Ehud Adany is a second-generation educator who has lived in Yeruham for the last 18 years. Ehud is constantly engaged in efforts to improve and innovate in the field of education. At the start of his career, he taught at the “Kol Yaakov” state religious school in Yeruham, while today he is a teacher at the Hameuchad elementary school in the secular state education stream. Ehud believes in creating connections and bridges between people, and sees education as a value, a mission, and a goal. He is married and the father of six.
Yael Agmon was born on Kibbutz Nirim, was one of the founders of Kibbutz Kerem Shalom, and has lived in Yeruham since 2010. She served as chairperson of the Tehila nonprofit, which provides support to parents of LGBT children. Yael is an active member of MachsomWatch, and of the civic action group Mirkam Ezori (Regional Texture), a group of residents of Yeruham who are working toward state recognition for the neighboring Bedouin settlement of Rachme. She is the mother of three and grandmother of three.
Vered Asaf holds a bachelor’s degree in informal education, with a specialization in youth at risk. Over the last decade, she has been working with at-risk children and families, and is the director of Youth Futures, a social education program of the Jewish Agency. Vered has completed a number of professional courses at the Center for Parenting and Family at the Kaye Academic College of Education in Beer Sheva, including group facilitation and parent consulting. A social and community activist, she founded a charitable organization called “Hasdei Hadassah” that helps families and girls in poverty and distress. Vered is a graduate of WePower’s Atidot Banegev training program for women involved in political and public life, and volunteers for the Yeruham burial society. She is married and the mother of six.
Sigal Ashtamker holds a bachelor’s degree in public administration and policy from Sapir College, a master’s degree in non-profit management from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and a diploma in group facilitation. A resident of Yeruham, she has served as the employment coordinator at the local Center for Young Adults for the last seven years. Married and the mother of three, Sigal now directs a daycare center in Yeruham run by the Yachdav nonprofit, and is active in the Yeruham Parents’ Committee.
Shimon Ben-Zaken is an engineer who serves as a department director at the Phoenicia Glass Works factory in Yeruham, the community where he was born and has lived since 1959. Shimon believes in maintaining a strong and constant connection between local industry and the local community, and works to cultivate such connections. He is fostering cooperation between Phoenicia and the Yeruham Design Terminal, working to realize the design group’s vision in the product development and design of the local glass industry. Shimon is married and the father of two.
Tami Boohabot holds a bachelor’s degree in social work and is a graduate of the parents’ counseling program at Kaye College. For the last ten years, she has served in a variety of management positions in the fields of education and work with children and youth at risk. During the last three years, she has been serving as the director of early childhood education in Yeruham, which she is trying to put at the top of the local agenda. Tami is married and the mother of three.
Eitan Cohen has been involved in photography and farming for most of his life. In recent years, he has been involved in public action and in the leadership of his moshav on a voluntary basis. Eitan’s main area of interest focuses on leveraging the power of the collective. He grew up in Jerusalem and has been living in Be’er Milka for the last nine years. In order to improve personal, communal, and regional quality of life, during the last six years, Eitan has been giving tours to army units, school groups, and youth movements on a voluntary basis, exploring life in the Negev and in Pitchat Nitzana, and telling the fascinating story of Be'er Milka. Eitan is married and the father of two.
Nisim Elmakayes has lived in Yeruham since 1989. He is the founder of the Meir Panim soup kitchen in Dimona, which he has been directing for the last 14 years. Operated in cooperation with the city’s welfare department, the soup kitchen employs 13 workers (three salaried employees and 10 volunteers), and provides some 500 servings of food to needy people each day. Nisim is a social activist and is involved in several social engagement forums in Yeruham. Married and the father of six, he established the Parent Patrols in Yeruham, and runs charitable second-hand goods depots in Yeruham and Dimona.
Svetlana Glushak immigrated to Israel from Kiev, Ukraine, and has lived in Yeruham since 1995. She holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry, and is a qualified nurse and chemical engineer. Formerly a professional dancer, Svetlana is a social activist who works as coordinator of the “Mofet Club” at a rehabilitative factory in Yeruham. Married and the mother of two, Svetlana also works as a cooking instructor for both children and adults.
Revital Hirshovitz-Salmon holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Land of Israel studies, with a specialization in landscape conservation and development. A resident of Yeruham, Revital has been active for the last decade or so in the Israel Society for the Protection of Nature, teaching the values of conservation and sustainability in educational institutions throughout the Negev. Currently serving as the sustainability coordinator of Yeruham, Revital is the mother of three.
Dana Meir made her way to Israel from New Zealand and Australia, and is a teacher by profession. Today, she works as a tour guide and cycling guide, who helps young offenders and adult drug addicts by using desert cycling and hiking activities as a therapeutic aid. Dana believes in equal opportunities and in reducing social gaps between normative populations and populations facing challenges. She lives at the Ben-Gurion Educational Center at Sde Boker, and is the mother of three.
Boaz Sar Shalom is a musician and a tour guide specializing in desert regions. He is the director of the Nitzana Guiding Center, which holds seminars and educational trips for youth throughout the Negev, and especially in the area around Nitzana. Boaz is working to change the worldviews of young Israelis, based on a belief in the power of the Negev and the desert to develop alternative perspectives regarding settlement, Zionism, leadership, sustainability, group empowerment, and personal development. Among other things, he is involved in promoting local tourism as a driver of regional employment and development. A resident of Be’er Milka in the Pitchat Nitzana region, Boaz is married and the father of three.
Zehavit Yakoov holds a bachelor’s degree in informal education. She is the higher education coordinator for Yeruham, where she provides counseling and advice on higher education and careers, and runs student leadership programs. Active in the field of education and parental involvement in education, Zehavit heads the Yeruham Parents’ Committee, as well as the parents’ committee at the Yeruham state elementary school. She is married and the mother of two.
Noga Yogev was born in the Upper Galilee, but has been a resident of the Negev since her twenties, and now lives on Kibbutz Revivim. Noga is a social worker and has a master’s degree in early childhood studies from the Schwartz Program at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Over the years, she has assumed a leadership role in social aspects of her kibbutz, including education, health, and welfare services, and has been involved in parent counseling and early childhood education. For the last three years, Noga has led and developed programs for children and youth at risk throughout the Negev. She is currently the director of the 360 National Program for Children and Youth at Risk in the Central Negev Region, which includes Yeruham, Mitzpe Ramon, and Ramat Hanegev. Noga believes that early childhood is the area in which society should invest most heavily.
Lior Zluf-Keren holds a bachelor’s degree in geography and environmental development from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. Her career has been dedicated mostly to informal education, largely in the Nitzana educational community, where she performed a year of national service and returned to work as a professional. Lior is a tour guide in the Negev, volunteers in various community frameworks, and serves on the Ramat Hanegev regional council. She is the director of the Ramat Hanegev Center for Young Adults, and believes in the power of young activists to reshape society in the Negev. Lior grew up in Petach Tikva, was educated in Kfar Sirkin, and has lived in the Pitchat Nitzana region for the last eight years. A resident of Moshav Kmehin, she is married and has a daughter.
Yoram Zvik, is a co-founder and director of the Hoopoe Center of Ecology and Ornithology (“Duchifat”), and is actively involved in research in zoology and ecology. He is the residents’ representative on the Yeruham Environmental Protection Committee, and is an active member of the Yeruham Residents’ Forum for Distributive Justice and Regional Planning. In the past, Yoram has served as volunteer coordinator of tourism for the Yeruham local council, and worked for the local Atid Bamidbar nonprofit, which connects Jews and Israelis with each other, with their heritage, and with the environment. Yoram studied science teaching at the Kibbutzim College of Education, and taught in formal and informal educational settings for many years. He has developed and written curricula and educational activities for a variety of educational frameworks, and served as a Jewish Agency emissary to North America. A resident of Yeruham, Yoram is married and the father of three.
Shmuel Aaronson teaches "Shelach" (a Hebrew acronym for Field, Nature, and Society) at the Goldwater high school in Eilat and is a counselor at the Zviya yeshiva. He has seven years’ experience of working with youth at risk, having directed field work at the "Hebrew Shepherd" initiative, an educational-therapeutic program for “hilltop youth” in the West Bank. In that capacity, he coordinated field work of volunteers and counselors, and liaised with parents and with education and social welfare officials. Shmuel is a certified instructor of rappelling, scuba diving, horse riding, and sailing. In his spare time, he volunteers with Magen David Adom and the Eilat-Eilot Rescue Service. Shmuel holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and criminology from Ariel University.
Omer Armoza is the operations manager at the Dolphin Reef in Eilat and is a member of its management forum. In his previous jobs at the Reef, he conducted educational programs on management and environmental issues, and worked as a dolphin trainer. Omer is involved in efforts to create an ecological cross-border tourism project in partnership with the Jordanian village of Rahma. He is also working to introduce alternative educational approaches into schools in the Eilot region. Omer holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the Open University.
Yaniv Belhassen is a senior faculty member at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev's Eilat Campus. His fields of expertise are the behavioral, social, managerial, and environmental aspects of tourism and leisure as consumer activities, as service industries in the local and global marketplace, and as areas of knowledge in institutions of higher education and in professional training schools. In recent years, Yaniv’s work in the public sphere has included serving as a member of the steering committee of the Combatants for Peace NGO and as the coordinator of its Tel Aviv-Tulkarm groups; acting and writing in the "Legislative Theater" project together with asylum seekers at the Holot detention center; and participating in a project to promote ecological cross-border tourism between the Jordanian and Israeli sides of the Arava Valley.
Anat Ben Moshe is one of the founders of the Unit for Patient Safety and Risk Management established at Yoseftal Medical Center in 2009. She currently also coordinates the hospital's quality assurance. Previously, Anat was the culture coordinator at Kibbutz Eilot. She holds a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Tel-Aviv University and a master’s degree in nursing from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.
Ofra Boaron is the director of the Eilat municipality's Youth Division and Training Center, which is part of the city’s community center network. She leads projects and runs the division’s training, facilitation, and human capital development activities. Previously, Ofra directed the Youth Promotion Unit of the Eilat Community Center Network, which provides services to disconnected youth and integrates them into society. Ofra holds a bachelor’s degree in special education from Levinsky College of Education, and a master’s degree in management and conflict resolution from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.
Aya Feuchtvanger is one of the founders of the Arava-Paran pre-military academy, where she mentors a team of counselors and runs community engagement activities. An occupational therapist and group facilitator by training, Aya works in the field of child development at the Hevel Eilot psychological center. Previously, she served as an occupational therapist at the Eilat Child Development Institute. Aya is also a swimming instructor for children and women. She holds a bachelor’s degree in occupational therapy from Haifa University.
Sarit Goren is the director of the Be'er Ora pre-military academy (“mechina”), where she is responsible for curricula, volunteering programs, counselors, and enrichment programs. She also mentors national service coordinators for one of the organizations coordinating national civilian service programs as an alternative to military service. Previously, Sarit worked for the Eilat municipal social services department as a social worker for at-risk teenage girls. She holds a bachelor’s degree in social work from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and a master’s degree in social work from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.
Hanit Guli is the founder of The Mud House Theater in Eilat, a playwright, and a director. Previously, she was a community coordinator for the non-profit organizations Tor HaMidbar and Community Incubator, where she worked to promote social and ecological enterprises in Eilat. Hanit is a member of Women Wage Peace and of the Marak Levinsky soup kitchen for the needy in Eilat, which provides food to all, regardless of gender, race, or religion. She holds a bachelor’s degree in humanities and communications from Bar-Ilan University, and a master’s degree in theater from Tel Aviv University.
Sharon Helfenbaum is responsible for the development and implementation of Isrotel’s strategic support processes. She creates and oversees all of the chain’s training and development programs, including management of the Isrotel College, and manages training budgets. Previously, Sharon was the commercial manager of King's City, a tourist attraction in Eilat, and was a director of the Eilat Harbor Beach Development Corporation. She holds a bachelor’s degree in hotel management and tourism, and a master’s degree in public administration and policy, both from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. Sharon is also certified in organizational consulting and group facilitation and in payroll accounting, and is certified as a corporate director of the Ben-Gurion University Eilat Campus.
Avichai Jackson is a counselor at Susan’s House, a rehabilitative employment framework, and is the director of sales and marketing for the craft products made by the at-risk youth who work there. He also volunteers as a family counselor for the Paamonim non-profit organization, which promotes financial responsibility, and is the Eilat coordinator for "Rebooks," a chain of second-hand book stands that provide employment rehabilitation for people with mental health disabilities. Avichai is developing a cooperative housing project that aims to transform old buildings in Eilat into institutions that combine housing with tourist accommodation. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the College of Management Academic Studies, and a teaching certificate from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.
Orgal Kadoshi Shmuel is the higher education and student coordinator for the "Achievements" program at the Eilat Center for Young Adults, part of a nationwide program to make higher education more accessible to people aged 18–35 in Israel’s periphery. She is also the municipal leader of a pilot program for public participation, conducted under the auspices of 360° – The National Program for Children and Youth at Risk. Orgal volunteers with a "Street Address" mobile unit that locates youth at risk and youth living on the streets, and has previously worked as an English teacher in the public education system. She holds a bachelor’s degree in special education and literature from Levinsky College of Education, and a master’s degree in interdisciplinary democracy studies with a specialization in public policy from the Open University.
Ayelet Kojec Holzer is the director of the department of education at the Hevel Eilot regional council, where she is responsible for kindergartens and elementary schools, and for advancing processes in formal education. Previously, she was the manager of Crystal Vision, a company that belongs to Kibbutz Samar, and served as the general secretary of the kibbutz. Ayelet holds a bachelor’s degree and a teaching diploma in Hebrew literature and Jewish philosophy, both from Oranim Academic College of Education.
Rami Lev is the founder and principal of the Branco Weiss High School for At-Risk Youth in Eilat, which has been operating for some five years. Previously, he was the Eilat Cluster director for Or Shalom, a non-profit organization that cares for at-risk children and youth who have been removed from their family home by court order. He has also worked as a coordinator at a residential facility in Jerusalem for youth released from psychiatric hospitals. Rami holds a bachelor’s degree in education and teaching from The David Yellin Academic College of Education, and a master’s degree in conflict resolution from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.
Yael Malka is the director of the Department for Individual Care and Special Education in the Eilat municipal education division. She also lectures at Levinsky College of Education on school management and individual-focused interventions. Previously, she founded the first hostel for at-risk teenage girls in Eilat, and worked in management positions for the Isrotel hotel chain. Yael holds a bachelor’s degree in behavioral science and a master’s degree in public administration and education policy, both from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.
Daniela Menzin is the administrative director of the Eilat Campus of Levinsky College of Education, where she is responsible for training and work experience programs for trainee teachers in various tracks, based on their areas of expertise. Daniella is a guidance counselor for parents of children with special needs, and lectures on special education. Previously, she worked as a municipal special education instructor for the Ministry of Education. Daniella has recently submitted her doctoral dissertation, a phenomenological study of the consciousness of motherhood in the self-perception of mothers of children with behavioral disorders, to Bar-Ilan University.
Moran Nahmias is a career development counselor and coordinator for the Eilat municipality’s Department of Young Adults and Human Capital. She provides employment counseling, support, and guidance to the city’s residents, and conducts forums, workshops, and community events on employment issues. Moran is also developing a municipal plan to promote employment for people with disabilities and has volunteered at a center for Holocaust survivors in Eilat for more than four years. Moran holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and public communications from Ashkelon Academic College, and a master’s degree in democracy, government and public policy from the Open University.
Edi Pinto is a hotel manager who is currently the general manager of Isrotel's Royal Beach Hotel in Eilat. He has managed many other hotels in the Eilat region, including the King Solomon, the Royal Garden, Agamim, Laguna, and more. Edi is a member of the volunteer board of Enosh–The Israeli Mental Health Association, and runs the Isrotel Hotel Chain’s community philanthropy fund. He holds a bachelor’s degree in tourism business administration.
For the last five years, Racheli Regev has been the Eilat and Arava regional director for Access Israel, a non-profit organization that promotes accessibility and inclusion for people with disabilities and the elderly. Previously, she directed various programs for Shema, a non-profit organization for the advancement of children and youth with hearing loss. Racheli is a licensed service accessibility expert, and holds a bachelor’s degree in social science from Bar-Ilan University, and a master’s degree in business administration from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.
For the last ten years, Marlen Rosenfeld has served as an assistant to the mayor of Eilat, and has been his advisor on women’s advancement. She has also been a director on the boards of several municipal corporations. Marlene has created and developed various women’s projects in Eilat, including a program to fund academic studies for single mothers, and was recently appointed to establish and direct Eilat’s Economic Development Unit. Marlene holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from Sapir College, and holds a master’s degree in business administration from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.
Yuval Hodaya Shlomi Yalovski is a leading informal education professional at Kibbutz Samar and a member of the kibbutz's secretariat. Previously, she directed a school for children of Sudanese refugees in Eilot, and ran the Neve Eyal residential facility for young people and adults released from psychiatric hospitals. Yuval was a founder of a regional parents’ forum to promote educational alternatives in the school system, and participates in a laboratory for educational and community innovation in Hevel Eilot. She holds a bachelor’s degree in education from the Kibbutzim College of Education.
Shir Spektorman is a coordinator of the Eilat and Hevel Eilot region for the Diller Teen Fellows – an international leadership development program for Jewish youth. She has studied political communications, and holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and Middle Eastern and African history, and a master’s degree in contemporary Middle Eastern studies, both from Tel Aviv University.
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