Program Fellows: Cohort 4, 2017/18
Mor Barzani is 30 years old and from Jerusalem. She is a lawyer and also holds a BS in business. She is also a graduate of the College for Statesmanship’s program on Identity and Policy. After a number of years working in the private sector as a lawyer, she moved to the public sector, and now works in the President’s House in the field of programming and strategy, leading all activities in the fields of employment as part of the “Israeli Hope” initiative.
Efrat Fudem is 33 years old. Originally from Nahariya, she lives today in Netanya with her husband Eran and children Eytan and Ariel. She is a lawyer and social activist, having served for the last five years as the head of the Tmura Center – the clinic for the advancement of equality, and is also the facilitator of the Clinic for the Promotion of Equality of the College of Management’s law school. She works to expand the usage of law and the legal system as a tool for social change and defense of weak populations. She holds a bachelor’s in law and political science from Bar Ilan University and an LLM with an emphasis in human rights and international law from the Emile Zola center.
Wisam Gnaim is 36 years old and a resident of the city of Sakhnin in the Galilee. He is married and the father of three. He is a lawyer and holds an LLB and LLM from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He is the former head of the Council of Arab Students at Hebrew University, and today is an active player in local and national politics. A committee Member of the United Arab List Party, Wisam ran in the last local elections in Sakhnin and is a former member of the Sakhnin municipal economic development corporation.
Mendy Katz is a 29-year old Haredi from Bnei Brak. He is married and the father of three. He is one of the initiators of the efforts to integrate Haredim into the IDF, and among the creators of the Derekh Haim Yeshiva, which integrates religious studies with army service. Through his position, he created the structures for Haredim to join the Givati and Paratrooper brigades as well as the intelligence services. Additionally, he has worked to create agreements between the IDF and Chabad Hasids on army service and to promote educational and professional opportunities for Haredim during their time in the IDF.
Moshe Morgenshtern is 32 and a resident of Bnei Brak, where he lives with his wife and three children. A lawyer, he holds an LLB with excellence from Bar Ilan University and is number 27 on the United Torah Judaism list for the Knesset as the representative of the “working Haredim.” He serves as a director in several public companies and is a prominent social activist. He currently serves on the city council in Bnei Brak as part of the United Torah Judaism party.
Anat Nir is 38 and a resident of Tel Aviv. She is a political and social activist, and today is the chair of Fem-finance, an economic college for women and is running for the Meretz party in the next Knesset elections. She holds an MA in conflict resolution and gender studies from the UN’s University for Peace, and wrote her thesis about the financial empowerment of Israeli women. She’s among the leaders of the LGBT rights movement and is a former Board Member of the Aguda, the umbrella organization for Israel’s LGBT community. Anat is additionally active in causes including minority rights, peace, and feminist education.
Vered Ovadia is 36 years old and a resident of Ganei Tikvah. A lawyer, she holds an LLB from Kiryat Ono College and is studying for an MA in gender studies at Bar Ilan University. She established the “Legal Forum for the Haredi Women,” and is a publicist, lecturer and public activist, having initiated the Israel-based “Be a Man” campaign as part of the United Nations’ sponsored International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.
Elena Romanovsky is 27 years old. She immigrated to Israel with her family from Ukraine at the age of one, and lives today in Rehovot. She is the central region coordinator for Kav HaZinuk (the Starting Line), a program of the Rothschild Caesarea Foundation that focuses on developing young leaders and closing socioeconomic gaps in Israeli society. She works as a group facilitator and lectures on issues of sexuality and gender, immigrants from the former USSR and tools for effective activism; additionally, she works with the Tair center, running seminars for the prevention of sexual violence. Elena is currently finishing her degree in social work and law at the Hebrew University.
Anat Roth is 43 years old and the mother of Netta. A resident of Jerusalem for most of her life, she now lives in Efrat. She holds a PhD in Political Science with a specialization in Religious Zionist thought and settlement in the West Bank. A published author, she currently serves as a researcher in the Israeli Democracy Institute and the Kahelet Forum. She previously ran the Magalim Institute for the Study of Jerusalem and was an adviser to Labor Party MKs Matan Vilnai, Amram Mitzna, and Ehud Barak. Today, Anat is number 14 on the Jewish Home party’s list for the Knesset.
Bissan Salman is 26 years old. She was born and grew up in Ramle, and currently serves as a political advisor for the Japanese Embassy in Israel. Her professional career began when she worked at Beit Hatapuach, the shared society center in Ramle. Since age 15, she has been volunteering for Arigatou International, the Japanese organization for children’s rights, through which she spoke at conferences in Europe, Japan, Africa, and the USA on the issue of minority rights. Bissan holds a BA in Political Science with a certificate in Communications from Bar Ilan University, and was a Chevening Scholar of the British Government, through which she studied for an MA in Human Rights at the London School of Economics.
Elhai Salomon is 38 years old and a resident of the northern development town of Ma’alot – Tarshiha. He is an editor and literature critic as well as a writer of political and social poetry, and is a PhD candidate in literature at the Ben Gurion University as well as a research fellow in the Elyachar Center at the university, which focuses on the history and traditions of Sephardic and Mizrahi Jews. He was one of the main organizers of the so-called “Bills Campaign,” an effort to have Mizrahi figures included on Israeli money and is active in the Biton Committee for the empowerment of Sephardic culture. Elhai is married and the father of three.
Esther Solomon is 40 years old, a social activist, and a resident of Ramat Beit Shemesh. She is active in promoting the integration of Haredi women in the workforce, cultural life, and additional sectors of public life and the public sphere. She is part of an initiative promoting dialogue between the Haredi and Religious populations in the city of Beit Shemesh and has been active in efforts promoting gender equality for over a decade. Esther holds a BA in psychology and teaching license and also works as a couples’ therapist.
Rachel Gets Solomon is 36 and lives in the northern Israeli development town of Ma’alot-Tarshiha. A graduate of Bezalel College with majors in fashion and jewelry, she currently is a PhD candidate at the Techinon’s faculty of architecture (where she also lectures), a researcher of gender and ethnicity, art and curation, and is an active member of the National Council for Culture and Art. She is a lecturer in political science at Yezreel Valley College.
Limor Sifrai is 36 years old. She spent her childhood in Moshav Gan Or in the Gush Katif settlement bloc, and lives today in Kibbutz Ma’ale Gilboa with her husband Aviad and four children. She runs the education and youth department of the Religious Kibbutzim movement and is a social activist and entrepreneur, having opened learning centers that promote Religious Zionist identity alongside advancing values of equality and interfaith and intercommunity collaborations. She is also active in a number of social causes in her kibbutz and in interfaith peace organizations.
Or Sunyunov is 37 years old and a lifetime resident of Tel Aviv. She ran a municipal youth center, and worked for many years with youth in the fields of young leadership and youth at risk. She served as a lobbyist in the Knesset for the Mizrahi Democratic Rainbow and coordinated the Coalition Against Racism. During the last municipal elections, she ran as a member of the Ir LeKulanu list in Tel Aviv, and is running in this year’s elections as head of the Tel Avivi List.
Yael Tolub is 35 years old. Originally from Be’er Sheva, she lives today in Jerusalem and is the mother of Boaz and Ora. She serves as the programming COO of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, is a social activist, and has worked for the last ten years to combat poverty and close societal gaps.
Hatam Waked is 45 years old and a resident of the city of Arabe’ in the lower Galilee. A social worker, she has been the chair of the Central Galilee Region for the Na’amat women’s movement for the last four years. She is a social and community activist and is active in the Arabe’ branch of the Hadash party. Together with the chair of Na’amat from the neighboring Jewish city of Afula, she opened an intercultural dialog forum for Arab and Jewish women in the region which has been running for the last four years. Additionally, she is the graduate of women’s empowerment and leadership and gender equality courses.
Benayahu Yom Tov is 30 years old, married and the father of two. A communication and strategy adviser, he runs the Ma’agalim community center in Rishon LeZion and is the head of the Connection movement, which reaches out to youth and focuses on education.
Yael Ze’evi is 37 years old, married, and the mother of seven. She lives in the community of Esh Kodesh and holds a BS in computer engineering and an MBA. She has worked for ten years in development jobs in leading hi-tech companies. She works for the advancement of innovation in education and community renewal out of a belief that from renewal, people can find the way to connect and different populations can build relationships.