Gidi (Gideon) Grinstein is an Israeli serial societal entrepreneur that has created multiple ventures across a broad range of issues. He is the founder of the Reut Group (formerly the Reut Institute), which is a non-partisan not-for-profit research, strategy and leadership group. Out of Reut, he led the launch of multiple other ventures including TOM: Tikkun Olam Makers, which is a global nonprofit venture to create and deliver affordable solutions to neglected needs of people with disabilities, the elderly and the poor. TOM was named in December 2017 in Forbes as one of fifteen technology companies to watch in 2018 (here). He is the author of Flexigidity: The Secret of Jewish Adaptability and the Challenge and Opportunity Facing Israel.
Earlier in his career, Gidi served in the Bureau of the Prime Minister of Israel as the Secretary and Coordinator of the Israeli delegation for the negotiations with the PLO. He also founded a team that designed Taglit-Birthright Israel, the Jewish world's largest single venture. He is the co-author of the ISRAEL 15 Vision, about Israel's long-term economic development.
Gidi Grinstein was born in 1970 in Israel and grew up in Israel, Ivory Coast and the Cameroon. He graduated Ayalon High School and Tel-Aviv University Schools of Economics (1991) and Law (1999). He is a captain (Res.) in the Israeli Navy (1991-1995).
Following his military service, Gidi worked with the Economic Cooperation Foundation, where he coordinated and led projects on economic cooperation among Israel, the Palestinians and Jordan (1995-1997) and then a policy-planning effort on Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations. During that period (1995-1999) he also founded and led the Israeli team that designed the Birthright Israel program, based on its vision conceived by Dr. Yossi Beilin.
Between 1999-2001 Gidi served as the Secretary and Coordinator of the Israeli Delegation for the Negotiations with the PLO in the Office and then in the Bureau of the Prime Minister of Israel, Ehud Barak. In this capacity, he played a key role throughout the negotiations and was the youngest participant at the Camp David Summit in July 2000.
Following his service in the Government of Israel, Gidi became a Wexner Israel Fellow and graduated the Harvard Kennedy School of Government with a MPA (Class of 2002). He dedicated his time to designing a long-term vision for Isarel's economic development and a thought-leadership platform, which would later become the Reut Institute and then the Reut Group.
Upon his return to Israel in the summer of 2002, Gidi went on to establish the Reut Institute (2004), which he has led ever since. Key milestones include the launch and leadership of the ISRAEL 15 Vision; multiple efforts on Israel's relations with World Jewry; the effort against antisemitism and the de-legitimization of Israel; and the work on civil resilience in times of crisis.
In 2012, Reut published a strategic framework called 21st Century Tikkun Olam, calling upon the State of Israel and the Jewish People to improve the lives of 250,000,000 within a decade. Toward implementing this vision, Gidi expanded the work of the Reut Group to include innovation in design and technology to address neglected needs in society. Within this framework, he led the launch of XLN (2011-2018), of Impact Labs in partnership with WeWork (in 2017) and TOM: Tikkun Olam Makers (in 2014).
In 2013 Gidi published his first book, Flexigidity: The Secret of Jewish Adaptability and the Challenge and Opportunity Facing Israel. The Hebrew version of the book was published in 2014 under the title: The Secret of Jewish Existence: Flexigidity.
In 2015 Gidi relocated to New York City, and became President of Reut USA.
He is married and the father of five children. He is also a long-distance runner and had a second degree black-belt in Karate Shotokan.
Public service career
Gidi Grinstein served in the Government of Israel between 1999-2001 as Secretary and Coordinator of the Israeli negotiation team on the Permanent Status Agreement between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization in the Office and later in the Bureau of Prime Minister Ehud Barak (1999–2001). He was the youngest member of the Israel delegation at the time. On the night of July 17–18, 2000, at the 2000 Camp David Summit, he used the Heimlich maneuver to dislodge a peanut from Barak's throat.
He is the founder of the Reut Group, a leading nonprofit research, strategy and leadership group, which has served as a platform for launching multiple ventures. In addition, he founded Yesodot Group for reforming Israeli Governance; was a member of Kol Dor Group for global Jewish peoplehood; a member of "Israel 2025 – Scenarios for Future Developments"; and a founding member of a group that worked to realize the vision of the "Birthright Israel" program.
In 2013, Grinstein published his first book: "Flexigidity: The Secret of Jewish Adaptability & Challenge and Opportunity Facing Israel."
- "Rethinking the 'secret sauce' behind Jewish survival". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 3 January 2014.
- Martin Indyk, Innocent Abroad (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2009), pages 320–321.
- "Gidi Grinstein". Jewish Federations of North America. Retrieved 3 January 2014.
- Reut Institute Founder Gidi Grinstein: Realigning Israel’s Presence in the World, by the University of Pennsylvania
- “Flexigidity” and the Jewish People on Schusterman
- Grinstein's Official Likednin, Facebook, and YouTube accounts
- Time for a Revolution in Israel's Global Engagement, Fathom: For a deeper understanding of Israel, 2 June 2014