LET’S CO.LAB

About

Co.Lab was established in 2015 by UJA-Federation of New York in order to promote social cohesion in Israel through collaborative work.

Co.Lab is a Laboratory for Collaborations, where social influencers from diverse backgrounds get to know each other, explore identities, deepen relationships and experiment with connections in order to advance collaborative work and promote a better society, together.

The mission of Co.Lab is to establish a reality in which difference between people and groups is a source for growth, empowerment and social resilience. Co.Lab builds on the idea that diversity among people and perspectives can be a basis for connection and a source for collaboration, as opposed to an obstacle that needs to be overcome.

Co.Lab consists of an annual fellowship, an active alumni community, and offers a variety of specialized programs designed for organizations.

Co.Lab – A Laboratory for Connections

  • The Co.Lab fellowship program is based on the richness and variety that the 20 selected fellows –who come from all parts of Israeli society – bring with them.
    The fellows get to know each other, share thoughts and perspectives and embark on exploration journeys throughout Israel and New York. In these journeys they explore the mosaic of identities in the cohort, in Israel and in NY, and collaborate to develop and promote social activity and to echo the message: “A good society is built together.”.
    The fellowship program operates on two axes.
    The Connectivity Axis: The fellows meet one another and get to know the plethora of identities that exist in the cohort. Together, they journey through a group learning process, exploring each other’s past, present, and future. They learn about one another and the diversity of Israeli society in an effort breakdown barriers and expand comfort zones.
    The Collaborative Work Axis: Participants form connections and partnerships, which are tested and strengthened as fellows learn to work together to form initiatives for social good.
  • The alumni community includes 91 social leaders that participated in the fellowship program over the years, developed initiatives and unique projects in a variety of arenas, and continue to be agents of change in their networks and throughout society. The connections formed between fellows, organizations, communities, and entire networks -through encounters, collaborations and social activities – continue to echo the mission of Co.Lab: Bringing diverse people together for social good.
  • Co.Lab for Organizations: Co.Lab seeks to promote connections and collaborations within organizations, through a tailored process based on Co.Lab’s principals and methods. At the heart of this program is the belief that organizations with more human diversity have a greater opportunity for growth, positive impact, and change. This diversity benefits the organization, its employees, and society at large. Our tailored process helps organizations meaningfully tap into and leverage the benefits of their diversity for entrepreneurship – inside the organization and vis-à-vis their constituencies.
 

Co.Lab for me is exposure to the pains of other sectors that were previously far from my world. It is a slow cook pot (sometimes it feels like a pressure cooker) that mixes excellent and different ingredients on a low flame. A stop from the daily life race, a place of learning and observation, thinking and dreaming.

Ricki Sitton // Director of the Chevruta Project, and alumna of Co.Lab 

The Co.Lab challenge

  • The reality of multi-identities in Israel
    Social diversity in Israel is a significant part of each Israeli’s life, and often expands beyond the division of the “four tribes”. Furthermore, within the groups/tribes/sectors, there are also multi-identities.
    The diversity axes spans religion, ethnic origin, age, sexual preference, political stance, geographic location, locality, education, income, occupation, army service, core values, and more.
  • Shades of Strangeness – from partnership to indifference to tension and friction
    Sometimes diverse groups share the same geographic space. Sometimes they don’t. Some groups are at odds with each other, and some are indifferent and only a minority share a life of partnership and collaboration. In any case, we all have at least one sector of people that is foreign to us, meaning we’re only familiar with them superficially, if at all. This strangeness, coupled with a limited common language, minimize the space for discourse and perpetuate the dividing walls between us, causing a delay in collaborative efforts and positive change.

This is the challenge that Co.Lab is dealing with. The awareness of diversity and the understanding of complexity on both an individual and broad scale are necessary conditions for building a sturdy and thriving society.

CO.LAB FELLOWS

Co.Lab community members have been fellows in the programs over the years, who have diverse and distinct identities, lead social enterprises that influence society in various fields, and continuing to connect to each other, connect others and collaborate in social action.

 

Chen Arieli

ס' ראש העיר והממונה על מנהל השירותים החברתיים, עיריית תל אביב-יפו

Chen is a council member on behalf of the Tel Aviv Municipality. She previously served as Chairperson of the Israeli National LGBT Task Force, a nonprofit organization representing the LGBT community and organizations in Israel. For the past 20 years Chen has been a social activist in the field of feminism and humans rights while being a spokesperson for healthy Body image and women empowerment.
Co-Founder of the CoLab initiative: Dugri, the Network of Israeli Cohesion

Itay Yavin

Regional Director for Haifa and northern Israel at the Hartman Institute Be’eri Program. He is also co-founder and director of Be’eri 's "Min HaBe'erot" program.

Itay Yavin is co-founder and director of Min HaBe’erot Hartman Institute. Min HaBe’erot brings together Jewish, Muslim, and Christian schoolteachers and principals to address social challenges through study of traditional religious sources. Prior to this position, he was the regional director for Haifa and northern Israel at the Hartman Institute Be’eri Program.

Kher Albaz

Kher Albaz is the Chairperson of the Arab-Jewish Center for Equality, Empowerment and Cooperation – Negev Institute for Strategies of Peace and Development. This nonprofit organization is dedicated to creating a shared society and strengthening active citizenship through education, economic and community development.

Rabbi Avi Novis Deutsch

Dean of the Schechter Rabbinical Seminary

Rabbi Avi Novis Deutsch is the Dean of the Schechter Rabbinical Seminary. Ordained as a Masorti rabbi by the SRS in 2003, Rabbi Deutsch also has an M.A. in Jewish Studies from JTS. He served for nine years as a pulpit rabbi at two Masorti congregations in Israel, most recently, at Haminyan Hamishpachti Masorti Kfar Veradim. Rabbi Deutsch also worked for two years as a Jewish educator in Berkeley and in the Bay area, California. He was a Leadership Fellow at the Mandel Institute for Educational Leadership and spent eight years in yeshiva study.

Laila Srour-Hashivon

Director of the Ofek program at Ma'ase Center

Laila Srour-Hashivon is the director of the Ofek program at Ma’ase Center, which offers Arab young adults an opportunity to volunteer for a year of service in their communities. This enables them to give back to society, become active citizens, gain valuable skills, and meet with other groups in Israeli society through special seminars.

Danny Gal

SEO, קו משווה

Danny Gal is the CEO of Kav Mashve, an organization that promotes equal employment opportunities for Arab academics within the Israeli business sector. Previously, he co-founded several initiatives, including the Center for Emerging Futures (CEF), which promotes grassroots partnerships between Israelis and Palestinians and Hub Tel Aviv, the first social enterprise incubator in Israel.

Rabbi Ilay Ofran

ראש מכינה קדם צבאית, מכינת רוח השדה

Rabbi Ilay Ofran is a Rabbi, an educator and a psychologist serving as the Rabbi of the Kvutzat Yavneh Kibbutz since 2009, and teaching in various educational institutions. In addition, as a Rabbi and a psychologist, he focuses on promoting healthy sexuality within the religious community.

Sigal Peretz-Yahalomi

CEO of Akim Israel

Sigal Peretz-Yahalomi is the CEO of Akim Israel – the largest and most comprehensive provider of programs and services for the intellectually disabled population – regardless of their faith, ethnic background or gender – throughout Israel.

Shoshi Shpiegel

The national commissioner for social education at the Ministry of Education

Shoshi Shpiegel is the national commissioner for social education at the Ministry of Education, where she oversees all informal education programs for the religious education system throughout Israel. As part of her role, she is in charge of a special budget line at the Ministry, dedicated to funding civil society organizations that work to promote the idea of shared society in the school system. Co-Founder of the COLAB initiative: NAMAL

Ran Yul

Head of the community development department at the Israel Association of Community Centers (IACC)

Ran Yul is the head of the community development department at the Israel Association of Community Centers (IACC). With a network of over 160 community centers and 816 branches, the IACC is one of Israel’s largest social organizations, offering a wide range of programs and activities throughout Israel.

Riki Siton

Director of Hevruta-Ayelet Hashachar

Riki Siton is the director of Hevruta-Ayelet Hashachar, a project that connects Israelis from different sectors and the coordinator of women’s group in Mifgashim program.
Ricky holds a BA in Business Administration from the Ono Academic College and an MBA with specialization in management of information technology from the Jerusalem College.
In the past, she established and managed kindergardens throughout the country and established and operated after-school child care facilities in Jaffa, Ramla and Lod. She was also a lecturer at the Jerusalem College and led a course in academic writing and other courses.
Co-Founder of the COLAB initiative: Educators Bridge

Pnina Tamano-Shata

Knesset member, a lawyer, social activist and former journalist

Pnina Tamano-Shata is a knesset member, a lawyer, social activist and former journalist. Previously, she was a member of Transparency International Israel Organization, a member of the National Council of Economics and a member of the Jewish Agency Board of Trustees. She holds a BA in Law from the Ono Academic College and a Master’s degree in Public Policy from Tel Aviv University.

Nawa Jahshan-Batshoun

CEO of Collective Impact

Nawa Jahshan-Batshoun is the CEO of Collective Impact- a partnership, which advances breakthroughs in Arab Employment. Collective Impact creates and promotes an innovative strategy network building and collaboration between partners from various sectors. Previously she served as head of the organizational consultant team and was responsible for the interface with Arab society.

Dr. Nevo Shimon Vaknin

מרצה, המכללה האקדמית לחינוך ע״ש קיי והקריה האקדמית אונו

Dr. Nevo Shimon Vaknin is the head of BINA – Secular Yeshiva in Be’er Sheva. The yeshiva offers Jewish learning and direct action as steps to strengthening Jewish identity, mutual responsibility, and social involvement.

Dr. Merav Even Chen-Solomon

Shdemot center at Oranim College

Dr. Merav Even Chen-Solomon is a manager at the Shdemot center at Oranim College. Shdemot is a leadership center for the development of local communities in Israel, building a sense of belonging and connection for community members.
Co-Founder of the COLAB initiative: NAMAL

Yoni Tshuna

מייסד ומנכ"ל, מרכז מצמיחים

Yoni Tshuna is the CEO of Matzmichim Center, the Israeli Violence Reduction Organization. The Organization conducts hundreds of workshops, classroom interventions and training sessions, in order to provide teachers with tools for coping with violence and to create a safer school environment.
Co-Founder of the CoLab initiative: NAMAL

משה (קינלי) טור-פז

מנכ"ל רשת שותפויות חינוך

“..חיבור בין  אנשים שכבר מצויים בליבה של העשייה החברתית בישראל. בגלל הזמן ובגלל הבשלות- הכוח של החיבורים מאוד עצמתי, זה כבר העניין עצמו. לא רק דיבורים אלא גם משימות- פרקטיקה אמתית..”

Pnina Tamano-Shata

Lawyer, journalist, and politician, former Knesset member, and Deputy Speaker of the Knesset until 2015

“With Co.Lab, I embarked on this fascinating journey with the finest partners for dialogue, activism, and love of humanity that Israeli society has to offer. Co. Lab is all of us, brothers and sisters; different from one another, sitting together in unity, finding common denominators, learning from one another, trying new things and guided by the belief that only through mutual respect and mutual responsibility can we make a change.”

Sigal Peretz-Yahalomi

CEO of the Association for the Habilitation of the Intellectually Disabled (AKIM), serving 34,000 children, adults, and their families

“AKIM Israel’s slogan is “An inclusive society is a strong society.” Until now, we have been dealing with this issue day by day from the point of view of people with disabilities. Thanks to Co. Lab, we will act to include socially excluded groups. The concept of social cohesion has always been part of AKIM’s agenda, but now it will be a part of our activity.”

Nawa Jahshan-Batshoun

Organizational consultant currently part of the leadership team of the "Collective Impact" initiative.

“For me, Co. Lab is a space offering wide opportunities for connections between diverse people with different identities. It is a space that creates optimal conditions for meaningful, cross-sectoral action. This space is a power-multiplier, and has the potential for deep and wide impact. It gave me space where I could think out of the box, and beyond what I love doing every day.”

Dr. Nevo Shimon Vaknin

Head of the new BINA Secular Yeshiva in Be’er Sheva

“For me, Co. Lab means looking at the real problems faced by Israeli society today and trying to find meaningful solutions to the root of these problems, rather than focusing on the symptoms they create, thereby finding only temporary answers, and transferring real, unsolved issues to future generations.”

Moshe (Kinley) Tur-Paz

Director of the Ministry of Education’s Jerusalem District and heads the Jerusalem Municipality Education Department .

“For me, Co. Lab creates connections between people already active at the heart of Israel’s social activism arena. Collaboration between a Bedouin CEO of an association from the Negev, a senior official from the Ministry of Education, the head of a Haredi organization for meeting Haredi and secular Israelis face to face, and the rabbi of a religious Kibbutz – all prominent social leaders in their prime aspiring to repair the world (Tikun Olam) – is something I have never before encountered. It’s not just talk, it is real practice and objectives.”

Dr. Merav Even Chen-Solomon

Manager at the Oranim College Shdemot Center. A leadership Center for the development of local communities in Israel

“Co. Lab is for me the creaking sound of the door opening while everything is still unexpected, threatening yet promising. The opportunity to transform my openness- perceived as something negative in my natural environment- into a clear talent and advantage.”

Chen Arieli

Co-Chair of the Israeli National LGBT Task Force, a nonprofit organization representing the LGBT community in Israel.

“Co. Lab is an opportunity for creating breakthroughs in the sphere of non-conventional interpersonal relationships and connections. More than anything, Co. Lab gives us all the chance to step out of our comfort zones, come up with breakthrough ideas and promote fundamental change. The web of professional connections, friendships and ties established here, will endure long after we cross the finish line.”

Yoni Tshuna

CEO of Matzmichim Center, the Israeli Violence Reduction Organization, providing teachers and students with tools for coping with violence, and creating a safer school environment.

“For me, Co.Lab is a greenhouse for inter-sectoral collaborations, increasing the efficiency of social activism while emphasizing inter-sectoral connections.”

Lia Nirgad

Founder and Chair of the Social Guard (in Hebrew: Hamishmar Hahevrati) an organization striving to change the relationship between Parliament and the Israeli people

“Co. Lab for me is an adventure. A constant challenge. It has played on all my deepest emotions about my country: the fear, the responsibility, the frustration – and above all,, the love. It has reconnected me to my parents’ ardent commitment to Zionism. It has rekindled my hope for a better future, and my faith in the people who live here. “

Laila Srour-Hashivon

Director of the Ofek program at Ma'ase Center, offering young Arab adults an opportunity to volunteer for a year of service in their communities

“For me, Co. Lab represents a microcosm of Israeli society. The group dynamic fills me with great hope. It shows that we can still live in this country together without invalidating one another, allowing each other to feel proud of who we are without feeling apologetic about it.”

Yotam Tolub

Facilitator, Co.Lab 06

A writer, lawyer, and activist who promotes equal rights for people with disabilities. He conducts writing workshops and advises social organizations around the world to promote policy change in the field of people with disability. He is also a lecturer in the Department of Education in Ono Academic College. He served as CEO of Bizchut and was chairman of several NGO coalitions and led educational programs in several organizations (Gesher, Masa Israeli, The Jewish Agency). He is a graduate of Co. Lab 02, a program led by the UJA Federation of NY and of ‘Roim Rahok’ led by JDC. Yotam currently writes a PhD on disability and elderly rights at the University of Haifa. He lives with his family in the Mevo Beitar. Yotam is a facilitator at Co. Lab (cohort 06).

Tomer Avital

Journalist

Tomer Avital, is an investigative journalist pursuing transparency in the political system. After leading the successful crowd-funded campaign, 100 Days of Transparency, Tomer now tracks politicians through creative means. In 2016, Tomer was awarded the DIGIT Prize for Excellence in Online Journalism, and was ranked one of “100 most influential people” in Israeli media. Tomer has raised funds to support the first-ever public lobbyist, authored a suspense novel set inside the Israeli Parliament, and has produced satirical clips on the political decision-making process. Tomer is currently co-establishing the Israeli Fund for Investigative Journalism.

Rita Brudnik

Community manager at BINA, the secular yeshiva in Tel Aviv-Jaffa

Rita Brudnik, is the community manager at BINA, the secular yeshiva in Tel Aviv-Jaffa. Rita holds a B.Ed. in youth advancement and special education from Beit Berl College, and has worked for five years in the public sector with at-risk youth and immigrant youth. Rita is a graduate of the Gvanim Olim Leadership Program. She is also the co-founder and leader of Fishka — a young, Russia-speaking community in Israel — a volunteer-driven hub for many social and cultural initiatives in Tel Aviv. Rita is a member of the ROI community and alumni of the Alma program.
Co-Founder of the CoLab initiative: Tahrir – Bina ‘Shechuna’- a cultural initiative

Shlomi Ravitsky Tur Paz

Executive director of Beit Midrash Elul

Shlomit Ravitsky Tur Paz, is the executive director of Beit Midrash Elul, which uses the common language of Jewish texts to promote a pluralistic dialogue and enhance Jewish identity. After receiving her L.L.M. and L.L.B from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Shlomit returned to the world of Jewish renewal, co-founded and co-managed the Itim Center – Resources and Advocacy for Jewish Life, and founded and managed She’arim, a pluralistic Beit Midrash, working with the Ministry of Education to train educators on Judaism and Israeli culture. Shlomit serves as the chairperson of the Jerusalem forum for Jewish renewal organizations, Rashut HaRabim, and sits on the Board of Directors of Panim, the national umbrella forum.

Faigy Cohen

Superintendent in the ultra-Orthodox district of the Ministry of Education

Faigy Cohen, works as a superintendent in the ultra-Orthodox district of the Ministry of Education. She is responsible for 30 ultra-Orthodox girls’ elementary schools and is in charge of implementing programs of excellence and technological innovation in the ultra-Orthodox education system. Faigy holds a B.A. in special education and educational counseling, followed by a M.A. in conflict management and resolution from Ben-Gurion University. Faigy is an advocate for social entrepreneurship and the importance of a shared society in Israel within the ultra-Orthodox community, alongside her husband, Rabbi Bezalel Cohen.
Co-Founder of the CoLab initiative: Religious Students Communities

Professor Amit Schejter

Head of the Department of Communication Studies at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

Professor Amit Schejter, is head of the Department of Communication Studies at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and a visiting professor at Penn State University, where he serves as co-director of the Institute for Information Policy. He is the author or editor of six books and more than 60 journal articles, law reviews, and book chapters, and is founding co-editor of the Journal of Information Policy. Professor Schejter has held senior executive positions in the media and telecommunications industry in Israel, and has chaired and participated in task forces and committees counseling the Knesset and the government.
Co-Founder of the CoLab initiative: The Media COLAB

Michel Ben Shitrit

Director of the Department for Community Building at the IACC (Israel Association of Community Centers)

Michel Ben Shitrit, is the director of the Department for Community Building at the IACC (Israel Association of Community Centers). Prior to this position, Michel worked for the IACC as a director of the community centers in Shlomi and Mitzpe Ramon, was the director of the children and youth discipline, director of Children and Youthand and has worked as an intra-organizational trainer for new managers. He was also a senior manager for the Gevanim training development program. Prior to that, Michel was the director of the Department of Children and Youth at the Mitzpe Ramon municipality, and worked as the southern manager for the Jewish Agency for Israel.
Co-Founder of the CoLab initiative: One Shared Story
Co-Founder of the CoLab initiative: Nothing about us without us

Maha Abu Katesh

Director of the Arab education department of the Jerusalem municipality

Maha Abu Katesh, is the director of the Arab education department of the Jerusalem municipality. Prior to this position, Maha was head principal at Mukkaber High School, an organizational consultant, and head principal at the Kol Israel Haverim School for the Deaf. Prior to that, Maha was director of an educational treatment center, a lecturer at the David Yellin College and a group facilitator in Neve Shalom. Maha founded an educational center in Abu Gosh, holds a B.A. in hearing impairments from Tel Aviv University, and an M.A. in education policy and management from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Yael Nazri

Educational youth inspector for informal educational programs in local community centers

Yael Nezri, is a nationwide educational youth inspector for informal educational programs in local community centers, with the Department of Social-Communal Affairs, for the Ministry of Education. In addition, Yael is the HR inspector for Educators in Uniform — teachers and soldiers. Yael has served in a variety of key positions in schools and local agencies, and has provided both training and consultation services for community and national coordinators, accompanying local inspectors to oversee regional summer camps. Yael has coordinated the Summer Project of the Ministry of Education, and two other projects, Kids and Youth Cities and Youth Choose Values

Yossi Bar

deputy CEO of Tzohar Halev

Yossi Bar, is the deputy CEO of Tzohar Halev, a nationwide chain of centers for those with special needs, tending to 1,300 residents and employing more than 1,000 staff members. Yossi has held this position for the past 18 years, and during this time has established, with Oranim College, academic classes for B.A. studies for ultra-Orthodox students. Yossi received his B.Ed. at Oranim College, and is currently working on his M.A. in leadership and education at Gordon College in Haifa. Yossi has dedicated his whole life to children with disabilities and is currently invested in stopping the phenomenon of abandoned babies with disabilities in hospitals.

Dr. Yasir Hujeirat

CEO of Alfanar, Ltd., PBC

Dr. Yasir Hujeirat, is the CEO of Alfanar, Ltd., PBC, a company dedicated to the employment of Arabs in Israel. Yasir was the mayor of Bir al-Maksur, and served as a director of HaKfar HaYarok, where he remains an active board member. Yasir received his Ph.D. in genetics at the Hebrew University, and conducted his post-doctoral research at the Technion in Haifa and the Imperial Cancer Research Centre in England. Throughout the years, Yasir has held many leadership roles as well as extensive teaching experience in nursing departments, and was an associate lecturer at the Technion Faculty of Biology.

Yair Kochav

Artistic director of Tahrir, a Mizrachi culture bar

Yair Kochav, is the owner, founder, and artistic director of Tahrir, a Mizrachi culture bar in the Machane Yehuda Market in Jerusalem. Tahrir is a for-profit social project that combines his business experience and artistic skills. Yair is a musician, Paytan (Hazan), and social entrepreneur, and studied the basic roots of music since childhood in synagogue, as well as in educational institutes such as the Renanot Institute of Hazanut, the Centre for Middle Eastern Classical Music, and under numerous prominent mentors in the field. In addition, Yair has held many management roles in commercial business and cultural and cross-cultural music events.
Co-Founder of the CoLab initiative: Tahrir – Bina ‘Shechuna’- a cultural initiative

Zohar Yonai Dvora

Facilitator, Co.Lab for organizations

Zohar Yonai Dvora, 32, is the director and co-founder of the Lod Program Made in Israel, which is a homegrown social enterprise in Lod. Prior to founding the program in 2011, Zohar worked for the Shacharut association for the advancement of equality, society and culture. Zohar graduated from a mediation and community dialogue program, is a member of Shekhenim – an urban Arab-Jewish leadership initiative and has years of experience in leading and facilitating community study groups. Zohar received her B.Ed. in Community, Social, and Multidisciplinary Education as part of an Honors Program for education professionals in Oranim College.

Zhava Harel

Director of education in Beersheba

Zhava Harel, is the director of education in Beersheba, responsible for the entire education system in the city – both formal and informal. Prior to this, Zehava was a supervisor in the Ministry of Education, overseeing the educational authorities in the south. Prior to that, Zehava worked for the Ministry of Education, as head of content and programs and as the director of the Provincial Training Centre. Zehava founded and developed a unique educational initiative, which became a model for dealing with teenage dropouts, gaining her a national education award. Zehava received her M.A. in management and education from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.
Co-Founder of the CoLab initiative: Supporting independence for young adults with disabilities

Adv. Janet Shalom

Regional commissioner of Jerusalem and the South, in the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC) of the Ministry of Labor and Welfare

Adv. Janet Shalom, is a regional commissioner of Jerusalem and the South, in the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC) of the Ministry of Labor and Welfare. Prior to this position, Janet worked as an advocate in the National EEOC, enforcing equal opportunities in the labor market. She holds an L.L.B. degree from the Faculty of Law at Hebrew University and was a cadet in the Student Excellence Program, Atidim – Cadets for Public Sector. Janet began as a legal intern at the Deputy Attorney General’s office.

Assia Istoshina

Researcher and coordinator for the Women’s Security Index (WSI) at Isha L’Isha

Assia Istoshina, is a researcher and coordinator for the Women’s Security Index (WSI) at Isha L’Isha. Assia is a Russian-speaking journalist, researcher, group facilitator, and activist with an M.A. in conflict resolution. Assia initiated and presented the TV program Parashat Ha-Shavua, has facilitated dialogue groups between Palestinians and Jews, and has co-founded FORA, the first Russian-speaking women’s movement in Israel. Assia has created and facilitated Kushiya, a unique Beit Midrash for Russian-speaking women who are secular, religious, and/or newly converted to Judaism.

Amnon Rabinovitz

Principal of Ziv & Marks Junior High School, Jerusalem

Amnon Rabinovitz, is the principal of Ziv & Marks Junior High School. He is the founder of Israel’s New Teacher Movement for teachers from different parts of Israeli society wishing to connect with other educators. Amnon also served as the CEO of Wake-Up Jerusalem, a social movement aimed at fostering the city’s pluralistic character. He currently serves on the board of a few nonprofit organizations and initiatives. Amnon has a B.A. in political science and philosophy, and an M.A. in the honors program for public policy, both from Jerusalem’s Hebrew University.

Amitai Porat

General manager of the Religious Kibbutz Movement

Amitai Porat, is the general manager of the Religious Kibbutz Movement. Previously, he served as both director of their Social Department and education coordinator. Amitai was the founder and manager of the pre-military Mechina, Jonathan. Earlier, Amitai served as the community manager and secretary general for Kibbutz Kfar Etzion. He began his career as a high school teacher, educator, and Judaism teacher. Amitai received his M.A. and B.A. in Bible studies from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Amitai served as company commander (major) in a commando unit in the IDF.
Co-Founder of the CoLab initiative: One Shared Story

Dr. Shelly Gottfried

Researcher at Beit Berl Academic College and CITYPERC in London

Dr. Shelly Gottfried, is the CEO of the New Public, and a lecturer and researcher at Beit Berl Academic College and CITYPERC in London. Prior, Shelly worked as an intelligence analyst, energy trader, and was the head of energy desk at Futures First. Shelly received her Ph.D. in international political economy from City University London, her M.A. in E.U. studies from Sapienza University of Rome, and holds an M.A. in philosophy and B.A. in economics and philosophy from Tel Aviv University. Shelly conducted research, presented in conferences around the world, and has received several scholarships and awards.
Co-Founder of the CoLab initiative: The Media COLAB

Anat Rosilio – Adler

VP of The Ideological Center of the Berl Katznelson Foundation

Anat is the VP of The Ideological Center of the Berl Katznelson Foundation. Prior to this position, Anat served as the project manager of the Foundation, and initiated leading initiatives: The Hate
Report – a technological platform monitoring hate discourse on the web; the “Beeri Program for Critical Thinking” for students in the peripheral areas, and has established an Annual conference
for social entrepreneurs. Before her work at the foundation, Anat was a campaign manager in the social arena, and journalist who co–led the “Strollers walk” – a national protests march for Free
Education, which succeeded in expanding the Law to age 3. Anat has a BA in Political Science from Tel-Aviv University, and is currently working on her MA in Democracy Studies.

Asaf Shneor

Strategy and Partnerships Manager of the Social Department at the Jerusalem municipality

Asaf is the Strategy and Partnerships Manager of the Social Department at the Jerusalem municipality, responsible for developing and implementing the city’s policy in creating a sense of community within each neighborhood. Prior to this position, Asaf managed a community center in one of Jerusalem’s most complex neighborhoods, and founded a Center for Youth Leadership. Asaf has a BA in Education, a teaching diploma in Talmud and biblical studies, an MA in organizational consultancy from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and has completed a director course.

Bat Galim Shaer

CEO, SONSHINE

Bat Galim is an Educator and Public Figure, working in the public sphere. She has been an educator for over twenty years in various institutions, teaching students in both religious and
secular schools and has worked with new immigrants from Russia and Ethiopia. Bat Galim has a BA in Political Science and in Jewish History from Bar Ilan University, a teaching certificate in Social Sciences from the Midrasha and an MA in Educational Administration. She is an alumni the Herzog College which focuses on issues of polarization and extremism and methods to create a common language of tolerance, cooperation and dialogue.

Chavy Erenfeld

Founder, owner and CEO of Erenfeld Education Ltd.

Chavy is the founder, owner and CEO of Erenfeld Education Ltd. a company dedicated to making higher education accessible to the ultra-orthodox sector. To date Chavi has helped close to 2000
Haredi students join academic programs. Prior to this, Chavy worked in education as a visiting officer, and was a project coordinator at Friends of Nava organization, helping victims of terror and
bereaved families in Israel. Chavy has a BA in Leadership and Management of Educational Systems from Bar-Ilan University, and an MA in Counseling and Organizational Development.
Chavy was the Winner of the Keren Shemesh Prize of 2015, Bank Hapoalim & Yedioth Achronot Social Business prize for 2016, and the YBI International Award for 2016.

Adv. David (Dresilid) Abate

Cheif of Staff at the IACC Israel Association of Community Centers Ltd

David is the Cheif of Staff at the IACC Israel Association of Community Centers Ltd. Before working with the CEO of the IACC, David was an Attorney at a private Law firm, specializing in
commercial litigation. Prior to his work as an attorney, David worked in education and managed a program for Ethiopian youth for the Bnei Akiva youth movement. David has a LLB from the college of management Academic Studies, and a MBA from Tel Aviv University.

Dror Hamawi

Education Director, at Masa Israeli

Dror is the Education Director, at Masa Israeli, a position he has held for the past 11 years. Prior to his is work at Masa Israeli, and since his release from the army, Dror has worked in education. Dror began as a guide in the Eilat Mountains, and was the education manager of El Artzi, a tour educational center in Eilat. Dror received his BA and MA in Israel studies from Bar Ilan University.

Eliad Melamed

Co-founder, CFO, VP Business and Social Development at EretzIr

Eliad is the Co-founder, CFO, VP Business and Social Development at EretzIr (formerly “Tor HaMidbar”), where he oversees the activities of 27 communities in 17 cities. Together they
comprise a diverse network which includes religious, secular, Bedouin, Arab and new immigrant communities. Prior to his work at Tor Hamidbar, Eliad established various programs in the field of shared society, and has participated, led and coordinated programs, focusing on local activities in disadvantaged neighborhoods in the periphery, as well as coordinating emergency relief activities in the Negev and the establishment of the national council of mission-driven communities. Eliad has studied group facilitation, and community development.

Eti Meller

Director of Employment Programs at the JDC Israel’s Tevet

Eti is the Director of Employment Programs at the JDC Israel’s Tevet, a partnership between JDC Israel and the Israeli government. In her current position, Eti develops and manages social
services enhancing vocational integration for the ultra-Orthodox community. Eti has worked for the JDC since 2004. Prior to her work at the JDC Eti was a pioneer in the field of employment
development for the ultra-orthodox community and has established Gisha – the first employment bureau in the ultra-orthodox sector. Eti is a certified management engineer and holds a BA in
education, a BED and a MA in Organizational Consult.

Rabi Gabi Cohen

Director of Pedagogic Centers and Head of Educational Counseling in the Bnei Yosef - Ma'ayan_HaChinuch Education Network

Gabi is the Director of Pedagogic Centers and Head of Educational Counseling in the Bnei Yosef – Ma’ayan_HaChinuch Education Network. Gabi serves as an officer in reserves in charge of the
Haredi population in the IDF Home Front Command. Gabi has extensive experience in formal and informal education, focusing on holistic ways to support communities and institutions. Gabi holds a BED, a MA from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and is an alumni of Mandel Mandel Leadership Institute.

Hagit Molgan Hammel

Community Development Director, of The Masorti Movement

Hagit is the Community Development Director, of The Masorti Movement, overseeing communities all over Israel, and focusing on developing the communities into becoming a center
where everyone can experience and celebrate their Judaism. Prior to this position, Hagit has led a process of building a shared youth community center for youth from kibbutzim and surrounding
villages. Hagit has a BA in education, and a MA in Organization Development and Consulting.

Idan Hail

Founder of Insight Sparks

Idan is a Social Entrepreneur, and the founder of Insight Sparks, a social venture, aimed at reducing racism and discrimination among children, by building innovative, scientifically-proven games & workshops. Idan is an experienced Product Manager, and has conceptualized, designed and managed innovative software products in various domains, such as Diagnostic Imaging (Healthcare), Tourism, Social networks, Corporate solutions, etc. Idan co-founded “Bekivun Haruach” (voluntarily), an award-winning social project, which aims to reduces prejudice of psychiatrically disabled people. Idan holds a Bachelor of Science (BSc) with honors, in Brain Science, from Bar-Ilan University, and graduated the Social Program accelerator, 8200 unit alumni.

Adv. Inbar Yehezkeli Balilius

Senior Adviser to the Minister of Finance, at the Ministry of Finance

Inbar is a Senior Adviser to the Minister of Finance, at the Ministry of Finance. As such, Inbar is responsible to advise the Minister on Social issues, and to provide strategic, policy and regulation counselling. As a senior adviser, Inbar has led reforms in education, health, welfare and employment. Prior to this position, Inbar served as the Senior Professional Consultant to the Minister of Welfare and Social Services. In previous years, Inbar worked as the legal counsel and the head of the Legal Department at the Association of Rape Crisis

Michal Halamish

R&D Manager at Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE)

Michal is the R&D Manager at Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), where she has worked since 2011. Prior to this position, Michal worked as a software developer at Amdocs, in Israel and on-site
in Colorado. In 2015 Michal founded Hakvutza, a non-profit, online crowdfunding platform that connects donors directly with welfare cases, via their case workers. Michal also serves as CEO
and manage a team of 7 volunteers. Michal holds a BS from Bar Ilan University in Computers and Mathematics and a BA in Psychology.

Mison Ria

Chair of, M.A.A. Muntada Almoaielt Alohidat

Mison is the Chair of, M.A.A. Muntada Almoaielt Alohidat, and directs a school of teachers at Majerd Alkrom. Prior to this position, she was a lecturer in education for children with special
needs, and an advisor for the Ministry of Education. Mison holds an MA in leadership from Haifa University, has participated in an Arab-Jewish Leadership Course in CMU, and is currently a PHD Student in Gender Studies.

Dr. Moshe Leiba

Director of informal education of World Ort and a lecturer at Tel Aviv Jaffa Academy

Moshe is the Director of informal education of World Ort and a lecturer at Tel Aviv Jaffa Academy. Prior to that he served as Deputy Director General for Education and Chief Innovation Officer in Education at Holon Municipality. Moshe was also in charge of all non-formal education in the city. Prior to this position, Moshe was an ICT and Pedagogical Innovation superintendent at the Ministry of Education, a Lecturer and Researcher at Tel Aviv University, Levinsky Teachers’ College, and European ICT research programs. Moshe received his B.Sc.TE, School of Electrical Engineering, MA and a PhD in Education from Tel Aviv University.

Dr. Rodayna Badir

Rodayna is an Academic Coordinator for Arab MA students at Bar Ilan University, responsible for 70 students every year. Prior to this position Rodayna worked at the Ministry of Education as a regional administrative tutor, and as a coordinator for hospitalized children and families at the Schneider Hospital for children. Rodayna holds a PHD from Bar Ilan University in Sociology and Education, and her academic work examines the integration of the Arab traditional society in the modern Israeli society, focusing mostly on the influence of women empowerment values. Rodayna has published researches on multicultural relations between Jews and Arabs, and attends academic conferences in this field.

Shmuel Shattah

Executive Director at Ne’emanei Torah Va’Avodah

Shmuel is the Executive Director at Ne’emanei Torah Va’Avodah, in his current position, he oversees all programs and activities. Shmuel has a BA in education and logistics and BA in public management. He worked as Rabbi-Teacher and as Vice Principal, in Amit Technological High School, near Bar-Ilan University. Shmuel served as an envoy in Chicago and as a parliamentary assistant in the Knesset.

Uri Keidar

Executive Director of Israel Hofsheet – Be Free Israel

Uri is the Executive Director of Israel Hofsheet – Be Free Israel, the biggest grassroots movement in Israel in the field of religion & state. Prior to this position, he was a Program Manager and the Interim Director of J Street’s Israeli office. Uri served as the elected chairperson of the young branch of the Israeli Labor Party between 2014 and 2016. He worked for the national kibbutzim movement as assistant to the General Secretary, and was the elected chairperson of Ben Gurion University’s Student Union while he was studying for his BA in Political Science and Communications. Uri Served in the IDF as a tank commander, where he won a certificate of excellence from the commander of the Gaza division commander during Independence Day 2004. He still serves in a combat unit as part of the reserve forces.

Adv. Yaqub Ibrahim

Arab Communication Spokesperson for the Abraham Fund initiative

Yaqub is the Arab Communication Spokesperson for the Abraham Fund initiative, and works to advance equality between Jewish and Arab citizens of Israel. Prior to this position, Yaqub was a
reporter for the Knesset Channel. Before his work as a reporter, Yaqub worked in education and coordinated between the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and High schools in Abu Gosh. Yaqub is
the founder and CEO of the nonprofit NGO Salametcom, providing assistance for children who are hospitalized in Israeli hospitals. Yaqub holds a LLB in law, LLM in Law, and a BA in Journalism from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

Shalom Boguslavsky

Senior consultant specializing in FSU

Senior consultant specializing in FSU, with an emphasis on geopolitics. Shalom also lectures on various aspects of the Israeli society, focusing on the different communities in Jerusalem and their relations with the community of former Soviet Jewry in Israel. Shalom is a social activist and is one of the founders of “Generation 1.5” – a group of young adults who immigrated to Israel from the former Soviet Union in the 1990s and write about the Russian voice in the Israeli society.

Racheli Brecher

Partner in an Accountancy Firm

Partner in an Accountancy Firm. After she was told she can only study education she rebelled against the conventions and organised accounting classes for ultra orthodox women. Racheli was the first ultra orthodox at the accounting firm she joined and just a few years later, thanks to her endeavors, the firm had over 20 Haredi employees. She is the founder of the Haredi cell in the Institute of Certified Public Accountants in Israel and gives lectures about the Haredi society. Racheli holds a B.A. and a diploma from Kiryat Ono College.

Inbar Bluzer Shalem

Founder and the director of Rashut Ha`Rabim

Founder and the director of Rashut Ha`Rabim, a partnership of more than 30 organizations in Jerusalem, which aims to transform Jerusalem into the global capital of Jewish renaissance. She currently works on creating a Jewish Ploralistic center in Jerusalem. Previously, Inbar founded and directed Hillel Haifa for 3 years and served as an emissary (Shlicha) in the USA and in England. Prior to that, Inbar was the first Hillel shlicha to the University of Massachusetts. She holds a B.A. in Economics from BGU University and an M.A. in Pluralistic Jewish Education from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Inbar also holds a second M.A. in Humanitarian Affairs she acquired during a joint program of Israelis and Palestinians in Italy. She’s a qualified rabi from the HUC institute in Jerusalem, and is an alumni of six pluralistic Batei Midrash programs throughout Israel.

Amit (Yatuv) Lerner

Cofounder and Director of the Hub for Social and Educational Entrepreneurship at Beit Berl College

Cofounder and Director of the Hub for Social and Educational Entrepreneurship at Beit Berl College. Co-creator of Together in Creation and the Movement for a Healthy Country, initiatives dedicated to promote knowledge, awareness and integrative activism for healing the planet and contributing to a new form of eco-governance. Amit worked as an economist in the Ministry of Finance and following the social protests of 2011, she initiated a leadership course for activists at The Heschel Center for Sustainability. She also established and led an innovative bachelor degree program in Education and Social Business Management at the Kibbutzim College of Education. Amit holds a B.A. and M.A. in Economics and is a fellow of the Mandel Leadership Institute.

Sahar Farah

Director of Strategic Relations at "Masira" Fund

Director of Strategic Relations at “Masira” Fund and Center for the Advancement of People with Disabilities in Arab Society of Israel. Sahar’s main responsibilities include soliciting and maintaining relationships with donors, overseeing and assisting in the creation of marketing materials, conferences and special events, and development of strategic business and policy plans. In the past Sahar worked as a lawyer in the civil field and after that in the field of public health where she served as a coordinator and health educator at the Arab Health Initiative at Memorial Sloan – Kettering Cancer Center Program at the Department for Immigrant Health, New York. The program was designed to raise awareness about cancer treatment and prevention, and was one of the founders of a first of its kind support program in New York for Arabic-speaking breast cancer patients which included psychological and educational components. She was a partner in a research aimed at improving the health of Arabic speakers in the United States. Sahar also served as a program manager at D-Cure (Diabetes Care in Israel) and was responsible for coordinating intervention and research evaluation regarding diabetes in the Arab community in Israel. Farah holds a Bachelor of Laws degree and a Master’s Degree from the School of Public Health at Haifa University.

Dr. Yael Erlichman

Facilitator at Maoz program

Facilitator at Maoz program. Executive board member of Ein Prat – the Academy for Leadership. Co-founder and psychotherapist at the Gvanim Center- a resilience center. Co-founder and psychotherapist at Nirim, a school for children with conduct disorders. Yael develops social and educational projects and leads strategic changes in different organizations. She also leads leadership projects in Israel and around the world. In her last position she served as a director of partnerships in the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews. Erlichman also performs treatments, counseling and guidance at her private clinic. Yael is a trauma expert psychotherapist trained at the TLV University Medical School and is a PHD Candidate in Psychoanalysis and Philosophy at Bar Ilan University.

Rabbi Shay (Shimon Yehuda) Weizman

Parliamentary Adviser, Knesset

Director of “Giyur Kahalacha” organization where he is in charge of dozens of rabbis who commit to lead orthodox conversion processes. By adapting an inclusive approach they assist thousands of families that want to convert. This position requires him to authorize the year’s budget, raise funds and to create and advocate social and educational activities throughout the country. He is a rabbinic teacher, educator and is the Rabi of the “Lapidot” pre military program where he teaches about the lives and ruling traditions of eastern Jewish rabbis and scholars.

Bracha Barad

Founder and CEO of Kulan

Founder and CEO of Kulan- a women NGO that promotes feminism in Israel. Barad manages staff, generates income, manages social media and leads the organization towards institutional transformation. She founded the Tel Aviv University Feminist Sorority in order to prevent sexual violence on campus and produced empowering activities for women. She managed the production of the Tel Aviv “Slut Walk”, a feminist demonstration against violence and victim blaming, and was the official spokesperson. She is a graduate of the NGO Catalyst fund-raising training, and the BeFree Israel leadership program. Barad holds a B.A in political science from TLV University.

Sarah Evron

Executive Director The Yaacov Herzog Center

Executive Director The Yaacov Herzog Center. Former Executive Director of Education of Jerusalem where she created a five year program for schools in the city. Prior to this she served as the principle at the Highschool of “Kibutz Hadaty”, Yavne Israel and as manager of the Kibutz Saad community. She was one of the founders of women prayer groups where women read the Torrah, celebrate Bat Mitzva and are empowered thru a religious experience. She holds an M.B.A from the College of Management and M.A. in Bible from Bar Ilan University.

Kamil Shiraf

Economic and Social Empowerment Project Entrepreneur and Developer

Economic and Social Empowerment Project Entrepreneur and Developer. He is also a director, film producer and owner of Screen Colors, a producing company. Initiated and manages a mobile space, science, technology and innovation center designed to encourage learning and give the public access to science. In addition he is the director of Artist, an NGO dedicated to preserve Bedouin culture and increase economic development. Kamil holds a B.A. in Psychology from TLV University and an M.A. in Public Policy and Governance from an institution in Jerusalem.

Omrit Yanilov Eden

Executive Director of "Athena" - National Program for the Advancement of Women's Sports in Israel

Executive Director of “Athena” – National Program for the Advancement of Women’s Sports in Israel where she leads programs in sport federation and association for the advancement of girls, teens and women in sport. The projects programs include cooperation between different communities and including Jews, Muslims and Christians. In the past she served as a professional staff member for the olympic games, during four olympic delegations. Omrit holds a B.A in Physical Education and an Executive Masters in Sports Organisation Management from Catholique de Louvain University, Belgium.

Ola Najmi Yousef

Director of Leadership Development Initiatives at Abraham Fund Initiative

Director of Leadership Development Initiatives at Abraham Fund Initiative. Prior to this position she worked for 8 years at the Women Against Violence Association as the coordinator of the project for the representation of women in decision-making positions and the awareness-raising project. She holds a B.A. in Psychology and Education from Bir-Zeit University, and an additional degree from the “Technion”, completed a training course from Oranim College in Facilitation and Community Projects Managing. In addition she completed a community leadership course for employees of local authorities and Arab organizations.

Mendy Rabinowitz

Principal of the "Reali" School

Principal of the “Reali” School since 2010 where he is responsible for the education of 1,400 students, grades 10-12. In his previous position he served as the National Counselor in the Ministry of Education’s Advancement of youth at risk. Prior to that Mendy was the principal of “Hadassah Neurim”, a youth village high school where he developed and applied unconventional educational approaches for at risk and new immigrant students. In the public sphere, Mendy served as a volunteering deputy mayor of the Kadima-Zoran Local Council, holding the education portfolio. Mendy holds a B.A. in Israeli Studies and an M.A. in Contemporary American History from Haifa University and is currently pursuing his Ph.D. at the School of History of Haifa University.

Yohan Atlan

CEO and co-founder of the Negev council

CEO and co-founder of the Negev council. He also coordinates intercultural leadership programs in Hillel, Ben Gurion University, serves as a coordinator of the young adults center in Dimona and lectures at the Philosophy Department of the Ben Gurion University. Prior to his position Atlan served as regional director of the Young adult Headquarter where he was in charge of developing civic engagement in the Negev region, directing and training 13 civic engagement coordinators from Eilat to Kiryat Mallachi. Yohan holds a B.A in Philosophy and Technological Sciences.

Ashraf Hino

Regional Director of the IACC- Israel association of community centers

Regional Director of the IACC- Israel association of community centers, where he mentors community centers staffs, evaluates managers performances and leads community building processes at the centers. He is a member of the board of directors of the IACC. He previously managed the Juliss Community Center where he led the fundraising efforts and managed innovative educational programs. He holds a B.A in Statistics from Haifa University and an M.A in Business Management from the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya. Hino served in the IDF as a combat soldier and retired with the rank of Lt. Col.

Amir Sznajderman

Director of economic development and loan funds within the framework of the Center for the Encouragement of Business at the Jewish Agency for Israel. Dealing with assisting entrepreneurs and business owners in Israel to develop and expand their businesses. He also serves as the CEO of the Crowd.iL project, a peer to peer crowdfunding platform for small businesses in the geographic and socioeconomic periphery of Israel. In the past he served as director of financial affairs and economist at the Jewish Agency and held various positions in Bank Hapoalim, including the department manager and deputy director of the branch. Holds a B.A. in Economics and Political Science and is studying for an M.B.A in finance and marketing, both from the Hebrew University.

Eliyahu (Eli) Schnap

Founder and co-manager of "Plugta"

Founder and co-manager of “Plugta”- a cross-sectoral dialogue project where he consults the steering committee. Prior to his position he managed a network of 70 volunteers in an NGO that provides support for children of single-family households and coordinated their activity with the Jerusalem welfare department. A graduate of Chevron Yeshiva, he holds a B.A. in Education from the Jerusalem College as well as certificates in Coaching and Mediation.

Eitan Cohen

Religious High School Principal – in charge of leading the staff members and students socially and pedagogically. In addition he is a leading figure in the integrated city communities scene in Israel. On his previous post, he was the principal of the Mikve Israel Religious School which consisted of students defined as “youth at risk”. Eitan also worked as the assistant principal at the Ulpanit Bar Ilan School where he was in charge of school’s administration, managed the school budget and coordinated the social education curriculum. Eitan holds a B.E.D. in Jewish Thought from the Hertzog College and an M.A. in Mediation and Dispute Resolution from Tel-Aviv University. He’s also a reserve armed forces company commander.

Shaindy Sadovsky

Director of ‘Osot Esek’

Director of ‘Osot Esek’, an entrepreneurial program designed for Haredi high school female graduates who acquire experience in an innovative field called ‘Making’. Shaindy also serves as a program Coordinator at ‘Community School’ – an educational community-based program that creates collaborations between schools and community administrators in Jerusalem. Prior to that, Shaindy coordinated ‘Turning Point’, a program that encourages entrepreneurship for at-risk youth in collaboration with the JDC and the Education Department of the Jerusalem Municipality. In the past, she served as Marketing and Sales Manager for ‘Ateret Shalom Hall’ and founded an independent business in the fashion field which imported shoes. Shaindy holds a Teaching Certificate in History, from Gur Seminary.

Dr. Shula Mola

Teaching Instructor and Curriculum Developer at the Center for Educational Technology

Teaching Instructor and Curriculum Developer at the Center for Educational Technology. Shula is also a member of the research and development team at the Avney Rosha Leadership Institute. She serves on the board of Gesher Multicultural Film Fund, and as a Council Member of Kol-Zchut and of the Justice Ministry’s Anti-Racism Department. In the past, she served as the CEO and Chairperson of the Association for Ethiopian Jews (AEJ) and was on the board of the ‘Steinhardt Family Foundation’. Shula is one of the founders of and key activists of Mothers on Guard – a group of mothers who protest police brutality against youth of Ethiopian origin. Shula holds a Bachelor and a Master’s Degree in Education from the Hebrew University, and has recently completed her PhD requirements in Communications from Ben Gurion University. She is a graduate of the Mandel Institute Educational Leadership School.

Roni Kantor

Founder of Community Forward

Heart entrepreneur, artist and community leader. Roni is one of the founders of Community Forward, the Israeli community leaders’ organization, and currently leads the education field in the organization. She founded the leading Israeli shoe brand Roni Kantor, known for designing vegan shoes, and is one of the founders of Midburn, a regional event of Burning Man where a temporary city is built for 6 days in the Negev desert. Today, Roni lives and creates in Hof Haçarmel, and is a founding partner of the intriguing new venture Purple Galaxy – which creates culture events in Hof Haçarmel through artistic intervention in the public sphere and invites the public to take responsibility for the space in which we live. Roni holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication and Management from HaMichlala Leminhal.

Zilit Jakobsohn

Chairperson of Bat Melech

Chairperson of Bat Melech, a non-profit organization that operates shelters for battered women who come from religious & ultra-Orthodox backgrounds and a lawyer. In addition, Zilit gives lectures to various institutes in order to raise awareness to violence against women and promotes gender and family issues in the Israeli parliament. She co-founded the Israeli Talmud, an educational project that teaches children the Talmud. As part of her work in the National Council for the Chil’ she represented children and families of victims of sexual abuse and violence in trails. Zilit holds a Bachelor and a Master of Law Degree, with honors, from Bar-Ilan University and a Family Mediator Certificate from Gome Institute.

Rabbi Shay Nave

Head of the Israeli program at the Neshamat

Head of the Israeli program at the Neshamat- Beit Midrash which teaches about 60 students every year (following their military or national service) and includes intensive Jewish studies. Shai is also a member of Tzohar Rabbis organization, in which he conducts wedding ceremonies and is a member of ‘Rabbis Online’, a closed group specializing in significant writing on social networks. He is one of the founders of Lapidot, a pre-military prep for religious women. Shay holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from the Open University and a Master’s Degree in Hebrew Literature from the Hebrew University and the Lander Institute.

Shuki Yaniv Elhadad

Vice President of Education and Director of the Jewish Identity Division at ‘KIAH’

Vice President of Education and Director of the Jewish Identity Division at ‘KIAH’. Previously, she managed Maarag, a program for excellence in education, aimed at improving Jewish – Israeli – Zionist identity. The program was founded by the Avi Hai foundation and in cooperation with the Ministry of Education. Prior to that, she served as Principal of the Be’er Sheva Comprehensive High School, Mekif Het. The school became an incubator for educational innovation, won numerous awards, the most notable was the President’s Education Award. Shuki holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Hebrew Literature and Philosophy and a Master’s Degree in Educational Administration, both from Ben Gurion University.

Rawan Bisharat

Co-Director of ‘Sadaka Reut’

Co-Director of ‘Sadaka Reut’ – Arab Jewish Youth Partnership. Prior to her position, Rawan coordinated the organization’s ‘Culture of Peace’ youth project. For the last ten years, she has been active in various civil society organizations and movements, such as being a board member of the nonprofit System Ali, a board member of Zazim (a campaigning community for social and political change) and chairwoman of the Academic Union in Nazareth. She has taken leading roles in local struggles in Jaffa, including through the Hithabrut-Tarabut movement, which aims to build a popular left through joining struggles of different oppressed groups. Additionally, she works as a Facilitator in Bar Ilan University and the NYU Campus in Tel Aviv University.

Ofra Abramovich

Founder and Chairwoman of Mamanet

Founder and Chairwoman of Mamanet – a newcomb ball league for moms, a field in which 20,000 players take part in, in Israel and around the world. Ofra’s model received recognition and awards from international organizations, foreign governments, government agencies, the UN, sport agencies such as CSIT, health & lifestyle companies and more. Mamanet’s moto is every mother can! Ofra also serves as the Chairwoman of the Women’s Volleyball Club Hapoel Kfar Saba and gives lectures about Mamanet worldwide. The Israeli Ministry of Science is currently conducting a 3-year research on Mamanet league regarding the increase of social capital, health promotion and wellbeing. Ofra holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Queens College, NYC.

Ido Rosenberg

Secretary of the Jerusalem City Council

Secretary of the Jerusalem City Council. As part of his responsibilities, he manages the municipal agenda through the municipal committees and the municipal council. He also serves as Director of Gihon, the Jerusalem the surrounding area water and sewage company. Prior to this position, he served as Deputy Manager of Nir Barkat’s election campaign and as a Senior Adviser to the Mayor of Jerusalem. Ido holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies from the Hebrew University and a Master of Law Degree from Bar-Ilan University.

Yakir Daniel

Director of a cyber product company owned by Toga Networks

Director of a cyber product company owned by Toga Networks’ nd one of the founders of Spotinst, a startup company. Prior to that, Yakir served a decade in the IDF in various technological positions. Following Operation Protective Edge and the expansion of the ‘BDS’ movement around the world, he served as a Shaliach- a Jewish Agency delegate, and established a Hillel branch at George Mason University. In addition, he co-founded Desert Bird, a community for lone soldiers who completed their army service and immigrated to Israel. Yakir holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science from the College of Management Academic Studies and a Master’s Degree in Law from Bar Ilan University.

Anat Mufkadi

CEO, ‘ANU’

CEO of ‘ANU’, an NGO that provides comprehensive infrastructure and support for social initiatives. Prior to that, Anat founded and managed the national employment centers of the Ministry of Social Affairs throughout Israel on behalf of the ‘JDC’. Anat was a Co-Founder and served as the founding CEO of the ‘Jerusalem Movement’ (HaTnuah HaYerushalmit), an NGO that works towards a welcoming and pluralistic Jerusalem. She served as the director of the Policy Promotion Department at the ‘Hazan Center’, of the ‘Van Leer Institute’. Anat also served as CEO of ‘Meimad’ party and provided consultation services to the Knesset, a Deputy Minister, and was a senior advisor to a Knesset Member. Anat holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Sciences from the Open University of Israel and a Master’s Degree in Political Science, specializing in Leadership and Government, from Tel Aviv University.

Zehorit Sorek

Program director at The Israel Association of Community Centers (IACC)

Candidate for the 19th and 21st Knesset on behalf of the ‘Yesh Atid’ and ‘Blue&White’ parties. Zehorit founded the LGBT caucus of ‘Yesh Atid’ and serves as the Chairperson. She also established the Proud Minyan in Tel Aviv, the ‘Proud Religious Community’ and is one of the founders of ‘Yachad’ synagogue. She is also an active member in other organizations such as: ‘Bat Kol’, a religious lesbian organization, and was also a board member of ‘Hoshen’, the gay community advocacy and education organization for tolerance in the religious society. In 2012 she received her honor of Distinguished Members of the LGBT Community. Zehorit currently works at The Israel Association of Community Centers (IACC) as a program director for the establishment of proud communities in the periphery in Israel and lectures about activism and her personal story.

Bashir Mansour

Psychological and Social Counselor at the Technion Student Dean's Office

Psychological and Social Counselor at the Technion Student Dean’s Office. Bashir also conducts therapy sessions in boarding schools for at-risk children. In recent years, he has written texts on shared living in Israel which were published in several newspapers. In the past, he worked at the Sacred Heart institute in Haifa, where he treated (individuals and groups) populations suffering from cerebral palsy and mental retardation. He also mentored students who studied music therapy at the University of Haifa and lead student career groups as part of the Kav Mashve organization. Bashir initiated several community projects, such as a partnership between an academic institution for music and a special needs school, for the integration of children with disabilities into concert halls in the community. He also initiated the Juzoor (Roots) project in the field of community activism, which sought to create cooperation between parents and children in one of Haifa’s neighborhoods – together with community leaders – with the aim of shaping local policy and adapting the neighborhood landscape to their unique needs. Bashir holds a bachelor’s degree in Statistics from Haifa University and two master’s Degrees: in Music Psychotherapy from Bar Ilan University and in Political Social Work from Haifa University. Bashir holds also a professional certificate in Group Facilitation from Tel Aviv University.

Lili Ben Ami

Lecturer at Ono Academic College

Director of educational programs for city municipalities on Social Entrepreneurship and on Gender and a lecturer at Ono Academic College. In the past, she directed Wizo Jerusalem Leadership Center and presented weekly on national TV show called ‘Osim Seder’. She has also worked for a long period of time at the Ministry of Education in a large number of positions. Among other things, Lili established a national community of educators, founded the nurseries of the Hebrew University, ‘The Lobby for Gender Equality’, established the ‘Fair Employment for Teachers’, and joined the principal’s forum ‘Future-Oriented Pedagogical Laboratory’. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Israel and Biblical Studies and a Master’s Degree in Education, with honors, both from the Hebrew University.

Elad Shoshan

Social and business entrepreneur

Social and business entrepreneur. Served as the CEO of Zikaron BaSalon – a social venture that offers a new, meaningful way to commemorate the Holocaust, the role granted him with the presidential award for outstanding volunteerism. Previously, he served as the CEO of Momentum and led innovation initiatives with the JDC, TLV Municipality, MFA and the Rothschild Caesarea Foundation. Elad is also the Co-Founder of ‘NOX Group’, a food and beverage company, specializing in culture and hospitality. Following his release as a commander in the Special Forces Yahalom Unit, he co-founded Yahalom Foundation, the unit’s non-profit veterans’ organization. He also founded Guests of Honor, a global initiative that organize holiday dinners for Holocaust survivors, the initiative granted him with the Edmond de Rothschild outstanding entrepreneur award. Elad holds an honorary Bachelor’s Degree in Business and Finance from the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya and currently resides as a board member in several social organizations.

Oren Itzhaki

Director of the Na'agat Center

Director of the Na’agat Center – a nonprofit Culture and Art Center that integrates people with disabilities in society, and provides an equal stage for meeting between deaf, blind individuals and the wide public. Na’agat operates four different centers: theater, dark restaurant, event center and workshop center, all of them employ actors, waiters, mentors and other employees with sensory limitations. Prior to that, he served as VP of ‘Meditech Cultural Complex’ in Holon and managed the operations of the Design Museum, Comic Museum, Meditech Theater, Holon Cinematheque and the Central Library. In the past, he served as a producer at the Alley theater and as a production manager specializing in multi participants events. Oren holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Sciences and Humanities from the Open University of Israel and is a graduate of a course for managers of cultural and art institutions.

Rabbi Chanoch Rogozinski

Director of Shaha’r

Director of Shaha’r an organization that integrates ultra-Orthodox populations in the IDF and in the work sector. Chanoch was one of the founders of ultra-Orthodox combat units in the IDF and supervised the preparation process. He also managed projects to integrate the ultra-Orthodox community in the academic world within the framework of Joint Israel, the Ministry of Economy and several local authorities. He also developed and lead informal education programs on behalf of the Jerusalem Municipality. Chanoch holds a Bachelor of Law Degree from the ONO Academic College and is currently working on a Master of Law Degree at Bar Ilan University.

Victor Weiss

CEO of Heschel Center for Sustainability, which spreads sustainability in creative ways, teaches conceptual and practical knowledge and promotes significant change processes in Israel. Victor is also a tour guide who gives lectures about education, sustainability and geography. In the past, he founded and managed the environmental protection field in the IDF. Victor is a graduate of the Heschel Center for Sustainability Leadership Program and a graduate of the Mandel Educational Leadership School. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Geography and Education from the University of Haifa and a Master’s Degree in Health Systems Management from the University of Beer Sheva.

Amitay Yaish Ben-Ousilio

Actor, director and interdisciplinary creator

Actor, director and interdisciplinary creator combining art and social entrepreneurship. Amitay is a member of Mifal HaPais – Lottery Arts Council, and the Chairman of the Performing Arts Committee. He is also a Lecturer at the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem. In the past he established and managed Factory Bat Yam – an artist residency program interacting within the surrounding community. Amitay was the Artistic Director of ‘the International Street Theater Festival’ Bat Yam. He was also the founder and creative director of Nissui Kellim festival, developing new interactions between different art forms. Amitay is also an active theater and movie actor, currently acting in the Oscar nominated feature film ‘Incitement’ by Yaron Zilberman and in the award-winning play ‘The Hearing’ by Renana Raz. Amitay is a graduate of the Academy of Performing Arts Beit Zvi.

Photograph – Yanai Yechiel

The people behind Co.Lab

Co.Lab was established, developed and continues to grow thanks to a unique partnership of a professional Israel team, NY based UJA professionals, and lay committees in New York and in Israel.

Team

Dafna Dor

Co.Lab Director

In 2018, Dafna finished a 16-year term as CEO of ‘Shiur Acher’ (‘A Different Lesson’), a nonprofit organization which supports the educational system in Israel by connecting thousands of volunteers from the business and public sectors to the public school system. Prior to that, Dafna managed projects focusing on integration of content and technology at Babylon, Kids World, CET (the Center for Educational Technology), and C.D.I. Systems. Dafna has a master’s degree in Communications and Journalism and a BA in Law – both from Hebrew University. She also holds an MSM (Master of Science Management) with a focus on entrepreneurship and technological management) from the Israeli branch of the New York Polytechnic University. She is also a graduate of the Program for Directors of Non-profit Organizations of Lahav, Tel Aviv University. She participated in various programs, including: Maoz (Advot), Kolot, Gevanim, and the CommUnity program of Gesher.

Dana Yakoby

Co.Lab Coordinator

Idit Sadeh

Facilitator, Co.Lab 06

Yotam Tolub

Facilitator, Co.Lab 06

A writer, lawyer, and activist who promotes equal rights for people with disabilities. He conducts writing workshops and advises social organizations around the world to promote policy change in the field of people with disability. He is also a lecturer in the Department of Education in Ono Academic College. He served as CEO of Bizchut and was chairman of several NGO coalitions and led educational programs in several organizations (Gesher, Masa Israeli, The Jewish Agency). He is a graduate of Co. Lab 02, a program led by the UJA Federation of NY and of ‘Roim Rahok’ led by JDC. Yotam currently writes a PhD on disability and elderly rights at the University of Haifa. He lives with his family in the Mevo Beitar. Yotam is a facilitator at Co. Lab (cohort 06).

Rabbi Gabi Cohen

Facilitator, Co.Lab 04-05 & Co.Lab for organizations

Gabi is the Director of Pedagogic Centers and Head of Educational Counseling in the Bnei Yosef – Ma’ayan_HaChinuch Education Network. Gabi serves as an officer in reserves in charge of the Haredi population in the IDF Home Front Command. Gabi has extensive experience in formal and informal education, focusing on holistic ways to support communities and institutions. Gabi holds a BED, a MA from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and is an alumni of Mandel Mandel Leadership Institute.

 

Zohar Yonai Dvora

Facilitator, Co.Lab for organizations

Zohar Yonai Dvora, 32, is the director and co-founder of the Lod Program Made in Israel, which is a homegrown social enterprise in Lod. Prior to founding the program in 2011, Zohar worked for the Shacharut association for the advancement of equality, society and culture. Zohar graduated from a mediation and community dialogue program, is a member of Shekhenim – an urban Arab-Jewish leadership initiative and has years of experience in leading and facilitating community study groups. Zohar received her B.Ed. in Community, Social, and Multidisciplinary Education as part of an Honors Program for education professionals in Oranim College.

Founders & Facilitators

Roi Mekler

Co.Lab Founding Director 2015-2019

Roi is the head of Co.Lab, a UJA Federation of NY flagship initiative in Israel. Roi is also the
founding director of ACDF, Alumni Communities Directors Forum, and of Midrasha LeMaase – an
educational enterprise for Mechinot (pre-army preparatory) graduates, encouraging participants to
get involved with tackling national and Jewish issues. In addition, he lectures in pre-army
preparatory academies for social leadership, where he teaches courses on law and Israeli society.
Roi was a program director at the JDC Institute for Leadership and Governance, where he
established government networks that bring together senior leaders for social empowerment, and
managed and convened governors’ forums. Before that, Roi was the educational manager at
MiBereshit Foundation for Jewish Renaissance. Roi is the VP of the Audit Committee at the MASA
Israeli. Roi Learned at the Excellence MA Program and Law Faculty of the Hebrew University and
serves (now in reserve duty) in the IDF Combat Rescue Unit 669.

Tova Averbuch

Facilitator, <br>Co.Lab 01

Organizational Development Consultant, working with organizational systems and communities. One of the pioneers in the use of “Open Space Technology” in Israel. Incorporates the use of multi-participant methodologies to create quality solutions efficiently and quickly, specifically suited to conditions of urgency and complexity. Lecturer and supervisor of Masters Degree in organizational consulting at Tel Aviv University; trains consultants. Engages in personal consulting and development of managers and organizational systems. Serves as groups’ counselor in organizations and works with managers to open for them a space for new creative energy and genuine human contact.

Susan Lax

Founding Chair, <br> NY Co.Lab Taskforce

Susan Lax is a spiritual counselor and reiki practitioner living in New York. Originally from a kibbutz in Israel, Susan and her husband, Steven, now live in New York. While Susan studied Jewish spirituality and spiritual counseling her work eventually expanded and evolved beyond the Jewish world, leading her to focus on working with women whose lives have been affected by trauma and illness. Much of her work focuses on end of life care and living with cancer. Susan is the author of “Morning Inspiration: A daily e-mail for your soul.” Today, Susan and Steven are the sole owners of Naot Footwear Worldwide and have three daughters, two son-in-laws and two grandchildren.

Marcia Riklis

Founding Chair, SHITUF committee

After selling her hair-care business, Jose Eber Inc, in 1994, Marcia Riklis turned her fulltime attention to philanthropy. Initially working directly with victims of violence at the Montefiore Child Protection Center (now known as the Butler Center), Marcia then became a founding member of the Jewish Women’s Foundation of New York, and joined the board of the New York Legal Assistance Group. She also serves on the boards of the Israel Policy Forum (as well as on the Executive Committee), the Institute for National Security Studies (an Israeli think-tank), and Earthjustice (a national not-for-profit law firm serving environmental needs). She conceived of and sponsored a graduate-level textbook called Arabs and Israelis: Conflict and Peacemaking in the Middle East, written by an Israeli, a Palestinian, and an Egyptian. Marcia’s involvement with UJA-Federation initially began with the Women’s Campaign and over the years has evolved to include her participation in Planned Giving and Endowments, the Caring Commission and Caring Cabinet. Most recently she served as the co-Chair of the General Campaign from 2011-2013. Marcia is currently a member of UJA-Federation’s Executive Committee and Board of Directors and sits on the Finance Committee, the Commission on Jewish Identity & Renewal’s Israel Task Force, the Campaign Steering Committee and Priorities Cabinet. Additionally, Marcia is the Chair of the Shituf committee, which is working on cross-commission initiatives to strengthen Israeli society and position Israel as an inclusive and diverse Jewish state long into the future.

Oded Gera

Chair, Israeli steering committee 2015-2017

Oded is currently Global Senior Advisor to Rothschild &Co, former Chairman of RCF , Rothschild Israel. Oded is an extremely accomplished entrepreneur who has dedicated himself to the advancement of business, the environment and culture in Israel. Oded is the founder of the International Board of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, a trustee of the Alliance of Religions for Conservation and President Europe of Mutual Art. Previously Oded was founder and owner of the Oded Gera fashion house, which became a household name in Israel. In 1993 he was appointed CEO of The Israel Jewellery Exchange, which was subsequently bought by a public company in 1996. Recent deals include Apax Partners’ acquisition of Psagot Investment House, Altice‘s acquisition of a stake in Hot Telecommunications, Thales acquisition of CMT Medical and Delek RE’s acquisition of RoadChef in the UK and the recent sale of Keter Plastic. Oded served as an advisor to the board of Robeco in relation to their fund management business.

Hagit Sachar-Paraira

Facilitator, <br>Co.Lab 02-05

Hagit is an Organizational, Trainer and Group Consultant at the business, public and 3rd sector,
lecturer at the Haifa University, Oranim College and The program of Organizational Consultation &
development: A PsychoanalyticSystemic Approach; Former director of capacity building at Shatil,
PHD student in Gender Studies, Bar Ilan University.

Partners

Israeli Team

  • Lili Pergamenikov
    Coordinator, Co.Lab 01
  • Tamar Gibli
    Coordinator, Co.Lab 02-03
  • Adi Dagan 
    Director of Eco.Lab and Operations, Co.Lab 03-04

New York Team

  • Rebecca Katz-White
  • Zach Cohen
  • Anna Bennet​t
  • Chani ​Kovacs Zweiter
  • ​Rebecca Galin
  • Ezra Moses
  • Rina Cohen
  • Ariel Balsam

New York Task Force

  • Amy Millard
  • Jack Gorman
  • Michael Rosenbaum
  • Sarene Shanus
  • Harold Treiber
  • Cindy Masters
  • Diane Werner

Israeli Task Force (2015-2017)

  • Prof. Yaara Bar-On
  • Rabbi Israel Gellis
  • Tziona Koenig-Yair
  • Kher Elbaz