Veteran Zionist educator Michael Livni (Langer) is a member of Kibbutz Lotan, in the Arava Desert, southern Israel.
Born in Vienna, Austria, in 1935, Michael Livni grew up in Vancouver, Canada, where he received his MD in 1959 (University of British Columbia). His doctoral thesis (social psychiatry) was: “An Adolescent Subculture – A Study of the Habonim Youth Movement in Vancouver”. During his years on campus, he was active in the Zionist student organization and was chapter president of UBC Hillel.
Livni elected Aliya to Kibbutz Gesher Haziv in the Western Galilee in 1963. He has served in various capacities as a teacher, education coordinator, treasurer and farmer. From 1975 to 1977 he was the first shaliach (emissary) of the reform movement in America.
From 1979 to 1983, Livni was coordinator of the Israeli reformist youth movement, Tzofei Telem. From 1989 to 1992, he was Director General of the Department of Jewish Education and Culture of the World Zionist Organization. Since 1986, he has lived in Kibbutz Lotan, where he helped establish educational tourism and eco-tourism. He was coordinator of ecological projects. He is currently president of Amutat Tzell Hatamar, the registered company that supports ecological and other projects on Kibbutz Lotan.
In 1999, while on sabbatical in India, he served as an educational advisor to the Mitraniketan Youth Village in southern Kerala.
Livni has published extensively, in Hebrew and English, dealing with aspects of kibbutz life and education, Jewish Zionist education, eco-Zionism, religious and state matters. in Israel and the interface between Reform Judaism and Zionism. He has also participated in interfaith Judeo-Christian dialogues. Livni is an active member of the Association for International Municipal Studies and has lectured at its conferences. He also addressed the conflict in the Middle East from the perspective of Arab and Islamic confrontation with the West.
Michael Livni is married to Brenda Herzberg. He has three sons and six grandchildren who live in his former kibbutz, Gesher Haziv.