HOW WE STARTED
In 2011, before the social protests, the group met together and wanted to formalize their desires into one vision, a social organization which would enable young people to fulfill themselves in a creative and fun way while contributing to society. All work will be done for the common good.
Their idea was difficult to comprehend. At first they tried raising money. During the meetings, the funders would tell them how cute they were. That was it. Nothing came out of those meetings.
After a session of despair, they decided to do it themselves. There were thirty people in the room, struggling with how to explain what they do. They decided that this should be the name of the organization. ZE.ZE means "this is it" so when people would ask them 'what is this?' they would answer ‘this is it', something that is difficult to explain, but is true.
That is how the organization got its name.
After all their fundraising meetings failed, they were frustrated and thought what to do next; they had great ideas yet no way of funding them.
At this point they almost gave up, until they realized that it would be best if they focused on what they do have:
1.An idea 2. A need 3. A lot of friends
They realized that their next step should be something that they have extensive experience in: throwing parties.
And so, a group of 30 young people who want to create, threw a party together. Over 1000 people showed up, which helped them raise money and volunteers for their first projects.
The organization started with a celebration and a moto saying: 'this is what we do at ZE.ZE, join us if you want to understand more' and ever since we haven't stopped celebrating. You are more than welcome to join us if you want to understand more.
ZE.ZE is a story about people. This is how it started; ZE.ZE was established through meetings between people who have different desires and share common values, similar to the same way the community is currently managed.
Jonathan and Daniel Winkler
Jonathan and Daniel Winkler grew very closely with their circle of friends who did everything together. When they all enlisted to the army, one of them began national service where he volunteered at a neglected elderly daycare center. They wanted to do something about it, however didn't feel connected to the idea of charity and therefore looked for alternative ways to contribute. They decided to do something they love: throw parties. They mobilized all their friends to organize events and threw creative parties which raised money to fund renovations in daycare centers for the elderly as well as activities. The activities were also managed by their close friends.
After serving in the Intelligence corps in the army and working at a start-up, Narkis almost gave up on her trip after the army, thinking she had already figured out life. Fortunately, she decided to go for it, there she realized that since graduating from the army she no longer has real fulfillment in life. She then quit her job, prolonged the trip to a year and spent time thinking about what's next. After noticing that all the travelers she met were in the same situation as she was, without appropriate structure for meaning or fulfillment, she returned to Israel in search of an appropriate structured set up for people like her.
Tana Warhaft Ashkenazi
Tana dreamed about social business long before it was common in the world. During her studies at the university, she began developing ideas for businesses that could contribute to society as well as generate revenue. She took part in the establishment of creative projects that have a social purpose, and eventually felt it was time to create something similar in her own way. She met the ZE.ZE community through a volunteering event, one of one their first projects, and explained to them what was going to transform ZE.ZE from a group of friends into a social business. Tana became the first CEO of the organization and later on became a co-founder.