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CALO Member Spotlight: Oren Itzhaki, CEO of Na Laga'at Center

Updated: 5 days ago

A Journey of Cultural Management and Social Impact

Oren Itzhaki has been at the forefront of Na Laga'at Center for 8 years, bringing with him over 25 years of experience in cultural management. His journey with Na Laga'at Center represents the peak of his career goal: to manage a cultural institution while making a significant contribution to society. 

Headshot photo of Oren wearing glasses and a white shirt in front of a black background

“Managing a cultural institution while contributing to society was my goal,” Oren says. “These two parameters provide me with satisfaction in our organization.”

Challenges & Achievements

The Na Laga'at Center faces a unique challenge in integrating individuals with special needs into the cultural field. Despite this, under Oren’s leadership, the center has become a leader in its field in Israel. Oren’s ambition doesn’t stop there: “My goal is to make it a leader worldwide in its field.”

Nalagaat Center employees and community members gather in a celebration, many of them raising their hands in the "I love you" symbol.

Recognition & Awards

The Na Laga'at Center’s innovative approach and impactful work have not gone unnoticed. Some of their notable achievements include:

  • The Genesis Prize Grant (2017)

  • The Perlman-Genesis Prize was awarded to the Nalagaat Center for advancing and integrating people with disabilities in the arts. 

  • Fair Saturday Awards’ International Social Appreciation Award (2018)

  • The Na Laga'at Center was awarded the International Social Appreciation Award in Bilbao, Spain for their “effectiveness of cultural action for a better society” by the Fair Saturday Foundation. 

  • Finalist for the European Social Services Awards - ESSA (2023)

  • The Na Laga'at Center was selected as a finalist for the European Social Services Awards (ESSA), which is a prestigious award presented by the European Social Network Organization (ESN). The European Union supports the ESN and its mission is to inspire social service leaders to improve the lives of individuals in the community. The ESSA recognizes outstanding achievements in social services, the Na Laga'at Center was selected for its work in training and employment of people with disabilities.

  • Highly Commended at the Disability Smart Award (2024)

  • The Na Laga'at Center was highly commended at the Disability Smart Award for their work to improve the lives of disabled individuals and for providing a Disability Smart Inclusive Workplace. The Ceremony was hosted by the Business Disability Smart Forum in partnership with Bloomberg. The award recognizes organizations that are a great place to work and demonstrate the true value of their workers' physical and mental health and well-being. The panel of judges awarded the Nalagaat Center the highly commended status for increasing economic and social inclusion through a range of innovative enterprises that employ deaf, hearing impaired, blind, and visually impaired individuals as staff and performers.

Experience with CALO

Oren values the collaborative nature of CALO, stating, “The possibility to share challenges and seek partnerships between a group of organizations leaders is the great potential of such a gathering.”

Looking Forward

As Na Laga'at Center continues to break barriers and challenge perceptions about who can participate and excel in the performing arts, Oren Itzhaki remains committed to its mission of inclusion and cultural enrichment. His leadership exemplifies how cultural institutions can be powerful vehicles for social change and inclusion.

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