Tzili Charney: a woman of valor, a curator of exhibits, a costume designer, a producer, an activist, and a philanthropist with a passion towards justice and peace.
Tzili was born in Israel and studied at the Midrasha Art School in Tel Aviv, graduating in 1981. She worked as a costume designer in numerous theaters such as The Cameri Theater of Tel Aviv, The National Theater of Israel, HABIMA, and eventually the Jewish Repertory Theatre and the National Yiddish Theatre, Folksbiene, in New York. She has also worked as an art curator and collaborated with many Israeli artists at Art Basel Miami and other venues, and in 2008 joined the team of the LABA art program at the 14th Street Y in the East Village.
In 1991, Tzili married real estate mogul Leon Charney in Tel Aviv, and in 1999 gave birth to twin boys Mickey and Nati Charney.
When Leon became ill in 2010, Tzili dedicated herself to tending not only to her husband’s health, but also to his business empire. She became chairman of L.H. Charney Associates, Inc. a major commercial real estate investment company in New York City owning over one million square feet in Times Square, and remains as chairman to this day. In December of 2017, Tzili created ZAZ10TS, a cultural initiative that integrates art forms into office buildings at 10 Times Square (aka 1441 Broadway).
Tzili also took over Leon’s entertainment legacy and signed on as a producer of Leon’s 25 year running talk show The Leon Charney Report, which featured numerous distinguished guests such as Rudy Giuliani, Elie Wiesel, and Shimon Peres. Tzili also helped produce the documentary Back Door Channels: The Price of Peace, based in part on Leon’s influential role in the historic Camp David Peace Accord between Israel and Egypt. Tzili also supports NFCT (The New Fund for Cinema and TV) in Leon’s name, a development program for Middle Eastern and Northern African Documentary Filmmakers.
Tzili is dedicated to supporting non-profit organizations devoted to social programs, such as Beit Hatfutsot: Museum of the Jewish People in Tel Aviv; Kishorit, a home for adults with special needs in the Western Galilee; Forum Dvorah: Women in Foreign Policy and National Security, an active network of almost one hundred professional Israeli women; the initiative “Have You Seen The Horizon Lately?”: young Israelis who seek to stimulate a new public discussion about the need to resolve the Israeli Palestinian conflict with the help of fresh and unexpected speakers from assorted disciplines and domain; the National Project on Trauma, Disaster, and Civic Resilience in Israel, an organization committed to providing coping mechanisms in the face of mass trauma for Israeli citizens; and Umm el-Fahem Gallery, an art organization that she support and collaborate with. Since January 1st, 2018, Tzili has been supporting a new pilot program called Medical Excellence and Compassionate Care with Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, in affiliation with Tel Aviv University and the Sackler School of Medicine. In Haifa, she is working on a new program called The Leon Charney Center for Practical Diplomacy (the Rise of the New Diplomacy).
Tzili is also known for her commitment to helping educational institutions, and currently serves as Vice Chairman of the University of Haifa’s Board of Governors, following in Leon’s footsteps. She also supports Florida Atlantic University’s Diplomacy Program, Yeshiva University, and the NIAD Art Center in California for people with disabilities. On May 25th 2017, Tzili was honored by Yeshiva University with an honorary doctorate recognizing her tireless commitment to preserving both diplomacy and peace education.
In 2014, Tzili founded the Leon Charney Resolution Center in Hakfar Hayarok Israel, which focuses on educating students in conflict resolution, the art of negotiations, entrepreneurship, sustainability, and global peace, as inspired by the luminous legacy of her husband Leon.
Tzili currently resides in New York City with sons Mickey and Nati and their dog Chewi.