- Meet Our Leaders
JFCS Board member Oded Hermoni has a very impressive background in the tech industry. However, in addition to his professional expertise as a start-up founder, board member, adviser, and venture capitalist, Oded is uniquely positioned to act as a bridge builder between the American Jewish community and the many thousands of Israelis who live and work in Silicon Valley, as he is now part of both groups.
Jerusalem-born Oded began his career as a journalist covering the country’s flourishing technology sector. He soon took an active role in the technology sector himself by founding two start-up companies, one of which was acquired by Yellow Pages in 2006. Oded became a leader of the high-tech industry in Israel, founding the country’s High Tech Industry Association, before he, his wife, Ravit, and their young son relocated to the Bay Area in 2011. Upon arrival, Oded found an already well-established Israeli community on the South Peninsula.
Following the birth of their daughter, however, he began what he describes as a “journey of discovery,” exploring his Jewish identity and the legacy he wanted to leave to his children. As part of this journey, Oded eventually joined Jim Koshland, an American Jew (and the grandson of Eleanor Haas Koshland, JFCS’ first female president), to create J-Angels, which later became the J-Ventures fund. This selective group of private business leaders in the Bay Area and throughout Jewish communities in the U.S. and Israel provide early funding to promising start-ups, with the goal of creating a stronger connection among the Jewish diaspora, both locally and on a national level. Oded was also co-chair of the Israel Entrepreneurs and Founders Forum of Silicon Valley and a founding member of ICON, and is a member of the current San Francisco class of the Wexner Heritage program. As a former journalist he writes about his personal experiences for various Israeli tech outlets, in furtherance of his goal of a connected Jewish community.
Now in his second year on the JFCS Board, Oded is dedicated to finding ways to engage and connect the local, largely secular and self-contained Israeli community with their American Jewish counterparts—and with the multiple social services that JFCS can tailor to meet their specific needs and shared interests. He credits Dr. Anita Friedman for taking the lead to address the current “disconnect” between the two communities, as well as his fellow “amazing” Board members for their support in his personal venture—acting as a bridge to their productive engagement with one another.