Dr. Eilon Schwartz—Director
Before founding Shaharit, Dr. Eilon Schwartz was among the founders of the Heschel Center for Sustainability. In addition to his work at Shaharit, Eilon is a faculty member at the Melton Center for Jewish Education at Hebrew where he teaches graduate courses in cultural criticism, social-environmental politics, and education. Over the years, he has written many scholarly and popular articles on a variety of subjects, and his book At Home in the World: Human Nature, Ecological Thought & Education after Darwin was published by SUNY Press in 2010. Eilon has served on the boards of many environmental organizations, including as the chairman of Life and Environment, the umbrella organization of Israel’s environmental movement.He has published extensively both academically and in the popular press, including major essays in publications including Ha’aretz, the Times of Israel, and Makor Rishon. Eilon lives in Tel Aviv with his wife Rachel and their children: Ayelet, Chen, and Eden. Eilon's biography for speaking engagements can be found here.
Ron Barkai - Deputy Director
Before formally joining Shaharit as Chief Operating Officer, Ron helped produce the 2014 Shaharit Conference and 2015 elections campaign video. Ron previously served as co-director of the Women’s Courtyard for young women at risk and deputy director for development at the Kav Hazinuk program to develop leadership in Israel’s periphery. As a law student, he spearheaded the legal aid clinic at Hebrew University. He also volunteered to head MK Ami Ayalon’s campaign in Jerusalem. Ron served as a parliamentary aide and advisor to MK Avishay Braverman in his roles first as chairman of the Finance Committee and then as Minister of Minority Affairs. In recent years, Ron has been working to foster the organizational and professional development of social change organizations while fostering collaborations with the public and private sectors. Ron holds a master’s degree in public policy (EXMPP) and a bachelor’s degree in law (LL.B.), both from the Hebrew University
Dr. Gali Sembira—Program Head, "120"
Gali Sembira is currently the director of Shaharit's "120" program. She was previously Shaharit's director, served as a professional director at Sheatufim—the umbrella organization of Israeli civil society organizations, deputy director of the Oran Foundation, head of the program for girls at risk at the Yaniv program, head of the IDF’s educational development program, and director of a girls' boarding school. Gali holds a master's degree in organizational psychology and a doctorate in gender studies, both from Bar-Ilan University. Gali has a wealth of experience in designing educational programs, leadership and social management development, work with children and teenagers at risk, and establishing and running social and community organizations. In addition to her work at Shaharit, she chairs the board of the Women's Courtyard and is a volunteer consultant to people seeking to establish all sorts of social-change organizations.
Tehila Friedman - Head of Shaharit's Program in the Religious Zionist Community
In addition to running Shaharit’s “Responsible for One Another” program in the Religious Zionist Society (in concert with Ne’emanei Torah va’Avodah), Tehila is a Shaharit Fellow and a researcher at the Hartman Institute. A proud Jerusalemite and the mother of five, Tehila is a graduate of the Mandel School for Educational Leadership. She previously ran the Israel Office of the Central New Jersey Jewish Federation and the Jewish Education department of the Yad Hanadiv Foundation as well as served as an advisor to then Minister of Diaspora Affairs, Natan Sharansky. A former chair of Ne’emanei Torah va’Avodah, she is one of the founders of the Jerusalem Movement and the Jerusalem Coalition. She holds an LLM from the Hebrew University as well as an advanced religious education.
Nazier Magally - Head of Shaharit's Arab Society Program
Nazier Magally is a writer and journalist who lives and works in Nazareth. He served as editor-in-chief of Al-Ittihad, Israel's only Arabic-language daily, and taught at Ben Gurion University. He presently is a columnist on matters concerning Israel for the London-based newspaper Asharq Alawsat, and frequently appears on Arab-language TV to discuss Israel and its relationship with the Arab world. He is a long-time activist in matters concerning the relations between Jews and Arabs in Israel and the region. In 2003, together with Father Emile Shofani, he led a delegation of Arab and Jewish notables to Auschwitz.
Racheli Ibenboim - Head of Shaharit's Haredi Program
In addition to coordinating Shaharit’s work in the Haredi community, Racheli is a senior advisor to the TELEM organization, which works to integrate the Ultraorthodox into Israel’s economy. Racheli is a social entrepreneur dedicated to improving the status of Haredi women and integrating the community into Israeli society. She is the founder and chair of Movilot, which works to empower and improve the employment prospects of college-educated Haredi women. She sits on the board of the “New Spirit” organization, and previously served as CEO of the Meir Panim welfare organization. A resident of Jerusalem, she holds a bachelors degree in communication and sociology from the Open University and an MA in the history and sociology of Israel from Haifa University.
Nir Zoarez-Community Organizing Manager
Nir is Shaharit’s lead community organizer. He is originally from Natanya and lives in Jerusalem. After a long career in the business sector, he decided to work for the future of his community and his children in the city of Jerusalem. As part of his work, Nir has led multiple campaigns to change the reality of the lives of the residents of Jerusalem, including a campaign to improve the public transportation infrastructure and to promote adequate city sanitation. In addition to this, Nir ran for the Jerusalem City Council in the 2018 elections.
Natalie Levy - Senior Fellows Coordinator
Natalie was born and raised in Jaffa. She is a PhD student in sociology at Tel Aviv University and a social activist. She holds a BA and Teaching Certificate in political science and an MA in sociology and anthropology, both from Tel Aviv University. She has worked in the field of conflict resolution, community development and education for the past decade in a variety of non-profit organizations, with her doctoral work, for which she received the President of Israel’s Prize for Doctoral Research, focusing on comparing intentional versus “accidental” Jewish-Arab schools. For the last three years, she has led the organizing efforts of lecturers and adjuncts at Tel Aviv University, and she is active in organizing university and college lecturers in Israel to improve their employment conditions.
Dr. Ofer Sitbon - Head of Program in Economics and Society
Dr. Ofer Sitbon heads the Corporations and Society Clinic in the College of Law and Business, and is a lecturer in law, society and social change. He holds a Ph.D. from Tel Aviv University’s Faculty of Law. His dissertation focused on an attempt to include corporate social responsibility considerations during the recent Company Law Reform in England. Sitbon holds a first degree (magna cum laude) in law and philosophy from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and an LLM (summa cum laude) from Tel Aviv University. He was the editor (2007-2012) of the academic journal Ma’asei Mishpat, which he co-founded. Since January 2018 he has served as co-director, together with Prof. Dani Filc and Dr. Eilon Schwartz, of a joint research project of the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute and Shaharit entitled “Towards a Popular Classes-Based Political Economy."
Gabriel Sod-Resource Development Director
Outside of his work at Shaharit, Gabriel is a Ph.D candidate in Sociology at New York University, where he's researching the relationship between ethnic identity and voting patterns in Israel. Prior to Shaharit, Gabriel worked as a political consultant and as a community organizer. He is also a Fox Fellowship alumni at Yale University, where he specialized in civil wars and ethnic conflict.
Or Yosef - Coordinator, Trainings and 120 Program
A native of Tnuvot, a Moshav near Netanya, Or lives in Tel Aviv. Currently studying for her BA in Sociology and Anthropology, she has an extensive background in both formal and informal education, most recently running the Tel Aviv branch of BINA's pre-army gap year program. She previously worked with children on the autistic spectrum and managed a local family business based in the south of Israel.
Jake Shapiro - Resource Development Coordinator
Before joining Shaharit, Jake served as a community activist and researcher in the mixed Arab-Jewish city of Lod as part of the Yahel Social Change Fellowship. He holds a BA in Political Science and International Relations with a concentration in Sociology from the University of Maryland - College Park. Jake previously served in volunteer positions with IsraAID Nepal and the International Center for Religion and Diplomacy, and directed university organizations dedicated to interfaith bridge-building and public speaking. In addition to his work in Shaharit, Jake teaches negotiation skills in Israeli high schools and manages a project in Lod engaging over 150 Arab and Jewish high school students in creating a shared future for the city.
Noa Cohen-Office Manager
Noa lives in Givataym and is the mother of two children. She has more than 10 years of experience as a law firm office manager.
Moran Ajamy - Political Advisor, 120 Program
A native Tel-Avivi, Moran is a political campaigner, adviser, and strategist, having worked on a variety of campaigns on the local, national, and party levels. She holds a Masters, with honors, from Tel Aviv University in Public Policy, and is the mother of Shahar. She is among the founders of Tor Hazahav, a cross-sectorial and religiously mixed social movement of young people seeking to promote education, the periphery, and Mizrahi culture and Judaism.
Tehila Lapidot - Director, Training Center
Tehila is a social activist; among other roles, she has worked in a shelter for abused women and as a facilitator for social justice groups and developed a multicultural trust-building project between Jewish and Arab youth in Haifa's Hadar neighborhood. She worked as the coordinator for a fellows program for rehabilitation and social change at various community centers in Haifa and helped create a course in economics for women. She holds an MA in Bibliotherapy from the Unversity of Haifa and a BA in Hebrew Literature and Creative Writing from Hebrew University.
Shaul Tseghon - National Community Organizer
Shaul spent more than a decade working with youth at-risk in Rehovot through the ELEM organization, first as a field worker, then founder and head of a youth center he started from scratch, and, finally, coordinator of all ELEM’s work in the city. Most recently, Shaul headed the city’s own efforts with young people and teenagers in the city’s Kiryat Moshe neighborhood, which is home to a large Ethiopian population. His work in the neighborhood included overseeing educational and therapy programs and involved extensive work with both the municipality and the residents themselves. Shaul made aliyah with his family from Ethiopia at age six and lives in Rehovot with his wife Efrat and their two children.
Efrat Riger-Lecturer and Coordinator, 120 program
Born in 1977, Efrat is a lecturer and content writer at the initiative "Living Together." Prior to that, she managed the Research and Knowledge Development department at the Ma’ase organization. She holds a B.A.in Communications from Sapir College and an M.A. in Organizational Development from Bar Ilan University. She lives in Kiryat Gat and is the mother of four.