The Israeli Business Forum of New York (IBF) is an apolitical, nonprofit organization established in October 2002. Our mission is to facilitate quality business discussions among Israeli professionals in New York. Through our programs we enable a group of professional Israelis to interact on a regular basis and exchange ideas about Israeli related issues. The IBF encourages meaningful discussions and business interactions among our members in order to promote their contribution to Israeli society and economy.
IBF PROGRAMMING BOARD
Ranan was an investment banker until he realized that he lived a false life racing to make more and more money - so he quit.
His search for meaning coupled with his passion for sustainability allowed him to discover his purpose - reducing the material consumption of 10 million people by 2050. So he created Pley.com, a toy rental service that decreases the amount of toys that end up in landfills while delighting kids.
Prior to founding Pley, he served as an F-4 fighter co-pilot in the Israeli Air Force and found a financial advisory firm that was acquired by Oppenheimer & Co.
He obtained his MBA from Warwick University and the Fuqua Business School at Duke University and a BA in Computer Science from IOU. He is passionate about active living and has completed several marathons and Ironman races. He lives with his wife and two beloved kids in California.
As the firm's first Chief Knowledge Officer, Mr. Benamram provides White & Case strategic direction on knowledge management and technology and leads the Knowledge Management department in developing and implementing the systems and processes that enable the firm to use its collective knowledge to benefit its clients worldwide.
Mr. Benamram is a globally recognized thought leader and a frequent speaker on legal technology and knowledge management subjects. He has won numerous awards for the design and development of AnswerBase, an intelligent search system that offers attorneys and staff a powerful one-stop source for finding, understanding, and using the vast array of information needed to serve clients.
Born in Jerusalem in 1967, Mr. Benamram received his BA in Economics from Tel Aviv University Faculty of Social Sciences, magna cum laude, and his LLB from the Tel Aviv University Law. He clerked for the Honorable Justice Mishael Cheshin of the Supreme Court of Israel and was a Major in the Israel Defense Forces, where he served as a Tank Company Commander.
Mr. Benamram is a member of the New York State Bar, the Israel Bar, the Board of Directors of the America-Israel Chamber of Commerce and the International Council of the New Israel Fund.
Sass Darwish is the founder and the managing partner of DS Advisory Group, boutique investment banking and advisory firm, based in New York. Until December 2011, Sass was Managing Director and Head of the Americas Technology Investment Banking Group at Nomura. Prior to that, he has been with Bank of America Merrill Lynch where he covered a variety of technology companies both in the United States, Europe and in Israel. His areas of focus are telecom equipment, software and Internet infrastructure. Until 2003, Sass served as President of Emblaze Systems and was responsible for all U.S. operations, including sales, business development, marketing and finance. Prior to that, Sass was a Vice President with Lehman Brothers Investment Banking Global Technology Group. Sass served six years in the Israeli Defense Force in various positions and completed his service with the rank of Captain.
Sass holds a B.A. in Economics and Management from Tel Aviv University and an MBA from Yale School of Management
Yaakov Ringler is Executive Director at Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management.
Yaakov and his partners lead a team within the firm’s Private Wealth Management International group providing primarily Israeli ultra-high net worth clients with portfolio management and brokerage services.
Prior to joining Morgan Stanley, Yaakov was Vice President and COO of the Israel Group in Investment Banking at Goldman Sachs. From 1999-2010, he served in a variety of positions within Investment Banking, Executive Office, CIO Office, and FICC Derivatives at Goldman Sachs.
Yaakov served in IDF Intelligence.
Yaakov holds a BA in International Relations and Philosophy from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and an MPA in International Economic Policy and Management from Columbia University.
Inon Elroy - Director
Inon Elroy was appointed Economic Minister to North America in August 2016. Mr. Elroy has more than eighteen years of experience representing the Ministry of Economy and Industry in a wide range of executive positions both in Israel and overseas.
As Vice Director General of the Israel Ministry of Economy and Industry from 20012-2016, Mr. Elroy was tasked with overseeing industrial policy (promoting domestic production and innovation), trade regulations (liberalization of imports, anti dumping, and standardization), and regional economic planning. In addition, he supervised the Ministry's digital strategy, and initiated policies to foster innovation synergies between the public and private sectors. During his tenure at the Ministry, Mr. Elroy was also involved in several inter-ministerial task forces aimed at reducing the cost of living in Israel.
Mr. Elroy served as the Economic and Commercial Counselor in France (2001-2005) and Germany (2009-2011). Earlier in his career, he was an advisor to several ministers of Economy and Trade.
For the past several years, Mr. Elroy has been a board member of the research committee of the Office of the Chief Scientist, which approves industrial R&D projects. He was also Alternate Director for the bi-national R&D funds BIRD, SIIRD, and KORIL. Additionally, he served on the boards of the Israel Wine Institute and the Israel Consumer Council.
Mr. Elroy holds an MBA from the University of Haifa and a BA degree in Political Science and Geography from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
Yossi Vebman is a partner at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, and has been associated with the firm since 1997. Yossi grew up in Nahariya, Israel, and received a Dual Honors Degree in Law and Economics from the Hebrew University and an LLM from the New York University School of Law. He also served as a Law Clerk to Justice Tova Strassberg-Cohen of the Supreme Court of Israel. In addition to his vast experience working on a broad range of Israeli related transactional matters, he advises some of the world's largest corporations on a broad ranges of derivatives matters, and has been recognized as a leader in his field by major publications such as Chambers USA and Chambers Global, The Legal 500 and IFLR 1000.
Natalie Lisak - Executive Director
Natalie Lisak is a Master of International Affairs candidate at Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) concentrating in International Finance and Economic Policy. At the Israeli Business Forum Natalie is responsible for the daily activities of the organization such as events coordination and set up, IBF member relations, communications to the board of directors and financials. Prior to that Natalie worked as a Private Banker at Citi. She delivered wealth management solutions in the areas of banking, lending, investments and financial planning and acted as a relationship manager and a trusted advisor to high net worth clients. Natalie served as a Social Services Commander in the Israeli Armor Forces and holds a B.S. in Finance from Long Island University. She also studied Law and Business at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya