Idan Avisar is the founder and manager of the Beer Sheva Fringe Theater. After graduating from the Goodman Acting School in Beer Sheva, he managed Beer Sheva’s Center for Excellence in Theater and acted for two seasons in the Beer Sheva Theater. In the past, he worked in informal education in the Tzofim (Scouts) movement, where he served in educational administration positions and set up the Akko scouts troop. In addition to managing the Beer Sheva Fringe Theater, he is actively involved in the creative process (writing, acting, directing). He is also involved in forums to promote culture and education in the Negev Development Authority and in Shatil.
Shlomi Barat, married with one daughter, was born and raised in Beit Shemesh and attended the IAF Technological College (the Techni). He is a student of the Hebrew language. After four years of service in the standing army, Shlomi began working with youth in need of guidance, mentoring and care. Currently, he runs the Meytar day center for at-risk youth (run under the auspices of HaOgen HaKehilati - the Community Anchor - youth village.). He firmly believes that we should focus on the good and work to benefit others and to achieve solidarity and tolerance.
Yehonatan Ben Yosef was born and raised in Netanya and now lives in Merhav Am. In between, he studied and taught in Tel Aviv, Dimona and elsewhere. He served in the standing army and is still active as a reserve officer. Yehonatan studied and continues to study in various Torah frameworks, among them Machon Meir and Orot Aviv, where he is working toward obtaining rabbinic ordination. As a certified coach, he works with individuals and groups and is also a tour guide. Previously, he founded and ran a club for at-risk youth and ran the Ru’ah Bamidbar Beit Midrash in Dimona. His motto is “be the change you are hoping for.”
Hani Briga, a political and social activist, runs a center for volunteerism and civic society in Yeruham. She heads the town’s parents’ committee and coordinates the residents’ forum for fair and equal social justice. She is among the founders of the first food cooperative in Yeruham. Hani is completing a BA in public policy and administration.
Galit Cohen holds a master’s degree in social work from Tel Aviv University, specializing in group facilitation. Until recently, she managed the Tor BaMidbar organization’s Center for Local Sustainability in Beer Sheva. A social activist since 1999, she has led social programs and projects in the public and nonprofit sectors. As a community social worker, Galit integrates approaches highlighting the need to act to promote the individual and the need for community development and working to influence policy. Among her previous positions, she managed the Hesegim program for making higher education accessible, managed the national Shaham program for the Ethiopian community, headed an employment program for women and mentored community social work students.
Yehonathan Dvir was born in Safed and grew up in Kfar Rafael, which his parents helped found. After his military service, he studied in Switzerland and was certified as a Waldorf method teacher (anthroposophy). In 2001, he established the first anthroposophic kindergarten in Beer Sheva. In 2005, he began the founding of the Janusz Korczak School and was the teacher of the first graduating class, from grade one through grade eight, continuously. Currently, he is involved in setting up a Waldorf track to be integrated into the regular high school program at the Eshel Hanassi High School. He is also involved in social projects and active in combatting the worldwide bee crisis.
Ravit Greenberg, who lives in Beer Sheva with her partner and their two daughters, is originally from upstate New York and considers herself an Israeli-American. Currently, she runs the Nefesh B’Nefesh’s Go South program. Ravit earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and gender studies from Rutgers University and a master’s in business administration from Ben-Gurion University. Previously, she worked at Ben-Gurion University’s Department of Donor and Associates Affairs. A founder of the Be’erot community, Ravit is establishing roots in the Negev, is committed to the future development of the region and sees the Negev as a place of economic and communal opportunity.
Omar Hija, married with two daughters, was born in the Galilee town of Kaukab abu al Hija and lives in Beer Sheva. He holds a bachelor’s degree in physical education and a master’s degree in guidance counseling. He is a physical education teacher and guidance counselor at the Atid Al Nur High School in Hura and created a sports and recreation company that works in all sectors, but primarily in the Bedouin community.
Gal Horev, married and a father of five, lives in the Western Negev, near Gaza. For the last 26 years he served as a fighter and commander in the Ministry of Defense and in the IDF. He recently retired from the standing army and serves as a reserve infantry battalion commander. He holds a bachelor’s degree in politics and Middle East studies and a master’s degree in law. Currently, as part of his quest for new challenges in educational and social endeavors, he is studying for a teaching degree and gaining experience in local social and communal projects.
Veronika Jeryshalmi, married with two children, was born in St. Petersburg, immigrated to Israel at the age of 12, and has since lived in Arad. She served in the navy and participated in the Mount Herzl ceremony marking the state’s 50th year of independence. She holds a bachelor’s degree in behavioral sciences, management and economics. She prefers to work in jobs with a mission. Previously, she was among the founders of the Youth and Human Capital Center in Arad. She is involved in local projects such as the creation of an extension of the Open University and the local parents’ committees. She is also an environmental activist on the issue of phosphate mining at Mount Barir. She firmly believes that “bad things happen when good people sit at home” and tries to live accordingly.
Adi was born in Yeruham, where she currently resides. She is married and has a daughter. For the past several years is deputy CEO of the Beer-Sheva Foundation that initiates and develops projects for the welfare of Beer Sheva residents. Adi earned a bachelor’s degree in politics & government and Israel studies from Ben-Gurion University, and an M.A. from Bar-Ilan University. In the past Adi worked in the field of law and public diplomacy, and headed a delegation of volunteers in Africa. She volunteers in diverse settings and is interested in advancing early childhood education.
Shamseh Msaed was born in Jatt, a village in the Triangle. She holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a master's in technology in education from the Kibbutzim College of Education. A teacher and mathematics coordinator at the Ahad school in Hura, she has been involved in educational endeavors for over 16 years. Shamseh believes that real change comes from within, and not externally, and would like to establish a girls’ school for sciences and arts in the Negev.
Snir Peleg holds a bachelor’s degree in education and design form the Wizo Canada College of Design in Haifa and is a certified teacher. He worked at various newspapers as a designer, and as an art director and studio manager at advertising agencies. He was also an art and art history teacher and a lecturer in design at various colleges. In recent years, he has focused on informal education at the Ramon Foundation’s Aviators Club, which is a leadership and empowerment program for kids, and as a faculty member of the Democratic School in Arad.
Kobi Revivo, married and a father of four, is an educator. He grew up in Beer Sheva and is a product of the local religious education system. He attended the hesder yeshiva in Karnei Shomron and later returned to the South out of a desire to develop the Negev. Among the founders of the community of Shlomit in the Eshkol Regional Council, he is a member of the community board and its spokesman. He is also a member of the Eshkol Regional Council and vice principal of the Amit Technology School in Beer Sheva. As a musician who plays several instruments, he integrates music into his educational and administrative work. He hopes to continue developing the Negev and its educational and communal activities.
Yafit Savir is a native of Beer Sheva and now resides in Kibbutz Beit Kama. She is a homeroom, language, grammar and physical education teacher, and the social and community coordinator and a senior staff member at the Mevo’ot Negev School in Kibbutz Shoval. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Hebrew language and physical education and a master’s degree in educational systems administration. She is involved in public affairs within the kibbutz and is spearheading educational programs in her school. She studies and often engages in sports and yoga. Yafit believes that every person adds something special to the world and that the ability to effect meaningful change and create an enlightened and healthy society stems from a deep understanding of this message and love for the other.
Yasmin Sax Fridman, married with one son, is a Beer Sheva native. Currently a city council member, she is a pioneer of the animal rights movement in the city and a leader of the campaign to obtain public housing. Previously, she served as the marketing director of a performing arts center and director of the Yesh Atid party’s Beer Sheva district. She is completing a bachelor’s degree in public administration at the Open University and recently began working at the Tor HaMidbar NGO as the marketing and fundraising director. She loves people and animals and fights on their behalf.
Netta Schramm, married with two children, lives in Beer Sheva. She combines two seemingly diverse areas of study in her life: physics and Jewish philosophy. She holds a bachelor’s degree in physics and is studying toward a master’s degree in Jewish philosophy. She teaches physics at the girls high school in Yeruham, is a teaching assistant in the department of Jewish philosophy at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and is involved in research projects at the Yeruham Science Center. She hopes to complete a doctorate in Jewish philosophy and to continue working in education.
Tamar Shimi was born in and continues to live in Beer Sheva. For more than eight years she has been a science and home room teacher. She holds a master’s degree in educational policy, society and administration from Ben Gurion University. She is a mediator and coordinates the fundamentals of mediation project at the Etz Hayim School. She was among the founders of the Ayala association which assists people with adrenal gland syndromes. Tamar is interested in the process of identity development and in the connection between reality and vision, theory and practice. She firmly believes in the fundamental element of the good and the positive in people and in our obligation as educators to find or instill this fundamental element in each person.
Anna Tal, a Beer Sheva resident for over 25 years, was born in Latvia and lived there for three years. Even after numerous trips all over Israel and around the world, she feels that Beer Sheva is her home and center of her life. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Middle East studies and politics and government and a master’s degree in Middle East studies – studies that changed the course of her life. Currently she works in a startup center and for the Montreal Federation and is striving to create dialogue among different groups in Israeli society (and beyond it) based on equality, acceptance and mutual respect.
Eti Tepper, born in Beer Sheva, is married and a mother of five. She holds a bachelor’s degree in education and Hebrew language and a master’s degree in Jewish education, with a specialization in family studies. For over 14 years has managed the Fanny Kaplan Community Center in Beer Sheva. Under the auspices of the community center, she develops and launches social and community projects and initiatives, classes, cultural events and more. In the past, she was the national and district educational coordinator of a youth movement and a counselor at a children’s home. Her favorite motto is “as long as the candle is still burning, it is possible to work and repair.”
Hila Yeshaiahu, an Arad native and now a resident of Beer Sheva, is the coordinator of the theater program at the Rabin Comprehensive School in Beer Sheva. She holds a BA in politics, government and geography from Ben Gurion University and a degree in theater directing and studies from Kibbutzim College. For more than a decade Hila has been teaching theater and working with at-risk youth. She believes in the power of art and creativity as tools for generating a sense of capability, empowerment and personal development.
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