Professor Ayman Agbaria is a researcher, poet, playwright, and social activist, who serves as an associate professor in the department of leadership and policy in education at the University of Haifa. In 2016, he served as a visiting scholar at the Centre for Research and Evaluation in Muslim Education at the University College London Institute of Education, and at the Institute for Islamic Studies at the University of Vienna. Ayman holds two master’s degrees, one in international development and social change from Clark University, and the other in criminology from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He also holds a dual doctoral degree – in educational theory and policy and in international and comparative education – from Pennsylvania State University. Ayman completed post-doctoral studies at Cambridge University. His areas of expertise include: education among ethnic and religious minorities; policy and pedagogy for civics education; Islamic education; and teacher training. Previously, he held senior positions at the Israel Association of Community Centers, Beit Berl Academic College, and SHATIL – the New Israel Fund Initiative for Social Change. He also served as a senior consultant to the Follow-Up Committee on Arab Education, and as a member of the Ministry of Education’s committee on civics education. Ayman’s poems have been published in many anthologies in various languages and four of his plays have been produced.
Amichai Amit researches and writes on ethics and is a lecturer in the philosophy department and the international BA in liberal arts program at Tel Aviv University. His research focuses on issues ranging from questions about the nature of values and moral justifications, to questions about meaning in life, to topics in applied ethics, such as our moral responsibilities in the face of the climate crises. Amichai is a founding partner of two educational ventures: the first, "Mashma," aims to integrate the study of philosophy into the community through discussing questions relevant to everyday life and guiding small study groups. The second, "Maalot," is an educational non-profit that aims to increase the public's understanding of the climate crisis, its complexity, and its multisystemic nature. Amichai holds a master's degree in philosophy from Tel Aviv University and a doctorate in philosophy from the University of Chicago, where he taught until the summer of 2018.
Dr. Zvi Bekerman teaches anthropology of education at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s school of education and at its Melton Centre for Jewish Education. His main research interests involve the study of cultural, ethnic and national identity, including identity processes and negotiation during intercultural encounters and in formal/informal learning contexts. He is also interested in how ideas and concepts such as culture and identity intersect with such issues as social justice, inter-cultural education, peace education and civics education. Since 1999, with the support of the Ford, Spencer and Bernard Van Leer Foundations, Bekerman has been conducting a long-term ethnographic research project in the integrated bilingual Palestinian-Jewish schools in Israel. He has published many academic articles in his field of research, as well as several books, including: Teaching Contested Narratives: Identity, Memory and Reconciliation in Peace Education and BeyondThe International Handbook of Migration, Minorities and Education: Understanding Cultural and Social Differences in Processes of Learning (Springer, 2014), and The Promise of Integrated Multicultural and Bilingual Education (Oxford University Press, 2016). At the Mandel School for Educational Leadership, Bekerman teaches a course in ethnographical analysis which equips fellows with ethnographic tools for observing and interpreting what happens in schools.
Dr. Yehuda Ben-Dor has served as a lawyer for the Association for Civil Rights in Israel and lectured at the Elul Center for Jewish Learning and was one of the founders of the Yesodot Center for the Study of Torah and Democracy, where he also taught. His main area of interest is that of cultural traditions and pluralism: the relation between identity and cultural tradition; the conditions for induction into cultural traditions; and the difficulties, challenges, and potential inherent in the encounter between cultural traditions. His work and teaching involve the examination of the internal relations between language, meaning and ways of life, and are based on texts from Western philosophy, Jewish thought, and literature. Yehuda is the dean of first-year fellows at the Mandel School for Educational Leadership, where he also teaches philosophy and Jewish thought.
Dr. Ruth Calderon is an educator and Talmud scholar working to promote Hebrew, Israeli, and Jewish culture, to cultivate the study of Torah in the secular world, and to create a liberal, humanistic public space that is rich in culture. She served in the 19th Knesset as a Member of Knesset for the Yesh Atid party and as Deputy Speaker of the Knesset. Ruth founded Beit Midrash Elul in Jerusalem and Alma – Home for Hebrew Culture in Tel Aviv. She also served as the head of the culture and education department of the National Library of Israel. In recognition of her work, Ruth was awarded the AVI CHAI Prize for Jewish Education, the Samuel Rothberg Prize for Jewish Education, and honorary doctorates from Brandeis University, the Jewish Theological Seminary, the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, and Hebrew College in Boston. Ruth is the author of A Bride for One Night: Talmud Tales and A Talmudic Alpha Beta, which present personal readings of Talmudic stories. Her children's books, The Princess and the Rock and A Rainy Day Story, present adaptations of Talmudic and Chassidic stories for children. Ruth holds a master's degree and doctorate in Talmud from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She is a graduate of Cohort 1 of the Mandel School for Educational Leadership.
Prof. Jonathan Cohen is the director of Melton Centre for Jewish Education at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He holds a doctorate in Jewish thought and education and his main research areas include the philosophy of Jewish education and curriculum development theories. He was the head of the Hebrew University's school of education and is the author of the book Reason and Change: Perspectives on the Study of the Jewish Philosophy and its History, published in Hebrew by the Bialik Institute. Jonathan is a graduate of the Mandel Jerusalem Fellows program and is currently working on an introduction to an anthology of the educational writings of Prof. Seymour Fox.
Dr. Lia Ettinger is the Academic Supervisor at the Heschel Center for Sustainability and a Senior Fellow at the Shaharit Institute for New Politics. In addition, she teaches sustainability at Tel Aviv University. Lia has a PhD in biology from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Her dissertation and post-doctoral research at the University of California, Berkeley, and at Hebrew University focused on evolution and the philosophy of biology. Lia began to explore sustainability on her own about thirty years ago, and has been working on making that knowledge accessible and examining the connections between science, society, economics, and culture ever since. She is a graduate of Cohort 3 of the Mandel School for Educational Leadership.
Yonina Florsheim holds an MA in history from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She served as director of the Center for Teaching of Jewish Studies in the Mandel Institute of Jewish Studies at the Hebrew University. She also taught high school history, and for twenty years trained teachers at the Kerem Institute for Teacher Training. She authored the text book The History of the United States: Vision, Crises and Growth, which was published in 2008 by the Zalman Shazar Center. At the Mandel School for Educational Leadership, Yonina is responsible for several of the program’s training elements in which the fellows combine learning from practice with work in the field: study tours, a teaching certificate course for academic re-trainees, and the professional internships track.
Professor Motti Golani is a Professor for Jewish History, and chair of the Jewish History Department at Tel Aviv University, where he also heads the Chaim Weizmann Institute for the Study of Zionism and Israel. His main research interests concern questions of morality, memory, politics, and war in the pre-state Zionist era and in the history of the State of Israel. A scholar of the British Mandate period from the perspective of Zionist-British relations, he chairs the Israeli Mandate Research Forum. Professor Golani’s books include: Zion in Zionism: Zionist Policy and the Question of Jerusalem, 1937–1949 (1992); Israel in Search of War: The Sinai Campaign, 1955–1956 (1998); Wars Don’t Just Happen: On Memory, Force, and Choice (2002); The End of the British Mandate for Palestine, 1948 (2009); The Last Commissioner: General Sir Alan Gordon Cunningham, 1945–1948 (2011); Two Sides of the Coin: Independence and Nakba 1948, Two Narratives of the 1948 War and its Outcome (2011, with Adel Manna); andPalestine Between Politics and Terror 1945–1947 (2013). He is currently co-authoring (with Professor Jehuda Reinharz) a third and final volume of the biography of Chaim Weizmann, which covers the years 1922 to 1952, and is due to be published in 2019.
Prof. Moshe Halbertal is a professor of Jewish thought and philosophy at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and a professor of law at New York University (NYU) and the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya. He is the author of two books published by Harvard University Press: Idolatry (with Avishai Margalit) and People of the Book: Canon, Meaning and Authority. He also wrote Commentary Revolutions in the Making and Between Torah and Wisdom: Rabbi Menachem Ha-Meiri and the Maimonidean Halakhists in Provence, both published in Hebrew by Magnus Press. His book By Way of Truth: Nahmanides and the Creation of Tradition was published in Hebrew by Keter Press and the Hartman Institute. His books Concealment and Revelation and On Sacrifice were published in 2012 by Princeton University, and his most recent book Maimonides Life and Thought was also published by Princeton University in 2014. Moshe received the Rothschild Foundation's Michael Bruno Memorial Award and he is a member of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities.
Professor Ariel Hirschfeld is a researcher and cultural critic. He is a professor of Hebrew literature at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where he studied musicology and Hebrew literature. He served as the head of the faculty of Hebrew literature from 2008 to 2012. He also taught in a Jerusalem high school for 25 years. Ariel publishes essays and articles in Israel and around the world, and for many years wrote a weekly column in Haaretz. Among his books: Voi, Che Sapete – the Dialogue of Love in Mozart’s Operas (1994), Notes on a Place (2000), Toward the Last of the Gods: The Fountains of Rome (2003), Notes on Epiphany (2006), The Tuned Harp – The Language of Emotions in the Poetry of H. N. Bialik (2011), Reading S. Y. Agnon (2011).
Prior to his work at Mandel, Dr. Yehuda Maimaran was CEO of the Alliance Israélite Universelle, where he worked within Israel’s formal education system to promote educational excellence for all students, regardless of their socioeconomic status or geographical location, and to advance Jewish-Zionist education that emphasizes mutual responsibility and social engagement. In the public and communal arena, Yehuda has worked to create a shared Jewish-social language and to develop and cultivate leadership groups. In 2014, he was awarded the Peleg Prize for promoting understanding, acceptance, and cooperation between different sectors of the Jewish world. Yehuda founded the Morasha program to promote Jewish education and community engagement, which encompassed more than 100 schools in both the state and state-religious education streams. He also established Memizrach Shemesh, a center for Jewish social activism and leadership that educates according to the social values of the Sephardi and Mizrahi heritage. He also served as principal of the Moreshet elementary and middle school in Mevaseret Zion. Yehuda holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and philosophy, a master’s degree in clinical psychology, and a doctorate in Jewish education, all from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He is a graduate of Cohort 3 of the Mandel School for Educational Leadership, where he currently directs the admissions process.
Miki Nevo, a social entrepreneur, is the director of the Mandel Center for Leadership in the North. Prior to his current position, he was the director of the Mandel Program for Youth Leadership of the Mandel Leadership Institute for five years. Miki has some twenty-five years' experience in founding and managing social and educational organizations. He was principal of the Misgav secondary school, and founded and directed the Israel Venture Network’s educational activities in Israel’s northern social periphery. He founded and directed the Ma’ase Center, which promotes socioeconomic mobility by providing volunteering frameworks for young adults from Israel’s social periphery, served as senior assistant director of research and development of the Rashi Foundation, and founded and directed Living Together – The Center for a New Social Partnership in Israel. In recognition of his work with Ma’ase, Miki was awarded the Sderot Conference for Society’s Prize for Excellence in Social Affairs, the Speaker of the Knesset’s Quality of Life Prize, and an honorary doctorate from Tel Aviv University. He holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science and a master’s degree in neurobiology, both from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Miki is a graduate of Cohort 4 of the Mandel School for Educational Leadership.
Dr. Neta Sher-Hadar is a lecturer in administration and public policy and is in charge of policy studies at the Mandel School for Educational Leadership. She is also responsible for the School’s elective studies, evaluation processes, and digital learning. Her areas of teaching and research include policy implementation, policy failures, policy analysis, public administration reforms, and public auditing, and her research has been published in journals in these fields. Neta’s work at the School also includes research on the engagement between theory and practice in public policy. Neta is the co-editor of
Collaborative Governance: Theory and Lessons from Israel (Palgrave Macmillan, 2021) with Dr. Lihi Lahat and Professor Itzhak Galnoor. From 2015-2018 she was the academic co-director of a research study on collaborative governance at the Yaakov Chazan Center for Social Justice and Democracy at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute. Today she is also a faculty member in the department of public policy and administration at Sapir Academic College.
Prof. Ami Volansky was a senior faculty member at Tel Aviv University, School of Education until his retirement in 2015. His research focuses on education policy including school reforms, school effectiveness, school-based management and higher-education policy. His recent books are Academia in a Changing Environment: Higher Education Policy in Israel 1952–2004 (2005); The Pendulum Syndrome: Centralisation and Decentralisation of Education in England and Wales (2003); and School-Based Management: An International Perspective (2003), co-edited with Isaac Friedman. He has published dozens of articles and monographs in his fields of expertise. Prof. Volansky is former Chief Scientist of the Ministry of Education and former Deputy Director General for Policy Planning, and had served as the advisor on higher education policy of four Ministers of Education.
Dr. Gili (Mivtzari) Zivan has been involved in teaching Bible, Talmud, Midrash and Jewish thought for many years. She served as the director of the Yaacov Herzog Center for Jewish Studies from 2001–2008, during which time she co-founded the Tzahali Academy, a pre-military preparatory program for religious women, and the Ofek program for Jewish identity for Russian-speaking students. Gili currently lectures, facilitates workshops and conducts Beit Midrash programs for the Herzog Center and in other settings throughout Israel. She has published numerous articles on faith in an age of doubt; religion and pluralism; faith and bereavement; religious Zionism, and more. Gili’s book Religion without Illusion, an adaptation of her doctoral dissertation, was published in 2005. She is a social activist in the field of Jewish-Arab coexistence and an advocate for the inclusion of women in Jewish lifecycle events, Torah study, and leadership. A former member of the Board of Kolech – the Religious Women's Forum, Gili has published a variety of articles on Judaism and gender. As part of her work as a faculty member of the Mandel School for Educational Leadership, she teaches and tutors fellows.
Professor Anat Zohar is a professor at the school of education of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. From 2006-2009 she served as the chairperson of the Pedagogical Secretariat at the Ministry of Education. In this capacity she led a process of educational change in the Israeli education system whose main emphasis was on the integration of thinking and understanding in the various school subjects (the “Pedagogical Horizon” program). Her areas of academic expertise include: science teaching, learning and instruction, the development of students’ thinking, metacognition, teachers’ professional development in the context of teaching thinking, gender and science learning, gender and education for the gifted, bridging the gap between educational policy and changes in learning and instruction, and how to integrate educational projects in the field of developing students’ thinking for the entire system. To Professor Anat Zohar's website
Dr. Yuval Evri is a sociologist and culture researcher who focuses on the political-intellectual history of the Land of Israel/Palestine at the turn of the 20th century. He studied political science and cultural studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and completed his doctorate at Tel Aviv University in the department of sociology and anthropology. Yuval was a post-doctoral fellow at the Institute of Advanced Studies in Berlin (2013-2014), a guest researcher at Cambridge University (2010-2012), a research fellow at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute (2005-2010), and a post-doctoral fellow at the Cherrick Center at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (2015-2016). Yuval is a graduate of the 14th cohort of the Mandel School for Educational Leadership and during that time worked on setting up an affirmative action program at the Hebrew University for students from the periphery. For many years he was involved in various communal-educational ventures. Yuval is currently a post-doctoral fellow at SOAS – University of London (School of Oriental and African Studies). At the Mandel School for Educational Leadership he teaches courses on Israeli society.
Dr. Dafna Meitar is a pediatric oncologist and an expert in palliative medicine. She provides holistic care for patients and families dealing with complex illnesses and life-threatening situations, and is one of the founders of the field of spiritual counseling for patients in Israel. Dafna teaches medical and educational staffs about issues related to individuals and families coping with serious illness, as well as issues concerning end-of-life care for patients. Her children's book, Salt on My Lips, discusses the painful subject of siblings of sick children. Since 2000, Dafna has led the activities of Tel Aviv University's medical education department. Her work has focused on interpersonal skills and communication; development of professional and personal identity; professionalism; self-awareness and reflection; inter-cultural skills; and relations between the medical profession and the community. In recent years, Dafna has conducted research on medical education in Israel and abroad with Dr. Daniel Marom of the Mandel School for Educational Leadership, with the aim of advancing and improving medical education and practice in Israel.
Dr. Ayal Shaul is the head of the Keshet Center for Professional and Continuing Education at Beit Berl College. Prior to this, he served as head of development and learning at the Avney Rosha Institute, where he founded the Institute’s professional development programs for school supervisors. Previously, Ayal was the Ministry of Education’s general supervisor of high school education in Tel Aviv-Yafo, responsible for implementing the Ministry’s policies as well as those of the city's educational administration. He is also a former principal of the ORT Yad Singalovsky education center in Tel Aviv and of the Givat Gonen high school in Jerusalem. Ayal holds a bachelor’s degree from a multidisciplinary program for outstanding students of psychology, anthropology, and education, and a master’s degree in sociology and anthropology, both from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and a doctorate from the Sorbonne Business School in Paris. Ayal is a graduate of Cohort 14 of the Mandel School for Educational Leadership, where he is now responsible for the individual tutoring system and for mentoring the tutors, together with Dr. Raya Yoeli. He also serves as a personal tutor himself, and as a facilitator at fellows’ workshops.
Professor Lee Shulman is president emeritus of The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and was the first Charles E. Ducommun Professor of Education and Professor (by courtesy) of Psychology at Stanford University. He was previously Professor of Educational Psychology and Medical Education at Michigan State University, serving as a member of that faculty from 1963 to 1982. He was the founding co-director of the Institute for Research on Teaching (IRT) at Michigan State University from 1976. Professor Shulman is a past president of the American Educational Research Association (AERA). He is a member of the National Academy of Education, having served as both vice president and president of that organization. In 2002 he was elected a Fellow of The American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Professor Shulman's research and writings have dealt with the study of teaching and teacher education; the assessment of teaching; medical education; the psychology of instruction in science, mathematics, and medicine; and the quality of teaching in higher education.
Dr. Miriam Szamet is a historian of education and Israeli society. Her research focuses on issues related to the formation of Hebrew language instruction and Israeli education during the 19th and 20th centuries; the development of pedagogy as part of modernity; how trends in global pedagogical discourse found expression in the local context; the relations between academia and practice in Israeli education; and education as a case study of major developments and challenges in Israeli society. Her forthcoming book, to be published by the Magnes Press, analyzes educational discourse in the pre-state Yishuv, the influences on this discourse, and the transfer of educational and pedagogical knowledge to the Yishuv during those years. Miriam completed her master’s degree and doctorate at the Institute of Contemporary Judaism at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and is a graduate of the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School for Advanced Studies in the Humanities. Since the completion of her studies, she served as a visiting researcher at the Leibniz Institute for Jewish History and Culture – Simon Dubnow (2017); as a research fellow at the Free University of Berlin (2018); and as a researcher in a joint research project of the Braunschweig University and the Hebrew University, funded by the German Research Foundation (2018–2021). Previously, Miriam served as the deputy director of the Josef Meyerhoff Youth Center for Advanced Studies at the Hebrew University, and was a senior coordinator at the International School for Holocaust Studies at Yad Vashem.
Professor Sam Wineburg is the Margaret Jacks Professor of Education and Professor of History (by courtesy) at Stanford University. He is the head of Stanford's doctoral program in history education and is one of the world's leading experts on how history is taught and learned. In 2007 Professor Wineburg was awarded the American Historical Association’s William Gilbert Prize, and in 2008 he received the James Harvey Robinson Prize, for his work on the teaching of history and on teaching innovation. In 2014-2015, Professor Wineburg chaired a visiting committee appointed by Israel's Council for Higher Education to evaluate the performance of the eight faculties and departments of education at Israel's universities.
Before joining the Mandel School for Educational Leadership, Maya Barak served as deputy director of the wages division at the Israel Land Administration and as coordinator of in-service teacher training at the Ministry of Education. She has also worked as a project manager at the Israel Governmental Printing Unit and as a training coordinator at the Pisgah Center in Jerusalem. Maya holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the Open University and a master's degree in business administration from Ono Academic College. She also has a diploma in group facilitation from the Adler Institute and a certificate in international tour guiding from the Open University. She is responsible for the day-to-day running of the program of study at the Mandel School for Educational Leadership and for the administrative aspects of relations with the fellows.
Moran Dadon is an administrative assistant at the Mandel School for Educational Leadership. Previously, she coordinated the finances and budgeting of the Mandel Graduate Unit. Before beginning her work for the Mandel Foundation, Moran was the personal assistant to the chief marketing director of Arpal. Prior to that, she managed the nationwide Ziva D`or design studio. Moran holds a bachelor's degree in business management with a specialization in human resources, and a master's degree in business with a specialization in marketing, both from the Center for Academic Studies in Or Yehuda.
Prior to joining the Mandel School for Educational Leadership in 2017, Netta served as summer camps and shlichim coordinator for the Jewish Agency, and even served herself as a Jewish Agency emissary in a Reform summer camp in North America twice. She has a bachelor’s degree in English language and literature from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where she is currently completing her master’s degree in the same field. Netta also received certification as a horseback riding instructor from the Wingate Institute. She has worked as a translator and editor of academic, marketing, and literary content as well.
Yana Nacht has experience in managing social programs and leading multi-system and cross-sectoral change processes, and is extensively involved in public activities. Before joining the Mandel School for Educational Leadership as facilitator of its graduate community, Yana was director of the Mahalach Foundation, which helps non-profit organizations develop self-generating income. In this capacity, she oversaw the establishment of a graduate forum, and supported dozens of directors of nonprofits through processes of organizational change. Prior to that, Yana held several managerial positions in the social and educational arenas, including director of a youth education program at the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles and director of the Center for Entrepreneurship in Education of the Bat Yam municipality. Yana holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and Middle Eastern history and a master’s degree in educational administration and leadership, both from Tel Aviv University, and has a teaching diploma from the Kibbutzim College of Education.
Micah Sapir is a research and development assistant at the Mandel School for Educational Leadership. He holds a master's degree in sociology of education from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a bachelor's degree in gender and sexuality studies and education studies from Yale University. Prior to joining Mandel, Micah was a research intern at the Israel Democracy Institute, and worked as a research assistant and teaching assistant at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where he also served as the coordinator of external relations at the NCJW Research Institute for Innovation in Education. Micah is the conductor of the Jerusalem chapter of HaZamir: The International Jewish Teen Choir, and he performs as a singer and pianist.
Before joining the Mandel School for Educational Leadership, Ester Dana Dahan served as assistant to the deputy CFO of Israel’s Council for Higher Education and worked as a production assistant for Channel 2 news and for the Knesset Channel. She holds a bachelor’s degree in communications and sociology (cum laude) from the Open University and a master’s degree in entrepreneurship and innovation (academic track) from the College of Management Academic Studies in Rishon Lezion. Ester also studies at the Netiv Bina religious seminary.
Gilli Stern is a graduate of the Sauvé Scholars fellowship program in Montreal, a joint venture of McGill University and the Canadian government. A copywriter and advertising professional, he owns a website development company in Jerusalem. Over the years, Gilli has also worked as a screenwriter, a news producer for Channel 10, and a producer of “Din VeCheshbon,” an award-winning investigative TV show. Gilli is a licensed tour guide, having completed the Israeli Ministry of Tourism course at the University of Haifa. He manages the digital learning system of the Mandel School for Educational Leadership.
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