Team & Board

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Team
לורם איפסום דולור סיט אמט
Michal Pinchuk
Executive Director

Adv. Michal Pinchuk has been active in the civil society field for over 20 years. She began her professional career as a human rights attorney at the Center for the Defense of the Individual and the Association for Civil Rights in Israel. At the Association for Civil Rights, Michal was also a facilitator in the Education Department. During these years, Michal dealt with significant issues in Israeli society and was involved extensively in legal and public activities. Michal comes to the Merchavim Institute after serving as director of the ASSAF – Aid Organization for Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Israel with great success for eight years. Michal has a deep and long-standing acquaintance with Israeli society in its various shades and a strong desire to continue working towards a society with greater cohesion and fairness.

Yael Keren Raba
Director of Educational Programming

Yael was born in Rehovot, Israel, and makes her home on Moshav Ometz in Emek Hefer. She is a qualified group facilitator with a degree in organizational consulting and human resources management, in addition to holding an MA degree in gender studies. She began her professional career at the Branco Weiss Institute and later at the Ma’ase Center, where she ran various programs for 14 years. Yael has extensive experience in establishing and managing educational programs that support the development of a more equitable and just civil society. Yael joined Merchavim in 2018.

Ilana Sarig Hughes
Director of the Fellowship Programs

Ilana was born in Israel on Kibbutz Ramot Menashe and today, lives on Kibbutz Evron. She holds a BA in Political Science and Sociology and an MA in Organizational Sociology. She worked for many years as VP of Human Resources in Industry and Organizational Development. In 2012, she changed her professional direction and transitioned into the social arena and took on the leadership of Ahada – an organization supporting the families of children with special needs in the Kibbutz movement. She graduated from the Mandel School for Educational Leadership, where she focused on the lives of people with disabilities in the community. Ilana has extensive experience in leading organizational processes and social change. She joined Merchavim in 2018.

Ariela Lacovsky
Resource Development Director

Ariela was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, made Aliyah in 2012 and lives in Jerusalem. She holds a BA in Jewish Studies and Hebrew, MA in Jewish Education, MA in Jewish Communal Service and a graduate certificate in Nonprofit Management. Ariela has over 15 years of experience in the Jewish nonprofit world both in education and resource development, including working for the Jewish Federation system, JDC, the Ethiopian National Project and Boys Town Jerusalem. She joined Merchavim in 2022.

Sharon White Galperin
Director of Diversity Management in Organizations

Sharon was born in Haifa, Israel and makes her home in Katzir, Wadi Ara. She has a BA in Business Administration and East Asian Studies and a MBA, specializing in Marketing and Mediator. After a 20 year long career in marketing and business development in global companies Sharon decided to follow her dream and leverage her many years of social activism into a professional career creating social change.

Kamal Aggbriyah
Head of Arab Teacher Integration

Kamal was born in Yafo, Israel and continues to live in Yafo. He holds a BA in Political Science. He is an experienced group leader and has extensive experience in leading empowerment groups and Arabic/Jewish leadership development. He previously served as the Chairperson of the Student Council of Tel Aviv-Jaffa. Currently, he serves as the Chairperson of the Ajami neighborhood of Yafo. Kamal specializes in the process of instruction and preparation for cross-cultural integration of Arab teachers in Jewish schools. He joined Merchavim in 2004.

Noah Mentesnot
The Ethiopian-Israeli Teacher Placement Program Director

Noah was born in Ethiopia, immigrated to Israel in 1984 at the age of 8, and makes his home in Kfar Galim. He has a BA in Political Science, Sociology and Anthropology and Masters in Public Administration for Managers from the University of Haifa.

Elinoar Ganani
Resource Development Associate

Elinoar was born in Haifa, Israel, and lives in Kfar Vitkin. She holds a BA in economics and an MA in linguistics. She has experience in marketing in various fields, writing, and content and language editing. Her literary writing has been published and won awards. She joined Merchavim as part of the Resource Development team in 2021.   

Samah Haj
Teachers’ Instructor - Arab Teacher Integration in Jewish Schools

Samah lives in Arraba, located in the Lower Galilee in the Northern District. She has a bachelor’s degree in English and has taught the English language for over six years. Previously, she taught in Kuseife, a Bedouin town in the Southern District of Israel and in the Jewish education stream at the Nitzanim School in Karmiel. Today, in addition to her work at Merchavim, she teaches English at the Al- Zahraa School in Arraba. She joined Merchavim as a teachers’ instructor in 2019.

Moshe Yeshayahu
Ethiopian-Israeli Teacher Placement Coordinator

Moshe was born in Ethiopia and made his way through Sudan to Israel at the age of 11, today he makes his home in Afula. He holds a BA in education with a teaching certificate and an MA in public administration from the University of Haifa. He previously served as a high school teacher and is currently the coordinator of a program at the Kibbutzim College of Education that combines teaching and the integration of students into the employment market. Moshe is a social activist and volunteers to promote disadvantaged populations in the periphery. Moshe joined Merchavim in 2018.

Rachely Hartal
Shared Society Programs Manager

Born in Ashkelon, she lives in Givat Ella in the Jezreel Valley. Rachely is an expert in leading multi-sectoral social-community processes, strategic processes and in the development and accompaniment of initiatives and projects. She has experience in leading multicultural groups and in developing and writing content. She holds a master’s degree in gender studies and a bachelor’s degree in political science. She is a social activist who founded and managed the Ma’ase Center’s alumni network. Rachely joined Merchavim in 2022.

Guy Finkelstein
Head of Teachers with Disabilities Placement

Guy was born in Kibbutz Horeshim, Israel, and makes his home in Kochav Yair. He has a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Social Work from Tel Aviv University and is a trained Psychotherapist. For many years, he championed for access to higher education for people with learning disabilities and other disabilities. He has won several awards for his work in this field. Guy is a social entrepreneur and among other things initiated and established a program integrating young people with disabilities into the pre-military programs and was among the founders of a program to integrate students on the autistic continuum into academia. Guy joined Merchavim in 2019.

Souher Esawi
Human Resources Coordinator and PA to the Executive Director

Souher was born in Israel and makes her home in Ramle. She studies The Open University of Israel. Souher began her professional career as a medical secretary at Ichilov Medical Center and later on worked at the Dept. of Municipal Taxes of the cities of Ramla and Lod. Souher joined Merchavim in 2019.

Lina Haddad
Finance and Operations Coordinator

Lina was born in Ramla, in Israel and continues to live in Ramla today. She holds a certified bookkeeping and payroll diploma with experience in administrative work. Lina has been with Merchavim since 2014.

Hikmat Moassi
Coordinator and responsible for training - Arab Teacher Integration program

Born in Israel, she lives in Baqa al-Garbiya.

 

She holds a bachelor’s degree in teaching, specializing in science and mathematics. A science teacher and spoken Arabic, she taught for 13 years in Hebrew schools in Ganei Tikva and Herzliya. She holds a master’s degree in social sciences and art and a diploma in group facilitation. She is a graduate of an education course for a shared society, facilitator of dialogue groups at the Jewish-Arab Center for Peace in Givat Haviva, a graduate of a basic photography course, a graduate of a design and flower weaving course and the owner of a flower shop “J’adore”.

Board
לורם איפסום דולור סיט אמט
Moshe Shemesh
Chairman
Mike Prashker
Founder
Rani Haj-Yahia
Esti Halperin
Reuven Shmaya
Vanessa Rakin
Hezi Mualem
Dr. Roni Porat
Eliav Moshe
Liat Keisary