If there is one word that best describes Eitan Neishlos, it is passionate.
The 42-year-old Australian corporate attorney, fintech expert and business entrepreneur is currently in Israel, the land of his birth, for an extended period, and will be dividing his time between Israel and Australia. At next week’s Jerusalem Post Annual Conference, Neishlos will present a special Ted Talk on the world of fintech, and the new young Jewish philanthropy, together with Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman and former US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in a session about the financial and economic world.
Recently, he spoke with the Post about what fuels his desire to help Israel and the Jewish people.
Neishlos, who has been actively involved in the Australian Jewish community, serving as a deputy and executive on the board of the Jewish Board of Deputies, traces his passion for helping others to his grandmother, a Holocaust survivor, who was saved by a righteous Christian family who hid her from the Nazis. Neishlos’s grandmother never forgot the heroism of the Chodosevitch family and ensured that Yad Vashem enshrined their name as part of the Righteous Among the Nations.
“My grandmother’s story,” says Neishlos,“inspired me to get involved in giving back and asking young adults around the world to be like my grandmother and like the Chodosevitch family, to stand up against prejudice and racism – to be tolerant and reinforce a connection to the State of Israel. These are all things that come from my late grandmother’s story. Part of her strong connection to Israel was making sure Yad Vashem recognized the Chodosevitch family.”
Neishlos became a major supporter of JNFuture in Australia, which empowers young adults committed to Zionism, environmentalism, volunteerism and community development for the Land of Israel. He worked with the organization’s Ach Gadol (Big Brother) program, which supports lone soldiers in the IDF. Recalling his remarks at a JNFuture program, Neishlos says, “I told the young adults about the concept of the nation of Israel. It is not just the State of Israel. It is the nation of Israel wherever we are – and the soldiers in Israel are protecting our backs. The question is – what are we doing in return to protect our soldiers? Neishlos, who matched every dollar raised at the event, says the event illustrated the power of group giving.
“There is power in collective philanthropy,” he notes.
A FURTHER project initiated by Neishlos in Australia that illustrates his commitment to social action and helping others is the participation of young Australian Jews in the IDF’s Ro’im Rachok (Looking Ahead) Project, which trains adults on the autism spectrum in professions required by the IDF and the civilian market. Participants join the IDF as volunteers, and after being discharged, receive assistance in finding employment in the civilian job market. Young Australian Jews participate in the program by donating $18 Australian dollars each month. The project, Neishlos notes, is already flying and collectively is projected to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars, potentially even millions.
“If we all give a little, it becomes a lot. The model is working, and it is a call to action for young adults around the world to stand up and be counted – to make a difference. They have a voice and a lot of depth and a lot of giving potential.”
Yet another example of Neishlos’s commitment to Jewish values and leadership is his participation in “Courage to Care,” a B’nai B’rith program in Australia that educates Australians about the dangers of prejudice, racism and discrimination. Neishlos serves as chairman of the organization, which educates about the Holocaust and encourages young adults to call out and combat racism, antisemitism and all forms of bigotry. Over 200,000 young adults – from all religious denominations – have already passed through these important workshops and seminars.
Looking to find inspiration in leadership in 2020, Neishlos sponsored in Sydney, together with the Israeli embassy, an exhibition of the life of Yitzhak Rabin. He suggests that leadership is a key factor in solving the problems confronting the world.
“I’m asking for young adults around the world to become leaders, and we have to find inspiration. I believe we can find inspiration in the leaders of the State of Israel.”
Neishlos has been at the forefront of the fintech and financial industry through a variety of companies, including Resonance Australia, a fintech company he co-founded that connects consumers, merchants and product owners at the point of payment; CASHD, an Australian fintech business that supports full-time employees, part-time workers, and contractors in accessing their earned money in real-time, in advance of their regular pay cycle; and most recently through Neishlos Capital, his current investment company, which has interests in these and other companies of significant value. At the end of 2020, Neishlos stepped down from Resonance Australia to devote more time to social conscience projects.
Neishlos would like to apply his positive experiences inspiring Australian youth to the world stage.
“I think what I am doing in Australia is a very good reference for what we should be doing globally. I want to export the JNFuture model and the Courage to Care model. I want to have a call to action for young adults globally, for Jews and non-Jews alike, and I want to strengthen the ties to the State of Israel.”
A successful businessman, entrepreneur and activist on behalf of Jewish causes, Neishlos is poised to take the next step in taking a greater philanthropic role in the worldwide Jewish community. His appearance at the Jerusalem Post Annual Conference is set to mark his emergence in this position.
This article was written in cooperation with Eitan Neishlos.
Eitan Neishlos will present at The Jerusalem Post Annual Conference. To watch live on October 12 (or see the recording anytime thereafter), click here.