

GEI was founded by Eyal Biger, an environmental social entrepreneur who is an expert on the production of re-used biodiesel fuel in Israel. He started GEI with the help of the Heschel Center’s Environmental Fellowship program.

Leket Israel

One quarter of the population in Israel is food insecure. Leket Israel is the country’s largest national food bank and leading food rescue network. Each year, with the help of 40,000 volunteers, Leket Israel rescues over 700,000 meals and 21 million lbs of produce and perishable goods, and supplies over 1.25 million volunteer prepared sandwiches to underprivileged children. Food, that would have otherwise gone to waste, is redistributed to nearly 300 nonprofit partners caring for the needy.

Leket Israel was founded by Joseph Gitler, a social entrepreneur who made Aliyah in 2000. He founded Leket Israel in 2003 after witnessing significant food wastage in Israel at a time of rising poverty. Joseph's vision and steady hand have led the organization from a simple, one-man operation to Israel's largest food rescue organization.

Soccer for Peace

Soccer for Peace successfully brings together Jewish and Arab Israeli children through overnight soccer camps that provide intensive soccer training, dialogue sessions, and social and educational activities, as well as all the usual activities for which summer camp is known. In addition to our annual summer camp, Soccer for Peace runs a year-long program, which brings the summer camp participants back together 3-4 times per week throughout the school year for continued soccer training, dialogue sessions and social and educational activities.

The program offers children the rare opportunity to meet each other on a regular and equal basis in order to find a common language through activities that they enjoy. Every summer, we welcome a new class of approximately 50 10-12 year olds to our camp. These same children then return for the year-long program and subsequent summer camps until the age of 16. By bringing these children together for near-daily contact in their formative years, friendships are built and maintained while stereotypes and social barriers are broken.


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