Yael Boim-Fein is an educator and cultural activist. Most recently, she founded and directed the department for educational programs at BEIT AVI CHAI, overseeing the development and implementation of programs on Jewish and Israeli identity for youth, year of service volunteers, female soldier-teachers, students, young adults, artists, and the general public. Yael volunteered for 15 years at the Jerusalem Rape Crisis Center, leading workshops on sexual violence, responding to hotline calls, and serving as chair of the Center’s board of directors. She holds a bachelor’s degree in international relations and media studies, and a master’s degree in media and cultural studies, both from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Yael is interested in the potential of education for creating change in gender issues, and in critical and feminist pedagogy.
Sari Dror is an educator, and most recently was principal of the Ramot comprehensive high school in Bat Yam, with 1,200 students in grades 7 through 12. Under her leadership, the school was listed by the Ministry of Education as one of the country’s leading schools in values-based education, and gained recognition for its high matriculation rate. Previously, Sari was a “house leader” at the Branco Weiss high school in Bet Shemesh. She was also a pedagogic counselor for the Alliance Israelite Universelle‘s Gateway to Matriculation program, where she worked with principals, pedagogic coordinators, and management teams to improve school leadership and pedagogy. Sari is a graduate of the Revivim program at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and holds a bachelor’s degree in Jewish philosophy and Bible, and a master’s degree in Jewish philosophy. She also holds teaching certificates in two separate disciplines – one in mathematics, and the other in Jewish philosophy and Bible. She is also a graduate of the Avnei Rosha Institute’s training program for school principals. Sari is interested in advancing political education and humanist, values-based education in Israel’s state education system, and in developing secular Israeli Jewish identity.
Shahar Feinstein is an educator and educational entrepreneur, a civics teacher, and a musician. From 2006 to 2017, he worked with young people with learning disabilities and attention deficit disorders. In his most recent position, he was principal of the Beit Ekstein high school in Givatayim. Under his leadership, the school won the Ministry of Education’s regional education prize. Shahar himself was awarded the Givatayim municipality’s Outstanding Educator award. Shahar is the head of the learning disabilities cluster in Beit Ekstein’s education division, in which capacity he mentors and counsels principals, faculties, and schools. He holds a bachelor’s degree in law, a teaching diploma in civics, and a master’s degree in sociology of education, all from Tel Aviv University. Shahar is also a graduate of the Mifras Educational Entrepreneurship Incubator, which promotes the introduction of entrepreneurial culture into schools. He is interested in music as an educational and therapeutic tool, and is involved in the connection between schools and real life and the role of parents in their children’s education.
Tomer Grossman is an educator and principal. He most recently served as principal of the Lod yeshiva high school. After completing his studies and receiving rabbinical ordination at the Hispin yeshiva, Tomer entered the world of technology, and led a development department at Motorola. He subsequently served as the head emissary in the United States for the Bnei Akiva youth movement, and as head of teacher-emissaries in North America , and was principal of a pluralistic Jewish school in New York. He is also head of Google Israel’s online community for school principals. Tomer holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science and mathematics from Bar-Ilan University, and a master’s degree in education from Yeshiva University in New York, and is a graduate of the Avney Rosha Institute’s training program for school principals. He is writing a doctoral dissertation on meta-cognition in the use of technology in education. Tomer is interested in how best to combine technology and pedagogy in the 21st century.
Avi Hadida retired from the IDF with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel after 25 years’ service as a combat officer in the Israel Air Defense Force. He served as deputy commander of the Arrow missile defense unit and as commander of the Southern Battalion. In addition to his operational command positions, Avi held a number of training-related positions within the Air Defense Force, including commander of the school for new recruits, commander of the officers’ school, and head of the training and doctrine branch. He has studied training development, and developed and taught training at the IAF Air Defense School. Upon retiring from the IDF, Avi became a partner in founding a unique enterprise focused on training and personal development for educational instructors at youth villages for at-risk youth. He holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering and management from Tel Aviv University, and a master’s degree in military studies from the Air University, the intellectual and leadership center of the United States Air Force in Maxwell, Alabama. Avi believes that the success of any educational institution lies in the professional training, personal development, and individual mentoring provided for its teaching staff.
Amira Haiin Ghrayeb is an educator who works in education system management. Most recently, she was the principal of a state school in Haifa (grades 1–8), which specializes in alternative education through arts. The groundbreaking school achieved notable successes in the areas of pedagogy and values education. Amira teaches management in the master’s program in education system management at the Gordon College of Education, and provides in-service training and professional development to school principals and deputy principals at the Arab Academic College for Education in Israel – Haifa. She has worked as an organizational consultant and coach for the Ministry of Education and its subcontractors , leading organizational and pedagogical processes at a number of local authorities. Amira holds two master’s degrees: in education system management, and in Arabic language. She also is certified in organizational consulting and in personal and organizational coaching. Amira is interested in educating for coexistence based on universal human values, and in examining the crisis of identity in Israel’s Arab community.
Oshri Hayke is an educator and therapy, and rehabilitation professional. From 2014-2017, he directed an employment rehabilitation program for young people at high risk, on behalf of the Hut HaMeshulash (The Threefold Cord) nonprofit. In that capacity, he designed the project’s rehabilitative model and established collaborations with other organizations that contributed greatly to the project’s success. Oshri was also a member of a team charged with creating a municipal program for vocational rehabilitation of young homeless people in Jerusalem. Previously, he worked with gifted youth in an educational program run by Ness Technologies, where he lectured and mentored teams in writing their final projects. Oshri holds a bachelor’s degree in law and philosophy, and a master’s degree in public and international law, both from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He is interested in dialogical pedagogy, and in developing a framework to prepare at-risk youth for independent living and optimal integration into society.
Yissakhar Indig retired from the IDF after 25 years’ service in the navy, having held a range of operational command positions and training posts. In his last position in the navy, he was commander of a missile boat and a team commander at the IDF Command and Staff College. After leaving the IDF, he retrained as a mathematics teacher at the Oranim Academic College of Education via a program run by the Trump Foundation. He then served as a high school mathematics and homeroom teacher for the next two years. Yissakhar holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science, and a master’s degree in education system management, both from the University of Haifa. He is interested in adapting the education system to meet the challenges of the 21st century.
Ofir Itah-Senderey is a social activist and entrepreneur. Most recently, she served as a program director at the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, where she developed and managed social programs for marginalized groups in Israel. Ofir has held positions in program management, coordination, and facilitation for civil society organizations working to reduce socioeconomic inequality. She is also a partner in an initiative to document the oral history of Dimona from the perspective of its long-time residents. Ofir holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and international relations from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and a master’s degree in sociology and anthropology from Tel Aviv University, and is certified in group facilitation from the David Yellin College of Education. She is interested in promoting social change, and sees education in general – and higher education in particular – as a vital tool for creating an equal and just society in Israel.
Reda Jaber is a lawyer and a social and public activist . He is a member of the Higher Arab Monitoring Committee’s subcommittee on violence prevention, and a member of a number of public forums. Reda is the director of the Aman Center – The Arab Center for a Safe Society, which works to address violence in Arab society. He has previously served as head of the Arab Lawyers’ Unit at the Israel Bar Association, as a member of the Association’s Government and Legislation Unit at the Knesset, and as a lay leader of the Abraham Fund Initiatives. Reda holds a bachelor’s degree in law from Tel Aviv University, and is currently completing a master’s degree in public law at Tel Aviv University and Northwestern University in Chicago. He is interested in national and cultural minorities that are transitioning from a collectivist tradition to modernity, and in the political, cultural, and educational implications of this transition for such phenomena as violence, social cohesion, and individual and collective identity.
Shira Kendler served in the IDF Education and Youth Corps for 25 years in a variety of positions, including company commander for new recruits from at-risk backgrounds, and chief instructor at the IDF Education Training School. In her final position, she was head of the Identity and Social Resilience Section, overseeing the production of policies, written guidelines, and operational approaches for content areas that serve to strengthen the shared values, mutual commitment, and unity of purpose among all soldiers in the IDF. Shira holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Bar-Ilan University, and a master’s degree in educational administration and leadership from Tel Aviv University. She is board member of the non-profit Yachad Modi’in, and serves as the representative of this educational community to the Modi’in municipality. Shira is especially interested in leveraging interpersonal and social encounters, and in looking closely at the inspirational models that constantly surround us.
Miriam Leibowitz-Assaraf is an educator. For the last decade, she has worked as a teacher, homeroom teacher, social education director, and member of the management team at the Keshet high school in Jerusalem. Her work involved the promotion of pluralistic values education as part of the school’s informal education activities. In addition, she was engaged in creating opportunities for staff development and peer learning within the school. Miriam has a bachelor’s degree in history and general humanities studies from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and is a graduate of the master’s program in pluralistic Jewish education run jointly by the Hebrew University and Hebrew Union College (HUC). Following her graduation from the latter, she served as a mentor to students on HUC’s Tenufah program for entrepreneurs in Jewish education. Miriam is a member of the board of directors of the Fund for Innovative Teaching, and believes in school-based educational entrepreneurship as a platform for the professional development of teachers and for improving education in Israel.
Gili Leibushor is a specialist clinical psychologist. In her most recent position, at the Kiryat Gat municipality’s educational-psychological services, she founded and oversaw a therapeutic center. The center was an expression of her belief that the city’s children should have access to publicly funded psychological therapy. Prior to that, she was the coordinator of services to the city’s pre-school frameworks, and formulated the policies for the provision of educational-psychological services to kindergartens. She also coordinated a program providing group therapy for children with behavioral difficulties, and ran a program called “Learning to Live Together” that provided knowledge and tools to help pre-school educators develop children’s socio-emotional capabilities. Gili has her own clinic, is a specialist in treating trauma victims, and volunteers with local and regional emergency teams. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology, sociology, and anthropology from the University of Haifa, and a master’s degree cum laude in clinical-educational psychology from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Gili is interested in processes that will transform the education system into a space that develops children’s socio-emotional skills, especially empathy.
Ahmir Lerner promotes the use of pedagogical innovation and a networking approach in Israel’s public education system. Most recently, he was Manager of Education 2.0 implementation at Education Cities, where he worked to introduce educational networks into schools and to drive substantial change in pedagogical processes in order to make them better suited to today’s information age. Previously, Ahmir directed the School for Leadership at the Prime Minister’s Office, and was involved in the development and implementation of training courses and in individual mentoring of managers. He holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of London, and a master’s of business administration from the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya. Ahmir is interested in systemic perspectives and in the implementation of significant, system-wide changes in the education system.
Haneen Magadlah is an educator, social worker, and social activist. For the last few years, she has lectured at the Al-Qasemi College of Education. Prior to that, she served for four years as the Jerusalem Foundation’s director of program development in East Jerusalem, in which capacity she led programs in education, health, welfare, and more. In the past, Haneen directed a center for citizens’ rights in East Jerusalem, and served as a social worker at the ALYN hospital for pediatric and adolescent rehabilitation. She was also one of the founders of a nonprofit working to promote volunteerism among Arab citizens of Israel. Haneen holds a bachelor’s degree in social work and a master’s degree in non-profit management, both from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem; a teaching certificate in psychology and sociology from the Hebrew University’s school of education, and she is currently writing her doctoral dissertation on religion and gender in daycare centers in the Arab sector. She is interested in developing volunteerism in Arab society, and in inculcating the principles of social responsibility and social change.
Shlomit Naim Naor is an educator and poet with over 20 years’ international experience in informal Jewish education. In her most recent position, she was a training and content specialist at Makom, the educational content unit of the Jewish Agency for Israel. Shlomit has served as a Jewish Agency community emissary in London, and as chair of the Israeli Batei Midrash Network. She is a board member for the religious Zionist organization Ne’emanei Torah Va’Avodah, a member of the editorial board of the periodical Deot, and an editor for Mashiv HaRuach, a Jewish-Israeli poetry journal. Her first book, No End in Sight, was published in 2016 and received the Minister of Culture’s Prize, the Mifal Hapayis Award, and the Ramy Ditzanny Helicon Prize for emerging authors. Shlomit holds a bachelor’s degree in Hebrew literature and philosophy from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and a master’s degree in creative writing from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. Her areas of interest include museum-based education, advancing women artists, and reflective education.
Tzuriel Robbins is an educator and principal. He founded the AMIT B’levav Shalem yeshiva high school in Yeruham, and was its principal for eleven years. Previously he taught at the Yeruham hesder yeshiva (which combines religious studies with military service), and directed a program to train immigrants from Ethiopia as educators to work in the Ethiopian-Israeli community. Tzuriel also served as director of a garin (a community action group) in Yeruham for three years, leading activities that brought together different communities in the town. He is a graduate of the Yeruham hesder yeshiva, and holds a bachelor’s degree in education from Herzog College and a master’s degree in education administration and policy from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. Tzuriel is interested in ways to strengthen public education in Israel, and in models for creating heterogeneous classrooms.
Avital Rosenberger Seri is a lawyer and a social activist. For the last few years she has served as director of the Task Force on Human Trafficking and Prostitution, which pursues legal, educational, political, and social avenues in order to change public policy, legal realities, and social attitudes regarding prostitution and sex trafficking in Israel. As part of her work, Avital drafted and promoted legislative amendments, coordinated the coalition against prostitution, led public campaigns, represented clients in legal proceedings, and gave lectures. She was a partner in founding and directing the Ombudsman’s Office of the Claims Conference, which was established to help serve Holocaust survivors around the world. Avital holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in law from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She is interested in creating a rehabilitative and educational framework that will prepare at-risk youth for optimal integration into Israeli society.
Moshe Solomon is a rabbi, educator, and social entrepreneur. He moved to Israel from Ethiopia at age nine, after journeying through Sudan on foot. Moshe was the founder and CEO of the Hineni Community Network, which established taskforces of Ethiopian-Israelis in 16 locations throughout Israel. As part of his work for Hineni, Moshe founded the Atachlit Farm, an experiential agricultural enterprise for preserving and maintaining the Ethiopian Jewish heritage of the Beta Israel community. He was awarded the 2011 Leonore and Larry Zusman–JDC Prize for Excellence in the Field of Social Services in Israel. Moshe is a lieutenant colonel in the IDF, and serves as a reserve forces battalion commander. He is a founding member of the council of communities and task forces, a member of the board of directors of the Kiryat Ye’arim youth village, a member of the advisory committee of the Commission for Equal Opportunities in Employment, and a member of the National Library Council. Moshe holds a bachelor’s degree in education from Herzog College, and a master’s degree in Jewish studies from Ono Academic College. He is interested in creating dialogue about tolerance and recognizing others, with an emphasis on strengthening the uniqueness of every community in the mosaic of Israeli society, and in building an egalitarian society that sees all its components as opportunities rather than challenges.
Fainy Sukenik is a feminist social activist in the Haredi community. Until recently, she served as a teacher and educational counselor at a girls’ school in Jerusalem. Fainy is the chair and founder of Ba’asher Telchi (“Wherever You Go”), an organization providing support for Haredi and Orthodox women going through separation and divorce. She is active in a number of arenas connected to the visibility and empowerment of women in Haredi and Israeli society. Fainy is a member of the advisory committee for Yad L’Isha, a legal aid center and hotline for women seeking divorce, who are chained in hopeless marriages. She is also a board member of Art Shelter, a center for developing culture and art for women in Jerusalem. She holds a bachelor’s degree in education from the Jerusalem College for Women, and a master’s degree in educational counseling from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She is also a graduate of the Mandel Program for Leadership Development in the Haredi Community and a fellow of the Gesher Leadership Institute. Fainy was one of 12 honorees chosen to light a torch at Israel’s national Independence Day ceremony in 2016. She is interested in people, education, social entrepreneurship, and in perfecting the world.
Ron Ziv is an educator, manager, and entrepreneur. Most recently, he served for six years as principal of the A. D. Gordon School in Givatayim. As a fellow in the Mifras Educational Entrepreneurship Incubator, he led the school’s transition from traditional learning methods to a natural learning approach. Since 1998 , Ron has held various educational, managerial, and training positions in both formal and informal education settings in the public, private, and non-profit sectors—including founding a company for developing social entrepreneurship among youth and young adults. Ron holds a bachelor’s degree in food resource management and agricultural economics from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and a master’s degree in educational administration and leadership from Tel Aviv University. He is interested in innovative and groundbreaking methods for teacher training and professional development, and in the economics of education.
Ran Bechor is a theater director, playwright, and social activist, whose work centers on the link between education and art. Ran has written and directed four plays, one of which – Schreber – won first prize at the Akko Fringe Theater Festival in 2016. Ran founded and directed “Shout Theater,” a community theater for Jewish and Arab youth in Jaffa, and spent five years as head of theater studies at the Hof Hasharon High School. Ran holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and theater studies and a master’s degree in sociology and anthropology, both from Tel Aviv University. He is interested in universal education that is rooted in a particular culture, and in the relationship between education and art. Ran views art as an educational act, and his work seeks to explore the historical-cultural connection as the aspiration of artists and educators to move into the universal-ethical space.
Yael Ben-Yefet is a social and public activist in the areas of education and social inequality. In her most recent position, she was executive director of the Mizrahi Democratic Rainbow. There she led initiatives addressing injustice and inequality in housing, education, and land rights. These included the organization’s education project and “Zman Mizrahi,” a daily planner that highlights Mizrahi history. Yael has twice been elected to the Tel Aviv-Yafo city council as a representative of the Ir Lekulanu party. She headed the Committee for Reducing Social Gaps, played an active role in educational issues, and focused on the struggle to establish an academic high school in South Tel Aviv, which is now being built, in order to reduce socioeconomic gaps through education. Yael also founded the South Tel Aviv Education Forum, which brings together parents, students, and activists to ensure the provision of quality education to children in the city’s southern neighborhoods. Yael holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering and management from Shenkar College of Engineering and Design, and a master’s degree in public policy from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She is interested in equality and reducing gaps in education.
Fadi Canaan is an educational evaluation and measurement professional and a speech-language pathologist, who is interested in the acquisition and development of linguistic literacy in children and adolescents. Most recently, he served as director of the development division at the Israeli Ministry of Education's National Authority for Measurement and Evaluation (RAMA), where he led the development of innovative tools for formative educational evaluation, and the adaptation of intelligence tests to match the education system and social norms of Arab society. Fadi holds a bachelor’s degree in communication disorders from Tel Aviv University, and a master’s degree in psychology and education from the State University of New York, where he was a Fulbright Scholar. Among other interests, he is interested in educational and pedagogical change processes and in social and cultural aspects and their manifestations in the education system.
Galit Cohen is a therapist, rehabilitation expert, and trainer. Since 2002, she has run rehabilitative residential frameworks for people with mental health disabilities. As director of the Beit Meir hostel, Galit initiated and oversaw the hostel’s transformation from a traditional residential facility to one of the leading institutions in Israel that uses the supportive community rehabilitation model. This model places great emphasis on fostering the residents’ sense of belonging to place and society. It also encourages them to lead their lives and play an active role in running their residential framework, with the aim of empowering them and creating social change. Galit trains and mentors directors and accompanies therapeutic frameworks in their transition from the closed hostel model to the supportive community model. She holds a bachelor’s degree in social work and Jewish history from Bar-Ilan University, and a master’s degree in social work with a specialization in art therapy from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. Galit is a strong believer in a person-centered approach and in the use of therapeutic-emotional language, and is interested in incorporating this language in the education system.
Iddo Felsenthal is a teacher and educator. Over the last decade, he has taught history, civics, and Arabic, and has served as a grade coordinator, subject coordinator, and homeroom teacher at the Sieff and Marks School (Ziv) in Jerusalem. In these roles, he has worked to integrate current affairs into the curriculum, with an emphasis on learning about the different sectors of Israeli society and promoting understanding while organizing encounters between youth from different backgrounds. Since he was a teen, Iddo has been active in Seeds of Peace, an organization that brings together Jewish and Arab youth from across the Middle East. In this capacity, he has facilitated dialogue groups and was involved in creating an encounter program in which educators can discuss identity issues. Iddo holds a bachelor’s degree in linguistics, and bachelor’s and master’s degrees in history, all from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He also holds a teaching certificate, and is a graduate of the Avney Rosha school principal training program. Iddo is interested in creating connections between the different sectors of Israeli society by conducting joint training of educators.
Miriam Fink Lavi is a senior psychiatrist specializing in children and adolescents. She has promoted the integration of children with complex emotional needs into the community, and has founded and run multidisciplinary teams that provide holistic care and address broad family, educational, and therapeutic needs. Miriam has extensive experience in management, education, and training. She has taught medicine to students in the periphery, and has lectured and trained students at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Miriam was the founder of a nonprofit organization, serves as a mentor to the Karov elementary school, and oversaw the establishment of the Dror secondary school, a creative, inclusive public school in Mateh Yehuda. Miriam holds a doctor of medicine degree from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, and trained in child psychiatry and dialectical behavioral therapy at Tel Aviv University and the Ofek Center for Dialectical Behavioral Therapy. She seeks to improve the knowledge base for planning and implementing policies that will provide optimal responses to the emotional needs of children in Israel.
Nira Hayut is an educator and teacher. Since 2011, she has been a civics teacher, homeroom teacher, social education coordinator, grade coordinator, and member of the management team at the Kiryat Sharet High School in Holon. During this time, she participated in numerous professional teams, developed and taught curricula in a specialized track for humanistic studies, and led processes of organizational and pedagogical change. Nira holds a bachelor’s degree in politics, government, and education, and a master’s degree in politics and government, both from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. She is also a graduate of the Avney Rosha school principal training program. Nira is interested in political education that encourages independent and critical thinking and political engagement; in introducing difference and diversity to schools and to pedagogical discourse; and in closing gaps between students.
Nisim Ifrach is a doctor and educator. Since 2013, he has served as head of the general intensive care unit at the Meir Medical Center in Kfar Saba. Nisim completed his medical studies at Tel Aviv University in 1993, and specialized in anesthesiology and general intensive care at the Meir Medical Center. He then completed a fellowship in general intensive care at the Royal Melbourne Hospital in Australia. Nisim was a senior doctor and director of the recovery unit in the anesthesiology department at the Meir Medical Center. He led the professional care in the unit, and was involved in the professional development of the residents in his department and in teaching medical students. Since 2016, he has taught students of the Sackler Faculty of Medicine at Tel Aviv University. Nisim is interested in medical education, and particularly in its implementation in hospitals and in the community, with the aim of improving the education of physicians and ensuring their continued professional development.
Anat Itzhaki is an educator who has been involved for more than 15 years in educating for social change and in creating Jewish-Arab partnerships. At the start of her career, Anat worked in informal education settings on developing Jewish-Arab youth leadership. In 2012, she moved into bilingual education, and focused on early childhood education. Anat is one of the leading figures in bilingual education in Yaffo, and founded and directed the city’s system of bilingual kindergartens. In this capacity, she has also been involved in curriculum development and in pedagogical coaching, as well as in community work. Anat holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology, sociology, and anthropology from Tel Aviv University, and a master’s degree in educational leadership and administration from the school of education at Tel Aviv University. She is interested in exploring place-based education, and its links with social and values-based education in multicultural societies.
Nadia Kinani is an educator who began her career as a special education teacher and later joined the staff of the Jerusalem bilingual school. In 2010, she was appointed principal of the bilingual Max Rayne Hand in Hand Jerusalem School. There she was responsible for leading the school’s vision, which is based on cooperation between Jews and Arabs in order to create equality and coexistence and on education for peace. In her role as principal, Nadia developed unique curricula and worked to strengthen the bilingual model. She holds a bachelor’s degree in special education from the David Yellin College of Education and a master’s degree in educational administration. Nadia is interested in frameworks that support women’s empowerment and advance the status of women in society, and in frameworks that encourage volunteering and contributing to the community among Arab professionals.
Ben Lev-Kadesh is an educator, social activist, and tour guide. Since 2006, he has worked at the Jerusalem High School for the Arts, serving as a member of the management team, history teacher, and homeroom teacher, and holding various coordinator roles. In this latter capacity, he developed a curriculum for teaching secular humanism in high schools. Ben has also worked as a tour guide and as a lecturer on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In 2015, Ben was one of the co-founders of the relaunched Secular Forum, a nonprofit that works to counter religionization in Israel's public sphere and to promote secular education in Israel. In this volunteer capacity, he serves as the organization’s head of education and as a member of its steering committee. Ben holds a bachelor’s degree in history and education and a master’s degree in conflict research, both from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He also holds a teaching certificate from the Kerem Institute for Teacher Training and tour guide certification from the Israel Tour Guide School. He is interested in leading processes that will bolster secular-humanist identity, and in educating young people toward political engagement.
Roni Lior is a social entrepreneur, director of social programs, and activist in Jerusalem. She coordinated the Israel Trauma Coalition's five Resilience Centers in the Gaza envelope, which serve all sectors of Israeli society. Subsequently, she founded and directed the "Fellowship Hotline," the social hotline of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews. Roni is currently involved in “Five Good Things Every Day,” an independent enterprise that aims to promote the acknowledgment of good in our lives. She is also the lay leader of the families’ division of a social-political movement in Jerusalem, and is writing a poetry book. Roni holds a bachelor’s degree in education and political science, and a master’s degree in public policy with a specialization in cross-sectoral partnerships, both from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She wants to explore possibilities for reducing social gaps through education and through optimal utilization of resources in the education system.
Omer Markowitz is an educator and trainer. For some 25 years he served in a variety of positions in the IDF Intelligence Corps. He commanded one of the largest training departments at the IDF Intelligence School, which prepares soldiers for a range of intelligence and technological roles, and established the Intelligence Corps' Cyber Training Branch. As part of his work, Omer was engaged in developing and adapting learning and assessment methods that match the student's potential, and led changes that improved the quality of learning. Recently, he has taught classes on a voluntary basis at the Rama School for Gifted Children in Ramat Hasharon. Omer holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science from the Academic College of Tel Aviv–Yaffo (MTA), and a master’s degree in computer science from the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya. He attaches great importance to the development of learning and thinking skills and to the motivation to learn, and is interested in defining the goals of education in the 21st century.
Jana Modzgvrishvily is a jurist and manager. After completing her law studies in the IDF’s Academic Atuda program, she served in a number of positions in the IDF Military Advocate General Corps (MAG), mainly as a prosecutor. In her last role in the military, Jana was the IDF Chief Military Prosecutor, in which capacity she managed the largest and most decentralized department of the MAG Corps and led the development of the IDF’s enforcement policies. After retiring with the rank of colonel, Jana joined the Ministry of Justice, where she oversaw the creation of a new department that investigates complaints from people interrogated by the Israel Security Agency (“Shin Bet”). Among other things, this role included training and mentoring staff, and setting professional standards for the work of the new unit. Jana holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in law from Tel Aviv University. She is interested in developing pedagogy that is suitable for the modern age and for generation Z, especially in the sciences.
David Nachman is an educator who has served as head of the Ein Prat Academy for Leadership – a pre-military academy for religious and secular young men and women – since 2010. Under his leadership, the academy’s activities were expanded, and two new branches were established. He also led the creation of the “Derech Prat” leadership program for high-school students. Previously, David was principal of the Makor Chaim yeshiva high school at Kibbutz Kfar Etzion, and was a teacher at the Himmelfarb and Seligsberg high schools in Jerusalem. He has also taught at Bar-Ilan University and at the Schechter Institute for Jewish Studies in Jerusalem. David holds a bachelor’s degree in Jewish history and Land of Israel studies, and a master’s degree and doctorate in Land of Israel studies, all from Bar-Ilan University. He is interested in exploring ways to expand the influence of the educational methods used in Israel's pre-military academies to the formal education system, by introducing content, programs, and methods into regular high-school activities, and by integrating graduates of the academies as teachers and counselors in schools.
Fidaa Odi is an educator and entrepreneur. In her most recent position, she was the principal of the Ayjal elementary school in Jaljulia, where she led change processes that led to significant achievements in pedagogy and individual education in the school. Together with her teaching staff, Fidaa developed and implemented a model of study of pedagogical practice that was subsequently adopted as a means of improving educational practice throughout the entire district. Under her leadership, the Ayjal School was awarded the Ministry of Education Prize for Excellence. Fidaa participated in the Mifras program to promote entrepreneurialism in education, which enabled her to implement a groundbreaking enterprise called “Developing the True Self,” which emphasizes emotional discourse and experiential learning and enrichment. Fidaa holds a bachelor’s degree in English teaching and a master’s degree in educational leadership and administration from Tel Aviv University. She is interested in developing youth leadership and women’s leadership, and in developing educational programs to improve the integration of young people from Arab society into academia and the labor market.
Dana Pyenik is an educator, principal, and social entrepreneur. Most recently, she was CEO of the Dror Educational Centers (Drornet) for seven years, in which capacity she led organizational change processes and developed models for leading change in the public education system. Dana established and ran several schools in the periphery, including Drornet's School for Tomorrow’s Professions and its Human, Society, and Nature school. She also founded the Yiftach pre-military academy for youth at risk; “Shutafim,” a program for social businesses that are run by students in schools; colleges for training community therapists who serve the elderly; and more. Dana holds a bachelor’s degree in education and history and a teaching certificate from Beit Berl College, and holds a master’s degree in educational administration and leadership from Tel Aviv University. She is interested in promoting an egalitarian and just society by strengthening and improving the public education system, with an emphasis on developing high-quality services for vulnerable populations. She is also interested in examining and adapting vocational education to the needs of the 21st century, so that it becomes a leading force in the education system.
Michal Shifron-Zcharya is a director of social projects. In her most recent position, she directed “From Dependence to Independence” – a national program of ongoing support for young adults leaving youth protection frameworks run by ELEM–Youth in Distress and the Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs, and Social Services. She was also a member of the national Forum of Organizations for At-Risk Young Adults, in which she was involved in promoting policy and in making services accessible to young adults. Previously, Michal developed and directed programs preparing soldiers from disadvantaged populations for civilian life, and worked as a coordinator at a residential facility for homeless youth. Michal holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and political science from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and a master’s degree in organizational and vocational psychology from the Academic College of Tel Aviv–Yaffo. She is interested in preparing at-risk youth for independent living and enabling them to integrate into society, and in the relationships between parents and members of the educational and therapeutic staff.
Itamar Tas is a teacher-student engaged in educational work in the Branco Weiss school network. As the network's co-director of pedagogy, Itamar was involved in creating the pedagogical model and evaluation program for schools for at-risk youth. His role included supporting and mentoring pedagogical directors and coordinators in schools for at-risk youth and in comprehensive high schools. Most recently, Itamar served as principal of the Branco Weiss Etgari High School in Beit Shemesh, an experience that helped shape his belief in the basic goodness of people and the power of educational encounters to effect change. Itamar is a graduate of the Revivim program at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Jewish philosophy and Bible, a teaching diploma, and a master’s degree in Jewish education. He is interested in different models of teacher training, especially for teachers of youth at risk, and in research on the necessary conditions for schools to become institutions that promote optimal growth and learning for students and staff.
Tikva Tgoada Alyou is an educator and educational counselor who works in early childhood education. Tikva began her career as an educational counselor at the Makor Chaim School in the Pardes Katz neighborhood of Bnei Brak. She then became a counselor for Ethiopian-Israelis in Petach Tikva’s state religious schools, and a coordinator of educational counselors in the state religious system. Tikva provided guidance to educational staff members, parents, and students, and led changes in the system of placing students in middle schools and in finding frameworks that will enable every student to receive individual support. In the 2014–2015 school year, Tikva was recognized by the Ministry of Education as the outstanding educational professional in the Tel Aviv District. She holds a bachelor’s degree in educational counseling and Bible teaching from Michlala Jerusalem College for Women in Bayit VeGan, and a master’s degree in educational counseling from the University of Haifa. Tikva is interested in reducing gaps in cognitive, emotional, and social development in early childhood among vulnerable populations, as a way of reducing social inequality in Israeli society.
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