Questionnaire: Concerned but hopeful

Worried about the future, Gila Ben-Har believes the state must invest more effort in domestic and foreign affairs.

Gila Ben-Har (photo credit: Courtesy)
Gila Ben-Har
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Name: Gila Ben-Har Age: 61 Profession: CEO of the Center for Educational Technology (CET) Place of birth: Haifa Current residence: Herzliya
What issue gets you out of bed in the morning?
The desire to create something new.
What issue keeps you up at night? Unresolved organizational issues; lack of clarity with the state in respect to educational and social issues; erroneous decision-making.
I might also wake up in the middle of the night concerned about the country my grandchildren would live in...
What’s the most difficult professional moment you’ve faced so far?When I arrived at CET, I was faced with the tough decision of cutting back on personnel and discontinuation of several projects.
One of the happiest moments was when I realized what the growth mechanisms of CET are and the opportunities available for development and expansion.How do you celebrate your achievements? We hold a festive gathering for all the employees to learn together, to say thank you and express appreciation. Every accomplishment has several partners.
If you were prime minister, what’s the first thing you would do? I would carefully consider my actions when faced with any situation.
Which Israeli should have a movie made about him/her?
Eliezer Shmueli. This would be the life story of a person from Thessaloniki who came to Israel as a child. Alienated, lonely and often “foreign” at school, he became an expert in Hebrew and the director-general of the Education Ministry for 12 years. He is 85 years old today and chairs the Society for Advancement of Education as well as other organizations.
What would you change about Israelis if you could? Tolerance; acceptance; listening; the desire to help and empower groups in our society.
iPad, BlackBerry or pen and paper? A technological device, undoubtedly.
Each device has its own merits but I would still carry pen and paper for emergency.If you had to write an advertisement to entice tourists to come to Israel, what would it say? Blue sky, sea, history and modernism, culture and technology, art and hi-tech, openness, naughtiness, entertainment and soberness... action, initiative and creativity around the clock, concurrently with serenity and a beautiful view... freedom and security! What is the most serious problem facing the country? Gaps in Israeli society; the lack of discourse with our neighbors.
How can it be solved?
Discourse that would lead to joint growth engines in education and economy.
In 20 years, the country will be: With a great deal of effort, it would be a prosperous country, an example for bridging of gaps, peace and security, education, creation and innovation.
In the absence of honest effort, we may wake up to a catastrophe.