FELLOWS

 

Itzhak Ben Samon

Itzhak Ben Samon

Staff Officer, Israeli Air Force

As a staff officer in the Israeli Air Force, Itzhak Ben Samon is responsible for a broad range of projects that require integration across multiple areas. In recent years, he has volunteered as chair of a pre-school system with some 80 children at Machane Yehudit, a residential neighborhood for families at the Ramat David airbase. He has also led a project that brings together soldiers and people with disabilities for a variety of joint activities. Itzhak wants to acquire knowledge and skills that will enable him to work in non-formal education systems for at-risk youth. He holds a master’s degree in emergency management from the University of Haifa, is married, and is a father of four.


Ilanit Berkowitz

Ilanit Berkowitz

Educator for Youth at Risk

Ilanit Berkowitz is a teacher of at-risk youth at the Yemin Orde youth village. After holding a variety of managerial roles at a leading hi-tech company, she retrained in education out of a desire to contribute to society and the community. Ilanit is one of the leaders of Segulot, a program that provides students from the margins of Israeli society with training that enables them to serve in elite technological units in the IDF. Ilanit wants to use the experience she gained in the business world to develop a community program that will provide at-risk young adults with support after military service, until they are able to integrate fully into Israeli society. She holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science from the Tel-Aviv Yafo Academic College, and a master’s degree (cum laude) in education from Oranim Academic College. A mother of five children (four biological and one foster), Ilanit lives in Binyamina.


Daniel Dvir

Daniel Dvir

Regional Manager, KKL-JNF Scouts Movement

Daniel Dvir is a regional director for the Jewish National Fund’s Scouts Movement in Memory of Uri Maimon, and is also an advisor on environmental issues to Israel’s Water Authority. Both of these positions take him out into the field to see the country from ground level. Daniel is interested in using education to create connections between the environment, culture, and local identity. He holds a bachelor’s degree in soil and water sciences in agriculture from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Born on Kibbutz Mizra, he is married and a father of two, and now lives on Kibbutz Givat Haim.


Sari Elgad Klonsky

Sari Elgad Klonsky

Educator and Theater Director

Sari Elgad Klonsky is an educator and theater director, with professional experience in facilitating empowerment groups for young women. She is one of the founders of Mitzpe Ilan, a religious community settlement, where she works to promote religious gender equality and is actively involved in various communal processes. Sari is a graduate of the theater studies department at the Emunah Appleman College of Arts and Technology and of the arts department at the David Yellin College of Education. She also holds a master’s degree in education from Tel Aviv University, where her thesis examined the clashes between different streams in Israel’s state-religious education system. She is married and a mother of four.


Uri Gur Dotan

Uri Gur Dotan

Director, Wheels and Wings Day Center

Uri Gur Dotan, a social worker, is the director of the Wheels and Wings Day Center at the House of Wheels in Herzliya. The center provides support for young adults with complex physical disabilities and facilitates their growth and development, in order to enable them to live in the community as independently as possible. Since the age of 16, Uri has worked with people with disabilities in empowerment and advocacy settings, and he specializes in violence prevention. He believes that existing services and frameworks for people with disabilities should be improved in order to foster independence and maximal integration into the community. Uri holds a bachelor’s degree in social work, and a master’s degree in business administration, with a specialization in non-profit management. He is a father of three, and lives on Kibbutz Barkai.


Nani (Elhanan) Haneman

Nani (Elhanan) Haneman

Director, Masar (Taking a Journey) Program

Nani Haneman is the director of the Edmond de Rothschild Partnerships’ Masar (Taking a Journey) program for Arab high school graduates. In recent years, he has been involved in training young leaders for the future, who will work to advance change in the periphery and create a better and more just society. Previously, Nani developed and directed programs for people with disabilities and youth at risk. He believes in an egalitarian and just society that offers equal opportunities for all. Nani holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and a master’s degree in organizational consulting from the University of Haifa. He is a father of four, and lives in Rakefet.


Maya Haviv

Maya Haviv

Social Entrepreneur and Community Project Manager

Maya Haviv is an educational entrepreneur, educational consultant, leader of change processes within schools, and community project manager. She is the CEO of Reshit Morim Et Haderech, a non-profit organization in which education professionals volunteer in Israel’s social and geographical periphery. She also serves as a volunteer teacher for special education students and is an active member of the parent committee in her children’s school. A lawyer and qualified mediator, Maya believes that creativity, entrepreneurship, and original thinking can help the public education system rapidly adapt to the demands of the 21st century. She holds a bachelor’s degree in law and business administration from the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya, and a master’s degree in law from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Maya is a mother of two, and lives in Binyamina.


Ahinoam Katz

Ahinoam Katz

Educator and Social Activist

Ahinoam Katz is the educational director of the Aharai! youth movement, which aims to develop young leadership and social involvement among youth from Israel’s social and geographical periphery. Since 2015, she has volunteered with Hoshen, a non-profit organization working to combat stereotypes regarding the LGBTQ community, where she has served in several roles including chairperson, and has given talks on social activism at pre-military academies. Ahinoam holds a bachelor’s degree in education and a diploma in outdoors therapy. She believes that education is the main tool for creating social change, cherishes diversity, and views all people as equals.


Idit Lev

Idit Lev

Former Director of the Social Justice Program, Rabbis for Human Rights

Rabbi Idit Lev is the former director of the social justice program of Rabbis for Human Rights. She was one of the founding members of a new Conservative congregation in Haifa and of a coalition to fight poverty in Israel. Idit is also an active member in the Standing Together movement in Haifa. Idit wants to promote activities aimed at tikkun olam (“repairing the world”) within Conservative communities by using community-organizing tools in order to increase communal resilience, connect the communities with wider society, and promote social action based on Jewish values. She holds a bachelor’s degree in behavioral science and a master’s degree in cognitive psychology from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, as well as rabbinical ordination from the Schechter Rabbinical Seminary. Idit and her partner have three adolescent children.


Idan Lev-Ran

Idan Lev-Ran

Chair and Founder, "Tzafon" (North) Political Party

Idan Lev-Ran is the chair and founder of the Tzafon (North) political party, which aims to unite Jewish and Arab Israelis, right-wing and left-wing Israelis, and religious and secular Israelis, in order to improve the quality of life of all residents of Northern Israel. He is an expert on local government in Israel, and in particular, on strategic planning and project management in local authorities. Idan holds a master’s degree in political science from the University of Haifa. He is married and a father of four, and lives in Kfar Kisch in the Lower Galilee.


Einav Livne Ben Eliezer

Einav Livne Ben Eliezer

NGO Resource Development Manager and Partner in Pivot Wellbeing Systems

Einav Livne Ben Eliezer is the resource development manager of Beit Amitim – Association for Children at Risk, a non-profit organization that serves children with autism, their families, and ASD professionals. She is also a partner in Pivot Wellbeing Systems, a company working to advance welfare for people in crisis, and in Pivot 2020, a system for improving the welfare and integration of low-functioning people with disabilities. Einav works to create living environments and solutions that improve the welfare and participation of people with disabilities in a variety of areas: regular and special education, mental health, geriatrics, autism, and cognitive disabilities. Over the years, she has also been involved on a volunteer basis in local and national efforts to promote mutual responsibility and provide aid for people in crisis. She holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and sociology, and a master’s degree in non-profit management, both from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Einav is a mother of three, and lives in Kfar Yehezkel.


Gila Livni Zamir

Gila Livni Zamir

Communications Consultant, Spokesperson, and Policy Advocate

Gila Livni Zamir is a communications consultant, spokesperson, policy advocate, and content creator for the Hefer Valley Regional Council and the Technion Faculty Association. A social activist working to promote coexistence in Hadar, her neighborhood in Haifa, Gila is one of the leaders of the Politikva (“politics and hope”) program in Haifa. She wants to create and promote a cross-sector program that will cultivate democratic and political literacy and independent understanding of social and political realities, and will help realize the power and ability of individuals to bring about social change. Gila holds a bachelor’s degree in humanities, social science, and communications from the Open University, is a graduate of the visual communications department at the NB Haifa School of Design, and is a graduate of the Heschel Center for Sustainability. Gila is a mother of three, and a grandmother of two.


Liat Malka

Liat Malka

Director of Values-Based and Social Education, ATID

Liat Malka began her career in the public sector, working in non-formal education as the comptroller and deputy director of the Zichron Yaakov Community Center and the comptroller of the Zichron Yaakov Economic Development Company. A Mizrahi Haredi woman, she served as an advisor on educational affairs to former government minister Eli Yishai. Liat currently works for the ATID school network, where she develops and promotes educational and employment initiatives in the Haredi community, and heads the network’s non-formal education programs, applying an approach that promotes coexistence in Israeli society. Liat is a graduate of the Shaharit Institute, the Living Together initiative, and the Maoz leadership program. A social activist, she is the first Haredi woman to serve as a member of the religious council in Zichron Yaakov. She is also active in the Noar KeHalacha association, which works to eradicate racism in the Haredi community, and is involved in promoting policy reforms on technology education in the Haredi sector. Liat has also worked to strengthen ties between the non-profit sector and the Ministry of Education in the field of technology education, and to establish vocational training centers for Haredi youth. Liat is married and a mother of five, and lives in Zichron Yaakov.


Moran Meitav

Moran Meitav

Teacher and Coordinator, Leo Baeck Education Center

Moran Meitav is an elementary school homeroom teacher, Hebrew language coordinator, and cultural activities coordinator at the Leo Baeck Education Center in Haifa, where she also initiates and leads pedagogical and conceptual change and coordinates the school’s partnership with the Boston Jewish community. Moran believes in the power of words to inspire thought and bring people closer, and seeks to create discourse that focuses on personal expression and on the study of texts that reflect the diversity of Israeli society. She has examined self-identification of Jewish and Arab students as a space for dialogue or conflict and has served as the director of the City without Violence program in Haifa, where she has also led community protection programs. Moran holds a bachelor’s degree in literature and language, and a master’s degree in educational systems management, both from the University of Haifa. She is a mother of two and lives in Kiryat Haim.


Makbula Nassar

Makbula Nassar

Media Personality, Social Activist, and Feminist

Makbula Nassar is a feminist and social activist, media personality, radio host, photographer, and blogger. In recent years, she was the head of the Arabic information and media program of the National Road Safety Authority. Alongside her journalistic work, Makluba has been involved for more than 15 years in leading and coordinating projects and initiatives promoting women’s rights and Palestinian rights. These include the Working Group for Equality in Personal Status Law, the Tsofen non-profit organization, which promotes hi-tech in the Arab sector as a catalyst for a shared society in Israel, and A-List, an online pool of Arab experts for the Hebrew media. Her vision is to create an equal, just, and healthy society for the benefit of all. Makbula holds a bachelor’s degree in community social work from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She is single, and lives in Arraba.


Zehava Ohana

Zehava Ohana

Director, Or Akiva Department of Youth Advancement

Zehava Ohana has been director of the department of youth advancement of the Or Akiva municipality since 2002. She is responsible for at-risk youth in the city and serves as the educational representative on the city’s eligibility assessment committees. Zehava is also a regional instructor for youth advancement counselors new to the field, and provides guidance about at-risk youth to the city’s parent patrols on a voluntary basis. Over the past two years, Zehava has participated in the Shalom Hartman Institute’s Min Habe’erot program for Jewish and Arab educators. She aspires to lead a nationwide training system that will equip education professionals to work effectively with at-risk youth. Zehava holds a bachelor’s degree in residential education and a teaching diploma in biblical studies from the Kibbutzim College of Education. She also holds a master’s degree in education system management from the Center for Academic Studies in Or Yehuda. Zehava is married and a mother of two, and lives in Or Akiva.


Peer Plaot

Peer Plaot

National Director of Social Involvement Programs, ORT Israel Educational Network

Peer Plaot is the national director of social involvement programs at the ORT Israel educational network, and is the co-director of "Connecting Worlds," ORT’s program for creating a shared society online. Peer mentors groups of ORT’s leading teachers and principals, and develops pedagogies aimed at improving the educational environment in schools and optimizing relations among principals, teachers, and students. Peer’s vision is to establish a binational and multicultural youth movement that will engage in educational and environmental activism in response to the climate crisis, which transcends borders and cultures. He holds a bachelor’s degree in education and science teaching from Kibbutzim College of Education, Technology and the Arts, and is currently a student at Umata, a training center based on shamanic traditions. He and his husband live in Kfar Vradim.


Roba Salem

Roba Salem

Director of Strategy and Resource Development, Kfar Qara Local Council

Roba Salem is the director of strategy and resource development at the Kfar Qara local council, where she develops multi-year inter-departmental projects and is founding a new continuum of municipal services. Her vision is to use existing public services to promote major economic growth in the Arab community, and she considers human capital to be the most important factor in improving civil society. Roba holds a bachelor’s degree in social work from Tel Aviv University, and a master’s degree in public policy and administration from the University of Haifa, and is a graduate of the first cohort of the University of Haifa's Cadets for Local Government program. Born in Yaffa an-Naseriyye, Roba is married and lives in Nazareth.


Nava Tal

Nava Tal

Director of Therapeutic Intervention Program for At-Risk Parents in Afula

Nava Tal is the founder and director of a therapeutic program for young at-risk parents of young children and for young at-risk pregnant women. A joint project of the National Insurance Institute Funds, Yedidut Toronto, and the Afula municipality, the program is based on the idea that early intervention for at-risk children and improvement of their parents’ parenting skills will yield a solid basis for healthy child development. Nava wants to improve the treatment provided to victims of sexual assault and violence, as well as sexual offenders, in order to make Israeli society safer, more just, and more equal. She holds a bachelor’s degree in art history from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a master’s degree in special education from the University of Haifa, and is also a qualified hydrotherapist. A mother of five, Nava is a social and environmental activist and lives in Kfar Yehezkel.


Efrat (Effy) Umiel Fadida

Efrat (Effy) Umiel Fadida

Lawyer at Umiel Fadida Law Offices

Attorney Efrat Umiel Fadida is the owner of the Umiel Fadida law firm. A social entrepreneur and mediator, she is the chair and founder the Kol Hanashim (All Women Unite) women’s rights movement. Efrat is also the author of The Women's Inspiration Book. She served on the Misgav Regional Council's property tax appeals board, and has founded several social initiatives, including "Mashehu Mehabeten" (Something from the Gut), "A Window to my World," "Eseki-Mishpati" (Business-Legal), and the memorial day for victims of violence against women. Efrat was formerly a director on the board of directors of the Misgav industrial park. She was also one of the founders of the Kol Hanashim women’s party, running for office as number 5 in its list of candidates for the elections for the 23rd Knesset. Efrat holds a master’s degree in law and technology from the University of Haifa and is an artist and a photographer. Married and a mother of three, she lives in Avtalion.


 

Ella Avital Bashan

Ella Avital Bashan

District Education Executive Manager, Israel Association of Community Centers

Ella Avital Bashan works for the Israel Association of Community Centers (IACC) as the executive manager of education in the Haifa and Valleys District and serves as an advisor to the Association's centers for education and learning in the community. She leads projects in both formal and non-formal education, is a pedagogical advisor for teaching staffs, and is a member of several educational-social research teams. Ella is certified in animal-assisted therapy from the Oranim Academic College of Education and received certification as a didactic diagnostician from the University of Haifa. She seeks to advance initiatives in the field of learning and education in the northern periphery, in order to reduce gaps and create social mobility. Ella holds a bachelor’s degree in special education and literature from the outstanding students’ track at Oranim Academic College of Education, as well as a master’s degree in learning disabilities from the University of Haifa. She is a mother of two, and lives on Moshav Arbel.


Eti Azry Levi

Eti Azry Levi

Dormitory Director, Afikei Ohr Youth Village

Eti Azry Levi is the director of the dormitory at the Afikei Ohr youth village in Migdal Haemek, which is part of the educational network of Rabbi Yitzhak Dovid Grossman. This boarding school is a unique and groundbreaking framework for young women from Haredi homes who have not been able to find a place in traditional ultra-Orthodox settings. Eti is leading an initiative designed to connect Haredi parents and their adolescent daughters. Under her leadership, the dormitory staff is involved in the processes that the students are undergoing, and they work to create a bridge between the young women and their families, and to facilitate a process of rapprochement between the young women and the Haredi community. Previously, Eti was the dormitory director of the Kfar Shira youth village. Eti holds a bachelor’s degree in communications and communal-social education with a specialization in work with youth at risk, and a master’s degree in education systems management from Oranim Academic College of Education. She is a mother of three, and lives in Kfar Hasidim.


Hany Ben Shimol

Hany Ben Shimol

Community Manager, Avtalion; Council Member, Misgav Regional Council

Hany Ben Shimol is the community manager for the Avtalion community settlement in the Galilee and is a council member for the Misgav Regional Council, where she chairs the education strategy committee and is member of the finance committee and of the plenum management team. She is also a founder and director of educational projects. Hany returned to live in Israel after spending seven years in Singapore and London. She established a school for parents in London; co-founded Realocation, a company providing support for families of employees who are relocating; launched Yahadudes, a Jewish enrichment program for children conducted on Fridays, and more. Hany is heavily involved in community and personal advancement in rural areas, and wants to continue to create diverse and empowering connections between people, initiatives, and communities. A married mother of six, she lives in Eshchar, a mixed community of religious and secular Jews in the Galilee.


Liat Bodaker

Liat Bodaker

Director of Education and Studies, Command Military Academy, Haifa

Liat Bodaker is the director of education and studies at the IDF military boarding school at the Hebrew Reali School in Haifa. She has designed and launched an excellence program at the academy that combines personal development with volunteering in the community. Liat wants to create an educational environment within the education system that focuses on and nurtures wellbeing, which she believes is the foundation on which individual excellence is constructed for each and every student. Liat holds a bachelor’s degree in information systems engineering and computer science from the Technion, where she graduated from the Mabatim program of the Faculty of Education in Science and Technology and recently completed research for her master’s degree. She is a mother of four, and lives in Haifa.


Tzahi Cohen

Tzahi Cohen

Police Station Commander, Israel Police

Tzahi Cohen is the commander of the Netivot police station of the Israel Police, and will soon become the commander of the Binyamin station. He is responsible for all police services in his precinct. Beyond fighting crime and providing police services to the public, he is engaged in many collaborations with diverse communities. He is particularly involved in strengthening ties with organizations and agencies that work with at-risk youth, with the aim of helping them reintegrate into normative society. Tzahi holds a bachelor’s degree in history and Middle East studies from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, and a master’s degree in educational administration from the University of Derby branch in Israel. He is married and a father of three, and lives in Rishon Lezion.


Ravit Edelman

Ravit Edelman

Chief Nurse, Pediatric Emergency Department

Ravit Edelman is the chief nurse of the pediatric emergency department at the Rambam Health Care Campus, where she is responsible for a team of 18 nurses. In this capacity, she was involved in providing training in pediatric sedation and resuscitation. She also set up a highly successful project that trained medical teams in Kenya in short-term anesthesia and sedation of children for painful procedures. Ravit’s responsibilities at Rambam also include issues relating to child abuse and neglect. Ravit has trained multidisciplinary teams that come into daily contact with children. She wants to advance the field of nursing in Israel in general and the field of emergency medicine nursing in particular, in order to improve the health system and better serve its patients. Ravit holds a bachelor’s degree in nursing, and a master’s degree in health systems management, both from the University of Haifa. A married mother of four, she lives in Kfar Yehoshua.


Ofer Eilat-Reiz

Ofer Eilat-Reiz

Lawyer and Mediator

The owner of a law firm, Ofer Eilat-Reiz began her professional career in the field of community management, where she discovered her desire and ability to help people in situations of conflict and tools for mediation (which she teaches today). She is in charge of small business development at Kibbutz Kfar Masaryk, where she lives, and is also active in this area on her regional council as well. Ofer volunteers as a regional instructor for Pa’amonim, a nonprofit organization that helps individuals and families manage their finances, and runs social activities aimed at fostering connections and collaborations between people. She holds two bachelor’s degrees, one in psychology and communications and the other in law, both from the University of Haifa. A married mother of two, Ofer is a member of Kibbutz Kfar Masaryk.


Hadas Elad

Hadas Elad

Director, Lower Galilee Center for Young Adults

Hadas Elad is the founder and director of the Lower Galilee Center for Young Adults of the Lower Galilee Regional Council. She is also a social activist involved in developing and building communities in rural areas, with the goal of connecting and strengthening a network of young adults throughout the Galilee. Hadas is the co-director of “Periferiya Speaks,” a project for the advancement of residents of Israel’s periphery in the areas of economy, society, culture, and employment. She also plans and implements activities for young adults in the Lower Galilee regional and in other regions, while securing partnerships and raising funds for the activities. Hadas holds a bachelor’s degree (cum laude) in social science and humanities from the Open University and a master’s degree (cum laude) in public administration and policy from the University of Haifa. She is a mother of two, and lives on Kibbutz Heftziba.


Oscar Fuchs

Oscar Fuchs

Head of Fire Protection and Investigations Department

Oscar Fuchs is the head of the fire protection and investigations department of the Northern District of Israel's Fire and Rescue Authority. In this capacity, he is responsible for the fire safety of the District’s approximately 1.5 million residents, 30,000 businesses and public institutions, and approximately 600 firefighters who enter buildings to extinguish fires and dispose of hazardous materials. He believes that investing in education and training is the key to attaining high-quality and long-term results, and works to advance both national and international projects. Oscar holds a bachelor’s degree in criminology (clinical research track) from the Max Stern Academic College of Emek Yezreel and a master’s degree in emergency and disaster management from the University of Haifa. He is a father of three, and lives on Kibbutz Merhavia.


Micha Gafni

Micha Gafni

Police Station Commander, Israel Police

Micha Gafni is the commander of the Iron police station in Wadi Ara in northern Israel. He believes that collaboration with the community is vital for advancing the work of the police and strengthening the public’s sense of security and trust in the police. Micha aims to create a local model for developing collaborations with the public and for involving the public in work processes, which will be adapted to each sector in Israeli society and will have an impact on the police force as a whole. He hopes that this will affect the situation on the ground, particularly in reducing violence. Micha holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and management from the Open University, and a master’s degree in administration and national security from the University of Haifa. Married and a father of two, he lives in Haifa.


Avi Peretz

Avi Peretz

Head of Clinical Microbiology Lab and Research Institute

Dr. Avi Peretz is the head of the clinical microbiology lab and of the research institute at the Baruch Padeh Medical Center of Poriya Hospital, and is a senior lecturer at Bar-Ilan University’s Azrieli Faculty of Medicine in the Galilee. His research focuses on bacterial resistance to antibiotics and on developing methods for rapid identification of infections. Avi is active in the field of scientific education, and is coordinator of the bagrut matriculation program in health sciences at the yeshiva high school and girls’ religious high school in Tiberias. This program, which has been in operation for over a decade, is testament to the ability of students in the periphery and affirms their right to study a challenging and empowering science curriculum. Avi holds a doctorate in medical science and a master’s degree in health systems management. He is a father of two, and lives in Tiberias.


Eli Poliakov

Eli Poliakov

CEO, Shalhevet Association for the Elderly

Eli Poliakov is CEO of the Shalhevet Association for the Elderly, a nonprofit organization in Kiryat Tivon that develops initiatives and provides services for the elderly population and the young at heart in Kiryat Tivon and the surrounding region. His personal vision is to combat the ageism that is prevalent in Israeli society, and to promote the development of services for the young at heart in the 60–80 age group. A major (ret.) in the Israel Defense Forces, he serves as a population behavior officer in the IDF Home Front Command. Eli holds two master’s degrees, one in gerontology and the other in public administration, from the University of Haifa, and holds a bachelor’s degree in communications and management from the College of Management Academic Studies in Tel Aviv. A married father of three, he grew up in Migdal Haemek and lives today in Ramat Yishai.


Zeinab Samania

Zeinab Samania

Surgical Intensive Care Nurse, Sheba Medical Center

Zeinab Samania is a clinical specialist in surgery (a surgical nurse practitioner with the status of surgeon) in the hepatobiliary unit at Sheba Medical Center – Tel Hashomer. Her personal vision is to advance the standing of clinical specialists in Israel, and to improve perceptions of this role among decision-makers in the health system. Zeinab has led an organ donation project and has lectured on this subject in schools in the Arab sector, particularly in the Bedouin sector, highlighting approaches to organ donation in Islam, Judaism, and Christianity. She holds a bachelor’s degree in nursing and a master’s degree in public health from the University of Haifa. She is a mother of two, and lives in Haifa.


Layla Sawaed

Layla Sawaed

Community Affairs Manager, Welfare and Community Department

Layla Sawaed works as the community affairs manager for the Misgav Regional Council’s welfare and community department, where she is also a member of the leadership team and serves as a court-appointed social worker. She has been involved in community work since 2006, developing and advancing various community programs that have made a significant contribution to meaningful social change in the Bedouin communities of Misgav. Layla is also a national advisor on resilience and emergency preparedness on behalf of the Community Stress Prevention Center (CSPC) nonprofit organization, and owns a business in this field. She wants to promote partnerships between Jews and Arabs, and is a firm believer in coexistence. Layla holds a bachelor's degree in informal education from Bar-Ilan University, and bachelor's and master's degrees in social work, specializing in trauma and resilience, from Tel-Hai College. A qualified psychotherapist, Layla is married with three children and lives in Misgav.


Inbal Shlosberg-Sela

Inbal Shlosberg-Sela

Regional Manager, Eretz-Ir NGO

Inbal Shlosberg Sela is the northern region manager for Eretz-Ir, a nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening urban communities in Israel’s social and geographic periphery. In this capacity, she is involved in leading national, regional, and local initiatives relating to community, social entrepreneurship, and employment. Inbal has been involved in the struggle for social services in Israel for many years, particularly with regard to strengthening the profession of social work. She is one of the founders of the Atidenu, national grassroots movement fighting for change in welfare policy and social workers’ rights, and served as its chair. Inbal holds a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in social work, both from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, and spent a year as a visiting fellow at Cornell University in the United States. She is a mother of three, and lives in Kiryat Tivon.


Hatem Tarabey

Hatem Tarabey

Director, Department of Community Security, Sakhnin Municipality

Hatem Tarabey is the director of the department of communal security of the Sakhnin municipality. In this capacity, he is responsible for developing, implementing, leading, and overseeing social programs and community initiatives in Sakhnin, including initiatives designed to promote a shared society. These include an educational academy founded in 2015 in order to eliminate violence by promoting educational values and strengthening social and individual resilience among youth. Hatem believes that investing and believing in people of all stripes and with different strengths and abilities, can help create a better society founded on educational values. He holds a bachelor’s degree in education and science from Oranim Academic College of Education, and a master’s degree in organizational consulting for educational institutions and public bodies from Ono Academic College, and is currently studying for a doctorate in educational systems management at Yarmouk University in Jordan. Hatem is married and a father of three, and lives in Sakhnin.


Ravid Tsabari

Ravid Tsabari

Social Worker; Head of Targeted Treatment Unit, Israel Prison Service

Lieutenant Colonel Ravid Tsabari is a social worker who is head of the Targeted Treatment Unit in the Israel Prison Service (IPS). In this capacity, she is responsible for the development and implementation of the system of targeted treatment in prisons, making necessary adaptions to the particular characteristics and needs of different prisoner populations. Ravid believes in treatment and rehabilitation of prisoners for the good of society as a whole. She seeks to develop significant therapeutic interventions in prison, while also developing and promoting collaborative processes with organizations in the community in order to continue care for prisoners and their families after release and to facilitate optimal integration of former prisoners into family life and society. In recent years, Ravid founded and developed the Command and Leadership Unit in the IPS, based on the idea that command and leadership are central and meaningful core competencies for the organization’s activities and for realizing its vision and goals. Ravid holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in social work from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She is married and a mother of three, and lives in Gedera.


Daniela Yakira

Daniela Yakira

Social Activist

Daniela Yakira is a social activist, who focuses primarily on the field of disabilities and on women’s causes. She is one of the founders of Inbar, a nonprofit providing dating and relationship services to people with disabilities, and of Ozen Lalev, a nonprofit organization that trains people with disabilities, elderly people, and more to serve as emotional support volunteers. She is also a member of the board of directors of Hadas, a nonprofit organization that focuses on sexuality, relationships, and family life for people with disabilities. In addition, she lectures and provides consulting to organizations on accessibility issues, and works in emotional counseling and group facilitation. Daniela wants to promote the integration of people with disabilities in all areas of life, and especially in decision-making and policy-making roles. Daniela holds a bachelor’s degree in educational counseling and Jewish history, and a teaching diploma in special education, and is currently completing a master’s degree in community mental health at the University of Haifa. A married mother of four, Daniela lives in Kiryat Ata.


 

Samir Abboud

Samir Abboud

Director of Pensions, Nazareth Branch, National Insurance Institute

In his role as director of pensions at the Nazareth branch of Israel's National Insurance Institute, Samir Abboud works to promote the full utilization of rights by citizens, through the media and via lectures. He also works to increase the accessibility of services; and to encourage people to take advantage of new rights such as the “Savings Plan for Every Child” initiative. During the coronavirus pandemic, Samir helped implement new methods for serving clients using digital tools. Samir lectures to audiences that include social workers, lawyers, and single parents groups, in order to raise awareness of available services and develop cooperation with the community. He also works to advance disadvantaged populations, such as children without family support who are studying in residential frameworks in the north. Samir holds a bachelor’s degree in multidisciplinary studies from the Max Stern Yezreel Valley College. He is married and a father of three.


Bishara Absawi

Bishara Absawi

Director of Budgets, Haifa District, Ministry of the Interior

Bishara Absawi is an accountant and lawyer who is responsible for the financial and budgetary system of the local authorities within the Israeli Ministry of the Interior's Haifa District. In this capacity, he leads efforts to strengthen economic standing and reduce gaps, with an emphasis on helping disadvantaged authorities. Since 2016, Bishara has represented the minister of the interior on the Haifa District Planning and Construction Committee. He is also responsible for mediation efforts in disputes between local authorities and various government ministries, in accordance with guidelines established by Israel's attorney general. Bishara holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and accounting from the University of Haifa, and a bachelor’s degree in law (cum laude) from Ono Academic College. He is married and a father of three, and lives in Haifa.


Alaa Ayoub

Alaa Ayoub

Advocate in the State Attorney’s Office

Alaa Ayoub is a senior advocate in the civil law section of the Haifa District of the State Attorney’s Office. He specializes in administrative issues, particularly planning and construction; in appeals related to education and housing; and in petitions related to land ownership. Previously, he served as a legal assistant in the Haifa District Magistrate’s Court. Alaa lectures in his areas of expertise, and was a teaching fellow in the University of Haifa’s department of nursing. Since 2018, he has served as a judge in the Haifa District disciplinary committee of the Israel Bar Association. Alaa holds a bachelor’s degree in nursing and a master’s degree in law, both from the University of Haifa, and is a graduate of the Ministry of Justice’s Influencer Network program. He is married and a father of two, and lives in Shfar’am.


Revital Bahat

Revital Bahat

Labor Ministry Regional Director of Out-of-Home Care

Revital Bahat works for the Families, Children and Youth at Risk division of Israel's Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs and Social Services, as the regional director of out-of-home care for families in the North. She aims to develop out-of-home care settings that are respectful and empowering and that have meaningful impact on the lives of residents and their families. Revital plays an active role in the management of the Ministry’s Out-of-Home Care Division, which formulates policy for the operation and supervision of these settings. She is also involved in the management of the Northern District, which oversees implementation of the policies set by the various divisions of the Ministry. Revital works to promote collaboration between different administrations within the Ministry and between different offices in the District, for the benefit of residents of out-of-home settings. She is also involved in issues concerning at-risk youth in her home community. Revital holds a master’s degree in social work from the University of Haifa. She is married and a mother of three, and lives in Nesher.


Gil Barsano

Gil Barsano

Station Commander, Zevulun Station, Israel Fire and Rescue Authority

Gil Barsano is the commander of the Zevulun fire and rescue station. In this capacity, he serves as the moral and ethical compass of the entire station, guiding the behavior of its officers and firefighters. Gil strives to act with determination and professionalism and to serve as a personal example of fulfilling the station’s primary goals of saving lives and protecting human dignity. A bereaved father, Gil lectures in various organizations and forums, conveying the idea that everyone has the power to overcome challenges and succeed. Gil holds a bachelor’s degree in multidisciplinary studies and a master’s degree in geography of disaster areas from the University of Haifa. A father of three, he lives in Nahariya.


Eti Cohen

Eti Cohen

Labor Ministry Regional Director of Children, Youth and Families Division

Eti Cohen heads the Northern region's Children, Youth and Families Division of the Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs and Social Services. Beyond her professional commitments, she is active in advancing community initiatives and welfare projects in her community, and serves as an “adoptive family” to a group of young people in her home town of Maalot. Eti believes that individuals are part of a system, and thus optimal interventions must include all aspects of their lives on a therapeutic continuum, which requires collaboration between the various relevant professionals. She holds a bachelor’s degree in social work from Bar-Ilan University, and a master’s degree in clinical social work from the University of Haifa. A married mother of five, Eti lives in Ma’alot-Tarshiha.


Hagit Dimri

Hagit Dimri

Child Development Coordinator of the Northern District, Clalit Health Services

Hagit Dimri is the child development coordinator of the Northern district for Clalit Health Services, where she is also the acting national head of prevention of sexual harassment. Hagit works to develop health services and make them accessible to all those who need them, and she mentors social work students and social workers. Her goal is to ensure a secure working environment and provide equal and respectful treatment for all Clalit employees and clients. Hagit led a mental health reform, directed medical social work services in the Northern district, and believes in community work as a way to bring about change in people’s lives and in society. Hagit holds a master’s degree in social work from Bar-Ilan University and has completing training programs in mentoring and mediation. A mother of two, she lives in Tzfat.


David Elhiany

David Elhiany

Manager of the Security, Supervision, and Public Order Division, Nahariya Municipality

David Elhiany is the manager of the security, supervision, and public order division of the Nehariya municipality, where he previously managed municipal supervision and business licensing. He is also a leading member of the Ha’ira team, an initiative of the Beracha Foundation that aims to promote sustainable renewal of urban space that balances community needs, environmental needs, and the economic needs of cities. In his work for the municipality, he strives to provide the best possible service to residents and business owners, based on the approach that “business equals city equals residents.” David is also a member of the board of directors of the Nahariya Economic Company, is a volunteer member of the board of directors of the Friends of Mazor Hospital, and is responsible for strengthening patient-community relations. He holds a bachelor’s degree in law from Ono Academic College and a master’s degree in business administration with a specialization in management from Netanya Academic College. A married father of three, David lives in Nahariya.


Tami Ezra

Tami Ezra

Warden, Dekel Prison, Israel Prison Service

Tami Ezra is the warden of the Dekel prison. She joined the Israel Prison Service as a social worker, and has since held a wide range of therapeutic positions and human resources roles. Tami has served in command positions since 2016. Her position as a warden involves working with various populations, including both prisoners and staff. In her work, Tami instills values through discourse between the different groups that emphasizes acceptance of others, and through a program that includes lectures, training, and study trips. Tami holds a bachelor’s degree in social work and a master’s degree in business administration. She is a mother of two, and lives in Shoham.


Jeryes Ghantous

Jeryes Ghantous

Legal Advisor, Northern District, Ministry of Construction and Housing

Jeryes Ghantous is the legal advisor to the Northern District of the Ministry of Construction and Housing. He oversees the legal processes related to the district and deals with all ongoing legal issues including tenders, contracts, and general legal matters. He is also a member of the disciplinary court of the Israel Bar Association. Jeryes holds a bachelor’s degree in law from the University of Haifa and a master’s degree in criminal law from Tel Aviv University. He is married and a father of two, and lives in Nof Hagalil.


Eli Meir Gozlan

Eli Meir Gozlan

Senior Instructor, National Police Academy, Israel Police

Eli Meir Gozlan is a senior instructor in the training course for senior officers at the National Police Academy. Since 2017, he has also served as commander of the Afula police station. Eli has worked extensively on behalf of disadvantaged populations, especially Ethiopian-Israeli youth and youth in the Arab sector. His vision is to help Arab youth integrate into Israeli society in all areas of life, strengthen young people from the Ethiopian-Israeli community, and develop an integrated and diverse culture. Eli holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in political science from the University of Haifa, and holds an additional master’s degree in business administration from the Israeli branch of the University of Derby. He is married and a father of three, and lives in Atlit.


Stav Havivi

Stav Havivi

Head of the Department for Joint Responsibility, Haifa Municipality

Stav Havivi works for the Haifa municipality, where she established and directs the department that is responsible for advancing and implementing cross-sectorial partnerships in the public arena. She is also the founder of Hubtipus, a hub for social entrepreneurs developed by the Haifa Municipality. Stav also leads efforts to promote participatory governance in local government, and was part of a team that submitted recommendations on this issue to the Prime Minister’s Office. Stav wants to create change in the culture of municipal work, such that it will encourage involvement of all stakeholders in planning and in finding shared solutions to challenges. Stav holds a bachelor’s degree in multidisciplinary studies from the University of Haifa. A mother of five, she lives in the Krayot area north of Haifa.


Ahlam Khamis

Ahlam Khamis

Director of Health Promotion, Haifa District, Ministry of Health

Ahlam Khamis is director of health promotion in the Ministry of Health’s Haifa District. In this capacity, she creates, develops, and implements projects to improve the health of the population in the region in general, and of disadvantaged populations in particular. Ahlam is currently leading projects for disadvantaged populations in Jisr al-Zarqa, in community-based frameworks for people with mental illness. She is also working with local authorities to bring them into Israel's network of Healthy Cities, and her vision is to establish a full department of health promotion in the Haifa District. Ahlam holds a master’s degree in health promotion, lectures in public health and health promotion at the University of Haifa's nursing school, and supervises master’s students in health promotion. She is married and a mother of three, and lives in Haifa.


Ira Kostinsky

Ira Kostinsky

Supervisor of Boarding Schools, Ministry of Education

Ira Kostinsky immigrated to Israel in 1993 through the Na’ale youth aliyah program, and studied at the Galim youth village. After completing her military service and academic studies, she returned to the youth village to work, and eventually became its director. Since 2015, Ira has served as a supervisor in the Administration for Residential Boarding School and Youth Aliyah of the Ministry of Education. In this capacity, she provides support and oversight to boarding school principals and their staffs. Her vision is to create equal opportunities for high-quality education for all social strata in Israel, and to nurture influential educators who will lead the next generation. Ira holds a bachelor’s degree in special education and a master’s degree in educational systems management, both from Oranim Academic College of Education. She also holds a diploma in boarding school management from the Michlalah Jerusalem College.


Guy Levy

Guy Levy

Unit Commander, Dror Central Unit for Combating Crime, Israel Prison Service

Guy Levy is the commander of Dror, the Israel Prison Service’s central unit for fighting crime inside, outside, and into prison facilities. He is part of the ongoing struggle to prevent drug smuggling and dealing in prisons, and gathers evidence against perpetrators of criminal and terrorist activities in prisons. Guy also is the volunteer chair of the security and crime prevention committee in his community of Neve Ilan. He wants to establish a broad, smart, and technologically advanced system to fight criminal activity in prisons and thus to help create a better and safer society. Guy is a graduate of the IDF Command and Staff College and of the Israel Prison Service's prison warden course. He is married and a father of three.


Shay Parnassa

Shay Parnassa

Warden, Sharon Prison, Israel Prison Service

Shay Parnassa served in Israel’s defense establishment for some 27 years. He was a member of the Border Police during the period of Israel's disengagement from Gaza, he was a field commander and instructor, and he was a commander of the officer's training course. He subsequently transferred to the Israel Prison Service (IPS), where he has held a variety of managerial and training roles in prisons, including commander of the IPS officer-training course and commander of the special operations officer-training course. Shay currently serves as warden of the Sharon prison, a maximum-security facility with a number of unique and complex challenges. Previously, he spent two years as warden of the Ofek prison for young offenders. Shay wants to continue to advance within the IPS, and hopes to move into public service afterwards. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a master’s degree in education administration from the Israeli branch of the University of Derby. He is married and a father of four, and lives in Jerusalem.


Doron Porat

Doron Porat

President of the Northern District Magistrate Courts

Judge Doron Porat is president of the magistrate courts in Israel's Northern District. He has been a trailblazer in the proactive approach to managing the judicial process, a paradigmatic change that has led to a dramatic reduction in the length of time required to complete legal proceedings. This innovative approach has gained recognition and awards, and is being introduced throughout the court system in Israel. Doron actively promotes efficiency and professionalism within the legal system, as well as the enhancement of social engagement in the community. Doron holds a bachelor’s degree in law from Tel Aviv University and a master’s degree in law from the University of Haifa. Married and the father of two, Doron lives in the Jezreel Valley.


Hagar Reuveni

Hagar Reuveni

Director of the Department of Environment and Biosphere Reserve, Megiddo Regional Council

Hagar Reuveni is director of the Department of Environment and Biosphere Reserve of the Megiddo regional council. In this capacity, she promotes regional projects for sustainable development and for striking a healthy balance between conservation and development needs, with an emphasis on community involvement and public participation in decision-making. She also leads projects for the benefit of local communities and the entire region. Hagar wants to help build a society that acts based on respect for its diverse physical and human environment. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the Open University and a master’s degree in organizational development and consulting from the Max Stern Yezreel Valley College. A mother of two, Hagar lives on Kibbutz Hazorea.


Itshak Swisa

Itshak Swisa

Regional Station Commander, Israel Fire and Rescue Authority

Itshak Swisa began his firefighting career in Haifa, where he has worked as a team commander, senior firefighting officer, and hazardous materials officer. In addition to his other professional responsibilities, he served as forest officer of Israel's coastal district, and implemented the guidelines developed by the Israel Fire and Rescue Authority to protect residential areas from wildfires, based on the findings of the inquiry into the Mount Carmel forest fire. In 2015, Itshak was appointed deputy commander of the Haifa Regional Fire Station, in which capacity he was responsible for writing annual work plans and for carrying out safety and security investigations. In 2020, he was promoted to commander of the station, and is now responsible for tens of local fire stations from the Krayot area north of Haifa to Tirat Hacarmel to its south, for some 150 firefighters and auxiliary staff, and for fire and rescue services to approximately 700,000 residents. Recently, he oversaw a new project to instill the firefighter spirit, values, and code of ethics at the Haifa station. Itshak holds a bachelor’s degree in social science from the Max Stern Yezreel Valley College. A married father of three, he lives in Kiryat Tivon.


Gabi Yona

Gabi Yona

Head of Border Police Welfare Department, Israel Police

Gabi Yona has been in active service in the Israel Police for 25 years. He is currently responsible for welfare services in the Border Police, which include a wide range of social work services to provide support for Border Police and their families. Gabi also volunteers in the Coaching for Life project at the Hadasim boarding school. He aims to enter the field of education and to help empower disadvantaged populations. Gabi holds three different degrees – in criminology, Jewish studies, and public policy – from Bar-Ilan University and Ono Academic College. He also has certification in counseling to bereaved families from NATAL–Israel Trauma and Resiliency Center. A married father of three, Gabi lives in Even Yehuda.