Fellows


Cohort 27

SEPTEMBER 2018–AUGUST 2020

 

Ran Theodor Bechor

Ran Theodor Bechor

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

Yael Ben-Yefet

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

Fadi Canaan

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

Galit Cohen

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

Iddo Felsenthal

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

Miriam Fink Lavi

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

Nira Hayut

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

Nisim Ifrach

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

Anat Itzhaki

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

Nadia Kinani

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

Ben Lev-Kadesh

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

Roni Lior

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

Omer Markowitz

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

Jana Modzgvrishvily

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

David Nachman

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

Fidaa Odi

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

Dana Pyenik

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

Michal Shifron-Zcharya

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

Itamar Tas

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

Tikva Tgoada Alyou

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.


 

Cohort 28

SEPTEMBER 2019–AUGUST 2021

 

Bella Alexandrov

Bella Alexandrov

Bella Alexandrov is a social activist and entrepreneur. Most recently, she was CEO of the Eretz Ir nonprofit organization, which works to improve communal quality of life in towns in Israel’s social and geographic periphery by promoting community development, social entrepreneurship, and diverse and fair employment. In all her activities in the social arena over the last decade, Bella has worked to strengthen vulnerable populations, including young adults and youth at risk, and especially to promote quality of life and communal urbanism in towns and cities in the periphery. Her positions have included head of social change for Shatil South; communities director for Ma’avarim, the communal employment center serving the Eshkol and Merhavim regional councils; and coordinator of an Elem–Youth in Distress outreach van in Kiryat Gat. Bella holds a bachelor’s degree in communal social work from Sapir College and a master’s degree in nonprofit management from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She is a member of Kama, an activist community that settled in Beer Sheva to work for grass-roots social change, and is interested in deepening her knowledge of communal urbanism.


Yitzhak Ben David

Yitzhak Ben David

Yitzhak Ben David is an educator, administrator, and educational-social entrepreneur. For the last few years, he was head of Midreshet Ein HaNatziv, a religious seminary for young women, while serving as the rabbi of the Kibbutz on which it is located. Yitzhak also founded Beit Midrash Kedma, a unique Torah study framework for university students who are graduates of yeshivot and midrashot, and was recently involved in founding Drisha in Israel. Yitzhak holds a bachelor’s degree in Talmud and Jewish philosophy from Herzog College, a master’s degree in philosophy of Halakha from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and a doctorate in law from Bar-Ilan University. He is interested in developing new models for community leadership in Israel, with a focus on the relevance of Sephardi-Mizrahi culture for contemporary Jewish life and an emphasis on the importance of female leadership in the religious and communal space in Israel.


Itay Benovici

Itay Benovici

Itay Benovici is an educator whose recent positions have included principal of the Israel Arts and Science Academy (a national residential high school for outstanding students), and director of the Israel Center for Excellence through Education. Previously, Itay was involved in informal education, as a staff member of the Israel Scouts Federation and as an emissary to London on behalf of the Jewish Agency for Israel. A qualified biology teacher, he conducted research on genetic engineering and protein expression at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem before entering teaching. Itay holds a bachelor’s degree in life sciences and a master’s degree in natural science, both from the Hebrew University, and is a graduate of the Avney Rosha training program for school principals. He is interested in the field of teaching gifted and outstanding students.


Yonatan Boumfeld

Yonatan Boumfeld

Yonatan Boumfeld is an educator, history teacher, school principal, and amateur woodworker. For more than a decade, he has worked with students with learning disabilities and attention deficits. Most recently, he founded and served as principal of the Beit Ekstein School in Kfar Malal, which became a school for the arts for special education students, under his leadership. Yonatan holds a bachelor’s degree in general history and a teaching diploma in history, both from the Open University, and a master’s degree in American history from Tel Aviv University. He is interested in political education and in the role of historical education in the education system.


Avi Cohen

Avi Cohen

Avi Cohen is an educator, manager, and social entrepreneur. Most recently, he co-founded and directed Derech Eretz, a nonprofit that operates social-educational programs for young people, including pre-army leadership academies and programs for soldiers who have recently completed their compulsory military service. In this capacity, he worked to promote awareness of pre-army academies among communities in Israel's social periphery, and to create heterogeneous groups that facilitate encounters and shared living among young people from different backgrounds in Israeli society. Avi holds a bachelor’s degree in law and a master’s degree in business administration, both from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He is also a qualified tour guide, trained at Beit Yatziv. Avi is interested in founding and leading educational programs that create encounters and enable shared living among young people from different sectors of Israeli society.


Yoni Enzel

Yoni Enzel

Yoni Enzel is an entrepreneur and educator. In recent years, he founded and served as the principal of a state school in Tel Aviv, and was a member of the city’s “Trailblazers” program to develop advanced models for learning and evaluation. Previously, Yoni was the principal of the Democratic School in Shoham. He has also held a series of positions at the Branco Weiss Institute, including training development, working with youth villages for disadvantaged youth and youth in crisis, mentoring, and running national programs to foster thinking. Yoni holds a bachelor’s degree in behavioral science from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, and a master’s degree in organizational consulting and development from the academic track at the College of Management Academic Studies. He also holds a teaching diploma in sociology, and is a graduate of the Avney Rosha training program for school principals. Yoni is interested in educational entrepreneurism, and wants to create international collaborations that advance the values of humanist-progressive education against the backdrop of the challenges of the 21st century.


Pazit Gabay Elgi

Pazit Gabay Elgi

Pazit Gabay Elgi is an educator and psychologist. For six years, she was the Dimona director of Israel's National Program for Children and Youth at Risk, while working as an educational psychologist for Dimona's municipal psychological services. In her most recent job, she served as deputy director of Dimona's municipal department of education. In the year prior to entering the Mandel School for Educational Leadership, Pazit worked on the “Education Spaces” program of the Ministry of Education’s Research and Development Unit, in which capacity she helped local authorities open new school registration areas and develop the unique character of schools. Pazit holds a bachelor’s degree in behavioral science, a master’s degree in educational psychology, and a doctorate in developmental and educational psychology, all from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, where she served as an external lecturer in the department of education while studying. She is interested in closing educational gaps and promoting equal opportunity in education in Israel.


Adi Gilboa

Adi Gilboa

Adi Gilboa is an educator who most recently was the principal of the Ofek School in Jerusalem, an enrichment center for gifted and talented students. In this role, Adi worked to expand the school’s ability to address the emotional and social needs of gifted students, to promote awareness of the special characteristics and needs of gifted students in Jerusalem schools, and to open a variety of frameworks for outstanding students from different populations in Jerusalem. Adi holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and philosophy and a master’s degree in education, both from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She is interested in examining the teaching of gifted students and applying practices from this area to other areas of education. In particular, she is interested in the ways that knowledge acquired from education for gifted students can be used to foster motivation, curiosity, creativity, and thinking among all children in the Israeli education system.


Sharaf Hassan

Sharaf Hassan

Sharaf Hassan is an educator, manager, and social activist. In recent years, he has been the director of the education department at the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, has been a teaching fellow in the sociology departments at Tel Aviv University and Oranim Academic College of Education, and has taught civics at the Alkhawarezmi high school in the city of Tamra in the Galilee. Since 2018, he has served as head of the Follow-Up Committee on Arab Education, played an active role in various local and social organizations, and participated in social and environmental movements. Sharaf holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology and political science, a master’s degree in sociology, and a teaching diploma, all from the University of Haifa, and a doctorate in sociology from Tel Aviv University. He is interested in promoting education for the values of human rights, democracy, and social justice; in advancing Arab education in Israel; and in processes of taking responsibility, and creating a social infrastructure for vulnerable populations, based on the education system, civil society, and local authorities.


Mohammad Kundas

Mohammad Kundas

Mohammad Kundas is an educator, artist, actor, and musician, who has worked as the director of a number of institutions and programs engaged in education through music and art. Most recently, Mohammad was the director of the Manar Center for Advancement of Youth at Risk in Jaffa. He also founded and directed the Qarar House for Music and the Arts – a nonprofit organization that promotes Eastern musical culture as a way of fostering social and educational connections in the city of Yafo. Mohammed holds a bachelor’s degree in film and media studies from Brandeis University, and a master’s degree in society and the arts from the Academic College of Society and the Arts in Netanya. Mohammad believes that education is a driving force for social change, and that social and political equality in education is the foundation for solving complex conflicts. He is interested in art as an educational tool and in the question of education as art.


Ofir Levy

Ofir Levy

Ofir Levy is an educator who most recently served as deputy principal of a boarding school for young offenders. In that capacity, he developed a therapeutic educational program for strengthening the self-efficacy and personal empowerment of young people in the facility – a program that is being implemented in several other educational frameworks. Ofir has also developed and led a “fathers and sons” program for young Ethiopian Israelis at the boarding school. This program aims to reduce intergenerational gaps and strengthen the family as a unit. Ofir holds a bachelor’s degree in law from the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya, and an executive master’s degree in education administration and leadership from Tel Aviv University. He is interested in advancing and integrating youth at risk in Israeli society by creating beneficial educational frameworks.


Ziva Mekonen-Degu

Ziva Mekonen-Degu

Ziva Mekonen-Degu is a social activist and leader. In her most recent position, she was Executive Director of the Israel Association of Ethiopian Jews, which lobbies for policy change and fights institutional racism and discrimination. In this capacity, Ziva worked to achieve changes in government ministry policies toward Ethiopian Israelis through promoting measures to reduce gaps between Ethiopian Israelis and the general population. These measures include closing down separationist programs for Ethiopian Israelis in the education system and the IDF. Ziva holds a bachelor’s degree in social work and a master’s degree in gender studies, both from Bar-Ilan University. She is also a graduate of Tehuda, the Beit Midrash for Jewish Leadership run jointly by the Kolot nonprofit organization and HaMidrasha at Oranim . Ziva is interested in acquiring knowledge and tools for closing gaps in Israeli society through education, and in exploring how the documentation, preservation, and commemoration of the heritage of Beta Yisrael (Ethiopian Jewry) as part of the narrative of Israeli society can contribute to this goal.


Tal Navoni

Tal Navoni

Tal Navoni is an educator and educational administrator, who served as the principal of the Tzviya religious girls’ high school in Revava, and headed the Hadar Ganim religious high school for girls in Petach Tikva. Over the years, Tal developed the “Face to Face” program, which promotes emotional discourse and intra-personal and inter-personal skills among students, and trains educational staff in group facilitation. In addition, she has led women’s empowerment programs that address adolescence, sexuality, and gender from a standpoint of dialogue with Jewish tradition and halakha. Tal holds a bachelor’s degree in education from Efrata College of Education and a master’s degree in education management from the Kibbutzim College of Education. She is interested in developing her knowledge of issues relating to Judaism, education, and gender, in order to identify new avenues for developing leadership roles for religious girls and women.


Adi Nir Binyamini

Adi Nir Binyamini

Adi Nir Binyamini is a lawyer who most recently worked in the human rights legal clinic of Tel Aviv University’s law department. In that capacity, she worked to advance human rights and social change by bringing cases to court, supporting legislative and policy making processes, collaborating with civil society organizations and government ministries, developing work plans, and building coalitions. As a member of the law faculty, Adi also taught and tutored students. Previously, she worked as Senior Deputy to the Solicitor General in the Tel Aviv District Civil Department. Adi holds a bachelor’s degree in law and political science and a master’s degree in law, both from Tel Aviv University. She is interested in the connection between education and law and between theory and practice in both those fields, which play a key role in promoting human rights and social change and reducing gaps in society.


Netta Oren

Netta Oren

Netta Oren is a public sector lawyer. Most recently, she held a senior position in the Department of Constitutional and Administrative Law in the State Attorney’s Office, in which capacity she represented the government and its branches in cases of judicial review and administrative appeals before the Supreme Court of the State of Israel. Netta was also involved in formulating policy and decision-making processes for various government departments regarding issues discussed by the High Court of Justice in areas such as schooling, higher education and equality, security matters, religion and state, and more. Netta holds a bachelor’s degree in law from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a master’s degree in law, specializing in public and international law, from Tel Aviv University and Northwestern University in Chicago. Netta is also a member of the board of directors at Kasimba, a non-profit organization that promotes creative and cultural activities for families with or without special needs. She is interested in advancing social change and closing gaps in education. In particular, she is interested in advancing rights of children with disabilities and special needs by embracing diversity and inclusion of these children in the education system through the legal system and legal tools.


May Pundik

May Pundik

May Pundik is a feminist social activist and entrepreneur. Most recently, she was the director of New Generations and Israel Travel at the New Israel Fund in the United States. In this capacity, she led fundraising and social justice campaigns and worked to build a community based on a renewed relationship between young American Jews and civil society in Israel. May was involved in setting up a legal team to support political struggles in Israel, and was one of the founders of an educational program that conducted dialogue groups of young Jews and Palestinians in high schools in East and West Jerusalem. May is a graduate of the Leadership, Organizing and Action program at Harvard University, and holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in law from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She is interested in exploring possibilities for changing power structures and creating a more equitable society via partnerships and relationship building, and in advancing sustainable solutions for connecting individuals and communities.


Shlomit Ravitsky Tur-Paz

Shlomit Ravitsky Tur-Paz

Shlomit Ravitsky Tur-Paz is active in the worlds of education, culture, and management. Most recently, she was the director of Elul, a pluralistic beit midrash that works to create a cultural common denominator among different sectors of Israeli society by means of Jewish text study, inter-sectoral encounters that nurture and challenge such study, and artistic, educational, and social creativity inspired by the texts and learning process. Shlomit has also served as chair of Rashut Harabim, a forum of organizations dedicated to Jewish renewal in Jerusalem. Previously, she co-founded and co-directed ITIM, a center for resources and advocacy for Jewish life, and founded and directed Sha’arim, a pluralistic beit midrash of Yeshivat Ma’ale Gilboa. She has also lectured and tutored in Judaism, law, and gender in various frameworks, including HaMidrasha B'Oranim, Midreshet Ein HaNatziv, the Ministry of Education’s Shenhar Center, the Efrata School, and more. Shlomit holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in law from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She is interested in researching the post-secondary landscape of yeshiva study in Israel and in exploring possibilities for innovation in this arena.


David Simchon

David Simchon

David Simchon is an educator and manager, who has spent the last decade working for the Bnei Akiva youth movement, most recently as the deputy director of education. In this capacity, David was responsible for the movement’s educational operations and for developing its educational strategy. He also worked to increase collaboration between different youth movements and sectors, in order to connect additional populations to informal education and to increase social activism among young people. David holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in political science and communications, both from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He is interested in realizing the goals of youth movements to create autonomous spaces for young people, in education in general and particularly in religious and spiritual education.


Anat Thon Ashkenazy

Anat Thon Ashkenazy

Anat Thon Ashkenazy is a lawyer and feminist activist. In her most recent position, she was CEO of the NGO "Itach-Maaki ("with you" in Hebrew and Arabic) – Women Lawyers for Social Justice", where she led programs promoting gender equality at a national and municipal level, with an emphasis on the needs of women from disadvantaged groups in society. As part of her work at Itach-Maaki, Anat represented dozens of women’s organizations that demand equality and equal representation in decision-making bodies for women from diverse groups in Israel. Anat holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in law from Tel-Aviv University, as well as a second bachelor’s degree in psychology from the same university. She is interested in strengthening the values of democracy and gender justice, both in the education system and in Israeli law.


Lior Yellin Frajnd

Lior Yellin Frajnd

Lior Yellin Frajnd is an entrepreneur and manager, who most recently worked as the municipal coordinator of services for at-risk youth and young adults at the Jerusalem municipality. In this capacity, she established platforms for interdisciplinary work in Haredi neighborhoods in the city and implemented integrative work methods in core areas of the field. Previously, Lior ran the ELEM–Youth in Distress outreach van in Jerusalem, she directed the youth at risk services of the Binyamin Regional Council, and she developed innovative models for working with young people at risk, as a member of the Bloomberg Foundation Innovation Team at the Jerusalem municipality. Lior holds a bachelor’s degree in social work from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, and a master’s degree in social work from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She is interested in creating a clear system of work interfaces between social work and education, and in improving the correlation between the needs of residents and the municipal welfare and education services.


Hagit Yogev

Hagit Yogev

Hagit Yogev is an educator who has spent the last decade as the principal of the Tzviya religious girls’ high school in Lod, which accepts students from Lod and central Israel and prides itself on heterogeneous education focused on personal growth. Previously, she was a homeroom teacher, math teacher, and school social coordinator. Hagit holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and business administration from the University of Haifa, and a master’s degree in history and education. She is a graduate of the Avney Rosha training program for school principals and of the Mifras Educational Entrepreneurship Incubator. She has also mentored new principals on behalf of the Avney Rosha Institute. Hagit is interested in values-based education in the pedagogical world of the 21st century, and in processes that encourage personal growth of students and faculty members.


Tamar Zeira Dvir

Tamar Zeira Dvir

Tamar Zeira Dvir is an educator and manager, who most recently served as deputy director of the Joint Council of Leadership Academies for high school graduates (Mechinot). In this capacity, she established and directed the Council’s alumni project, and developed advanced work methods for the educational staff with the programs' alumni. She also led training programs for directors of leadership academies , and worked to advance women in leadership roles in the academies. Previously, Tamar directed the second-year program at the Aderet academy, where she later served as finance director and chair of the board of the non-profit organization that supports the academy. Tamar holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and education from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and a master’s degree from the Mandel Social Leadership MBA program at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. Tamar is interested in educational means for advancing women in leadership roles, towards a world of full partnership between women and men in leadership.