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Forum Dvorah Experts

Ilana Kwartin

Women's rights in Israel, gender and law, conflict management and resolution

אורנה מזרחי

Ilana Kwartin is the Regional Director, Western United States, for the Jewish Agency for Israel, overseeing departments including shlichim (emissaries), Aliyah (immigration), partnerships and strategy. 

Before moving to Los Angeles with her family, Ilana was Vice President and Head of Resource Development at Eretz-Ir, an organization that develops urban communities in Israel’s periphery via entrepreneurship and employment centers.

Ilana’s professional career began in corporate law, but upon moving to Israel’s south in 2009, she became an activist, working specifically toward women’s rights. 

In addition to running her own legal practice specializing in women’s rights in the workplace and family, Ilana for many years has taught Zumba to women and young girls, both in Israel’s southern periphery and to at-risk populations, as a means to self-empowerment. 

Ilana also lectures on the convergence of Law and Gender and on Social Entrepreneurship. 

She is the author of "Imprisoned: Women in Extreme Controlling Relationships" which explores a hidden phenomenon and is based on her Ph.D. research. 

She helped found and is a resident-from-afar in Eliav, a community for Secular and Orthodox in the Judean foothills. There, she co-founded an inclusive, Orthodox minyan (Minyan Meshatef) and more recently founded a shared working space and business network in her community to bolster entrepreneurship and self-employment in her local region.

Ilana Kwartin was born in the Former Soviet Union and made Aliyah in 1987.  She grew up in Jerusalem and served as a commander and officer in an IDF field intelligence unit, including service deep in the Gaza Strip. 

Afterward, Ilana earned B.A. degrees in Law and Psychology from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and an M.A. in Conflict Resolution from the Ben Gurion University of the Negev. 

Ilana has a Ph.D. in Gender Studies from Bar-Ilan University, after researching “Honor-based Confinement” among married women in Israel.

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