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February 4, 2020 10:52 am

At Launch of New York Cyber Center, Gwyneth Paltrow Says She Would Like to Visit Israel

avatar by Gary Shapiro

Gwyneth Paltrow and Erel Margalit speak at an event in New York City, Feb. 3, 2020. Photo: Shahar Azran.

Something that a Kabbalistic rabbi once told Gwyneth Paltrow has always stuck with the actress: “Jerusalem is the energetic center of the world. If a good deed is done in Israel, its power is amplified across the world.”

Paltrow spoke as part of a fireside chat on Monday evening with Dr. Erel Margalit, the Israeli high-tech entrepreneur, who is founder and chairman of the Jerusalem-based global venture capital firm, Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP).

The occasion was the launch of the JVP International Cyber Center in Manhattan’s SoHo district.

The center will help cybersecurity startups connect to investors, companies, business people, entrepreneurs and educational institutions in New York City.

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The New York City Economic Development Corporation partnered with Jerusalem Venture Partners to bring the center into existence.

Women and business was one thread of Paltrow’s conversation with Margalit.

The 47-year-old Paltrow, who is Jewish, said the data analytics team of her lifestyle company mainly consisted of women. And Margalit noted that half of the partners in his company were females.

Margalit said that, speaking as a father of three daughters, what Paltrow did as part of the #MeToo Movement was extremely courageous and had an effect on many people around the world.

Paltrow commented, “At the time I didn’t know if speaking up was going to change the culture at all,” she said, adding that it helped create boundaries in the workplace.

Paltrow stated, “It was time for the conversation to come to the forefront.”

She was also struck by how many good men started to take inventory of their professional lives.

“They asked themselves questions like, ‘Did I ever say or do something untoward?’” she said.

Margalit asked Paltrow about being an entrepreneur starting her company She recalled that she initially “lacked confidence to anoint myself as a business person.”

“I didn’t try to monetize the company for a long time,” she continued.

Margalit’s conversation with Paltrow was part of a program that included remarks by James Patchett, president and CEO of the New York City Economic Development Corporation, and Vicki Been, deputy mayor for housing and economic development.

Margalit made the case for the need for the cyber center, which is already home to 28 start-ups. “If New York is the business center, it also needs cyber protection and can become technology hub of the world.”

Margalit began JVP as the field of venture capital was taking off in Israel. JVP manages funds worth $1.4 billion dollars.

“We created over 140 companies, had 12 IPOs on NASDAQ, and created some of the best companies Israel has to offer in technology and innovation,” he said.

One major business success was helping arrange the $4.8 billion sale of Chromatis to Lucent Technology in 2000.

Amid the crowd at Monday’s event was Aaron Pollack of Nanit, an artificial intelligence-powered baby monitor that helps parents track their baby’s sleeping and breathing motions. Its technical team is based in Tel Aviv while its business office is located in New York.  He said that investor JVP had been “incredibly supportive and helpful.”

Michael David, president of the New York–Israel Chamber of Congress, said, “We’re the city of New York partnering with thought leadership from Israel. It’s a win-win.”

He added, “This is a modern version of being a light unto the nations.”

Paltrow has never been to Israel before but said that she would like to visit the country.

This prompted Margalit to invite her to Israel, and he mentioned that the last sentence of the Passover Haggadah was “Next year in Jerusalem.”

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