Yael Hess

Director, Mandel Leadership Institute

Yael Hess, a colonel in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) reserves and a graduate of the Israel National Defense College, served in key positions in the IDF Education Corps for many years. She commanded the Shaare Avraham training base, which trains the educational staff of all IDF units; she headed the Education Corps’ Culture Branch; and she commanded the IDF’s education system, which includes high-school completion courses, matriculation studies, preparation for enlistment, and the IDF’s Gadna bases, where future conscripts participate in week-long preparatory programs. In her last position in the IDF, Yael headed the Education Division of the IDF Chief Education Officer’s headquarters. In this combined educational and managerial position, she was responsible for defining the IDF’s educational approach; implementing the IDF’s spirit and values; and overseeing the work of the educational staffs of all IDF units, and the work of IDF hasbara (information) units throughout the country. She was also responsible for cultural activities for soldiers and for Holocaust education and commemoration throughout the IDF. From 2000 to 2003, Yael served as a community emissary of the Jewish Agency to North America and taught Hebrew in the department of Middle Eastern studies of the University of Arizona and at the Tucson Hebrew Academy. She holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology and anthropology from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and a master’s degree in national security studies from the University of Haifa. Yael is a graduate of the Mandel IDF Educational Leadership Program.

Maya Bozo-Schwartz

Director, Mandel Program for Academic Leadership

Maya Bozo-Schwartz is the director of the Mandel Program for Academic Leadership. She has extensive experience in leading pedagogical change processes in schools and in systemic change processes in education. In her most recent position, she was a member of the management team and head of research and development at Avney Rosha – the Israel Institute for School Leadership. Previously, she worked at the Branco Weiss Institute, where she founded and co-directed its research and development unit. Maya holds a bachelor’s degree from the department of education and from the multidisciplinary program at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and has a master’s degree in philosophy of education from the same institution. She is currently working on her doctoral dissertation in the department of education at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, where her research explores verbal feedback in the school classroom. Maya is a graduate of Cohort 13 of the Mandel School for Educational Leadership.

Miki Nevo

Director, Mandel Program for Youth Leadership

Miki Nevo, a social entrepreneur, directs the Mandel Program for Youth Leadership. He has more than twenty years' experience in founding and managing social and educational organizations. He was principal of the Misgav secondary school, and founded and directed the Israel Venture Network’s educational activities in Israel’s northern social periphery. He founded the Ma’ase Center, which promotes socioeconomic mobility by providing volunteering frameworks for young adults, most of whom are from Israel’s social periphery, and directed the Center for nine years. In recognition of his work with Ma’ase, Miki was awarded the Sderot Conference for Society’s Prize for Excellence in Social Affairs, the Speaker of the Knesset’s Quality of Life Prize, and an honorary doctorate from Tel Aviv University. Subsequently, Miki served as senior assistant director for research, development, and entrepreneurship at the Rashi Foundation. He holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science and a master’s degree in neurobiology, both from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Miki is a graduate of Cohort 4 of the Mandel School for Educational Leadership.

Naomi Perl

Director, Mandel Programs for Leadership Development in the Haredi Community

Naomi Perl, a music teacher and developer of music and leadership programs, directs the Mandel Programs for Leadership Development in the Haredi Community. She founded the Shluchei Tzibur program at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Ron Shulamit academic program for female musicians and music teachers at the Levinsky International College of Education in Tel Aviv. Previously, she served as the educational director of the Sulam nonprofit, which operates extended diagnostic preschools and special education schools, and as a pedagogic instructor and developer of music curricula for preschools and middle schools. She also founded music study tracks at six Haredi high schools, and was a member of the team that founded and directed the Ron Shulamit Conservatory for Haredi girls. Naomi is a graduate of the Me’ohr Bais Yaakov Teachers’ Seminary in Jerusalem, and holds a master’s degree in musical education from the Levinsky International College of Education. She is currently a doctoral student in the Hebrew University’s sociology of education department. Naomi is a graduate of Cohort 16 of the Mandel School for Educational Leadership.

Mishael Zion

Director, Mandel Program for Leadership in Jewish Culture

Rabbi Mishael Zion, an educator and community entrepreneur, is the director of the Mandel Program for Leadership in Jewish Culture. Previously, he was the co-director and rabbi of the Bronfman Fellowships, a leadership program for outstanding young Jewish people in Israel and North America. He is the author of Esther: A New Israeli Commentary and, together with his father, Noam Zion, the author of ​Halaila Hazeh: An Israeli Haggadah and A Night to Remember: The Haggadah of Contemporary Voices. Mishael holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology and Jewish thought from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and rabbinic ordination from Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School in New York. He has served as a faculty member at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem and the Skirball Center for Adult Jewish Learning in New York, and has been a visiting scholar at the New York University School of Law. He is one of the founders of the Klausner Minyan, a partnership minyan in Jerusalem.


Dr. Noa Apeloig

Faculty Member

Dr. Noa Apeloig is an anthropologist and researcher in the field of identity and education. She completed her bachelor’s and master’s degrees and her doctorate in the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s department of sociology and anthropology, and also holds a diploma from the Group Facilitators Training Institute. Her research examines the link between ethnic identity and motivation to acquire a higher education, using Native American culture as a test case. She currently lectures in the department of behavioral sciences at the Ruppin Academic Center, and is responsible for student training at the Center’s social engagement unit. In addition, Noa tutors and trains faculty members in academic frameworks such as Tel Aviv University’s Dov Lautman Unit for Science Oriented Youth and the Van Leer Institute, having accumulated extensive experience in this area as the founder and director of the Workshop Unit at the Hebrew University’s Teaching and Learning Center, dedicated to improving the quality of teaching at the university. Over the years she has been voted Outstanding Lecturer several times at the higher education institutions at which she has taught.

Dr. Ruth Calderon

Faculty Member

Dr. Ruth Calderon, former Member of Knesset and Deputy Speaker of the Knesset for the Yesh Atid party, is an educator and Talmud scholar. As part of her work promoting a Hebrew, Israeli, and Jewish culture that draws on traditional sources but looks to the future, she co-founded Elul (a pioneering pluralist beit midrash) with Moti Bar-Or, and founded and directed the Alma nonprofit for teaching and nurturing Hebrew culture. After eighteen years as director of Alma, Ruth was appointed head of the culture and education department at the National Library of Israel. She completed her master’s degree and her doctorate in the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s department of Talmud. In recognition of her work, Ruth was awarded the AVI CHAI Prize for Jewish Education, and honorary doctorates from the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York, Hebrew College in Boston, and the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in Philadelphia. She studied at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem, and is a graduate of Cohort 1 of the Mandel School for Educational Leadership.

Dr. Amira Ehrlich

Faculty Member

Dr. Amira Ehrlich is an educator with more than twenty years’ experience in the field of music, as a teacher, producer, and researcher. Among other positions, she has served as a member of the national leadership team for the Ministry of Education’s Experiments and Entrepreneurship Division; as a lecturer at the Levinsky International College of Education; as a teacher at the Emuna arts school for religious girls; and as a teacher and music studies coordinator at the Dekel Vilnai high school and the Kinor David yeshiva. She has completed two master’s degrees cum laude, one in music education at the Levinsky International College of Education, and the other in English literature and musicology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. In 2017, she received her doctorate in music education from Boston University. Her dissertation examined music teachers as change agents. Her published writings explore the philosophy, sociology, and history of music education, and the interfaces between music, education, and leadership.

Dr. Jeremy Fogel

Faculty Member

Jeremy Fogel holds a bachelor's degree in philosophy from the University of Cambridge and a master's degree and doctorate in philosophy from Tel Aviv University. His research explores the tension between universalism and particularism in modern Jewish philosophy, focusing on the Jewish-German philosophers, Moses Mendelssohn and Hermann Cohen. Jeremy teaches at Tel Aviv University's Department of Jewish Philosophy, as well as at its School of Education. He also lectures publicly on philosophy in various forums. Jeremy has worked for several years at Tel Aviv University's Ofakim teacher preparation program, where he is responsible for extra-curricular activities. Jeremy has also released three albums, and is involved with various independent artistic and literary ventures.

Dr. Yaron Girsh

Faculty Member

Dr. Yaron Girsh is a sociologist and researcher, specializing in education and youth. He completed his master’s degree cum laude in the sociology of education at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and completed his doctoral studies in the same institution. His doctoral dissertation examines Israeli teenagers’ conceptions of heroism. He currently teaches sociology and philosophy of education at the Hebrew University, where he has been voted Outstanding Lecturer on numerous occasions. He serves as the head of the department for nonformal education at The David Yellin Academic College of Education. In recognition of his accomplishments during his studies, he was awarded the Hebrew University President's Scholarship, the Polonsky Prize, the Levi Eshkol Scholarship, and the Rector's Prize for Master's Studies.

Dr. David Guedj

Faculty Member

Dr. David Guedj is a historian of the Jews in Muslim lands, specializing in the culture and society of North African Jewish communities in the 19th and 20th centuries. The doctoral dissertation that he wrote as part of his studies at Tel Aviv University’s School of Jewish Studies focuses on the attitudes of Moroccan Jewry toward the building of Hebrew culture in the first half of the 20th century. Among other awards, David is a recipient of the President of Israel’s scholarship for excellence and scientific innovation for outstanding doctoral students for 2015-2017. In 2018-2019, he was awarded the Chateaubriand Fellowship and served as a research fellow at INALCO in Paris. In 2019-2020, he will be a research fellow at the Kreitman School of Advanced Studies at Ben-Gurion University, as part of the Ben-Gurion Research Institute for the Study of Israel and Zionism. David initiated the publication of the lost manuscript of Makhluf Avitan’s Utopia from Casablanca (Beersheba: Ra'av, 2016) and of Albert H. Navon's novel Joseph Pérez (Gama, 2018), and authored an afterword for each book. In addition to his research, he periodically publishes articles in newspapers and other outlets.

Avi Katzman

Faculty Member

Avi Katzman is a cultural critic, journalist, and book editor. He teaches at several institutions of higher education throughout Israel and has edited numerous books, including the “Mar’ei Makom” series of books on topics related to Jewish and Israeli identity, a joint venture of the Mandel Foundation and Keter Publishing House.


Dr. Lior Alperovitch

Visiting Faculty Member

Dr. Lior Alperovitch is a lecturer on the 20th-century history of Europe and the Jewish people, in particular the history of the Holocaust. He completed the bulk of his academic studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, including two master’s degrees – one in history and the other in Jewish thought – and a doctorate. His doctoral dissertation examined Israeli-German relations during the first two decades of the State of Israel, and he conducted his post-doctoral studies at the Strochlitz Institute for Holocaust Research at the University of Haifa. Lior speaks seven languages, and was awarded a Shluchei Tzibur scholarship for promoting higher education among Haredi leaders, as well as a scholarship from the Richard Koebner Minerva Center for German History. He has lectured in history for many years at a number of institutions, including the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, the Holon Institute of Technology, Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, and the Peres Academic Center. Lior is himself a graduate of the Mandel Program for Leadership Development in the Haredi Community in which he now teaches.​​

Professor Ron Avi Astor

Visiting Faculty Member

Professor Ron Avi Astor is the Richard M. and Ann L. Thor Professor of Urban Social Development at the University of Southern California (USC), where he holds joint appointments in the School of Social Work and the Rossier School of Education. His research examines the ecological influences of the family, community, school and culture on different forms of school violence. Professor Astor has developed a school mapping and local monitoring procedure to minimize school violence, which is now used in all Israeli schools and across the globe, including in California, Chile, and France. One of his five books, School Violence in Context: Culture, Neighborhood, Family, School, and Gender (2005, Oxford University Press), co-authored by his close colleague Professor Rami Benbenishty from Bar-Ilan University, was awarded several prizes. Professor Astor twice received a distinguished Research Award in Human Development and Counseling, and in 2012 he was named an American Educational Research Association fellow. In 2010, he received an honorary doctorate from Hebrew Union College.

Menachem Bombach

Senior Project Manager

Menachem Bombach is a community leader and educational entrepreneur in the Haredi community. He has served as principal of the award-winning “Le’Zion Be’Rinah” high school; founded the preparatory program for Haredi students at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem; and directed the youth department of the Beitar Illit local authority. Menachem heads the “Netzach” Haredi educational network, which he founded, and which combines religious and secular studies, and aims to educate students to become observant, Torah-loving Jews who are also prepared for practical life. He also heads the Hasidic girls’ seminary affiliated with the network. Menachem studied at the Vizhnitz “Ahavat Yisrael” yeshiva and at the Mir yeshiva, and holds a bachelor’s degree in education from Moreshet Yaakov College and a master’s degree in public policy from the Hebrew University. He lectures in Israel and abroad on education and society. His main areas of interest are education, managing education systems, and inter-cultural dialogue.

Professor Michael Feuer

Visiting Faculty Member

Professor Michael Feuer is Dean of the Graduate School of Education and Human Development and Professor of Education Policy at The George Washington University, and President of the National Academy of Education. For 17 years he held leadership positions at the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences, most recently as the executive director of the Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education. He consults regularly to educational institutions and governments in the US, Israel, Europe, and the Middle East, including the Jewish People Policy Planning Institute (now JPPI) and the Initiative for Applied Education Research in Israel (“haYozmah”). He has published academic papers in education, economics, and policy journals and has had reviews, essays, and poems in newspapers and magazines in Washington, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, and New York. In October 2014, President Obama appointed him to the Board of Directors of the National Board for Education Sciences.

Rabbi Dr. Aviad Hollander

Visiting Faculty Member

Aviad Hollander is a rabbi and educator, who served in the IDF as a military chaplain. In his last position in the army, he was a member of a joint team of the IDF Military Rabbinate and the Education and Youth Corps, which founded the IDF's Jewish Identity and Consciousness Division. Within the division, Aviad was the acting head of the bureau responsible for formulating professional guidelines for the transmission of content related to Jewish tradition and identity in the context of the IDF, as well as for developing training programs on these subjects for education staffs, the IDF rabbinate, and officer-training settings. Previously, Aviad was a lecturer at Bar-Ilan University and at the Orot Israel College of Education. He has also lectured and facilitated study groups in informal education settings for adults. Aviad's main areas of expertise are ethics and mishpat ivri (Jewish law), rabbinic thought, religion and state, religion and the IDF, and philosophy of halakha. Aviad’s doctoral dissertation was titled “The Halakhic Profile of Rabbi Shlomo Goren: Studies in the Adjudicatory Deliberations and Modes of Substantiation in his Halakhic Writings.” While studying at Bar-Ilan University, he also studied and taught at the university’s Jesselson Institute for Advanced Torah Studies.

Odeya Levin Sousanna

Staff Member

Before joining the Mandel Leadership Institute, Odeya Levin Sousanna served as the study programs manager of the Continuing Education and External Studies Division of the Azrieli College of Engineering in Jerusalem, which is a branch of the Technion. Prior to that, she was the director of recruitment and selection for a joint project of the Ministry of Defense and the Bat Ami nonprofit for national civil service. Odeya serves on her local school parents’ committee, and heads the school’s education committee. She holds a bachelor’s degree in systems management and a master’s degree in non-profit management. At the Mandel Leadership Institute, Odeya coordinates the second year studies of the Mandel Youth Leadership Program, and is responsible for individual mentoring of the program's fellows.

Dr. Nir Michaeli

Visiting Faculty Member

Dr. Nir Michaeli, currently rector of Oranim Academic College of Education and previously chairman of the Pedagogical Secretariat at the Ministry of Education, holds a PhD in education policy and organization, and has over twenty years’ practical experience in this field. He began his career in informal education, as national counselor coordinator and secretary general of HaMachanot HaOlim youth movement. Subsequently, he moved into formal education and worked as a home room teacher and history and civics teacher at the Givat Brenner regional high school. Nir channeled the experience he garnered from working in both types of educational institutions into his work in teacher training, first as a lecturer and deputy director at the Kerem Institute for Humanistic Jewish Education, and then as head of the education department and dean of pedagogical development at the Kibbutzim College of Education. He has published works on educational policy and teacher training, innovative pedagogies, progressive education, informal pedagogy, and education toward democracy and social justice. Nir is a graduate of Cohort 9 of the Mandel School for Educational Leadership.

Malka Puterkovsky

Visiting Faculty Member

​Malka Puterkovsky has taught and studied Talmud and Jewish law in various settings in Israel for more than three decades. The former head of Midreshet Lindenbaum, an institution of higher education for religious young women that combines Torah study with military service, Malka is a founder and member of Forum Takana, an organization dedicated to preventing sexual abuse by people with authority in the Orthodox community. She is also a member of the Koby Mandell Foundation, which supports families of victims of terror attacks, and of the non-profit organization that supports the Maaleh School of Film and Television. From 2014 to 2015, Malka served on the Ministry of Health's committee that determines Israel's Medical Services Basket, where she was a public representative specializing in questions of Jewish law. Her book Walking on Her Path: Life Challenges from a Halakhic and Moral Perspective was published in Hebrew in 2014. Malka holds a master’s degree in Talmud from Tel Aviv University, and was honored as a torch lighter at the state Independence Day ceremony in 2015. She is married, a mother of five, and lives in Tekoa.

Vardit Rosenblum


Vardit Rosenblum is a lawyer and a rabbinic advocate. For many years, as part of her work at Yad L’Isha at Ohr Torah Stone, she represented women denied a divorce by their husbands. She is a graduate of Beit Yaakov Seminary and has a master's degree in public policy from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where she is currently a graduate student in Jewish philosophy. Vardit writes, advises and lectures on various legal and social issues facing Haredi society. In addition, she served on public advisory committees to the Rabbinical Courts and to the Ministry of Religious Affairs, and led the latter's program for training religious leaders how to address domestic violence within their communities. Vardit moderated the Tikva Foundation's women's program Chochmatchem Ubinatchem (“Your wisdom and understanding”). She is a graduate of cohort 20 of the Mandel School for Educational Leadership.

Professor Lee Shulman

Visiting Faculty Member

Professor Lee Shulman is president emeritus of The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and was the first Charles E. Ducommun Professor of Education and Professor (by courtesy) of Psychology at Stanford University. He was previously Professor of Educational Psychology and Medical Education at Michigan State University, serving as a member of that faculty from 1963 to 1982. He was the founding co-director of the Institute for Research on Teaching (IRT) at Michigan State University from 1976. Professor Shulman is a past president of the American Educational Research Association (AERA). He is a member of the National Academy of Education, having served as both vice president and president of that organization. In 2002 he was elected a Fellow of The American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Professor Shulman's research and writings have dealt with the study of teaching and teacher education; the assessment of teaching; medical education; the psychology of instruction in science, mathematics, and medicine; and the quality of teaching in higher education.

Dr. Roman Sukholutsky

Senior Staff Member

Dr. Roman Sukholutsky is a researcher of international relations, with experience in teaching at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and in directing educational programs. He completed his doctoral studies at the Hebrew University's department of international relations. His doctoral dissertation examines the intellectual origins of opposition to cosmopolitanism. In his previous positions, Roman developed leadership initiatives, implemented plans for corporate social responsibility and organized international conferences.

Professor Sam Wineburg

Visiting Faculty Member

Professor Sam Wineburg is the Margaret Jacks Professor of Education and Professor of History (by courtesy) at Stanford University, and the head of Stanford's doctoral program in history education. He is one of the world's leading experts on how history is taught and learned, and a pioneer in creating free online history curricula; his "Reading Like a Historian" curriculum has been downloaded 4 million times and is used around the world. In 2007 Professor Wineburg was awarded the American Historical Association’s William Gilbert Prize, and in 2008 he received the James Harvey Robinson Prize, for his work on the teaching of history and on teaching innovation. In 2014-2015, Professor Wineburg chaired a visiting committee appointed by Israel's Council for Higher Education to evaluate the performance of the eight faculties and departments of education at Israel's universities.


Dror Brodetzky


Before joining the Mandel Leadership Institute, Dror Brodetzky worked as a CT technician for Facial Imaging Mobile, a mobile company located in Moshav Ora. He currently is combining his work at Mandel with a position at the Ministry of Justice’s Information Center. Dror holds a general bachelor’s degree from Tel-Hai College, and is currently completing a master’s degree in Jewish history at Tel Aviv University.

Yael Falko

Program Coordinator, Mandel Program for Academic Leadership

Before joining the Mandel Leadership Institute as coordinator of the Mandel Program for Academic Leadership, Yael worked for the informal education department of the Jewish Agency for Israel and at the Harry Oscar Triguboff Institute in Jerusalem. As part of her job as manager and coordinator of projects and partnerships, Yael promoted international cooperation and coordinated inter-organizational educational programs. Prior to this, Yael worked at the Yesod Jewish Cultural Center in St. Petersburg, Russia, where she organized, promoted, and produced social, educational, and cultural events. Yael holds a bachelor's degree in the humanities from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and speaks and translates in three languages. She has lived, worked, and volunteered in several countries, and taught English at orphanages in Kenya as part of her volunteer work. Yael was also a translator and member of the organizing committee for the Limmud FSU St. Petersburg conferences. Yael was Israel's national fencing champion for several years, and won gold and silver medals in Fencing World Cup tournaments. At the Mandel Leadership Institute, she is responsible for the administration and logistics of the Mandel Program for Academic Leadership and for ongoing communication with the program's fellows.

Racheli Glaser

Coordinator, Mandel Programs for Leadership Development in the Haredi Community (Women's Track)

Before working at the Mandel Leadership Institute, Racheli Glaser was a public relations officer for the Hasidic Midrasha in Beitar Illit. She has also worked as a remedial studies teacher at an elementary school, and as a youth worker for Haredi girls at risk. Racheli holds a bachelor’s degree in special education and a teaching diploma from the Michlalah Jerusalem College. At the Mandel Leadership Institute, she coordinates the women’s track of the Mandel Programs for Leadership Development in the Haredi Community.

Neta Glikman

Coordinator, Mandel Youth Leadership Program

Prior to joining the Mandel Leadership Institute, Neta served as an educational program coordinator at the Joint (JDC), where she worked on developing communal leadership in Europe. She was also a human resources consultant at a tablet plant of Teva Pharmaceuticals. Neta holds a bachelor's degree in humanities and social sciences, and is a trained group facilitator.

Shimrit Moalem


In addition to her work as a receptionist at the Mandel Leadership Institute, Shimrit Moalem also works in accountancy. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration, with a specialization in bookkeeping, from the Lander Institute's Jerusalem Academic Center.

Michal Moussaffi

Research Coordinator

Michal Moussaffi is a research coordinator at the Mandel Leadership Institute. Prior to joining the staff of the Institute, Michal worked as a guide at the Israel Museum, Jerusalem, and as a teaching assistant at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Michal holds a bachelor's degree in art history as well as bachelor's and master's degrees in general and comparative literature from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where she is studying for a doctorate in English literature. Michal also teaches art history at the Keshet High School in Jerusalem. In her capacity as research coordinator for the Mandel Leadership Institute, she is responsible for gathering, editing, and processing information.

Amit Pinsker

Coordinator, Digital Learning

Prior to becoming part of the team at the Mandel Leadership Institute, Amit served as the assistant manager of the information, service, and projects unit of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where he graduated from the Amirim interdisciplinary honors program in the humanities, and is currently studying for a master’s degree in philosophy. Amit is responsible for digital learning at the Mandel Leadership Institute.