There were two recent events that underscore how Israeli society is reaching for the stars. And succeeding through tenacity, openness, and progressive values.

The better-covered of the two is the spacecraft, named Beresheet (literally meaning “in the beginning”, and the first word of the Bible), that successfully launched on a trip to the moon.

The SpaceIL team started the project as an entry into the Google Lunar X competition. While that competition officially ended with no winners in March 31, 2018, the only Israeli entry continued work and persevered to the point of the recent launch.

If it continues to be successful, Israel will become the fourth country to have landed on the moon, after the Soviet Union, United States, and China.

Israel was the first choice, however, for Forbes Magazine in their decision to host the first-ever Under 30 Global Women’s Summit, attracting 400 international participants.

Tel Aviv will host the inaugural event. Israel was chosen because of its track record in making leadership roles available for women, starting in the IDF. Forbes magazine Chief Content Officer, Randall Lane, said that “Israel is a great place to show how we can accelerate the cause of women in leadership,”

The Forbes announcement closely follows an announcement from the Israel Innovation Authority of an incentive program to encourage women-led startups.

There are obvious parallels with New Zealand. Rocket Labs is responsible for New Zealand becoming just the 11th nation on Earth and both nations having women Prime Ministers (not terribly common).

From spaceships that literally shoot for the stars, to leading the way in empowering women leaders, Israel (and New Zealand) show that population and land size doesn’t matter as much as the size of the heart and soul.

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