Fellows


Dov Abramson

Dov Abramson

Jerusalem | Designer and Artist

Dov Abramson is a designer and artist who works mainly in the field of Jewish-Israeli culture and identity. He is the founder of a Jerusalem studio for design, illustration, and animation that seeks to explore the visual tension between the holy and the everyday and between tradition and innovation in Israel's vibrant society. His works have been exhibited at venues including the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco and the Mishkan Museum of Art in Ein Harod, and can be found in the collections of the Israel Museum in Jerusalem and the Jewish Museum in New York. Dov lectures at Musrara – The Naggar School of Art and Society, and is a board member of the Jerusalem Biennale. He is a graduate of the department of visual communications at Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, Jerusalem, and received the Mike Felheim Prize for Outstanding Typography for his redesign of the classic Talmud page. Dov loves the Akko beach and Hebrew cantillation marks. He is married to Sarit and is a father of three.


Shai Abramson

Shai Abramson

Modi’in | IDF Chief Cantor

Lieutenant Colonel (Res.) Shai Abramson is a musician, singer, cantor, and producer, as well as the artistic director and commander of the Rabbinical Choir of the Israel Defense Forces. In his capacity as Chief Cantor of the IDF, he represents the Israeli army, the Ministry of Defense, and the State of Israel at official ceremonies and state events, both in Israel and abroad. Shay initiates, produces, and promotes concerts and performances of classical, Israeli, Eastern, and Western music and song, as well as performances of cantorial singing, and world music. He has performed as a singer and soloist in Israel and abroad, accompanied by leading orchestras, choirs, and musical ensembles that include the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, the Israel Symphony Orchestra Rishon LeZion, and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. Shai holds a bachelor’s degree in logistics and economics, and a master’s degree in political science from Bar-Ilan University. He is married and a father of four.


Esti Almo-Wexler

Esti Almo-Wexler

Jerusalem | Screenwriter and Director

Esti Almo-Wexler is the writer and director of the film Lady Titi Sings the Blues, a full-length comedy drama released in 2018, which was nominated for three Ofir Awards. In 2012, together with her husband Elad Wexler, she founded Abayenesh Productions, with the goal of increasing the visibility of Ethiopian Israelis in Israeli film and television. The company has produced talk shows, a children’s show, and more. Esti was a member of the Greenhouse Program, a women’s incubator run by the New Fund for Cinema and Television (NFCT). She received development grants for script writing from NFCT, the Yehoshua Rabinovich Tel Aviv Foundation for the Arts, the Israel Film Fund, and Nashim Batmuna – Women in the Picture (in conjunction with Mifal Hapayis and the Gesher Multicultural Film Fund). Esti studied photography at Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, exhibited photographs in many exhibitions, and won numerous awards. She studied for a master’s degree in film and television at Tel Aviv University. She is married and a mother of two.


Shira Ben Eli

Shira Ben Eli

Jerusalem | Lawyer and Rabbinical Court Legal Assistant

Shira Ben Eli is a Jerusalem lawyer who is the first woman to serve as a legal assistant in Israel's rabbinical courts. She is also one of the founders of Arevot – Women Connecting Traditions, a beit midrash for women's social leadership that focuses on traditional Mizrahi religious feminism. Shira studies, writes about, discusses, and teaches a range of issues related to redressing injustices and to law and society. These include restorative justice for victims of sexual abuse; halakhic rulings based on the three pillars defined in the approach of Rabbi Joseph Messass (the law, intelligence, and time); reconnecting to traditional motherhood and continuing the chain of transmission; modern views of Jewish criminal law and its purposes; and promoting top-down and bottom-up change in line with current ethical ideas. Shira is a graduate of the Elul program of the Ein Prat Academy for Leadership, and leads a study group at Beit Prat for graduates of the academy. She is also a graduate of the Tidrashi program of Memizrach Shemesh, and of a training course for facilitators of restorative justice processes for victims of sexual abuse, run by the B'tzedek nonprofit organization.


Lior Benisty

Lior Benisty

Lod | Social Entrepreneur

Lior Benisty is the CEO of Ma’alot, a nonprofit organization working to reduce socioeconomic gaps via employment. Previously, he served as chair of the Association for Young Adults Centers in Israel, and was the founder and director of the "Young Lod" youth center. Lior is also a founder and board member of Jindas, a nonprofit organization dedicated to urban regeneration processes in Lod. Lior founded and directed the Social Film Festival in Lod, was the chair of the students’ union of Oranim Academic College, and was a board member of the National Union of Israeli Students. He was also a member of the professional team of the European Students’ Union that was responsible for measurement and evaluation, and was the founder and director of Kanfei Yona (Wings of a Dove), an initiative to document the Ethiopian Jewish heritage. An author of children's books, Lior is married and has a daughter.


Shmuel Drilman

Shmuel Drilman

Jerusalem | CEO of Better Digital and Digital Social Activist

Shmuel Drilman, CEO of Better Digital, is a computer programmer and a digital social activist on issues relating to religion and state. He is the founder of Dosim, a project dedicated to countering the delegitimization of ultra-Orthodox Israelis in the media, and a cofounder of Haredim for Peace. Shmuel is currently working on a project called Route 400, which takes its name from the bus line between Bnei Brak and Jerusalem and promotes discourse and creativity in the Haredi sector. He is a father of five.


Leora Ezrachi-Vered

Leora Ezrachi-Vered

Ramat Yishai | Rabbi and Spiritual Leader of the Nigun Halev Community

Leora Ezrachi-Vered is a rabbi who loves playing and singing music, reading books, and people. A Jerusalemite who moved north to the Jezreel Valley, she is the rabbi of the Nigun Halev (“melody of the heart”) community and teaches in a variety of settings. A social activist, Leora works toward coexistence, good citizenship, and a just and equal society. She was raised and educated in the Israel Movement for Reform and Progressive Judaism, and headed its Noar Telem youth movement and its pre-military academy. Leora believes in the people of Israel, the love of Zion, the human spirit, and the love of Torah. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Jewish history from Tel Aviv University, and is a graduate of the Hebrew Union College rabbinical school. The daughter of a woman rabbi and an education professional, Leora is married and a mother of three boys.


Maya Gayer

Maya Gayer

Tel Aviv | Media Professional, Producer of IDF Army Radio’s University on the Air

Maya Gayer is a senior manager and editor in the programming department at IDF Army Radio (Galei Tzahal), where her work includes content development and managing and editing projects and special broadcasts. Maya is the head editor of the station’s long-running University on the Air series, and also edits books that accompany the series. She has worked in the media for almost two decades, editing content for radio, television, print, and public events. She also lectures in radio, and in recent years has led a podcast workshop at the law school and the communications department of Sapir College. Maya holds a master’s degree (summa cum laude) from the school of film and television at Tel Aviv University.


Yael Gidanyan

Yael Gidanyan

Jerusalem | Social Activist, Writer, and Lecturer

Yael Gidanyan is a social activist and writer who lectures on a broad range of subjects and runs workshops on inter-cultural work around the world. She is also the chair of Kehilot Sharot – Singing Communities, a nonprofit organization devoted to piyut, traditional Jewish poems and prayers. For a decade, Yael's work focused on Israeli-Palestinian relations. She served for four years as chair of the Interfaith Encounter Association and directed the "120" leadership program of Shaharit, a think tank, leadership incubator, and community organizing hub. In her youth, Yael served as chair of the Jerusalem Student Council. When studying at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, she represented the faculty of the humanities in the Student Union. Yael holds a master’s degree in Islamic and Middle Eastern studies from the Hebrew University. She is married and a mother of two.


Yehuda Grovais

Yehuda Grovais

Bnei Brak | Director and Producer

Yehuda Grovais is a movie and television director and producer, as well as a social activist. Known as the “inventor of Haredi cinema,” he has produced and directed 94 full-length movies, 100 episodes of preschool television programs, 40 episodes for the Hop! children’s television channel, and hundreds of movies for private clients. Yehuda owns a live broadcast company and a film studio. He is married and a father of five.


Ariel Horowitz

Ariel Horowitz

Jerusalem | Journalist, Literary Critic, and Editor

Ariel Horowitz writes about Israeli society, Judaism, culture, and art for the Makor Rishon newspaper, and is a member of the editorial board of its Shabbat literary supplement. Prior to his work at Makor Rishon, he wrote for the Haaretz and Maariv newspapers. Between 2013 and 2016, Ariel was the chief editor of De’ot, a scholarly journal published by Ne’emanei Torah Va’Avodah. A graduate of the Petah Tikva hesder yeshiva, Ariel holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and literature from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where he is currently writing a master’s thesis on connections between the study of Kabbalah and modern Hebrew fiction, as a graduate student in the department of general and comparative literature. Ariel worked as a research assistant at the Hebrew University, where he taught a course on reading texts in the great works of world literature. His first novel, The Best of Our Boys, is due to be published by Keter Publishing House, and its manuscript was awarded the Harry Hirshon Prize for Literature for 2019–2020.


Tamar Kay

Tamar Kay

Tel Aviv | Director, Screenwriter, and Editor

Tamar Kay is a director and screenwriter. Unchained (Matir Agunot), the series about a rabbi who tracks down recalcitrant husbands to enable their wives to be freed from their marriages that she created for the Kan 11 television channel together with Yossi Madmoni and David Ofek, was released in late 2019. Oldies, a series of ten conversations with elderly people that she created with Yair Agmon, was broadcast on the same channel. Tamar's documentary short, The Mute’s House, won acclaim at many international festivals and was shortlisted for the 2017 Oscars. Tamar holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and philosophy from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and is a graduate of the Sam Spiegel Film and Television School. She lectures on cinema and new media.


Rami Livni

Rami Livni

Ramat Gan | Political Activist, Newspaper Columnist, and Researcher of Israeli Culture

Rami Livni is a political activist and researcher of Israeli music culture. A columnist for the Haaretz newspaper, he also works as an editor and translator. Rami is the founder of the Israel Green Movement political party and of the Poli-Tikva (“politics and hope”) program for social-democratic political leadership. He has developed several projects related to Jewish-Arab partnership, political work with Haredim and Russian speakers, and advancing the two-state solution. His book The End of Hebrewness was published by Carmel Publishing in 2019, and he is currently working on a book on Israeli rock music.


Tigist Mahari

Tigist Mahari

Tel Aviv | Founder and CEO of Call.Activit – A Space for Local Black-Ethiopian Arts and Culture

Tigist Mahari is the founder and CEO of Call.Activit, a platform for the creation and distribution of unmediated content produced by Ethiopian Israelis for Ethiopian Israelis. Since 2016, she has also directed a project for students and facilitated discussion groups for Jews and Arabs run by Sadaka-Reut, the Arab-Jewish Youth Partnership. Tigist has extensive experience in the area of formal and non-formal education for at-risk youth. She also facilitates workshops on healthy sexuality and gender for youth. Tigist holds a bachelor’s degree in critical education, a teaching diploma, and a master’s degree in gender studies and conflict resolution.


Ofri Omer

Ofri Omer

Tel Aviv | Director of MoBY – Museums of Bat Yam

Ofri Omer has served as director of MoBY – Museums of Bat Yam since 2017. During her time in this position, she launched the Sholem Asch Home, a museum and building for preservation. She also initiated the urban studio at the Ryback House, which is the museum’s center for education and community. Ofri's work focuses on the link between cultural institutions and cities and communities, as well as the place of art in everyday public life. She is a graduate of the School of Visual Theatre in Jerusalem and holds a bachelor’s degree from the multi-disciplinary program in the humanities and the arts at Tel Aviv University.


Ido Pachter

Ido Pachter

Netanya | Rabbi, Lecturer, Researcher, and Writer

Ido Pachter is the rabbi of the Young Israel of Ramat Poleg synagogue in Netanya. He is a member of the editorial board of the Shabbat weekend supplement of the Makor Rishon newspaper, lectures in the women's beit midrash programs of Matan and Emunah, and is a regular contributor of articles on halakha and modernity for a weekly pamphlet called Shabaton. Ido is the author of The Depth of the Simple Reading: Simple Readings of the Weekly Torah Portion. He also founded Techelet – Inspiring Judaism, an organization dedicated to promoting contemporary Jewish discourse within the wider Jewish world. Ido’s writing explores the application of the spiritual treasures of traditional Judaism to contemporary life, the building of bridges between old and new, and the creation of harmony in the world of modern Judaism. Ido holds a doctorate in Jewish philosophy from Bar-Ilan University, where his dissertation examined the ideological development of modern Orthodox Judaism in the United States. He is married and a father of four.


Yehudit Shlosberg-Yogev

Yehudit Shlosberg-Yogev

Nes Harim | Artist, Independent Curator, and Writer

Yehudit Shlosberg-Yogev has been involved in the experimental arts scene in Jerusalem since 2012 and has worked with major cultural institutions in the city. Over the years, she has initiated and directed complex, unique, and research-based projects and has accompanied artists in the process of creating original works. This has enabled her to expand the concept of curation into the realms of urbanism, politics, and religious narratives. Her projects have included: Above and Beyond, a huge exhibition on the rooftops of Jerusalem as part of the Mekudeshet Festival; a performance of choirs at the Clal Center in Jerusalem as part of the Manofim Contemporary Art Festival; establishing a children’s gallery in Jerusalem, and more. Yehudit's writing has appeared in the Makor Rishon and Maariv newspapers. In recent years, she has been an artist in residence and curator at the Mamuta Art and Media Center, and founded, edited, and produced Penina, an independent arts magazine. A multi-disciplinary artist, she works in a range of media including video, drawing, and installation. Her works have been exhibited in Israel and abroad, and her solo exhibition Brighter than a Thousand Suns was shown in 2018 by the Mamuta Center at Beit Hansen in Jerusalem. Yehudit is a graduate of the arts institute at Tel-Hai College and studied curation at the Center for Contemporary Art (CCA) in Tel Aviv. She is married and a mother of three.


Hava Tizazu

Hava Tizazu

Wahat al-Salam – Neve Shalom | Actor, Artist, Group Facilitator and Lecturer

Hava Tizazu is an actor, artist, writer, and lecturer whose work showcases the experiences and stories of the members of the Ethiopian Jewish community in Israel. The recipient of the 2019 Yossi Harel Prize for work related to immigration, Hava has served as director of the fringe theater department at the Ministry of Culture and Sport. Currently, she is appearing in The Light of Almaz, a one-woman play that she wrote and produced. Hava holds a bachelor’s degree in African studies and theater studies from Tel Aviv University, and a master’s degree in public policy from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She is also a graduate of the Nissan Nativ Acting Studio in Tel Aviv.


Michal Vaknin

Michal Vaknin

Tel Aviv and Jerusalem | Performer and Artistic Director

Michal Vaknin is an artist, performer, and artistic director, who has served as the artistic director of Mekudeshet, an arts festival created by the Jerusalem Season of Culture. Michal's artistic works are characterized by a search for new formats and by their participatory and site specific nature. They include Confessions, a collaborative reading of confessions from diverse communities and neighborhoods in Jerusalem; Knock Knock, an intimate performance piece with multiple participants in hotel rooms; and The Opposite of Alive, an audio walk at Jerusalem's Museum of Natural History. Michal is a member of PuppetCinema, a theater group led by Zvi Sahar that focuses on the connection between cinema, puppets, and the stage, and has performed in its productions, such as Salt of the Earth and Planet Egg, at festivals around the world. Michal is one of the co-creators of I Think This is the Closest to How the Footage Looked, winner of the Short Film Special Jury Award at the 2014 Sundance Festival, and is a co-director of the Ebisu Sign Language Theater, a research lab theater group with both deaf and hearing actors.


Gilad Vaknin

Gilad Vaknin

Jerusalem | Musician, and Director of Mizrahi Music Department at the JAMD Conservatory

Gilad Vaknin is the founder and director of Dounia, the new department of Oriental music at the Conservatory of the Jerusalem Academy for Music and Dance (JAMD). An active musician who writes, performs, and teaches, Gilad has begun to study Andalusian music more deeply with Nino Biton. Together with his wife and mother of their two children, the singer Inbal Djamchid, Gilad formed the Écoute ensemble, which performs modern poetry set to original contemporary tunes that bridge East and West. In 2019, Écoute released From Side to Side, an album of original songs in a contemporary Israeli style for children and families. Gilad holds a bachelor’s degree from the department of composition at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance.


Hana Vazana Grunwald

Hana Vazana Grunwald

Ramat Gan | Director, Playwright, and Creator

Hana Vazana Grunwald is a director, playwright, creator, moderator of Israeli theater groups, and founder of the Frechot Ensemble. She is also in charge of community relations for the Jaffa Theater. Hana’s work focuses on the search for a theatrical language for exploring questions and content related to the intersection of Mizrahi identity, gender, and social status. She has an artistic and political commitment to disadvantaged, marginalized, and silenced voices in Israeli society and Israeli theater. Hana's tools come from community theater, and her plays and methods are committed to mutual responsibility and social solidarity. Hana’s work is laying the foundations for a new theatrical genre that combines documentary theater and piyyut with artistic techniques that do not have a pre-written script and that emphasize the personal, social, and historical experiences of the performers and challenge stereotypes and preconceptions of femininity and Mizrahi identity before the very eyes of the audience. Her works include Papa'gina, Frecha – A Beautiful Name, Paper Heart Pearl, And She Conceived and Gave Birth, Sof Al Hakatino (Catch a Tiger by the Toe), Tikva Quarter Cairo, Maternity, Whistle, and Hebrew Woman. Hana is married and a mother of three girls.


Giyora Yahalom

Giyora Yahalom

Tel Aviv | Director of Arts and Culture Division, Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality

Giyora Yahalom is the director of the Tel Aviv-Yafo municipality's division of cultural affairs, where he is responsible for the municipal culture corporations, cultural centers, libraries, and departments for the arts, performances, and religious Jewish culture. Among his previous roles, he was the founder and first director of Yes Docu, Israel's satellite TV documentary channel; director of original programming at Yes DBS; and director of content for Cellcom TV. He also taught American, European, and Israeli television drama at the Sam Spiegel Film and Television School. Giyora is the creator of the television series The Ran Quadruplets and The Gordin Cell. He also wrote the play Road Signs, which tells the story of the life of Naomi Shemer and opened the centenary celebrations of Habima, Israel’s national theater. Giyora is a graduate of the Tel Aviv University's department of theater arts. Born and raised on Kibbutz Kinneret in the Jordan Valley, he now lives in Tel Aviv with his partner and their two daughters.


 

Mandel Program for Academic Leadership: Cohort 1

February 2019 – July 2021

 

Dr. Nira Al-Dor

Dr. Nira Al-Dor

Dancer, Lecturer, and Expert in Eshkol-Wachman Movement Notation

Nira Al-Dor coordinates the practical training from an academic perspective at the Kibbutzim College of Education and is involved in leading processes of pedagogical change in the college. She developed an educational initiative for changing the curriculum of the Arison Campus School of Arts in Tel Aviv into a multidisciplinary curriculum. Nira holds a doctorate from the faculty of education and the arts at Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE) in Budapest, and a teaching diploma in dance from the dance and movement track of the Kibbutzim College of Education. She lives in Tel Aviv.


Dr. Aviva Bar Nir

Dr. Aviva Bar Nir

Coordinator of Practical Training and Head of Special Education Track, David Yellin College of Education

Aviva Bar Nir is the coordinator of practical training and the head of the special education track at the David Yellin College of Education in Jerusalem. She is involved in research and practice in the area of inclusion and integration of students with special needs in the education system, and studies the connection between academia and field experience in teacher training. Previously, Aviva was a teacher in a special education high school and in elementary schools that played a pioneering role in modeling inclusion. Within her work in teacher training, Aviva was a pedagogical advisor and lecturer on learning disabilities for many years. Aviva holds a doctorate in philosophy, with a concentration in special education, from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem's school of education. She lives in Har Adar.


Dr. Cilla Choresh

Dr. Cilla Choresh

Lecturer at the Tel Aviv University School of Education

Cilla Choresh is a high-school physics teacher and coordinator of physics studies. She lectures at Tel Aviv University in the physics teaching diploma program, and specializes in science teaching. Cilla is one of the leaders of in-service training for teachers that focuses on curricula and the development of thinking skills, and in particular on learning styles, meta-cognition, reflection, and argumentation. She holds a doctorate from Bar-Ilan University's school of education, and a master’s degree in education with a concentration in developing thinking skills in technological education, also from Bar-Ilan University.


Professor Nitza Davidovitch

Professor Nitza Davidovitch

Head of the Teacher Training Program at Ariel University

Nitza Davidovitch is the chair of the Forum for the Advancement of Teaching in Israel and Professor of Education at Ariel University, where she is the head of quality assessment and academic instruction, and heads the teacher training program. Her work focuses on teaching and learning in higher education, and she leads teacher training programs that are based on research knowledge that can address future needs. Nitza holds a doctorate in education from Ariel University. She lives in Yakir in the Shomron.


Dr. Orit Dror Levi

Dr. Orit Dror Levi

Head of Department and Program in Early Childhood Education, Oranim Academic College of Education

Orit Dror Levi is the co-coordinator of the early childhood forum at the MOFET Institute, is a member of the Council of Higher Education's committee for guidelines for teacher training, and is a member of the steering committee for the social nonprofit ANU – Education from Birth. She has served as a pedagogy instructor and lecturer in the early childhood education department at Oranim College. Previously, she worked as an occupational therapist and as a homeroom teacher. Orit holds a master’s degree in educational counseling from Tel Aviv University, and a doctorate in education from the University of Haifa. She lives in Yokneam.


Dr. Tsafrir Goldberg

Dr. Tsafrir Goldberg

Head of the Teaching Diploma and Bachelor's Degree Program, University of Haifa

Tsafrir Goldberg is the head of the bachelor's degree program and the teaching diploma program in the University of Haifa's Department of Learning, Instruction, and Teacher Education. Previously, he was a teacher at the Givat Gonen school. He mentors teachers and works as a pedagogic advisor, providing guidance to students regarding formal didactic instruction, serving as a personal mentor, and facilitating an education “beit midrash,” as part of the Revivim program for Jewish studies teachers at the Hebrew University. Tsafrir holds a doctorate from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and his thesis examined the way in which high-school history studies serve as an arena for critical discussion between students from different identity groups. His research focuses mainly on the connection between learning and identity, on inter-group relations, and on teacher education and training in the multicultural context of Israel. Tsafrir lives in Beit Zayit.


Dr. Michal Honig

Dr. Michal Honig

Lecturer and Didactic Advisor in History, Kerem Institute for Teacher Training

Michal Honig is a pedagogical advisor and lecturer in history instruction at the Kerem Institute for Teacher Training, where she is also a member of the board. She is also a high school history teacher. Michal is a leader of the teacher educators' community, which is dedicated to analyzing practice in teacher training. She holds a doctorate in education from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and lives in Modi’in.


Hagit Kuperstein

Hagit Kuperstein

Head of the Unit for Promoting Professionalism in Teaching, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

Hagit Kuperstein oversees teacher training, internships, and entry into teaching, professional development, principal training, and simulations. She directed the development of training with computerized products in the IDF’s training department. Among other positions, Hagit has been an instructor, mentor, and program director for the Karev program that integrated the use of computers in teaching. She holds a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from the department of education of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, and lives on Kibbutz Revadim.


Dr. Yitzhak Lev-Ran

Dr. Yitzhak Lev-Ran

Head of Practicums, Internships, and Professional Development, Herzog College

The former principal of the AMIT Dvir high school for boys in Beit Shemesh, Yitzhak Lev-Ran is a homeroom teacher and Bible teacher. He has mentored groups of school principals at Avney Rosha – the Israel Institute for School Leadership, and has developed a team that designed a high-quality program for meaningful practicums at Herzog College. Yitzhak holds a doctorate in Bible from Bar-Ilan University, and lives in Mazkeret Batya.


Dr. Haifaa Majadly

Dr. Haifaa Majadly

Head of Practicums, Al-Qasemi Academic College of Education

Haifaa Majadly is the head of the department of pedagogy at the Al-Qasemi College of Education. A former pedagogy instructor, she is involved in strengthening multicultural discourse and encouraging fruitful and constructive discussions between the different cultures in Israeli society. Her extensive fieldwork has led her to translate the considerable knowledge she has gained from academic learning and personal experience into varied lectures, workshops, and training programs for students, parents, and teachers on subjects such as promoting Arabic language, encouraging reading, and fostering motivation to excel. Haifaa's doctorate from the University of Haifa focused on language education curricula. She lives in Baqa al-Gharbiyye.


Dr. Smadar Mor

Dr. Smadar Mor

Pedagogical Coordinator, Unit for Teacher Education, Tel Aviv University

Smadar Mor is a lecturer, pedagogical coordinator, and assistant head of the unit for teacher education in the school of education of Tel Aviv University. She is also a pedagogy instructor and lecturer in the creative track of the early childhood department of the Kibbutzim College of Education, where she runs workshops in theater. Smadar works to develop new ideas for improving the interfaces between teacher training, education, and the arts, with a focus on theater in particular. She conducts research on children's theater, focusing in particular on young children as audiences. Smadar holds a doctorate in education and theater from the University of Haifa, and lives in Tel Aviv.


Dr. Anat Moshe

Dr. Anat Moshe

Lecturer and Pedagogical Counselor, Special Education Track, Faculty of Education, Beit Berl College

Anat Moshe is a senior counselor in the field of learning disabilities for the Ministry of Education, and guides schools in implementing Israel's new reforms in special education. In the past, she has worked as a middle school special education teacher. Anat is interested in the unique interaction between academia and theory and the education system. She holds a doctorate in education from Constantine the Philosopher University in Slovakia, and lives in Pardes Hanna–Karkur.


Dr. Daniel Nikritin

Dr. Daniel Nikritin

Head of Education Department, Hemdat Hadarom Academic College of Education

An ordained rabbi, Daniel Nikritin is a homeroom teacher and literature and Talmud teacher. He has served as a consultant to numerous schools, accompanying them through pedagogical innovation processes, including the development of the GOGYA center for the AMIT school network. Daniel also has pedagogical responsibility for practical internships conducted as part of the "Academia-City" partnership initiative between Hemdat Hadarom College and the city of Netivot. He holds a doctorate in literature from Bar-Ilan University, as well as a master’s degree in educational counseling, and has also studied couples and family therapy. Daniel lives in Modi’in.


Dr. Yonit Nisim

Dr. Yonit Nisim

Head of the Faculty of Education, Ohalo College in Katzrin

As part of her work as head of the faculty of education at Ohalo College, Yonit Nisim is responsible for a variety of programs and training courses, including: the Regev program for outstanding students, fieldwork, specialization, entrance into the field of education, and professional development. Yonit holds a doctorate in philosophy and history from the University of Haifa. She lives in Koranit.


Dr. Batia Reichman

Dr. Batia Reichman

Head of Teacher Education Program and Fieldwork, Kaye Academic College of Education

Batia Reichman is a member of the management team of Kaye College's school for teacher education. She teaches in the school’s master’s programs, and lectures in the track for teaching literature. Batia works to promote collaboration between academia and the education system and the local authorities. She also initiates and leads learning communities for faculty members at Kaye College. Batia holds a doctorate in Hebrew literature from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, and lives in Beer Sheva.


Dr. Tami Reuveni

Dr. Tami Reuveni

Head of the Teaching Department, Levinsky College of Education

Tami Reuveni is responsible for student fieldwork, social engagement, preparatory courses for entry into teaching, and special programs such as "Academia-Classroom" and "Leading Teachers." In the past, she served as the head of the elementary school teacher training program at the Levinsky College of Education, and was a researcher at the Authority for Research and Development. She was also an elementary school teacher and principal in Israel's public-school system. Tami holds a doctorate in education from Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE) in Budapest, and lives in Beit Yitzhak–Sha’ar Hefer.


Dr. Alexandra Saad

Dr. Alexandra Saad

Deputy Director and Pedagogical Training Coordinator, Arabic Academic College for Education in Israel

Alexandra Saad is a lecturer and researcher at the Arabic Academic College for Education and at the University of Haifa. She is involved in clinical instruction and professional development for education professionals; evaluation, adaptation, and implementation of assistive technologies in education; and cultural enrichment and adaptation of educational content and programs for Arab society. Alexandra holds a master’s degree in education, and a doctorate from the department of occupational therapy at the University of Haifa, and completed post-doctoral studies at the University of Bologna in Italy. She lives in Upper Nazareth.


Dr. Sylvia Saba-Sadi

Dr. Sylvia Saba-Sadi

Lecturer and Pedagogy Instructor in Early Childhood Education, Gordon College of Education

Sylvia Saba-Sadi is a lecturer and a pedagogy instructor in the early childhood education department at Gordon College of Education in Haifa. Previously, she worked as a national instructor for new and alternative teaching approaches for in-service teachers in early education. She also held several positions in the field of education and was involved in various professional, communal and national pedagogical projects. These included the establishment of kindergartens for the Arab community in Jaffa, the design of in-service training courses for teachers in early education, the development of programs for in-service teacher training and programs for early childhood education. Sylvia holds a master's degree in educational psychology from the University of Manchester in England, and a doctorate from the school of education at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. Her fields of expertise and interest include play in child rearing practices, child development, early education, teacher training, and Arab women teachers in Israel, their training and professional experience. She lives in Haifa.


Dr. Pninat Tal

Dr. Pninat Tal

Head of Department and Program in Early Childhood Training, Levinsky College of Education

Pninat Tal was the head of elementary school education for Teach First Israel's program for excellence in education. Among other roles, she has served as a researcher at the MOFET Institute, where she investigated alternative teacher-training programs, and has published a Hebrew book, From Oversight to Leadership: The Journey of a Professional Community. Pninat holds a doctorate from the department of curriculum and evaluation at Tel Aviv University, and lives in Herzliya.


Dr. Noam Topelberg

Dr. Noam Topelberg

Head of the Jewish Art Teaching Track in the Teacher Training Department, Bar-Ilan University

Noam Topelberg is a lecturer in the teacher training department of Bar-Ilan University's school of education. He teaches culture and visual literacy, and is a national instructor for high school design studies in the Ministry of Education’s Computing, Technology, and Information Systems Administration. Noam also writes curricula and educational materials, and runs in-service training courses for teachers around the country. He is also the treasurer and chairman of the Nes Ziona Artists’ Committee. Noam holds a doctorate in art history from the department of Jewish art at Bar-Ilan University, and lives in Nes Ziona.


Dr. Dina Tsybulsky

Dr. Dina Tsybulsky

Head of the Biology Teaching Track, Faculty of Education in Science and Technology, the Technion

In the past, Dina Tsybulsky has been a high school biology and chemistry teacher, homeroom teacher, and science studies coordinator. She served as a lecturer and instructor of pedagogy of science teaching at the Kibbutzim College of Education and at Achva College. She was also a senior research associate and teaching fellow at Tel Aviv University and a visiting scholar at the University of British Columbia in Canada. Dina holds a doctorate in science education from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the MOFET Institute. She lives in Beit Shemesh.


Professor Sima Zach

Professor Sima Zach

Lecturer, School of Education and Physical Education Teaching, Academic College at Wingate

Sima Zach is the chair of the academic committee at the Academic College at Wingate, and is the head of the College’s laboratory for the study of physical education teaching. She was formerly the head of the College's school for education and physical education teaching. Sima holds a doctorate in physical education, recreation, and dance from Temple University in Philadelphia, where she specialized in sports psychology. A tenured professor at the Academic College at Wingate, Sima lives in Hadera.


 

Mandel Youth Leadership Program: Cohort 6

October 2020 – July 2021

 

Safwat Abo Tafla

Safwat Abo Tafla

Neurim Regional Director, Ma’ase Center Association

Safwat Abo Tafla is the regional director for the Ma’ase Center Association’s Neurim program for youth in Druze villages. In this capacity, he leads youth centers that foster belonging, excellence, equal opportunity, and activism. Safwat also works as a teaching assistant at the Western Galilee College. Previously, he coordinated the branch of HaNoar HaOved Ve HaLomed Youth Movement (NOAL) – The General Federation of Working and Studying Youth in the town of Rameh, and volunteered in closed facilities for juvenile offenders. Safwat holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in criminology from the University of Haifa, with a specialization in the study of crime and addiction, personal coaching, and life coaching for youth. He lives in the town of Rameh in northern Israel.


Khitam Abu Bader

Khitam Abu Bader

Director, Raidat Program, Desert Stars

Khitam Abu Bader works for the Desert Stars nonprofit organization for Bedouin leadership as the director of the Raidat Leadership Program for Women, which is designed for outstanding high school graduates with leadership potential. Over the last decade, she has worked in various roles in non-formal education, including promoting leadership among youth in Negev Bedouin society, directing the youth and young adult department at the Rahat Community Center, and developing and running leadership and social action programs for young people in Rahat. She also founded and directed the Arab sector activities of Krembo Wings, a youth movement for children and youth with and without disabilities. Khitam holds a bachelor’s degree in humanities and social sciences from Sapir Academic College. She lives in the town of Lakiya in southern Israel.


Taha Abu Kweder

Taha Abu Kweder

Director, Youth Department, Neve Midbar Regional Council

Taha Abu Kweder directs the youth department of the Neve Midbar regional council. Previously, he was the coordinator of the Neve Midbar branch of HaNoar HaOved Ve HaLomed Youth Movement (NOAL) – The General Federation of Working and Studying Youth. He was one of the founders and leaders of a program for growth in the south, and worked in various non-formal education settings. Taha holds a bachelor’s degree in education and community from the College of Management Academic Studies. He lives in the town of Abu Rukik in southern Israel.


Yogev Avraham

Yogev Avraham

Head of the Erez Network of Pre-Military Academies

Yogev Avraham is the head of the Erez network of pre-military academies, a joint initiative of Aharai! and the Jewish Agency. In the various positions that he has held in the past, such as working for the Jerusalem Institute for the Blind, for Bnei Akiva, and for Aharai!, he has always worked to connect people with their personal and historical identity, and to foster the development of a responsible and independent identity that chooses to do good, despite difficulties and crises. Yogev holds a bachelor’s degree in education and society, and is currently completing a master’s degree in educational systems management at Ono Academic College. He lives in Tzafria, a moshav in central Israel.


Eli Avshalom

Eli Avshalom

Director of Operations and Northern Region Director, Net@ Program

Eli Avshalom is the national director of operations and the northern region director of the Appleseeds Academy's Net@ program, which works to create opportunities for youth from Israel’s periphery through technology studies and personal and community development. Eliya believes in the ability of young people to lead change and shape new realities. He holds a bachelor’s degree in special education and community-social education from Oranim Academic College of Education, and is a graduate of the Rothschild Ambassadors program. He lives in Haifa.


Moran Bar

Moran Bar

Staff Coordinator, Hashomer Hatzair

Moran Bar is the staff coordinator of the Hashomer Hatzair youth movement, and is also involved in the organization's graduate network. Previously, she managed Tzafit, a residential school for social leadership in the Yoav Regional Council. Moran believes in education based on values and critical thinking as a tool for growth and development and for creating a just and equal society. She holds a bachelor’s degree in non-formal education and a teaching diploma in civics, from Beit Berl College. Moran lives on an urban kibbutz in Tel Aviv.


Oren Benichou

Oren Benichou

Head of Street Work, ELEM – Youth in Distress

Oren Benichou is the head of street work at ELEM – Youth in Distress. In this capacity, he supports, guides, and directs several projects throughout the country under the banner of ELEM’s "Working on the Streets" initiative. Previously, he worked as an advisor to pre-military academies, and established the "Street School" project in conjunction with ELEM. Oren holds a bachelor’s degree from the youth advancement and special education department at Beit Berl College. He lives in Netanya.


Elhanan Cohen Sason

Elhanan Cohen Sason

Head of Training Department, Bnei Akiva

Elhanan Cohen Sason is the head of the hadracha (training) department of the Bnei Akiva youth movement. In this role, he runs the training and support for the coordinators working for the movement as part of their civilian service, as well as providing training and support for the movement's youth counselors. Elhanan is also a member of the training committee of the national Youth Movement Council. Over the last decade, Elhanan has worked for nonprofit and educational organizations, including post-high school programs for strengthening Jewish identity. He believes that individuals with dreams and desires come before sweeping ideologies. Elhanan holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and history and a teaching diploma, both from Bar-Ilan University. He is also a graduate of Emunah's Machon Be’er institute, where he studied group facilitation on healthy sexuality. He lives in Brukhin in Samaria.


Michal Dolev

Michal Dolev

Restaurant Division Coordinator, HaNoar HaOved Ve HaLomed

Michal Dolev is the coordinator of the restaurant division of HaNoar HaOved Ve HaLomed Youth Movement (NOAL) – The General Federation of Working and Studying Youth. In this capacity, she helps individual young people working in the restaurant industry, supports the establishment of workers’ organizations, and provides support and training to the tens of field workers who respond to requests for assistance from young restaurant employees. She also develops strategic plans for improving working conditions in the industry. Michal coordinates the Dror Israel movement’s Rebellion of Hope program, a cultural and educational event to mark Holocaust Remembrance Day, which has been held since 2013 in tens of locations throughout Israel. As part of this position, she provides training and support for the program staff around the country. Michal holds a bachelor’s degree in education and a teaching diploma from Beit Berl College. She lives in Rishon Lezion.


Tamar Fefer-Solomon

Tamar Fefer-Solomon

Project Manager, Cyber Education Center

Tamar Fefer-Solomon leads and manages projects for the Cyber Education Center, focusing on projects designed to address gender issues in the field of technological education. A graduate of the Israel Scouts Movement, Tamar's previous roles at the Center include northern region director of the Magshimim national cyber program, and director of the Cyber Club program for young women. Among the projects she currently leads is the Shift Community, which encourages young women throughout Israel to study technological subjects. Tamar holds a bachelor’s degree in law from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and worked as a lawyer in the private sector. She lives in the local council of Kadima Zoran.


Arik Fellheimer

Arik Fellheimer

Manager of Municipal Relations, Israeli Council of Youth Organizations

Arik Fellheimer is the manager of municipal relations of the Israeli Council of Youth Organizations. In recent years, he has held a range of different roles in non-formal education, including youth counselor for the Aharai! (Follow Me) pre-army preparatory program, southern region coordinator for Aharai!, director of the Netivot municipal youth department, and more. He also established a program in Netivot to prepare youth for meaningful military service. Arik holds a bachelor’s degree in human resources management and services from Sapir Academic College. He lives in Netivot.


Yael Felsenthal

Yael Felsenthal

Partnership and Resource Development Coordinator, Nachshonim Youth Homes

Yael Felsenthal is the resources and partnerships coordinator for Nachshonim Youth Homes Association, part of the graduate movement of the Hashomer Hatzair youth movement. Since 2004, she has held various positions in the field of non-formal education, including eight years as a counselor for marginalized youth. Yael is also a psychodrama therapist and group facilitator. Yael holds a bachelor’s degree in education, a teaching diploma and non-formal education diploma, and a diploma in psychodrama and group facilitation from Beit Berl College. She lives in Harish in the Haifa district of Israel.


Noa Fidler

Noa Fidler

Director of Training Center, IGY Youth Movement

Noa Fidler directs the training center of IGY, the Israel LGBTQ+ Youth Movement. In this capacity, she is responsible for the organization's workshops and cultural events, and for relations with educational organizations in Israel, both in formal and non-formal education. She is also involved in the creation of platforms for the organization’s alumni via which they can engage in collaborative creation of gay culture. A social activist, Noa lives in Tel Aviv.


Inbal Foox

Inbal Foox

Head of Content Development and Professional Training, Kav Hazinuk

Inbal Foox is head of content development and professional training for the Kav Hazinuk (The Starting Line) leadership program, run by the Edmond de Rothschild Partnerships. She began her involvement in social organizations as an undergraduate communications student at Sapir Academic College, where she volunteered and worked in various coordinator roles in the community engagement unit. Subsequently, Inbal ran the ELEM – Youth in Distress in Israel outreach van in Ofakim. For four years, she led social involvement activities at the Young Adults Center in Lod, where she also founded the Lod Social Film Festival and produced it for four years. Inbal began at Kav Hazinuk as manager of the national admissions process, and now oversees content and training. She holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from Sapir Academic College and a master’s degree in literature and publishing from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. She lives in Neve Mivtah, a moshav in southern Israel.


Rana Gboaa

Rana Gboaa

Director, Unit for Youth at Risk in Bedouin Communities, Al-Kasom Regional Council

Rana Gboaa directs the youth promotion department of the Al-Kasom Regional Council. Previously, she was the community involvement coordinator at the Al-Mutanabbi school in Kseifa. She was also the coordinator of science instructors in Arab schools in the Negev. Rana holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology and criminology, and is studying for a master’s degree in educational systems management and organization at the Ashkelon Academic College. She lives in the Bedouin community of Al-Fur'ah.


Peleg Levinson

Peleg Levinson

Director, Complete Education Model, Educators 24/7

Peleg Levinson is the director of the Educators 24/7 program of the Amit Educational Network, a complete education model that provides academics, job training, post-high school preparation, recreational activities, and life skills in a coordinated environment. Peleg served in the Ministry of Defense and has a decade of experience in command, management, and training roles. He founded the Achim LaSemel nonprofit organization, which combines education, community, and sports. In his previous role, he was the head of the Erez pre-military leadership academy in Beer Sheva. He lives in Jerusalem.


Gila Lindenberger

Gila Lindenberger

Jerusalem Staff Coordinator, SACHI

Gila Lindenberger is the Jerusalem staff coordinator for SACHI (Sayeret Chesed Yichudit), a program for empowering youth through education toward giving and social welfare activities. Previously, she was a pedagogical instructor in youth shelters, as part of the HILA educational program for school-excluded youth. She was also a member of the management team of the Retorno addiction prevention and rehabilitation community. Gila holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in educational systems management from Bar-Ilan University. She lives in Jerusalem.


Amit Sorek

Amit Sorek

Northern Region Director, Green Horizons

Amit Sorek is the northern region director for the Green Horizons, which provides outdoor education activities for youth, funded by JNF-KKL. An agronomist by training, he worked in water systems management for more than a decade, both in Israel and abroad. Previously, he was active in various non-formal education settings, working in areas such as youth counseling, raising environmental awareness in members of youth movements, and work with youth in distress. Amit holds a bachelor’s degree in soil and water sciences, and a master’s degree in environmental quality sciences from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He lives in Neve Ziv in northern Israel.


Meitav Tesler Schimmel

Meitav Tesler Schimmel

Director, Pre-Military Support Program for Religious Young Women, Aluma

Meitav Tesler Schimmel is the director of a pre-military support program for religious young women run by Aluma, an organization supporting equal opportunity and social mobility. Previously, she directed the religious scout movement of the Israel Scouts, directed the citizen's rights center in Jerusalem of Yedid – The Association for Community Empowerment, and ran Maaglei Tzedek's project fighting for the rights of exploited contractual workers. She spent four years working as a community emissary in Sweden for the Bnei Akiva youth movement, and directed the assistance center of ITIM – the Jewish Life Advocacy Center following her return to Israel with her family. Meitav holds a master’s degree in law from Bar-Ilan University. She lives in the mixed religious and secular community of Alon.


Yair Tessler

Yair Tessler

Director, Religious and Mixed Scout Movement, Israel Scouts (Tzofim)

Yair Tessler is director of both the religious and the mixed scouts of the Tzofim (Israel Scouts) youth movement. In this capacity, he works to build bridges in Israeli society and to develop a new Hebrew-Israeli identity for the Jewish people. Previously, he directed the Chemdat Yehuda pre-army preparatory academy. Yair holds a bachelor’s degree in social sciences and humanities from the Open University. He lives in Mevo Beitar, a moshav south-west of Jerusalem.


Yaniv Vismonski

Yaniv Vismonski

Director, Department of Youth and Young People, Bat Yam Municipality

Yaniv Vismonski is responsible for leading the non-formal education system in Bat Yam. Previously, he coordinated the municipality’s youth leadership activities, including youth movements, youth organizations, and youth councils. Yaniv holds a bachelor’s degree in education policy and management, a master’s degree in non-formal education, and a diploma in professional education from Beit Berl College. He lives in Gedera.


Tom Vizel

Tom Vizel

Youth Counselor Coordinator, HaNoar HaOved Ve HaLomed

Tom Vizel is the national coordinator of youth counselors for HaNoar HaOved Ve HaLomed Youth Movement (NOAL) – The General Federation of Working and Studying Youth. He began his career in education a decade ago when he created a model for joint activities of young Jewish and Arab leaders in mixed cities. Tom was a member of the development and implementation team of Asefa Israelit (Israeli Assembly), a mass annual event aimed at strengthening Israel as a Jewish and democratic state. In his current position, he supports NOAL’s educational work with young people in the Jewish, Arab, and Druze communities, creates religious-secular encounters, and coordinates the movement’s international relations with organizations throughout the Middle East and the world. Tom holds a bachelor’s degree in non-formal education from Beit Berl College. He lives on Kibbutz Ravid in northern Israel.


Kahal Yarden

Kahal Yarden

Projects Coordinator, HaMahanot HaOlim

Kahal Yarden is a projects coordinator for the HaMahanot HaOlim youth movement, where she is responsible for protecting physical safety and developing content and training materials for protecting safety and promoting resourcefulness in activities such as hiking, camping, crafting, fire displays, and more. Previously, she was a counselor for the movement in the Southern Arava region for six years, during which she coordinated soldiers doing community service, adult counselors, municipal programs, budgetary matters, and more. She is a member of an urban educators’ kibbutz, where she has held various social leadership roles in recent years. Kahal holds a bachelor’s degree in history and a diploma in teaching and non-formal education from Beit Berl College. She lives on the urban educators’ kibbutz in Rishon Lezion.


Shira Yogev

Shira Yogev

Youth Organization Coordinator, Tarbut Movement

Shira Yogev is the coordinator of the youth organization of the Tarbut Movement, a movement of young artists and educators devoted to social change, community revival, and the creation of local and original culture. Prior to assuming this role in 2018, she coordinated the movement’s activities in the central region. Shira holds a bachelor’s degree in literature and non-formal education from Beit Berl College. She lives in Nahariya.


Guy Zuzut

Guy Zuzut

General Manager, Beit Dani Community Center, Tel Aviv-Yafo

Guy Zuzut is the general manager of Beit Dani, the Tel Aviv-Yafo municipality's community center in which he grew up. Previously, he was in charge of youth and community at the Tel Aviv-Yafo municipality, and was a youth coordinator and coordinator of the Israel Scouts in the Hatikva neighborhood. Guy holds a bachelor’s degree in democratic education from the Kibbutzim College of Education, Technology, and the Arts and a master’s degree in education policy and administration from Tel Aviv University. He lives in Tel Aviv.