Founder and Co-chairman
Orni Petruschka (born 1958) is an Israeli high-tech entrepreneur, social activist and a philanthropist.
Orni grew up in a suburb of Tel Aviv. He served as a fighter pilot in the Israeli Air Force. He received a B.Sc. degree from the Technion in 1985, and MEng degree from Cornell University in 1986, both in Electrical Engineering. He then joined Bellcore in New Jersey, and researched advanced telecommunications theories and concepts. In 1990 he returned to Israel and joined ECI Telecom as Chief Engineer of the company’s first optical product line.
In 1993 Orni began his entrepreneurial career when he co-founded Scorpio Communications, which was acquired in 1996 by US Robotics. He then co-founded Chromatis Networks, which established itself as a world leader in the field of optical telecommunication, and was sold to Lucent Technologies in the year 2000, in one of the landmark transactions of the Israeli high-tech industry.
In 2005 Orni co-founded Precede Technologies, an incubator that helped launch a few companies in the alternative energy field.
In recent years Orni’s main focus of activity shifted to public and social areas. He chose to address topics that in his opinion are crucial for the well-being of Israel as an open and democratic society, home for the Jewish people and for all its citizens. He focuses on three main areas:
1. Advancing a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In that context, he has co-founded “The People’s Voice” (Ayalon-Nusseibeh initiative), and “Blue-White Future” in which he serves as chairman.
2. Promoting equality and inclusion for Israel’s Arab citizens, primarily through the work of the Abraham Fund Initiatives, a leading NGO operating in the field, where he serves as co-Chairman of the international board.
3. Promoting a philanthropic culture in Israel, both in scale and in effectiveness. His main activity in the field is Round-up Israel (“Igul Letova”) which he founded in 2009.
Orni lives with his wife in Ramat Gan. They have three daughters.