Senior Fellows

Yaakov Katz


Yaakov Katz is an Israeli-American author and journalist. Between 2016 and 2023, Yaakov was editor-in-chief of The Jerusalem Post where he continues to write a popular weekly column. He is the author of three books - “Shadow Strike – Inside Israel’s Secret Mission to Eliminate Syrian Nuclear Power”, “Weapon Wizards - How Israel Became a High-Tech Military Superpower” and “Israel vs. Iran: The Shadow War”. Shadow Strike was recently adapted into a docudrama by Reshet Media and his books have been published in a number of languages including English, Hebrew, Czech, Polish, Japanese and Mandarin. His next book – tentatively titled “Precision Strike” – is scheduled for publication by St. Martin’s Press in the Spring of 2025. Yaakov served for close to a decade as the paper's military reporter and defense analyst and was a lecturer at Harvard University where he taught an advanced course in journalism. He also served as Israel correspondent for Jane’s Defence Weekly. Prior to taking up the role of editor-in-chief, Yaakov served for two years as a senior policy adviser to Naftali Bennett during his tenure as Israel’s Minister of Economy and Minister of Diaspora Affairs. In 2013, Yaakov was one of 12 international fellows to spend a year at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University. Originally from Chicago, Yaakov has a law degree from Bar Ilan University.

Articles by Yaakov Katz


Dr. Haim Zicherman


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.

Rivka Ravitz

Senior Fellow


Rivka Ravitz studied business administration and computer science and received her MBA in Information Systems. She is currently working on a doctorate in public policy at the University of Haifa. Her research at JPPI addresses the empowerment of Haredi (ultra-Orthodox) women in the labor market. Ravitz served as Chief of Staff to the 10th President of the State of Israel, Mr. Reuven (Ruvi) Rivlin. She is a member of Israel’s Haredi community and lectures on various topics.

Articles by Rivka Ravitz


Prof. Yehonathan Givati


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.


Dr. Dov Maimon

Senior Fellow


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


Dr. Roy Schondorf

Senior Fellow


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.


Shmuel Rosner

Senior Fellow


Shmuel Rosner is a researcher, editor and columnist. He is the editor of the "THE MADAD" project, for politics, society, identity and culture in Israel and serves as a television commentator for Kan News.

Rosner was the editor-in-chief of the non-fiction books in Kinneret-Zamora-Dvir from 2009 to 2021. He was a columnist for the New York Times newspaper from 2012 to 202. He was the head of the news department at Haaretz (1996 to 2008). He is a sought-after lecturer on Israeli politics, security, and policy; the state of the Jewish people; American history, politics, and policy.

Articles by Shmuel Rosner

JPPI’s first survey of Israel during the Gaza War, October 2023

The price tag that comes with Biden’s trip to Israel

How I Got Israel Wrong

Israel is dodging the ultra-Orthodox question

Pluralism Index 2023: Israelis Want a Democratic and Jewish State


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


Avi Gil

Senior Fellow


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

Israel may soon experience a political shock amid Gaza war

The real ‘conceptzia’ is endless occupation

The logic of Peres

The Saudi Plan of Shimon Peres

The National Intelligence Estimate under a predatory right-wing government

Killing jihad commanders amplifies an illusion

Will the National Security Council fulfill their duty?

Gaps between Israel and the Diaspora are expected to grow

Foreign Minister Eli Cohen – Set Up a Meeting with the CEO of J Street Israel

When the government believes its own slogans the country’s in trouble

The 2022 Annual Assessment

Palestinian Weakness is a Curse for Israel, Not a Blessing

The Evolving World Order: Implications for Israel and the Jewish People

The Future of the Current World Order: Implications for Israel and the Jewish People

Will Netanyahu Surrender to the Annexation Camp?

The Geopolitical Landscape – Growing Uncertainty in light of the Trump Presidency

Op-Ed: Democratic Crisis or Jewish Catastrophe?

Israel as a Jewish and Democratic State

Background: Mideast Peace, the Jewish Dimension

2030: Alternative Futures for the Jewish People


Dr. John Ruskay

Senior Fellow


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


Dr. Shlomo Fischer

Senior Fellow


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


Dr. Shalom Salomon Wald

Senior Fellow


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


Prof. Steven W. Popper

Senior Fellow


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