Management Team and Staff
Esti was born in Mikhmoret, Israel and now lives in Hod HaSharon. She has a BA in Sociology and Educational Management, a teaching certificate and MA in Labour Studies from Tel Aviv University.
Esti previously worked in the field of educational management and training development as part of the IDF Education Corps. Esti joined Merchavim in 2005 and served in a number of roles until being appointed the Executive Director in 2014.
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.
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.
Tamara Klinger Levi
Director of Resource Development
Tamara was born in Montreal, Canada and makes her home on Kibbutz Sha’ar Ha’amakim, She made Aliyah in 1982 and joined the IDF. Tamara has a BA and MA Sociology and is a Registered Nurse. She has rich experience in the Jewish/Israeli non-profit world (including roles at the University of Haifa, Taglit-Birthright, Nefesh B’Nefesh) and in health services. Tamara joined the Merchavim team in 2014.
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.
She has experience in community management and support, community-social processes, dialogue and civic action groups, and leadership programs on ecology, civic involvement and action. Sharon joined Merchavim in 2018.
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.
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.
He has extensive experience in developing leadership programs promoting empowerment and supporting the integration of Ethiopian immigrants in Israeli society. More than a decade ago Noah began working for the Jewish Federation of Miami and the Ethiopian National Project (EPN) in Pardes Hanna Karkur managing, and leading, educational and community programs promoting the integration of the community at the local and national levels. Noah joined Merchavim in 2017.
Shared Society Programs Manager
Nati was born in Israel, Kfar HaNagid and today, makes his home in the Shapira neighborhood of Tel Aviv. He holds a BA in Behavioral Sciences from Ben Gurion University, and an MA in Humanities from the Kibbutzim College. Nati previously worked in the field of supervision and treatment of at-risk youth as part of a youth protection project, and provided long-term accompaniment and direction to young people without family support at the ‘Lamerhav’ nonprofit. Nati joined Merchavim in 2016.
Teachers’ Instructor - Arab Teacher Integration in Jewish Schools
Mirvat was born in Al-Azi. She holds a B.Ed. degree in Teaching and Education, MA degree in International Affairs and MBA degree in Organizational Consulting. Mirvat has experience in teaching, coordinating and facilitating diverse groups of teachers and students. She joined Merchavim as a teachers’ instructor in 2019.
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. Additionally, this program provides life skills workshops and lectures on education, society, and immigration. He has extensive experience in the implementation of educational, community and social programs and has initiated programs with special emphasis on families and youth. Moshe is a social activist and volunteers to promote disadvantaged populations in the periphery. Moshe joined Merchavim in 2018.
Development and Training - Teachers with Disabilities Placement Program
Odeli-a was born in Israel and lives in Hibat Tzionn. She has a BA in criminology, sociology and anthropology and an MA in Expression and Art Therapy. She specializes in working with and for youth at risk and people with disabilities, and serves as chairperson of the Advisory Committee of the Commission of the Ministry of Justice. Odeli-a is an activist with the organization Bizchut and the director of the Civil Forum for the Implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. She joined Merchavim in 2018.
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.
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.
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.
Arin was born in Israel, Ramle and makes her home in Lod. She completed a certificate in the field of secretarial work and is fluent in both Arabic and Hebrew. Arin joined Merchavim in 2017 as office manager and personal assistant to the Executive Director.
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.