The Team / Senior Fellows

Avinoam Bar-Yosef
President and Founding Director
Ita Alcalay
Project Manager
Shmuel Rosner
Senior Fellow
Ambassador Avi Gil
Senior Fellow
Rami Tal
Publication Editor
Dr. John Ruskay
Senior Fellow
Brig. Gen. (Res.) Michael Herzog
Senior Fellow
Dr. Dov Maimon
Senior Fellow
Prof. Steven W. Popper
Senior Fellow
Dr. Shalom Salomon Wald
Senior Fellow
Dr. Shlomo Fischer
Senior Fellow
Barry Geltman
English Editor
Professor Uzi Rebhun
Senior Fellow
Ambassador Vivian Bercovici
Senior Fellow
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Bio

Avinoam Bar-Yosef is the President and the Founding Director of the Jewish People Policy Planning Institute. He was Chief Diplomatic Correspondent and Commentator, and later US Bureau Chief for the Ma’ariv daily newspaper. He wrote thousands of articles, weekly columns and analyses, many of them on Jewish People issues and policies. From 1999 to 2002 he served as senior advisor to then JAFI chairman Sallai Meridor. At JPPI he wrote policy papers, and published op-ed columns in the Israeli and international newspapers including the New York Times – International Herald Tribune, Ha’aretz and Ma’ariv.


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Bio

Ita Alcalay worked at the Finance Minister’s Bureau for over 3 years with Prof. Yaacov Ne’eman and Dan Meridor. From 1990-1995 she worked with Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu, and served at the Foreign Ministry from 1987 until 1993. She has a B.A in Political Science from Bar-Ilan University.

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Activity:

Head of the Pluralism and Democracy in Israel Project and the Structured World Dialogue Process


Bio

Shmuel Rosner is a Tel Aviv based columnist, editor and think tank fellow.

He is a fellow at The Jewish People Policy Institute (JPPI);
He is the non-fiction Editor for Israel’s largest Publishing House, Kinneret-Zmora-Bitan-Dvir;
He is Senior Political Editor for the Jewish Journal, and he writes the popular blog Rosner’s Domain;
He writes a weekly column for The International Herald Tribune \ New York Times and for Israel’s Maariv Daily.

Rosner was previously a columnist for The Jerusalem Post, and was Chief U.S. Correspondent, Head of the News Division and Head of the Features Division for the Israeli daily Haaretz. He wrote for many magazines, including Slate, Foreign Policy, Commentary, The New Republic, The Jewish Review of Books, and others.

Rosner’s book “Shtetl Bagel Baseball, on the Wonderful Dreadful State of American Jews” was published in Israel by Keter (Hebrew, 2011) and became a bestseller.


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Bio

Ambassador Avi Gil Served as the Director General of Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs from April 2001-November 2002. He also served as Director-General of Israel’s Ministry of Regional Cooperation, Deputy Director-General of the Peres Center for Peace; the Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff, Media Advisor to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Minister of Finance, and Executive Policy Advisor to the Minister of Foreign Affairs. He has been closely involved in Israel’s policy-making and peace efforts, including the negotiations that led to the Oslo Accords and the peace treaty with Jordan. He is a Senior Fellow at the JPPPI and a was a close advisor to President Shimon Peres.


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Bio

Born in 1948 in Tel Aviv, studied law, general history and political science, and specialized in Political Philosophy. In 1977 he started to work at Yediot Acharonot newspaper as a news editor. From 1989 to 1993 he was Yediot Achranot’s Washington correspondent.
Since his return to Israel, he has worked mainly at Yediot Acharonot publishing house, as the head of the political and security division, and as a member of the editorial staff. In this capacity he has edited books by Benjamin Netanyahu, Shimon Peres, Ezer Weizman, Moshe Arens, Yossi Beilin, Moshe (Bogi) Ya’alon, Dan Halutz, Uri Sagi, Avraham Burg and others


Bio

John S. Ruskay came to UJA-Federation in 1993 and held several positions before being appointed Executive Vice President and CEO in October 1999, serving in this role until July 2014. After graduating from the University of Pittsburgh in 1968, Dr. Ruskay earned his M.A. and Ph.D. in political science at Columbia University. He served as Educational Director of the 92nd Street Y from 1980 to 1985, and Vice Chancellor of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America from 1985 to 1993.

Dr. Ruskay has written extensively and speaks nationally on how the American Jewish community can most effectively respond to the challenges and opportunities of living in an open society; the critical role of Jewish philanthropy; and the central role of community. He has served as a senior consultant to the Wexner Foundation and The Andrea and Charles Bronfman Philanthropies, and has chaired the Publication Committee of the Journal of Jewish Communal Service and the Professional Advisory Committee of the Hornstein Jewish Professional Leadership Program.

Dr. Ruskay has received numerous honors, including the Bernard Reisman Award for Professional Excellence from Brandeis University’s Hornstein Program, the Mandelkorn Distinguished Service Award from the Jewish Communal Service Association of North America, and honorary doctorates from the Jewish Theological Seminary (2011), Hebrew Union College (2103), and Yeshiva University (2014).

The Ruskay Institute for Jewish Professional Leadership is being established to provide in-service professional enrichment for the next generation of communal leaders.
Dr. Ruskay is married to Robin Bernstein; together they have five children and seven grandchildren.


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Activity:

Head of the de-legitimization project


Bio

Brigadier General (Res.) Herzog is a senior fellow at JPPI and currently heads an extensive project on confronting the de-legitimization phenomena. He rose through the military ranks to become head of the IDF’s strategic planning division and one of Israel’s prominent experts on strategic, military and intelligence matters.

Over the last decade General Herzog has held senior positions in the office of Israel’s Minister of Defense, under four ministers and was the Chief of Staff to Minister Ehud Barak. In those positions, he was at the center of Israeli decision-making on all key strategic, defense and political issues. General Herzog is also a military fellow at the Washington Institute, where he published extensively on Middle Eastern affairs. General Herzog is the son of the late president of Israel, Chaim Herzog.


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Activity:

(עברית) אחראי על דסק אירופה במכון


Bio

Senior Fellow at JPPI, Dov Maimon leads the “Grand Strategy toward Islam” project, the “Israel-Diaspora New Paradigm” project and the Institute’s activities in Europe.

Among his action-oriented work, he is a member of the Advisory Committee for Improving access to Ultra-Orthodox to Higher Education chaired by Professor Manuel Trajtenberg. He is also the author of the Action Plan for bringing the developing mass migration of French Jews to Israel. Commissioned by governmental agencies, the plan was adopted by the Israeli Cabinet on June 22nd 2014.

Born in Paris, he earned a B.Sc. from the Technion (Haifa, Israel), a MBA from Insead (Fontainebleau, France), a M.A in Religious Anthropology and a Ph.D. in Islamic and Medieval Studies from the Sorbonne University. He is a laureate of the prestigious prize “Grand Prix du chancelier des universites 2005” awarded to the best French PhD work in Literature and Human Sciences. He is also a graduat of the Mandel School of Educational Leadership. Formerly an High-Tech industry entrepreneur, Dov is teaching at the School of Business Administration of the Ben Gurion University.


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Bio

STEVEN W. POPPER, (Ph.D., Economics, UC Berkeley, 1985; B.S. summa cum laude, Biochemistry, U of Minnesota, 1976) is a RAND Senior Economist and Professor of Science and Technology Policy in the Pardee RAND Graduate School. He is also director of RAND’s Israel Initiative. He has published research on the economics of innovation — particularly how organizations both public and private identify and incorporate technological change. He led RAND’s first Summer Institute, a week-long workshop on science, technology and U.S. economic competitiveness. From 1996 to 2001 he was the Associate Director of RAND’s Science and Technology Policy Institute (S&TPI.) He provided research and analytic support to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and other agencies of the executive branch. His work included projects on the economic and social returns to basic research, assessing critical technologies (including principal authorship of the Fourth U.S. National Critical Technologies Review,) policy analyses of national innovation systems, evaluations of federal R&D portfolios relevant to the Global War on Terror, determining the S&T capabilities required for a prospective Department of Homeland Security, technical barriers to international trade (for the National Institute of Standards and Technology,) federal R&D portfolio decisionmaking (for the National Science Board and the World Bank,) and Presidential transition documents on S&T issues of national importance.

Dr. Popper is currently leading projects on better integration of technology assessment into transportation planning for the Transportation Research Board and has recently competed studies on energy strategy in Israel and science and technology-based economic development in Mexico City. He has now begun a new project to work with Israel’s police on domestic policing issues. He was active in founding projects of the RAND Pardee Center for Longer-Range Global Policy and the Future Human Condition. This included co-authorship of the flagship study, Shaping the Next Hundred Years, which provides a new methodological framework for decision making under profound uncertainty that has been applied to an increasing set of policy issues. In particular, he has advised doctoral dissertations applying these concepts to issues in R&D planning and S&T policy. Dr. Popper has conducted research for, and has served as consultant to, several non-U.S. governments as well as multilateral international organizations such as OECD and the World Bank on issues of technology planning, industrial restructuring, and regional economic development. Prior to joining RAND he worked as a researcher in physical chemistry and enzymology, as Country Account Officer for Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania and Yugoslavia at Bank of America, and as consultant to the World Bank on issues of industrial restructuring in East Europe. He has also been elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, is a member of the AAAS Policy Council representing the Industrial Science and Technology section, and is a Charter Member of the Pacific Council on International Policy.


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Activity:

History of the Jewish Civilization and head of JPPI’s work regarding India and China.


Bio

S.Wald was born in 1936 in Milan, Italy. He grew up in Basel, Switzerland where he studied social sciences, history, and history of religions, graduating in 1962 as Ph.D. In 1964 he joined the Paris-based OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) where he stayed until his retirement in 2001. His career spanned education, technological innovation, science and technology policy, energy research policy and biotechnology policy. He was Head of the OECD/DSTI Biotechnology Unit. He joined the JPPPI in 2002 and worked on Jewish/Israeli relations with China; science and technology; and the history of Jewish civilization. Currently he reviews India-Israel-Jewish People links.

Three Reports written for JPPPI:
– China and the Jewish People – Old Civilizations in a New Era, Jerusalem 2004.
– “Science and Technology and the Jewish People”, JPPPI Annual Assessment 2005, Jerusalem 2005.
– Jewish Civilization at the Crossroads – Lessons from the History of Rise and Decline, to appear in 2010.

Three Research Papers written outside JPPPI:
– “China and Israel”, Encyclopedia Judaica, Second Edition, ed. Fred Skolnik, Vol. 4, Farmington Hills, 2007.
– “The ‘Confucianisation’ of the Jewish Community of Kaifeng: Jewish and Non-Jewish Historical Perspectives”, The Jews in Asia – Comparative Perspectives, ed. Pan Guang, Center of Jewish Studies Shanghai, The Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, 2007.
– “Chinese Jews in European Thought”, Youtai – Presence and Perception of Jews and Judaism in China, ed. Peter Kupfer, FASK, Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz, ed. Peter Lang, Frankfurt am Main, 2008.


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Activity:

Head of the Annual Assessment project


Bio

Dr. Shlomo Fischer teaches sociology in the School of Education at Hebrew University and at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.He is also currently a research fellow at the Van Leer Institute. His research interests include the nexus of religion, politics and class in Israel, contemporary religion and the sociology of the Jewish people. He has published extensively on radical religious Zionism and the West Bank settlers as well as on the Shas movement.

Fischer has worked in the field of education for the past 25 years. In the past 10 years he has worked in the field of religion, democracy and tolerance. He has edited (together with Adam Seligman) The Burden of Tolerance: Religious Traditions and the Challenge of Pluralism (Hebrew; HaKibbutz Hameuchad and the Van Leer Institute, 2007) which addresses these issues. From 1996-2007 he was the founder and Executive Director of Yesodot – Center for Torah and Democracy which works to advance education for democracy in the State-Religious school sector in Israel and was also one of the founders and is on the Board of the International Summer School for Religion and Public Life which is based in Boston, Mass. He is a graduate of the Mandel School for Educational Leadership in Jerusalem.


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