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Leading A Legacy

Tzili Charney | Photography by Zdravko Cota, courtesy of ZAZ10TS

As the guardian of the Charney Legacy, Tzili Charney continues to build on the spirit and passion of her late husband Leon

Tzili Charney isn’t your grandfather’s philanthropist. With a pair of funky frames and a platinum pixie cut as her trademarks, Tzili Charney breaks free from the stuffy stereotype of how posterity is usually presented.

As the widow to the late Leon Charney — who Forbes estimated had a net worth of $1 billion in 2016 — Tzili Charney continues to champion the plethora of philanthropic initiatives he left behind and establish her own as well.

But, to back up a bit, Tzili Charney is an Israeli-born American artist, curator, designer, social entrepreneur, real estate owner and, of course, philanthropist. After a long and successful career as an innovative artist and designer, she began devoting her creative energy and resources to the cultivation of artists by turning her Times Square buildings at 1441 and 1410 Broadway and external display spaces into a living hub of urban creative expression.

Over the years, Tzili Charney’s initiatives featured artists from all disciplines. Most recently, she launched ZAZ10TS, her Times Square Cultural Initiative maximizing her resourcefulness to help nurture up and coming artists.

“The sounds and sights of Times Square can sometimes be overwhelming to the senses,” Tzili Charney said. “We want to offer a bit of respite and serenity with beautiful artwork featuring nature and springtime colors in the middle of the often-dreary winter season.”

ZAZ10TS is an ongoing cultural initiative that integrates art into the lobby gallery at 10 Times Square, a privately held real estate holding of L.H. Charney Associates. The ZAZ10TS gallery space consists of the building’s facade, lobby interior and immediate environment, bringing art and culture to the building’s community, visitors and passersby. Tzili Charney’s efforts to support artists and enable creative expression in New York City and beyond play an important role in the rebranding of Times Square.

Tzili Charney is also a great supporter of educational causes (supporting no less than three major universities, an international high school and several youth programs), a champion of peace and conflict resolution (as the founder of the Charney Resolution Center in collaboration with the Carter Center for Peace), an innovator in diplomacy (as the founder and President of the Charney Center for New Diplomacy) and an active investor in commercial cultural enterprises (such as Broadway musicals and feature-length fiction films).

Tzili Charney has managed to significantly contribute to such a wide range of initiatives thanks to her ability to recruit strategic partners, volunteers and devoted staff. She is the recipient of three honorary doctoral degrees (from Yeshiva University, the University of Haifa and the Florida Atlantic University) and multiple community leadership awards. She actively innovates in the art of negotiation and mediation for students in Israel and around the world.

The Charney Initiatives, led by Tzili Charney, are built on a foundation of diplomacy, in terms of building bridges to collaborative aims in the Middle East, structuring alliances through strategic partnering, enlightening through communications, presenting narratives and utilizing technology, and presenting art as a tool to further understanding and ideas.

Charney Resolution Center at EMIS Israel
Charney Resolution Center at EMIS Israel

“The only permanent element in all of our lives is change.” — Tzili Charney

Charney Resolution Center
The (Leon) Charney Resolution Center is an innovative space dedicated to both the history and the future of diplomacy, embodying the spirit of the late Leon Charney, esteemed philanthropist and Middle East negotiator. The center provides training in the art of negotiation and mediation through lectures, film screenings and workshops for students in Israel and all around the world. The Charney Resolution Center office is located at the campus of Eastern Mediterranean International School (EMIS) in Hakfar Hayarok, a youth village and educational center in Israel. The Resolution Center works with EMIS to foster intercultural understanding and promote personal and social leadership.

“The mission of our program is to give those involved a platform in implementing their ideas for improving their communities and to spread the center’s message of peaceful negotiation,” she said.

Charney Forum for New Diplomacy
As founder of the Charney Forum for New Diplomacy, Tzili Charney devotes great efforts in improving the fields of education, conflict resolution and geopolitics. Her vision is to deliver the message, tools and teachings of New Diplomacy to institutions, non-government organizations, civil servants, professionals, faith-based organizations, tourists and study-abroad students worldwide.

“It is important to provide the abundant of non-governmental actors in the international arena with proper skills and knowledge to effectively communicate globally from one-way broadcasting to multi-channel interactions,” said Tzili Charney. “In other words, technology in this new space has turned diplomacy into a more dynamic, exciting and creative profession — one that is content-driven through multiple interactive dialogues by countless participants from the private, civil and public sectors.”

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