Summer Snapshot: Lacrosse and SiBs in Israel


image001Sara Greenberg, a joint degree student with the Harvard Business School, spent the summer in Tel Aviv training and playing with Israel’s Women’s National Lacrosse Team. The team played in the World Cup in Oshawa, Ontario in mid-July, marking Israel’s inaugural appearance on the global lacrosse stage. The team finished in the top eight.

While in Israel, Greenberg also worked for a social finance start-up, Social Finance Israel, that is working to bring social impact bonds (SiBs) to Israel. SiBs enable the private sector to invest in social issues — such as prisoner recidivism, homelessness, unemployment, substance abuse — and if the programs are successful, the government saves money and a portion of the cost savings is returned to the investor. I was part of a small team working to launch the first SiB in Israel and after months of conversations with government, various NGOs and potential investors, the team will launch its first SiB in 2014. The SiB is focused on reducing unemployment in the ultra-orthodox sector.

The following column written by Sara Greenberg appeared in the Times of Israel. For the full story, please visit their Web site at http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/playing-defense-for-israel-in-the-lacrosse-world-cup/.

Eighteen women will take the field today, donning blue and white uniforms, to represent Israel on the global stage for the first time in the Women’s Lacrosse World Cup.

I am honored to be among this group.

The roster is composed of both Israeli players, as well as members of the Jewish Diaspora, in accordance with the rules and regulations of the Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL). My teammates and I will kick-off tournament play against Germany, one of 19 teams to compete in the tournament taking place this year in Oshawa, Canada.

How did I get here?

I first traveled to Israel when I was two, in a cardboard box, in the bulkhead of a plane. My parents and I were visiting my grandmother, who had made aliyah at 49. Throughout my childhood I continued to visit Israel, usually for 10 days at a time every three or four years.

From an early age, probably even from that cardboard box, I knew Israel was an important place.

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