Staff

Prof. Yedidia Z. Stern

President

Bio

Professor Stern is President of the Jewish People Policy Institute and a full professor in the Faculty of Law at Bar-Ilan University. He is an alumnus of the Kerem B'Yavneh hesder yeshiva (1973-1978); holds a law degree (summa cum laude) from Bar-Ilan University (1982), and a doctorate in corporate law from Harvard University (1986). Stern has served as dean of Bar-Ilan University's Faculty of Law (1994-1998), and was a Senior Fellow at the Israel Democracy Institute (1989-2000). For a decade he served as the IDI's Vice President for Research. His areas of expertise are corporate law (merger and acquisitions, corporate finance and corporate governance), and public law (constitutional law, religion and state, human rights, law and halacha or Jewish law). He has lectured and been a visiting scholar at universities abroad (including Harvard, Columbia, Brandeis, and Princeton), and was Distinguished University Professor at Monash University in Australia (2009-2011). Stern has served as advisor to the Knesset Constitution, Law, and Justice Committee; has participated in numerous committees and public entities, among them the Commission of Inquiry on the Treatment of Residents of Gush Katif (2009); the National Committee for Civic Studies (2009-2011, committee chair); the Takana Forum for the prevention of sexual harassment in the religious community (founding member); the Government Committee for Equality in the Burden of Service (2012); the Committee for Regulating Governance in Higher Education (2014). He has served on the boards of multiple companies, including (currently) that of Bank Leumi. Stern has been awarded the Zeltner Prize for Excellence in Legal Research (2009), and the Gorny Prize for Outstanding Activity in Public Law (2012). Professor Stern has written and edited over twenty books; has published over fifty research articles in five languages; is the coeditor (with Professor Sagi) of the journal Democratic Culture (19 volumes to date); regularly publishes essays and articles in the Israeli and international press, and is interviewed by the Israeli and international media on issues of law and society, religion and state, Judaism and democracy, Jewish identity and Israeli culture. Born in England (1955), married to Dr. Karen Friedman-Stern, father of eight.

Articles by Prof. Yedidia Z. Stern

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Dr. Nadia Beider

Bio

Nadia Beider holds a PhD in Contemporary Jewry from the Hebrew University, where she was a Mandel Scholion doctoral fellow. She is currently a Rothschild Foundation Hanadiv Europe postdoctoral fellow at University College London. She teaches Jewish Education at the Hebrew University and has worked as a demographer at the Claims Conference.

 
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Ghila Amati

Bio

Ghila Amati, who grew up in Italy and currently resides in Jerusalem, is a doctoral student at the University of Oxford in the Department of Theology and Religion. In 2022, she was a visiting scholar at the Rosenzweig Minerva Research Center at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Israel. Additionally, she has served as a Research Fellow at the Judaism and Human Rights Program at the Israel Democracy Institute in Jerusalem. Ghila has been the recipient of various grants and fellowships, including the MFJC Fellowship Grant for Doctoral Students and the Doctoral Fellowship for Academic Jewish Studies awarded by the Rothschild Foundation Hanadiv Europe. She has also worked as a research analyst for the European Academy of Religion and Society (EARS).

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Talia Gorodess

Bio

Talia is a JPPI  fellow on the team Jewish Peoplehood. In addition, she is a Kreitman Fellow and a doctoral student at the Ben-Gurion Institute for the Study of Israel and Zionism at Ben-Gurion University. Her research deals with David Ben-Gurion's approach to American Jewry as part of his concept of statehood during the First and Second World Wars. In the past, she managed the Reut Institute for Strategic Thinking, where she led research and influence projects related to national security, the socio-economic development of the periphery, and relations between Israel and the Jewish world. Talia graduated with a master's degree in security studies from Columbia University, New York (with honors) and a bachelor's degree in political science from the University of Chicago  (with honors).

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Dr. Haim Zicherman

Bio

Dr. Haim Zicherman, a senior lecturer at the Ono Academic College (OAC), is an expert in constitutional and property law and also researches the ultra-Orthodox society. His book Black Blue-White (Yedioth Books, 2014) takes a broad-minded approach to understanding the ultra-Orthodox society in Israel. Until last year, Zicherman managed the ultra-Orthodox campuses of the OAC, where thousands of Haredi students – male and female – study. In recent years, Zicherman has coordinated the development and management of the "Israeli Identity" course available to all undergraduate students in Israel.
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Tamir Pardo

Senior Fellow

Bio

Tamir Pardo is the Co-Founder and President of XM. Mr. Pardo was the Director of the Mossad (2011 – 2016) - the national intelligence agency of Israel and one of the main entities in the Israeli Intelligence Community. Born and raised in Tel Aviv, Tamir served in the IDF in the special forces unit (Sayeret Matkal) and participated in the famous Operation Entebbe of 1976. He joined the Mossad in 1980 and rose through the ranks as technical and operations officer. Mr. Pardo holds a BA from the Tel Aviv University in history and international relations.

Articles by Tamir Pardo

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Rivka Ravitz

Senior Fellow

Articles by Rivka Ravitz

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Dr. Roy Schondorf

Senior Fellow

Bio

Dr. Roy Schondorf is a leading litigation and arbitration practitioner, with unique experience in the negotiation and litigation of disputes involving states and sovereign interests.

Until recently he served for almost a decade as Israel's Deputy Attorney General (International Law). In that capacity, Dr. Schöndorf provided legal counsel to Israel's government on all aspects related to international law, national security and foreign policy, and led Israel's legal representation in dozens of international litigation and arbitration matters. In February 2022, he was selected by a public committee headed by a former Supreme Court President, as one of three recommended nominees for the position of Attorney General of Israel.

Before joining the Israeli government, Dr. Schöndorf worked with the International Dispute Resolution Group at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, where he represented governments and multi-national corporations in arbitration and litigation proceedings.

Earlier in his career he served as a legal advisor to Israeli delegations for peace negotiations with Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and the Palestinians and was a member of Israel's delegation to the negotiations relating to the establishment of the International Criminal Court.

Dr. Schöndorf teaches courses in international law at the Hebrew University and the Reichman University, and is regularly invited to speak at international law and international arbitration conferences. He earned a Doctorate of Juridical Sciences from New York University School of Law and holds degrees in law and economics from Tel Aviv University.

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Prof. Yehonathan Givati

Bio

We are happy to announce that Prof. Yehonatan Givati has joined the Institute as a senior fellow. Givati completed both his PhD in economics and his Doctorate in law (SJD) at Harvard and is a professor of law at Hebrew University. He is the founding director of the Aumann-Fischer Center for Law, Economics, and Public Policy at Hebrew University and a member of the Center for the Study of Rationality, also at Hebrew University. Givati will head JPPI’s “Israel-Diaspora Index” project.

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Dr. Shuki Friedman

Vice President

Bio

Dr. Shuki Friedman is the Vice President of the Jewish People Policy Institute. He is a member of the Faculty of Law at the Peres Academic Center and formerly served as secretary of the Locker Committee for Examining the Defense Budget. He was also chairman of the government committee on the sanctions against Iran, and headed the international and foreign law department for the legal division of the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office. Areas of expertise The relationship of religion and state; processes of religionization; secular-religious-ultra-Orthodox relations; ultra-Orthodox employment; the defense budget; Islamic law; international law; the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement.

Articles by Dr. Shuki Friedman

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Noa Israeli

Research Fellow

Bio

Noa Israeli is the coordinator of the academic course "Israeli Identity: Divided We Stand." She is a PhD student at the School of Jewish Studies at Tel Aviv University, and a graduate of the Israel Democracy Institute's Human Rights and Judaism Program. Israeli is the Director of the Scholarships Program for Outstanding Teaching Students at Tel Aviv University, and lecturer in the Regav program at the Kibbutzim Seminar. She lives in Tel Aviv and is the mother of two daughters.
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Ita Alcalay

Project Manager

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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Eliran Carsenti

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Noah Slepkov

Fellow and Chief Technology Officer

Bio

Noah Slepkov is a fellow and chief technology officer at JPPI and he is lead developer and managing partner at theMadad.com. At JPPI he is focused on public opinion surveys and big data research. Previously he served as Foreign Policy and Strategic Advisor to Member of Knesset Dr. Einat Wilf and worked in the Israeli Knesset as a Parliamentary Assistant. Noah holds an Honors BA in Jewish Studies from York University and an MA in Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution from the Lauder School of Government at the IDC Herzliya. He also studied Economics at the University of Toronto and Political Science at the University of Western Ontario. Prior to immigrating to Israel from Canada in 2008, Noah worked on campuses across Canada organizing Jewish student events and leading Israel advocacy efforts.

Articles by Noah Slepkov

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Shmuel Rosner

Senior Fellow

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.

Articles by Shmuel Rosner

WHO IS A JEW? VIEWPOINTS OF ISRAELI JEWS

The new Israeli officials seeking to redefine Jewish identity

Should Moral Considerations be Brought to Bear in Foreign and Security Policy? Attitudes of Israeli Jews

Shared Spaces, Challenging Spaces: What the findings of JPPI’s 2022 Pluralism Index survey reveal

The 2021 Arab Israeli Riots and their Consequences

The Jewish Camp of the Nine Percent

The 2021 Israel Pluralism Index: Consensus and Disagreements

Israeli Election: Initial Lessons

The Diaspora Jewish Community, Post-Pandemic: Trends and Recommendations

Virtual Tisha b’Av Study Session on National and Personal Loneliness

2020 Pluralism Index

2020 JPPI Pluralism Index: Digital Event

Answer our survey and see where you land on the map of Israeli Judaism

70 Years of Israel-Diaspora Relations: The Next Generation

70 Years of Israel-Diaspora Relations: the Next Generation

Jerusalem and the Jewish People: Unity and Division

Jerusalem and the Jewish People: Unity and Division – Interim Report

2017 Pluralism in Israel Index

Exploring the Jewish Spectrum in a Time of Fluid Identity

Jewish Values and Israel’s Use of Force in Armed Conflict: Perspectives from World Jewry

Israel as a Jewish and Democratic State

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Avi Gil

Senior Fellow

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.

Articles by Avi Gil

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Dr. John Ruskay

Senior Fellow

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.

Articles by Dr. John Ruskay

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Dana Fahn Luzon

Fellow

Bio

Dana has a B.A. in Communication and Economic from Tel Aviv University, a B.A. in Psychology from the Open University, and currently an M.A. student in Social and Political Psychology at the University of Jerusalem. Graduated the army from unit 8200 after learning five units Arabic. Dana is a reporter, content creator, media and communication personality, previously hosted a morning show on Channel 2, served the World Cup show as a news presenter, created a television series abroad about breaking stereotypes on women. She worked as a creator, producer and reporter for the digital newspaper "Israel Hayom", and for the past two years has written a socio-political column at “Walla”, dealing the current social issues in the complex Israeli reality. Dana serves as a guest lecturer at the Peres Academic College as part of a crisis management course.
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Dr. Dov Maimon

Senior Fellow

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.

Articles by Dr. Dov Maimon

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Daniela Regev

Bio

Daniela Regev is a journalist, lecturer, screenwriter and content creator.

She was the editor and manager of the Insight and Knowledge Department at Israel’s highly acclaimed public broadcaster’s digital division (Kan IPBC). She created more than 200 videos and web series, such as: “Kan Sakranim”, “The Dictators, “Mysteries”, “Made in Israel”.

Prior to that she was a journalist at "ynet" - in both the Hebrew and English versions - in various roles including: Head of news desk, World News editor and reporter, and Science and Tech editor. She was also a lecturer at Tel Aviv University, a strategic advisor, and a podcasts creator.

Daniela holds a BA in Business and Journalism from Hebrew University, and an MA in Political Communication from Tel Aviv University.

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Prof. Steven W. Popper

Senior Fellow

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.

Articles by Prof. Steven W. Popper

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Dr. Shalom Salomon Wald

Senior Fellow

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.

Articles by Dr. Shalom Salomon Wald

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Barry Geltman

Fellow

Dr. Shlomo Fischer

Senior Fellow

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.

Articles by Dr. Shlomo Fischer

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Shimrit Cohen-Barabi

Bio

Shimrit Cohen-Barbi, a JPPI fellow, is a civics and criminology teacher at ORT Singalovski High School in Tel Aviv and an instructor at the Pedagogical Secretariat of the Ministry of Education.

Cohen-Barbi is also an activist for the promotion of gender equality - leading groups on the topics of resilience development, sexuality and beneficial relationships, and prevention of sexual violence in state schools.

Cohen-Barbi has a bachelor's degree in political science and criminology and a master's degree in educational counseling, both from Bar Ilan University.

She is also a graduate of the "Stand With Us Fellowship" program, which trains students in public diplomacy.
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Jonathan Saidel

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Janan Danial

Bio

Janan has been a civics teacher and an instructor of civics teachers for more than 30 years. Until recently, she served as the coordinator of the civics studies subject area at the Ministry of Education and was involved in writing and translating the curriculum into Arabic, while culturally adapting it for the Arab sector. Janan will be involved in the projects the Institute intends to conduct in this field.

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