The Four Corners of the World: Israel Today Offers a Celebration of Natural Wonders

by | Mar 16, 2023 | What’s Happening

Thursday, March 23, 7:30 pm

Sandler Family Campus, Free

Admired for his engaging and boundary pushing photography, Roie Galitz is equal parts passion and commitment in his pursuit to get the best shots of animals in their natural habitats. His innovative work has been featured in National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine and many more publications have garnered Galitz international awards and acclaim.

Galitz has traveled to every corner of the world and has witnessed the impact of climate change. As a result of his wide-ranging expeditions, Galitz has spoken at the United Nations, New York Climate Week, and TEDx in Helsinki, among other places. Galitz actively shares his passion for photography, adventure, and protecting the natural world. Galitz is an Explorer member of the Explorers Club and a board member of the Israeli Nature and Heritage Foundation.

Scheduled to visit Tidewater in 2022, Galitz was unable to travel due to COVID-19. He is making the trip this year as part of the 12th Annual Israel Today Series, presented by the Jewish Community Relations Council of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater, Simon Family JCC, & Community Partners.

Originally conducted in 2022, this interview has been edited for length.

Elka Mednick: How did you decide to make photography your career?

Roie Galitz: I was a commercial photographer when I started, and did not enjoy it, so I quit photography and began working in finance. Finance wasn’t for me, so I slowly began teaching photography on the side, and found that engaging. In 2007, while I was still working in finance I opened a photography school. Once the school was stable, I quit my finance job and started a photo travel company. Then I was able to take the time to photograph what I wanted, and start enjoying photography again. It was quite exciting to be able to pursue my passion professionally.

EM: Where have you traveled to that was the most surprising?

RG: That has to be Svalbard. The first time I traveled to Svalbard, which was 10 years ago, it was completely an amazing surprise! Seeing Polar Bears for the first time really changed me in a way that I became so passionate about Polar Bears, and about photography, wildlife photography, mostly about the environment. That actually got me into being an activist, and being an environmental diplomat because at that point I saw the Arctic melting so fast in front of my very eyes. Basically that’s why I joined Green Peace and I became way more active in the diplomatic environmental way.

EM: Do you have a favorite place to visit? Do you have a favorite animal to photograph?

RG: Everywhere is special, and there are lots of favorites, but I’d have to say Svalbard is the most unique and it’s the least documented. There are not many photographers who have the unique access I have to Polar Bears. I’d say that this is my life’s project, so this is why I go over and over, and why the Polar Bears are my favorite animal to photograph. They’re really smart, really cute, really endangered, and I feel like it’s my mission to help save them.

Free and open to the community, RSVP (required) at or contact Hunter Thomas at

-Elka Mednick and Hunter Thomas