The Center for Media and Democracy in Israel

Co-founded by Laura and Gary in 2019, the Center for Media and Democracy in Israel, known in Hebrew as Shomrim – the Guardians, is a nonprofit and non-partisan independent news organization. The Center’s mission is to empower the public by promoting democratic discourse in Israel through investigative journalism and groundbreaking storytelling that is intended to spark action. With an open call for proposals, the Center is committed to uncovering the truth and providing the public with reliable and high-quality information on Israeli society and government across platforms and media outlets.

The creation of the Center was inspired by the nonprofit news source, ProPublica, whose mission is to produce investigative journalism with a moral force. Laura and Gary believe that investigative journalism is critical to democracy and sought to create a newsroom in Israel whose stories would instigate positive change and reforms. Grounded in their strategic philosophy that philanthropy is more effective when part of collaborative of engaged, like-minded philanthropists who can help bring projects to scale, Laura and Gary founded the Center with a group of esteemed key stakeholders. Along with the Laura and Gary, the Center’s co-founders include: Ethan Bronner, Bloomberg Senior Editor; Oded Hermoni, a venture capitalist and social activist; Moshe Zviran, Dean of the Coller School of Management at Tel Aviv University; Tamar Prizan-Litani, former deputy editor in chief at Haaretz; Vardi Kahana, a photojournalist; and Yoel Esteron, founder and publisher of Calcalist.

Laura explained her belief in journalism’s power to ensure and secure democratic ideals, “As The Washington Post masthead says: ‘Democracy Dies in Darkness.’ We are here to support a strong democracy in Israel by philanthropically adding to the pool of investigative journalism efforts. By shining a light of transparency, we act as guardians of democracy.”

Learn more on the Center for Media and Democracy’s website.

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