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.

 

Tom Mehager

CEO, Amram

Tom is the CEO of Amram, a nonprofit organization whose goal is to lead the Israeli government to admit responsibility in the Yemenite, Mizrahi, and Balkan Children Affair. In addition, Tom is a blogger on the HaOketz website (in Hebrew and Arabic) and publishes articles in +972 and Middle East Eye websites (in English). In the past he was the spokesperson for Abraham Fund Initiatives and the manager of the communication department at Adalah Legal Center. Prior to that, he worked at the Center for the Defense of the Individual, Physicians for Human Rights, and Worker's Hotline. Tom holds a B.A. in film and television and an M.A. in political sciences, both from Tel Aviv University. He was a principal research associate at Harvard University during the 2019-2020 academic year. He lives in Tel Aviv.

Shmuel Rozengarten

Projects manager, United Hatzalah

Shmuel works for the benefit of senior citizens in Israel, on two paths of activism: he is the founder and partner of Kan Bishvilam, a nonprofit organization that operates to relieve the loneliness of elders and to enhance their safety of life and homes, and he is the founder of a volunteer project to benefit lone senior citizens in United Hatzalah Organization. Previously, Shmuel founded an ultra-Orthodox community relations program at MATI Jerusalem and managed the kindergartens of the Shuvu schools' network, where he was also responsible for informal educational activities. Shmuel has a certificate of higher Torah education from the Chief Rabbinate of Israel, and he is a certified organizational consultant and mediator. He is currently studying for his B.A. in education at Orot Israel College. He is married, has eight children, and lives in Modiin-Ilit. Shmuel believes that every person has something to give and that there is something to learn from each and every one.

Racheli Amar-Ninio

Director of development and education, OU Israel

Racheli is the director of development and education at OU Israel. She is a social entrepreneur and community manager of Ahuki and AhukiNation, a communal platform that promotes social responsibility, entrepreneurship, and community. She is a director of digital media and lectures on social media. Racheli is a former educational Shlicha to the Jewish community in Boston. She holds a B.A. and an M.A. in educational management and has a teaching certificate in Bible studies, all from Bar-Ilan University. She wrote her thesis on formative experiences in the lives of principals that shaped and changed their managing patterns. She is originally from Beit Shemesh, lives in Jerusalem, is married, and has two children. She is a smartphone photography enthusiast.

Rivka Yafit Hirsch

Community manager, group facilitator, consultant and lecturer

Rivka Yafit leads communities, lectures, and is a group facilitator in the private sector and in Maof, mainly for women in business. Rivka is the manager of Haiskiot, the community for businesswomen for Maof in Jerusalem, Binyamin Region and Samaria Region, for the Agency of Small and Mid-Sized Enterprises at the Ministry of Economy and Industry. She is also a consultant and facilitator for entrepreneurs and community managers in establishing regional business communities in projects for municipal councils. Rivka participated in founding an urban training project in Rishon-LeZion and is an Intech coach. Throughout the years she has facilitated and consulted on communal social projects incorporating business tools, such as second-hand shops and centers for women. She has also coached women in the process of separation, divorce, and recovering from violent relationships, in personal and in group processes. Rivka holds a B.A. with honors in education from Tel-Hai College. She served in the IDF Nachal Brigade. She is a secular person who became religious, lives in Shiloh, and is married with four children. Rivka strives to influence and create meaningful connections and social activism, mainly promoting women, out of a dialogue, to connect immigrants and life in Israel, secular and religious people, the center and the periphery, and conservatism and innovation.

Fadwa Bushnaq

Attorney, Fadwa Bushnaq Law Firm

Fadwa is an attorney who has her own independent law office. She is also a board member at the Misgav Economic Company, a founder and a member of the supervising committee of Clean, a nonprofit organization dealing with maintaining cleanliness in public spaces in Israel (education, information, and research). She also promotes a multicultural social-touristic culinary venture in the Galilee, which will be a platform for collaboration among all Galilee residents. Fadwa also has a part in designing a series of tours that present stories of Arabic and Jewish women from the Galilee. Fadwa holds an L.B.B., a B.A. in psychology, and an M.P.A. in administration and public policy, all from Haifa University. She is married and has two children. She was born in the village of Deir-Hanna to a family of farmers, and she lives in Salama. Fadwa believes in the great potential of direct connection and meeting between people to create conscious change, understanding, and containment.

Nizar Daaka

Educational leadership lecturer, Kinneret Academic College

Nizar is leading an initiative to promote an advanced pedagogy to develop twenty-first century capabilities in the education system. He is a lecturer on educational leadership in the Department of Education and Community Studies at the Kinneret Academic College and is a professor of leadership studies at the Israeli Leadership Program at The Yezreel Valley College. He is also on the board of directors of the Association for Joint Israeli Leadership, which operates a seminary for Arab and Jewish leadership, and is a member of the research team of the National Resilience Institute at Ariel University. He is a member in the development group of the Israeli Hope in Education program and at the aChord Center of Social Psychology for Social Change at The Hebrew University. Until 2019, he was the principal of the Regional Arabic School in Mateh Yehuda and before that, he was the manager of a therapeutic institution in the city of Shfar'am. Nizar holds a B.A. in Middle Eastern studies and an M.A. in administration and national security, both from Haifa University, and he is a graduate of the Regional Leadership Program at the Mandel Leadership Institute. Nizar served in the IDF Human Resources Department, and was discharged with the rank of Lt. Col. He is Druze, married with three children and lives in Shfar'am.

Merav Shany

Partnerships director and the manager of the Global School Twinning Network in the partnership unit, Jewish Agency

Merav is a partnerships director and the manager of the Global School Twinning Network in the partnership unit of the Jewish Agency, where she leads a joint program with the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Diaspora Affairs. Before that she worked in Elem, a nonprofit organization; the Ministry of Science; the Ministry of Construction and Housing, and the Knesset. Merav is a communal and social leader, with vast experience in collaboration and collective project management, developing and guiding plans and working with volunteer leadership, with the Jewish communities in the diaspora and government offices. She is a mediator and a mediation instructor. Merav holds a B.A. in political science and international relations from the Hebrew University and an M.A. in conflict resolution and negotiation from Bar-Ilan University. Merav is married, has three children, and lives in Modiin.

Yarden Zornberg

עצמאי

Yarden is the outgoing director of innovation at the FoodTech national initiative of Erel Margalit. Prior to that, he founded and managed Project Ten, an international development organization, where he founded and operated eight centers in seven countries worldwide working in the fields of health, agriculture, and education. In the past, Yarden directed the Acharai Labagrut project, a national program for youth at risk. He has also facilitated joint activities for Palestinian and Jewish children. He holds a B.A. in behavioral sciences from Ben-Gurion University and an M.A. in clinical social work from The Haifa University. He also graduated from the managers program E.M.B.A. from the Hebrew University, focusing on venture capital. He lives in Jerusalem with his spouse, Yael, and their two children.

Yakov Yosef Teichman

Researcher, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission of the Ministry of justice

Yaakov Yosef is a researcher at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission of the Ministry of justice. He is also a lecturer at the Ono Academic College and the deputy chairman of the board of directors at the nonprofit Lishma organization for integrating and empowering the mentally ill. In the last decade, he was involved in promoting the rights of people with disabilities, especially psychosocial disabilities within the Jewish ultra-Orthodox community. He is one of the founders of Lev in the Community project, an enterprise that promotes the rights of people with disabilities in the ultra-Orthodox community, and assists in directing it. He holds a B.A. in social sciences and humanities from The Open University and an M.A. in criminology from Haifa University. He lives in Jerusalem.

Yael Bialer Rahamim

Vice president of resources development, marketing, and partnerships, Desert Stars

Yael is the vice president of resources development, marketing, and partnerships in Desert Stars, a nonprofit organization focusing on developing the next generation of Bedouin leadership. Prior to that, Yael worked in the informal education field and has taught about Israel at the The Jewish Agency for Israel, the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel, Acharai nonprofit organization, and in the Husidman Science Center for Youth. She has an honorary B.A. in sociology and management and an M.A. in sociology, both from Ben-Gurion University. Yael is also a licensed Israeli tour guide. She is married and has four children. She was born and raised in Jerusalem (seventh generation) and moved with her family to Kibbutz Cramim in the Negev, because of her connection to the people and to the desert landscapes.

Yael Elharar

Manager of the contracts unit and leads workforce diversity, Geological Institute of Israel

Yael works at the Geological Institute of Israel, affiliated with the Ministry of Energy. She is in charge of the budget and work plans, manages the contracts unit, and leads workforce diversity in the Ministry. She was chosen to participate in the Leadership Club, a limited forum of excelling diversity directors from the civil service. In addition, Yael is involved in social initiatives, including the enhancement of employment of ultra-Orthodox Jews in civil service and volunteering as a leader of a community of ultra-Orthodox government employees. She also volunteers as a team leader in Paamonim, a nonprofit organization where she accompanies families who find themselves in financial difficulties and leads them toward recovery and financial responsibility. Yael holds a B.A. in business administration from the Ono Academic College, an M.A. in public administration and policy, with honors, from Bar-Ilan University, and a teaching diploma from the Beit Yaacov Seminar. She lives in Beit Shemesh.

Yotam Reshef

Director of the Hubitus, Botanical garden in Jerusalem

Yotam is the director of the Hubitus in the botanical garden in Jerusalem, a hub for Jerusalemite organizations and initiatives that promote environmental and social sustainability. It also operates communal programs on environment and urban agriculture in the botanical garden and throughout Jerusalem. Yotam is a co-founder of two social enterprises in Beer-Sheva: Kolboynik, a collective equipment storeroom, and the Communal Carpentry. He also worked as a director of social business and resource development in the HaReshet program of Eretz-Ir, a nonprofit organization in Beer-Sheva, and he was a young JAFI Shaliach of Habonim Dror Youth Movement in Vancouver, Canada. Yotam holds a B.A. in social work and an M.B.A. in social leadership, both from Ben-Gurion University. Before his army service, he volunteered for a year in community service in Nitzana at the Negev. He served as a combat officer in the paratroopers brigade and as a mental health officer in reserves. Yotam was born and raised in Kibbutz Yagur, a fourth generation to a collective community, and now lives in Jerusalem.

Hanan Serhan

Supervisor in the Youth and Community Administration, Ministry of Education

Hanan is a supervisor in the Youth and Community Administration in the Ministry of Education, where she focuses on developing and strengthening the infrastructure for informal education in Arab society, in the northern region. Hanan has won an award for her work and was chosen to be the liaison between the Northern District and the Arab division at the Ministry. Prior to that she worked as a manager of a PISGA Center, which is a ministry professional development center for teachers. She led the center in accreditation by the international European Foundation of Quality and Management (EQFM). Hanan has a certificate in organizational counseling, a B.A. in education and sociology, and an M.A. in educational counseling, all from Haifa University. She is a graduate of the Principal Training Program at Oranim Academic College of Education and is certified to work as a mentor and assessor by the EFQM. Currently, she is writing scientific research about the effects of nonformal education at Bar-Ilan University. She lives in Carmiel and is married with three children.

Giti Karpfen

Co-founder and CEO, Naomi Medical

Giti is the co-founder and CEO of the Naomi Medical company and runs an event-production family business. Naomi Medical was established in collaboration with a wide spectrum of entreprenurs from diverse social and professional backgrounds and develops innovative technology that will treat infertility via high resolution ultrasound and electric waves. Previously, Giti worked in accounting at the Israel Electric Corporation. Giti is a graduate of The Mandel Foundation Leadership Institute program in Jerusalem and is a B.A. student in psychology and international relations at The Open University. She lives in Beit Shemesh, is a graduate of Beit Yaakov Institutions, and is an ultra-Orthodox Jew. She believes in integrating ultra-Orthodox Jews in the Israeli technological scene and in meeting and creating dynamics between different people, as part of the effort to become better, deeper, and more innovative human beings.

George Rantissi

Psychologist, Gedera Municipality

George is a psychologist at the Gedera Municipality in Southern Israel. He is also an active member of the Christian-Arab community, which includes 120,000 people spread throughout Israel. George is a board member of his community church — whose members speak Arabic, communicate in Hebrew, and pray in Greek (Orthodox church). He holds a B.A. in education and philosophy from Tel Aviv University, an M.A. in psychology from Ben-Gurion University, and a Ph.D. in education from the University of Leicester, Britain. He lives in Ramla. George defines himself as both Palestinian and Israeli and speaks of the difficulty in being a minority within a minority.

Erez Perlmuter

Chairman of directory, Kol-Zchut

Erez is an experienced entrepreneur in the high-tech industry and is the co-founder and chairman of Kol-Zchut. Kol-Zchut is a nonprofit organization that operates a website providing extensive information on the rights and entitlements Israeli citizens are eligible for and ways to receive them, free of charge. The site is used by 1.25 million people per month and is accessible in Hebrew, Arabic, and English. In addition, Erez is a senior advisor to the Israeli Innovation Authority and volunteers as a mentor in several social initiatives. Erez founded or was a senior board member in three innovative start-ups that operated mostly in the U.S. market; one of these companies had a successful IPO. Erez has a B.Sc. in mathematics and computer science with honors, an M.B.A., and an M.A. in philosophy with honors, all from Tel-Aviv University. He began his career as an academic officer at the Technological Unit of The Israeli Air Force, from which he was discharged as a major. He has two patents in the U.S. and has lectured on social entrepreneurship on TEDx. He lives with his family in Ramat-Gan.

Amira Kassem

Head of training and knowledge development, Al-Fanar

Amira is the head of training and knowledge development at Al-Fanar, which operates the Ryian workforce development centers in the Arab society. It is a governmental program geared toward integration of Arab citzens of Israel into the workforce. In addition, Amira is a social activist involved in establishing a mixed Arab-Jewish local community in her town. In the past, she managed various educational and social programs and led Arab-Jewish and Israeli-Palestinan dialogue groups. She holds an M.A. in management of nonprofit organizations from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and is qualified at group facilitation. She is originally from Abu-Gosh, and now lives in the north of Israel, in Nof HaGalil (formerly Nazereth-Ilit). She is married with two children. Amira believes in connections between varied identities in order to create a common space for all the citizens of Israel.

Elior Amar

Opposition leader and city council member, Kiryat Malachy

Elior is a journalist, an activist, and a social and business entreprenur. He serves as a member of the Kiryat Malachi City Council and is chairman of the opposition. He is a board member in the Darkenu movement. Elior is also the owner of an independent business for digital social media management and marketing. As part of his public activities, he has been fighting for many years for distributional justice between Kiryat Malachy and its neighbor, the Beer Tuvia Regional Council. For ten years he’s also worked as a reporter, editor, and publisher of a local newspaper of Kiryat Malachy and the surrounding area. In the past, he managed the national telemarketing operations of the Israeli Labor Party. Elior is a graduate of the 120 Leadership Program and is currently studying for a B.A. in administration and public policy at The Sapir Academic College. He is an information reserve officer at the Home Front Command and lives in Kiryat Malachy.

Orna Heilinger

Manager of Netica, Israel Internet Association (ISOC-Il)

Orna is the founder and manager of Netica in the Israeli Internet Association, where she promotes optimal use of the web such as promoting awareness, creating an ecosystem that will promote change, activating a hotline to support people hurt by the internet, and leading campaigns on these issues. As part of Netica activities, Orna established the Web Spaces community, where experts from many areas (education, mental health, parenting, and the web) exchange knowledge, create common language, promote connections and partnerships, and lead activities for the benefit of the public. In addition, Orna has been leading a joint venture for the National Insurance Children's Fund and the Internet Association on cyberbullying among youth at risk. The project includes 13 different programs, some aimed at local communities and some at various nonprofit organizations dedicated to the subject. She lives in Kfar-Saba.

Udi Marily

SEO Udi Marily, Creative employment solutions

Udi is the founder and manager of a company that specializes in entrepreneurship and in developing social projects that integrate people with disabilities into the community. One project is a network of four Batei Midrash (places where the Torah is studied) for ultra-Orthodox Jews coping with psychosocial difficulties. In addition, the company accompanies and integrates hundreds of people with psychosocial difficulties from the Arabic and Jewish communities into the employment market. Another new project is communal housing for individuals with autism and cognitive disablities, in cooperation with religious intentional communities (‘Garinim Toraniyim’) in the peripheries. In the past, Udi worked as a facilitator and a coordinator in Hevruta, a hostel for religious juvenile delinquents and in Retorno, an addiction rehabilitation center. He holds a B.A. in industrial management engineering from Ariel University and an M.A. in education from Bar-Ilan University. He lives in Jerusalem.

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.

Idit Sadeh

Facilitator,
Co.Lab 06

Idit Sadeh is an organizational consultant and a facilitator, deals with organizational and strategic development processes and senior management development. She has a vast experience in working with CEOs and senior managers from the three sectors. She creates and facilitates systemic working processes in target related methodologies based on collectiveness and participation, for small and big groups. She served as vice-CEO of Sheatufim organization and on behalf of it led various forums and programs for CEOs and managers of social organizations and advised managers of collective impact processes. She holds an M.A. in Organizational Sociology and a B.A. with honors in the Interdisciplinary Department of Social Sciences from Bar-Ilan University. In addition, she has learnt: facilitating groups as part of her M.A., personal and business coaching, dialogue organizational development, MBTI authorization, Mindfulness course for professionals and various professional educational programs in management, partnerships and work methodologies in complex systems. She lives in Kadima, married with two children.

Dana Yakoby

Co.Lab Coordinator

Dana Yakoby is a member of The Rooster Ensemble – a young theater ensemble which brings social issues to the theatrical stage in an innovative and critical production. Prior to that, she coordinated the Israeli branch of Visit.org and was in charge of management of volunteers' staff, partners collaboration, marketing and tours production. In the past, she worked as a facilitator and coordinator of a long-term program in the English-speaking department of Israel Experience, where she accompanied the participants during the program, even before arriving and until the end of the program, and was in charge of creating an annual program. Dana is a graduate of The Goodman Acting School of the Negev. She lives in Tel Aviv.

Tova Averbuch

Facilitator,
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.

Dafna Dor

Co.Lab Director

In 2018, Dafna Dor 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, public and social 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 is a lawyer and a mediator; she holds an M.A. in Communications and Journalism and a B.A. in Law – both from The 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. In addition, she graduated a management course of Harvard Business School and Maoz (Advot) program, and participated in programs by Kolot, Gvanim, and the Commוnity -Gesher. Dafna is one of the founders of the Forum for CEO’s of Social Organizations. She lives in Bnei Atarot and has two children.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

אמיר שניידרמן

Director of economic development and loan funds within the framework of the Center for the Encouragement of Business at the Jewish Agency for Israel

Amir is the 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. He 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. He lives in Jerusalem.

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

Eitan Cohen is the principal of Atid Emanuel Moreno High School in Lod. Prior to that he was the principal of the Junior High School Yeshiva for Sciences and Arts and an active and leading partner in building joint communities in the cities. In the past, he was the principal of the Mikve Israel Religious School that 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. He lives in Ariel. He is a co-founder of the CoLab initiative: Nikuy Rosh – the first headmasters' theater.

Adi Dagan

Director of operations and alumni community

Ms. Dagan completed her BSW at BGU and her MBA in social leadership program sponsored by the Mandel Foundation at Ben-Gurion Univ. Ms. Dagan has experience in community work, social project management and volunteer management. In addition Adi is active in Zikaron BaSalon community and leads the Tel Aviv-Jaffa community.

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.  

Sarene Shanus

New York Task force

Diane Werner

New York Task force

Amy E. Millard

Chair- New York Task force

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

Chairwoman, SONSHINE

Bat Galim is the Chairwoman of SonShine, the next chairwoman of the Central Zionist Archives, an educator and public activist, working to promote connections in the Israeli society and to promote Jewish Peoplehood awareness and establish the connection between Israel and the Jewish communities in the diaspora. She has 20 years of experience in the formal and informal education systems and lectures in various places in Israel and abroad and is a part of promoting various initiatives relating to unity in the Israeli society and Jewish diaspora. A member of board of directors, a co-founder and co-leader of Unity Day, Jerusalem Unity Prize for Israel Unity, a member of Our Common Destiny Forum on behalf of Genesis Philanthropy Group and The Ministry of Diaspora Affairs and author of "Expecting My Child-Longings of a Mother". Bat Galim holds a B.A. in political science and in Jewish history from Bar Ilan University, an M.A. in educational administration from the Center for Academic Studies in Or Yehuda and an alumnus of Rashut HaRabim Beit Midrash (a school for religious studies) of Herzog College. She lives in Talmon.

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.

Kher Albaz

Israeli Task Force

Michael F. Rosenbaum

New York Task force

Michael F. Rosenbaum is Chair of UJA’s Strengthening Israeli Civil Society Committee, which is part of the Commission on the Jewish People (COJP). He is also a member of COJP’s Steering Committee and Cabinet, and a member of the Board of Directors of UJA Federation.  He was a member of various COJP Task Forces over the past several years.   Michael is a corporate and securities attorney, having served most recently as Managing Director and General Counsel of Citigroup’s Global Investment Management and Private Banking sector, and he is currently engaged in private investing and consulting.  Michael and his wife Beverly live in Scarsdale, New York, and have a son who recently completed medical school at Ben Gurion University in Israel and is now a resident at Montefiore New Rochelle Hospital, and a daughter who recently made aliyah.

Susan Lax

Founding Chair,
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.

Jack M. Gorman

New York Task force

Jack M. Gorman, M.D. founded Franklin Behavioral Healthcare Consultants in 2010. He is currently CEO and Chief Scientific Officer. Franklin Behavioral Healthcare Consultants provides expert guidance to biotech companies and to health care organizations in order to improve the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of mental health care. Before founding Franklin Behavioral Healthcare Consultants, Dr. Gorman was Chief Scientific Officer and Senior Vice-President of both Comprehensive NeuroScience Inc and Care Management Technologies Inc. In those positions he used his two decades of experience in neuroscience, psychiatry, and psychopharmacology to help develop new programs in behavioral health care management and CNS drug development. Dr. Gorman was a summa cum laude graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, received his medical degree from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University and received residency and fellowship training in the Department of Psychiatry of Columbia University/New York State Psychiatric Institute program. He was on the faculty of Columbia University from 1981 to 2002, becoming Lieber Professor, Vice-chair for Research, Professor of Psychiatry and Radiology, and Director of the Lieber Center for Schizophrenia Research. He then became Klingenstein Professor and Chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Professor of Neuroscience of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Dr. Gorman was elected a fellow of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, authored or co-authored more than 400 scientific articles and chapters, and was continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health for his research from 1981 until 2006. He won numerous awards for his research and service to psychiatry from organizations like the American Psychiatric Association, American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, and Society for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and is one of the most frequently cited authors in the psychiatry and neuroscience literatures. Dr. Gorman is co-editor of the textbooks Treatments that Work, now in its fourth edition, and Comprehensive Textbook of AIDS Psychiatry, with its second edition now in preparation, and author of the popular book The Essential Guide to Psychiatric Drugs, which appeared in its fourth edition in 2007. His newest book, authored with his daughter, Dr. Sara Gorman, Denying To the Grave, on the reasons behind denial of scientific medical evidence, was published by Oxford University Press in 2016. His expertise is in behavioral healthcare management and improvement, psychopharmacology, psychotherapy and clinical and basic neuroscience. He is currently working on a new book, tentatively titled The Science of Experience: Neuroscience at the Interface of Mind and Brain. Dr. Gorman has been married for 40 years to New York City psychiatrist Dr. Lauren Kantor Gorman and is the father of two daughters, Dr. Rachel Moster and Dr. Sara Gorman, and one granddaughter, Hannah Beth Moster. He currently devotes substantial time to work with philanthropic organizations.

Prof. Yaara Bar-On

Israeli Task force

Prof. Bar-On holds a Ph.D in history from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Before participating in the Mandel School for Educational Leadership program, Yaara was a lecturer at Tel Aviv University. After completion of the program Prof. Bar-On headed the Kremnitzer Shenhar Report Implementation Committee of the Ministry of Education. She was responsible for the budgetary and pedagogical aspects of the committee, which included management of the educational staff, national projects, teacher training programs, and curricular material for schools. In 2004, Prof. Bar-On was named the Deputy President for Academic Affairs at the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design. In this capacity she was responsible for academic and administrative development which included planning, implementation, and supervision of curricula; developing a community of students; generating interaction between departments and developing multidisciplinary programs. She also served as a professor in the Department of History of Culture and Society at the Bezalel Academy. In addition, she taught research methods and academic writing in the MA program for Industrial Design and served as a supervisor for final projects. Currently, Prof. Bar-On serves as the President of the Oranim Academic College of Education.

Rabbi Avraham Yisrael Gelis

Israeli Task force

Got his rabbinical diploma in 1973 from Hevron Yeshiva. Rabbi Yisrael is the Founder and head editor of "Yated neeman" newspaper, "Erev Shabbat" newspaper ("Jerusalem Post" publication), and Movie Editing & advising channel 1&2 Israeli TV. Author of: the carta guidebook of the holy places, "Hod V'Hadar" on synagogues in Israel, "The Chevron Yishiva" Rabbi Yisrael has frequent performances in radio programs: "Reshet bet", "Kol Chia", "Moreshet" and advice for foreign T.V. for Judaism programs: South America' Germany, Central Europe, BBC' South Korea, etc. Rabbi Yisrael performed on story teller's festival, "Ha'haan" Jerusalem, "Jerusalem's theater" "Rabin Center" and strongly connected to rabbi's from all religious circles, Members of Israeli K'nesset"' Ministers, Rabbi's abroad Europe. Rabbi Yisrael serves as a member of "Yad Ben Zvi", Jerusalem municipality, film school "ma'aleh" board of filming.

Adv. Tziona Koenig-Yair

Israeli Task force

Adv. Tziona Koenig-Yair has recently finished her term in the Israeli government as the National Commissioner of the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission. The EEOC is a government body enforcing equal opportunities in the labor market on many grounds of discrimination. EEOC has authority by law to investigate discrimination claims, file law suits and promote awareness to equality. Prior to being appointed to establish and create the new government Equality Commission in Israel, she served as Head of the Legal Department and as Executive Director of the Israel Women’s Network, Israel's foremost advocacy group for women. Tziona started her legal career as a prosecuting attorney at the District Attorney's office in Tel-Aviv. Tziona also teaches at Tel-Aviv University – courses on Equality and Diversity in the Workplace and starting this year – Adaptive Leadership. She is currently working with organizations to enhance and implement the framework she learned at Harvard of Adaptive Leadership. During her career Koenig-Yair has published many editorials in leading newspapers in Israel on the various aspects of equality in the workforce. In her national and international work, Ms. Koenig-Yair is committed to promoting equality and is concerned with strengthening and supporting the promotion of equality both from a legal perspective and a public one. In 2011 Ms. Koenig-Yair  was selected as one of one hundred most influential people of "The Marker" for 2011, due to her work in promoting and implementing equality in the labor market in Israel. She holds an LLB degree from the Faculty of Law at Hebrew University and an MPA degree from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University (Wexner Fellow). Ms. Koenig-Yair passed the Israeli Bar Exam in 1996.

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.

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.

Hagit Sachar-Paraira

Facilitator,
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 Psychoanalytic Systemic Approach; Former director of capacity building at Shatil, PHD student in Gender Studies, Bar Ilan University.

Tamar Gibli

Coordinator

Tamar is the Coordinator of Co.Lab, a UJA Federation of NY flagship initiative in Israel. Tamar recently completed her M.A. in Political Communication at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem. Following her B.A. in History and Political Science from Tel Aviv University, and the TEACH FOR ALL program, Tamar has worked both in the formal & informal Education field. Tamar is a History and Civics teacher and has managed several social and leadership projects for youth and students from Israel and over seas. In her previous position, Tamar managed a Young Judea volunteer program in Israel.

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

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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.

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).

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

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.

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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.

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

Moshe (Kinley) Tur-Paz

CEO of World Ort Kadima Mada

Moshe (Kinley) Tur-Paz is the CEO of World Ort Kadima Mada, a nonprofit educational organization operating in Israel to promote technological science education. He formerly served as the director of the Jerusalem district for the Ministry of Education and the head of the education department for the Jerusalem Municipality. In his previous position, Kinley was in charge of the formal education system throughout Jerusalem (West and East). Prior to that, Kinley was a Judaism teacher, a High School principal and a lecturer at the Hebrew University. Kinley has served in senior command positions in paratrooper's reserve. Co-Founder of the CoLab initiative: Educators Bridge

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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

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

"An adventure. A constant challenge. Co.Lab has been tremendously demanding. It has played on all my deepest emotions about my country: the fear, the responsibility, the frustration - and under it all, the love. It has reconnected me to my parents' ardent committment to Zionism. It has rekindled my hope for a better future, and my faith in the people who live here. It has also re-affirmed my belief, that we are much better than our political leadership, and deserve so much more. Co.Lab has been a once in a lifetime gift, for which I'm profoundly grateful.Co.Lab has been a once in a lifetime gift, for which I'm profoundly grateful."

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.

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

Idit Sadeh

Facilitator,
Co.Lab 06
Idit Sadeh is an organizational consultant and a facilitator, deals with organizational and strategic development processes and senior management development. She has a vast experience in working with CEOs and senior managers from the three sectors. She creates and facilitates systemic working processes in target related methodologies based on collectiveness and participation, for small and big groups. She served as vice-CEO of Sheatufim organization and on behalf of it led various forums and programs for CEOs and managers of social organizations and advised managers of collective impact processes. She holds an M.A. in Organizational Sociology and a B.A. with honors in the Interdisciplinary Department of Social Sciences from Bar-Ilan University. In addition, she has learnt: facilitating groups as part of her M.A., personal and business coaching, dialogue organizational development, MBTI authorization, Mindfulness course for professionals and various professional educational programs in management, partnerships and work methodologies in complex systems. She lives in Kadima, married with two children.

Dana Yakoby

Co.Lab Coordinator
Dana Yakoby is a member of The Rooster Ensemble – a young theater ensemble which brings social issues to the theatrical stage in an innovative and critical production. Prior to that, she coordinated the Israeli branch of Visit.org and was in charge of management of volunteers' staff, partners collaboration, marketing and tours production. In the past, she worked as a facilitator and coordinator of a long-term program in the English-speaking department of Israel Experience, where she accompanied the participants during the program, even before arriving and until the end of the program, and was in charge of creating an annual program. Dana is a graduate of The Goodman Acting School of the Negev. She lives in Tel Aviv.

Dafna Dor

Co.Lab Director
In 2018, Dafna Dor 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, public and social 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 is a lawyer and a mediator; she holds an M.A. in Communications and Journalism and a B.A. in Law – both from The 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. In addition, she graduated a management course of Harvard Business School and Maoz (Advot) program, and participated in programs by Kolot, Gvanim, and the Commוnity -Gesher. Dafna is one of the founders of the Forum for CEO’s of Social Organizations. She lives in Bnei Atarot and has two children.

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.

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).

Founders & Facilitators

Tova Averbuch

Facilitator,
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,
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.

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.

Hagit Sachar-Paraira

Facilitator,
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 Psychoanalytic Systemic 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

Initiatives

NAMAL (Homeport – Youth for Cohesion), Shared Society Leadership Program

Yoni Tshuna, Dr. Merav Even Chen-Solomon, Shoshi Shpiegel – Co Lab 01.

Throughout the western world, we witnessed a wave of populism, which often uses hate as an effective tool to achieve and maintain power and rule. Israel, a country in an ongoing conflict with its neighbors who want to eliminate her for good, is a fertile habitat for practices of incitement, fear and hatred.

Dealing with the world crisis of the Corona Virus has shown us again that we need an empowering and inclusive leadership which will aim to create connections and collaboration at the local, national and international levels.

The Homeport Program (Youth for Cohesion) was founded in 2016 by UJA-Federation of New York’s Co.Lab program– Collaboration Laboratory for Social Innovation- and was created as a collaboration between Dr. Merav Even Chen-Solomon from The Shdemot Center for Community Leadership at the Oranim College, Shoshi Shpiegel from The Ministry of Education, and Yoni Tshuna, CEO of the Matzmichim non-profit organization. For four years, the program has brought together individuals from different groups of Israeli society in order to create a team of leaders who will achieve social cohesion and will promote a collective society. The program is designated for junior high school and high school students, both boys and girls, chosen by their own classmates, in an innovative and unique process which results in an authentic and accurate selection. The program is gradually built, from group sessions at schools to regional inter-group meetings with other cohesion groups (secular, religious, Arab sector). These meetings are combined with all-sectors, gathering with the parents of all the participants and in a summer seminar of several days taking place during the summer vacation. Since 2018, the program has operated independently by the Matzmichim non-profit organization.

Thus far, the program has won the formal recognition of the Israeli president, Reuven Rivlin, and receives support from The Haifa Municipality and other philanthropic bodies. Additionally, the program has support from the 13 schools from Haifa, Tiberias, Aablin, Arabe, Sdeh-Yaakov and the Krayot (the Haifa suburbs) that participate in the program.
Click here to watch the 2019 video of the program.

Women’s Leadership Retreat for the Healing of Humanity and Nature

Inbar Bluzer Shalem, Amit Lerner – Co. Lab 04.

Amit Lerner, manager of Urging Towards Communal Educational Entrepreneurs at Beit Berl College, and Inbar Bluzer Shalem, CEO of Rashut Ha’Rabim, met at Co. Lab 04 and a natural and deep connection was immediately created between them on the grounds of social entrepreneurship and spiritual and women’s leadership.

Out of the deep understanding of the need for another kind of leadership, which they call a joint and accepting women’s leadership, characterized by seeing the whole picture, accepting the different, relating to intuition and asking for a full partnership with men, Amit and Inbar decided to create a meaningful space for influencing women from various communities and lines of occupations that will promote a perception of such leadership.

The Women’s Leadership Retreat for the Healing of Humanity and Nature is a learning journey of leading women from all aspects of society who explore how one can act to promote a common good on the grounds of deep understanding of feminine wisdom and women’s leadership, which leads to systemic healing.

At the end of October 2019, a Women’s Leadership Retreat for the Healing of Humanity and Nature was held in order to learn the holistic way of systemic healing which was developed and facilitated by Dr. Shelly Ostroph.30 women participated in the three day event which took place in the desert, near Arad. Women from various communities participated, including a Bedouin principal, an Arab from Haifa who leads women’s empowerment through sports, a religious manager of an educational department, activists who lead environmental advocacy, founders and activists of women’s organizations for peace and more.

During those three days, participants learned about each other, about the holistic approach for systemic healing and how leading women could take part in this method through their feminine wisdom. They also explored the unique contribution of each and every one of them to the process.

During this powerful retreat, not only was there learning, but there was also a lot of confusion, laughter, and crying. Deep friendships and interesting connections were made, and most importantly, a group with a lot of will to continue the collective work was created.

The first journey only proved the strong need for this kind of process and the meaningful contribution one can achieve in such a short period of time. The members of this group still keep in touch, share ideas, opinions and projects and hope to expand the program and hold more retreats.

Nikuy Rosh – the first headmasters’ theater. Headmasters getting into acting.

Eitan Cohen, Mendy Rabinowitz – Co. Lab 04.

Mendy Rabinowitz, the principal of the Hebrew Reali School in Haifa and Eitan Cohen, past principal of the middle-school of Bar-Ilan Arts and Sciences Yeshiva in Tel-Aviv (and today is the principal of of Atid Emanuel Moreno Religious High School in Lod) met at Co. Lab and immediately found a common language both as principals who have a similar educational perception and in their desire to achieve a higher level of principals’ independence.

The personal, ethical and professional connection was deep, and they organically found themselves leading a shared initiative for the benefit of principals, where Eitan is pushing forward acting as a developmental artistic tool.

Nikuy Rosh – the first principals’ theater in Israel, coaches principals through acting, to give them a personal space for growth and to establish an educational voice that will cross all sectors and communities, regardless of the educational challenges which are shared by all – 21st century proficiencies, independence of the education systems, fighting violence, volunteering and contributing to the community, and an activist political awareness.

With the help of Keren Cohen-Israeli, a social-communal theater director, five pilot gatherings have been made during January-February of 2020 for ten principals-Jewish and Arab, secular and religious, from the center and the periphery, from elementary schools and high schools. The meetings combined issues of education, values, perceptions and theater. This inter-cultural texture, the shared enriching experience and the principals’ reactions to the initiative instilled us with so much hope that it will be adapted by other organizations and will serve other principals.

Supporting independence for young people with disabilities

Zehava Harel, Yotam Tolub – Co. Lab 02.

Zehava Harel, head of Education Department at the Beer-Sheva Municipality, and Yotam Tolub, who was the CEO of Bizchut during the program and who is currently a facilitator in Co. Lab, met in Co Lab 02.

This initiative aims to resolve one of the biggest challenges people with disabilities cope with as a whole, especially young people: independence. Even though the importance of choice and independence in their lives is known, in actuality, young people with mental disabilities, complex learning disabilities and autism graduate the education system under guardianship and the main decisions regarding their lives are made by their parents and professionals.

The purpose of this initiative is to accompany those young people during the challenging period of time when they graduate from the educational system and to support their ability to make their own decisions. The program includes one year of studying and training at school, which will also include training for teachers and parents, and at the end of that year, they will be accompanied for two years to support their decision making.

The Bizchut organization has many years of experience in giving self-advocacy lessons to students of the special-education system. Bizchut also promoted the legislation to give support in decision making and developed a first of its kind model in this subject in the world. The first pilot of the program was conducted in Beer-Sheva, at the Dkalim School of Special Education, with full collaboration of the school’s staff and was led by the school counselor.

In its first year, the pilot included a course for the graduate students, ages 18-21, at school, during which they went to the Knesset and participated in the discussion regarding rights of people with disabilities and studied subjects relating to the end of their training, such as independence, dependence and life planning. During the second year, the school staff instructed the course by itself, with the guidance and support of the Bizchut team, showing that an organized program was established.

The program was adopted by the Department of Special Education in The Ministry of Education and is recommended for the special-education schools.
It is a worldwide innovative program and its success will enable the development of a national model which will resolve both the need of accompanying, making adaptions and consulting youngsters with disabilities and the promotion of independence and choice.

Nothing About Us Without Us

Yotam Tolub, Michel Ben Shitrit – Co. Lab 02

Yotam Tolub, who was the CEO of Bizchut during the program and is currently a facilitator in Co. Lab, and Michel Ben Shitrit, manager of the Community Construction Department in Israel Association of Community Centers, met at Co. Lab 02.

The Israel Association of Community Centers operates a national leisure program for people with mental disabilities. The Bizchut organization identified the lack of self-advocacy for people with mental-disabilities and studied the subject during an educational tour in the US. The idea was to connect the ideology and the perception of self-advocating of Bizchut with the organizational infrastructure of the Israel Association of Community Centers and their national connection to hundreds of people with mental disabilities.

The initiative was meant to promote the foundation of the first self-advocacy movement for people with disabilities. This group is the only minority group in Israel that doesn’t have an affiliation group that operates to promote and influence their policy and agenda. The initiative promoted a first-of-its-kind national movement where people with mental disabilities in Israel could represent themselves. The idea was to build on a core group of young people with mental disabilities who will lead the movement while cooperating with Bizchut and the Israel Association of Community Centers.

In February 2018, a meeting was held in Yad Ben-Tzvi in Jerusalem with 120 participants, during which the participants were divided into action groups. The event succeeded in bringing out the different voices of the participants, their opinions and preferences to public discussions relating to policies, and put some issues in the public discourse, issues they themselves think are important and need discussing.

The representation movement has not been founded yet, mainly because of the need for investment and many more resources, but the special meeting most definitely affected the awareness regarding the need to establish such a movement.

“People with mental disabilities were used not to be heard. This initiative calls them to go out into the streets and make their voices heard, because their voice is missing in the Israeli Public”. (Yotam Tolub