Shari Arison: A Business Leader Who Does Well at “Doing Good”

Shari Arison, businesswoman and philanthropist, with a photograph of her grandparents, Moshe and Sara Arisohn 

Shari Arison is one of the most successful women in the world. Among the entities under her watch are the Shikun and Binui real-estate and infrastructure business, Israel’s Bank Hapoalim, and Miya, the company that optimizes urban water supplies. Shari also heads The Ted Arison Family Foundation, a major philanthropic force in Israel and elsewhere, and she founded Matan, the Israeli counterpart to United Way. She is respected around the world for her eco-awareness and her companies’ devotion to sustainability.

I might be a teacher for some and a student for others. We’re all teaching and learning constantly.
— Shari Arison

Most unusual in the field of megabusiness, Shari is also a woman of unabashed spirituality, compassion, and conscience. In 2007, she initiated Good Deeds Day in Israel, with a simple premise: “If every person does something to make a difference, and communities, organizations, and corporations give of their time and skill to help others, lives will be improved, and our world will be a better one. Just imagine the impact!”

Shari’s 2009 book Birth: When the Spiritual and the Material Come Together has been translated into many languages and distributed worldwide. Her unique humanitarian values-based approach in business and philanthropy has earned her an honorary doctorate in humane letters from George Mason University. In 2013 Shari published Activate Your Goodness: Transforming the World through Doing Good, in which she outlines basic strategies for daily decency and her own insights into ethics. She has expanded on that notion with her latest volume: The Doing Good Model: Activate Your Goodness in Business, in which she illustrates how everyone benefits when companies value people and the planet alongside profits. 

For Shari, life is an ongoing process of learning. “To me, nobody is bigger or better than anybody else. We all teach and are taught at the same time. I might be a teacher for some and a student for others. We’re all teaching and learning constantly.”

Good Deeds Day >

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