Partnership2Gether (P2G) Minneapolis-Rehovot Committee

Minneapolis Lay Committee

Mark Appelbaum

Mark Appelbaum, Minneapolis Chair

Mark Appelbaum is the principal of The Makado Group LLC, a real estate development opportunities firm. Makado develops highly functioning residential environments that serve as long-term assets and improve the lives of individuals, enhance neighborhoods and build community.

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Prior to establishing The Makado Group, Appelbaum spent more than 20 years as an investment banker at Piper Jaffray where he held various leadership positions across the real estate sector. Additionally, Appelbaum served on the operating committee of the Public Finance department and was a member of the Piper Jaffray leadership team.

Since participating in the first class of the Harry Kay Young Leadership program of the Twin Cities in the mid 1990’s, Mark has since assumed leadership roles throughout the community. Mark is the immediate past president of the board of the Heilicher Minneapolis Jewish Day School and continues to serve on the executive committee.  In addition, he currently serves in a leadership capacity with the Shalom Jewish senior living community, and the Minneapolis Jewish Federation.

Mark is the husband of Yaffa and the father of three boys Matan, Kaynan and Dotan.  Matan and Kaynan are in university and Dotan is a high school student currently studying in Jerusalem.

Amy Rosenbalatt Lui

Amy Rosenblatt Lui

Amy Rosenblatt Lui is a Philanthropic Advisor with over 30 years of strategic foundation and development experience. She was raised in Ann Arbor, Michigan and Toledo, Ohio and is the product of a mixed marriage – a fifth generation, Jerusalemite Sabra and an 4th Generation American, Reform Jew who is a Zionist.

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Amy was raised in the Young Judaea Zionist Youth Movement and spent many summers at Camp she also did a gap year representing the Youth Movement on the Machon L’Madrichai Hutz’laretz  a special leadership training program through Young Judaea’s Year Course and the Jewish Agency. She attended The Ohio State University where she majored in Jewish Studies and Business. After graduation Amy became the Regional Director for Young Judaea in New England based in Boston where she caught the Non-profit management bug which led her to pursue an MBA in non-profit management at the American Jewish University and UCLA in Los Angeles.

She married a David Lui in 1990 and moved to San Francisco where she worked as the Regional Development Director for the Western United States and Canada for the American Jewish University for two years.  She then held many positions at the San Francisco Jewish Community Federation and Foundation from Women’s Campaign Alliance Director , Regional Director Marin County, Major Gifts Director and FRD Director.

In 1998, Amy became the Director of Development for the new San Francisco Jewish Home’s Foundation.  She worked on many capital and endowment campaigns ultimately helping to build the new Palo Alto Senior Living Community and a new wing for the San Francisco Jewish Home.  In 2005, she moved to Minneapolis with her family.

Currently she is Executive Director of three Family Foundations –  Beverly Foundation, Fingerhut Family Foundation and Ronald Fingerhut Family Foundation.  Amy is active as a volunteer in the community and she lives in Minnetonka with her husband and teenage son.

Dick Spiegel

Dick Spiegel

Dick has been involved with the Minneapolis Jewish Federation filling numerous positions including:

  • Campaign chair for 3 campaigns
  • VP Campaign
  • Member of Central Planning Committee
  • Member of Federation board and Executive Committees
  • Chair Jewish Identity and Continuity committee
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Other agencies included:

  • Member and VP JCC
  • Member Minneapolis Day School Board
  • President of Talmud Torah

National and International organizations:

  • Jesna VP
  • UJA National Vice Chair
  • CJF (Council of Jewish Federations]
  • JDC Member of the Executive Committee and Board
  • BNI (Business Networking for Israel]

A former graduate of the University of Minnesota and a former CEO of Lamar Inc, a New York Stock Exchange listed company, Dick is married to Judy who share his love for the State of Israel. He feels fortunate to have been able to participate in the beginning of several projects that have enhanced the quality of life in Israel the largest being the successful PACT program in Hadera.

Both of their daughters have visited and spent time in Israel and now the youngest grandson will be going to study in Israel for 6 months.

Etta Barry

Etta Barry

I have lived in Minnesota my entire life and grew up at the Adath Jeshurun Synagogue. Our family has always had a strong connection to the Adath and to our Jewish Community and to Israel. My oldest sister went to Israel with our communities Rishon exchange program and when I was in high school, we hosted a Rishon student. We also hosted with the Givat Olga program and even now, we’ve hosted Scouts and Israeli’s who’ve worked at the local summer programs.

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I was always involved in USY and Camp Ramah and went to Israel with the Ramah program. My first job was Camp Yomi Director at the Mpls. JCC and I have been involved with JFCS and Federation for more than 30 years.

My first involvement with the Mpls. Federation was as Campus Campaign Chair when I was in College at the University of MN. I have also been a Young Women’s Co-Chair for the Federation. I’ve been apart of the Young Leadership Cabinet as well as the Harry Kay Program.

I am a past President of the JFCS and I was on the JFCS Board for over 10 years. I have also sat on the MPLS. JCC Board. I am married to Michael Barry and we have three children. All three of them have been to Israel on different programs:  Camp Ramah, USY and Alexander Muss. We also went on a family mission to Israel about 10 years ago. I have a sister who lives in Jerusalem, so I have made several trips there to visit her and her family. My passions are travelling, photography, family and someday I’d like to see the Northern Lights in Alaska!

Gayle Kaplan

Gayle Kaplan

Gayle was born and raised in Boston area (still misses the ocean). She received her BA from Brown University and her MBA from Northwestern University.

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Gayle is married and has one son in college – pre-med.
With 30+ years as a market research professional for a variety of clients and vendor companies, Gayle, now retired from the business world, is a part-time teacher at Bet Shalom synagogue where she has taught for 7 years.
Gayle is the lead for the 5th grade school twinning program with Haderim’s 5th grade English class and Bet Shalom.
She is also a member of Bet Shalom’s Ritual Committee and on the Board of Women of Bet Shalom.
Gayle has been a member of Federation’s Israel Committee for three years and was on the fact finding group over the summer of 2014 which traveled to Israel to meet with prospective sister cities. She is also a member Federation’s newly formed Jewish Education Committee.

Jodi Upin

Jodi Upin

Jodi, a small business owner of a company called FreshlyCut, is the President of the Jewish Community Relations Council, Chair of the Israel Center (a program of the Minneapolis Jewish Federation) and serves on the Overseas Committee for Federation. She is a past President of Bet Shalom Congregation and Co-Chaired the Parallel Lives Program (a former collaboration with an Israeli organization—Zehut Lachyim).

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Jodi spent two summers as a young adult in Israel volunteering on a kibbutz and has been returning annually since 2009 to volunteer with Sar El on IDF bases.

Jodi is married to Jeff and they are both proud parents of two boys, Elliot and Aaron.

Judy Shapiro

Judy Shapiro

Judy was born and raised in Minneapolis and is a Talmud Torah Beit Midrash graduate. She is a total Zionist and a proud mother of an olah hadasha! Her proudest community post include: past Presidency of Darchei Noam, plus housed it in its first 7 months of existence. Married 36 years to Jerel Shapiro (high school sweethearts!), 4 great kids, 2 great kids-in-law, and one super-great grandchild in Baltimore.

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Community affiliation: mostly active in Darchei Noam at this point. An active member of Minneapolis Chevra Kadisha. Formerly on several Federation committees, annual campaign worker, volunteer for NCJW “Hello Israel”; Bikur Cholim and Hospice visitor through JFCS training. 9-gallon+ blood donor,  weekly Torah study, huge believer in day school education and Jewish learning.

Kim Gedan

Kim Gedan

Kim is married and has two daughters, age 19 & 24 with a new son in-law. She has a Masters in Social Work and is an LPN. Both of her daughters attended the Jewish Day School and went to Talmud Torah until 12th grade. Her family frequently travels to Israel and has an apartment in Netanya.

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Kim Chaired the Parent Association for the Heilicher Minneapolis Jewish Day School organizing all volunteers for 4 years. She was a Board member at Adath Jeshurun and Chaired Community outreach (involving meals, transportation to Shabbat services and synagogue events, visitors for home bound congregants), Taharah Committee, Congregational Nurse  Committee Member and currently Chairs the Israel Committee of Adath and working with Israel Center at the Minneapolis Jewish Federation.

Mark Glotter

Mark Glotter

Mark is the President of Marketshare Sales, a sales organization. He and Debbie have been married for 33 years and have 3 children (hoping for grandkids soon).

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His son served in the IDF and is now married and living in Modiin.

Mark enjoys traveling, golf, swimming and collecting baseball cards.

Sally Abrams

Sally Abrams

Sally Abrams is a lifelong resident of Minnesota, and a graduate of the University of Minnesota. She co-directs the Speakers Bureau for the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas (JCRC MinnDak) and has spoken about Israel and/or Judaism in scores of churches, classrooms, and civic groups.

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A fluent Hebrew speaker, Sally also teaches Hebrew as part of the University of Minnesota’s College in the Schools Program, held at the Talmud Torah of Minneapolis. She writes a blog on Israel for TC Jewfolk and Times of Israel websites. In addition she also volunteers weekly for State Services for the Blind, transcribing books for audio recordings and is always planning her next trip to Israel.

Sally is married to Mike Abrams. Their family includes seven children, four by birth, three by marriage, and two perfect grandchildren (with more on their way).

Scott Gordon

Scott Gordon

Scott is an IT manager at MTS and has worked in the IT field since 1989. He has been to Israel 5 times, including a semester at Tel Aviv University during his college career and is reasonably conversant in Modern Hebrew. His children were both active in USY during high school and both went on the USY Eastern Europe/Israel Pilgrimage and his daughter, who is a Junior at University of Arizona participated on the Shorashim Birthright program.

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Scott has been part of Adath’s Israel committee in the past and currently serves as an alternate mentor for the Israel Leadership Fellows Program.

JULIAN KRITZ

Julian Kritz

Although originally from North Carolina, Julian Yigal Kritz has called Minnesota home since January 2013. A recent honors graduate from Augsburg College, Julian now works as an Executive Legal Assistant at JUX Law Firm in downtown Minneapolis. Julian is an engaged member of both the local and national Jewish and pro‐Israel communities.

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Among other involvements he has served as a founding member of the Students Supporting Israel National Student Advisory Committee, was a delegate on the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota’s Inaugural State Legislators Trip to Israel, and was recently appointed to the Minnesota Hillel Board of Directors. Julian enjoys spending me with his lovely girlfriend, Megan, and plans to eventually enroll in law school to pursue his dream of becoming an attorney.

JONATHAN SHAVER

Jonathan Shaver

Jonathan is the father of 3 wonderful and active teenagers and married to Iris, who is also wonderful and active. In the Jewish community, Jonathan has been a leader in Scouting, involved with Heksher Tzedek movement, has served on the Adath Jeshurun Congregation Board for 6 years and is currently the Chair of Adath Chesed Shel Emes Cemetery, the Cemetery of Adath Jeshurun.

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Jonathan is trained in agricultural plant genetics and has been a scientist and professor for 16 years. In the past 5 years, he started a company to provide leadership coaching and training in technology companies. His avocations include being in nature, gardening and family.

Ethan-Roberts

Ethan Roberts

In 2007, Ethan Roberts became the Director of the Twin Cities Jewish Community Government Affairs Program, which is a joint program of the Minneapolis Jewish Federation, the Jewish Federation of Greater St. Paul, and the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas (JCRC). His responsibilities include serving as the principal lobbyist for Minnesota’s Jewish community before the federal, state, and local governments.

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Ethan is a graduate of Stanford Law School and Macalester College, as well as an alum of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem where he focused on the religions and history of the Middle East.

In January 2016, Ethan lead a 28 person interfaith delegation of Minnesota State Legislators and other community leaders to Israel where the group spent me with our partners in Rehovot and the Sovev Kinneret.

Ethan lives with his wife and two children in Plymouth, a western suburb of Minneapolis.

SAMI RACHAMIM

Sami Rachamim

Sami Rahamim is a junior at the University of Minnesota majoring in public and nonprofit management. He has lived in Minneapolis his entire life, save for the gap year he spent on a Masa Israel program. While most of his life has been in Minnesota, Sami has a very deep connection to Israel. His father Reuven, z”l, was born in Rehovot in 1951 and raised on Moshav Ge’ah further south.

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Reuven came to America in 1974 after serving in the Yom Kippur War to visit his uncle, but ended up staying and starting a family and business in Minneapolis. He came home to visit his family in Israel frequently—Sami has been to Israel at least once every year of his life.

Sami is active in Jewish life on campus and in representing Israel to his peers and served as President of the University of Minnesota chapter of Students Supporting Israel and Vice President of Minnesota Hillel. He was lucky to experience the P2G program first hand on the first‐ever alternative spring break in Rehovot.

Though this was far from his first time to Israel, he gained so much from this experience and formed a deep appreciation for the benefits of the Partnership, with hopes of shaping it to reach it’s full potential.

Andrea Nadel-Tikh

Andrea Nadel-Tikh

Andrea Nadel‐Tikh has been passionate about and fascinated by Israel since her first visit at age 13. Since then she has been to Israel many times in personal, volunteer and professional capacities. She currently serves as co‐chair of the Federation’s Twin Cities Masa Alumni Board and works for Korn Ferry Hay Group, a human resources consulting firm.

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Andrea lives in Minnetonka with her husband, Misha. She is thrilled to be part of the Minneapolis‐Rehovot Partnership!

Susan Resnick

Susan Resnick

Born in Pennsylvania, grew up (for the most part) in Bloomington, MN. Received my B.S. from University of Michigan (GO BLUE), MPH and PhD from University of Minnesota. Worked for both Medtronic and Boston Scientific (Guidant) before joining 3D Communications where I am a consultant to device and pharmaceutical companies.

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Married for 22 years to Michael, who works for Barnes & Noble. I do my best to annoy my children: Sam (age 17, senior at Hopkins), Alyssa (age 19, sophomore at University of Maryland), Rachel (26, lives in NYC) and Rebecca (29, lives in Tel Aviv). Am constantly amused by our cats Brutus and Lucy and enjoy gardening, knitting, cooking, biking and reading. Love to binge watch TV when no one is looking.

Wendy Lovell Smith

Wendy Lovell Smith

Wendy (mother of four) has been an active member of the Jewish community since she moved here from NY in 1997. She has served as an officer of Federation, Co-Chair of the Beth El Capital Campaign and currently serves as VP of development of the Heilicher Minneapolis Jewish Day School.

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A former recipient of the Teichman Young Leadership Award and graduate of the Harry Kay program, her commitment and passion for Israel has been steadfast. She is looking forward to serving on the steering committee for P2G.

Zehorit Heilicher

Zehorit Heilicher

Zehorit was born in Israel to a Yemenite immigrant family. Growing up in multi-cultural Givat Olga, she experienced Israel’s rich ethnic diversity through food and celebration. Following high school graduation, Zehorit Joined the Israeli army, where she became an officer, finishing her service as a lieutenant. She then majored in English Literature and Political Science at the Tel Aviv University.

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While working in a Minneapolis summer camp she met her husband and relocated. Since then Zehorit has been raising her 4 children, teaching cooking classes in both the Jewish and the general communities and volunteering.  Zehorit brings to the kitchen her Mediterranean roots, her passion for healthy and flavorful dishes and her love of people and storytelling. Teaching in the Twin cities for the past 10 years, she shares her appreciation for the way in which culture, geography and history shape our food and the way we gather to eat it.

“Food is a vehicle to creating community, to shaping memory and to sharing cultural richness.” Zehorit Heilicher

Greg Arenson

Greg Arenson graduated with Biomedical Engineering and Law degrees from the University of Minnesota, and practices patent law with a focus on high-tech and medical device technology. While in school, Greg led the Jewish Law Students Association, working to connect students to the greater Twin Cities Jewish legal community.

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Greg values building community by creating meaningful relationships. To that end, he hosts potluck Shabbat dinners for 20’s 30’s through Adath Jeshurun Congregation’s “Makom.” He also founded the University of Minnesota Chapter of the Brandeis Center, where the mission includes advancing the civil and human rights of the Jewish people and promoting justice for all. For fun, Greg plays the sport of Ultimate Frisbee and has competed on the national and international stages. He played with Team Israel at an international tournament in The Netherlands

Rehovot Lay Committee

Dr. Yoram Blachar

Dr. Yoram Blachar

Dr. Yoram Blachar, Israeli Partnership Chair. Yoram, a Pediatrics expert, is the head of The School of Medical Professions at the Peres Academic Center in Rehovot and a member of the American-Israel Educational Fund – The Fulbright Foundation.

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In addition he is a member of the board of the Israel Academy of Music and Dance in Jerusalem, as well as some other organizations. Yoram was elected as Chairman of The Israel Medical Association in 1995 and after serving as Chairman of the World Medical Association Council for 2 terms he was elected in 2009 as the President of the World Medical Association. He is married to Esther and they have 3 children and 9 grandchildren all living in Israel.

Proph. David Tennor

Proph. David Tennor

Proph. David Tennor is a professor of Chemical Physics at the Weizmann Institute of Science. Born and raised in New York City. 1995 he made Aliya to Rehovot with his wife, Vivian (Chaya) Levmore Tannor, and their four children.

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Since moving to Rehovot, David has been involved in many projects related to Jewish identity and Jewish learning. For many years he taught a daily Mishna class attended by 15-20 boys and girls before school. He has prepared many boys and girls for bar/bat mitzvahs. For the last five years, he has taught a popular weekly Shiur on Parshat Hashavua that uses both classical and modern commentaries.

David co-founded the community outreach group called “Psifas” (mosaic) with a secular and religious leadership that co-design all activities. He has also been active at the Weizmann Institute in events involving Jewish content. David served for years on the Board of the modern orthodox Jacob Berman synagogue and is currently the synagogue’s President.

Zohar Blum

Zohar Blum

Zohar Blum (47), a third-generation Rehovotite, was raised and educated in the city. He is married to Chani and the father of two daughters, ages 20 and 13. Throughout his childhood he was in the Israel Scouts and is active in the movement to this very day. He serves as Deputy Mayor of the City of Rehovot and has headed the Education Portfolio for a decade. It was in this capacity that he led the recent reform in the education system in Rehovot, including the introduction of dozens of community-oriented projects. He is also the chair of the Yesh Atid political party in Rehovot.

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Among the positions he has held: Secretary of the Labor Party in Rehovot, Chairman of the Board of Havayot Community Centers Association in Rehovot, Vice-President of the World Socialist Party, Chair of the Municipal Anti-Drug Authority, Chair of “Noar Bemerkaz Hainyanim-Youth in the Spotlight”, Chair of the Children and Youth At-Risk Program, Chair of “Safe Summer for Youth”.

David Ashkenazy

David Ashkenazy

David Ashkenazy, Rehovot Municipality, Chief of Staff & Head of Foreign Relations Department.
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Dudi, who filled several managerial roles in the private market with companies such as “Team 3 security” and the “Globes” weekly newspaper, had served as the chief of staff of the Mayor’s office since 2006. In this role Dudi has been led and been involved in many city initiatives such as the founding of the Municipal Water Corporation. He also leads the Foreign relations department.

Dudi holds a B.A. in Philosophy and Judaic Sciences from Sapir College, he is a Cpt. Rescue Troop Commander in the Home front Command in the reserves to this day.

Nega Alene

Nega Alene

Nega Alene was born in Ethiopia and made Alia in 1995. Nega has been an active as an educator and volunteer in the Ethiopian community all of his adult life. Between 1992-1995 he was an administrator in the Addis Ababa Jewish refugee camp where 4,000 Ethiopian Jews waited for Aliyah to Israel.

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Nega was in charge of the educational programs in the camp. Since his arrival in Israel, Nega has worked in education and to strengthen the Ethiopian community. He worked as a teacher in different school across the country from Haifa to Kiriyat Malachi in the south. He then progressed to supervising positions within the Israeli Board of Education.

Nega is also a member of the Fidel association – that helps Ethiopian youth develop and thrive. He is the in charge of Community outreach.  Nega has a BED in education and is a certified mediator.

Adi Milstein

Adi Milstein

Adi Milstein, born in 1950 in Tel Aviv, was a teacher at the southern city Dimona, where she met her husband, David. In 1976 relocated to the U.S. where David performed his Post-doctoral studies in chemistry and then joined DuPont Company in Wilmington, De. While being there Adi obtained an MA degree in Special Education from the University of Southern New Jersey and taught at Jewish Day-Schools.

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In 1986 Adi and her family returned to Israel and was appointed Principal of Junior and High schools and later became a Superintendent in the Central Region of Israel, responsible for Jewish Studies, Democracy and co- existence between Jews and Arabs in Israel. Adi was a co-leader of the project 20-20, in which 20 educators from the Central Region of Israel and 20 educators from the Jewish community of Cleveland Ohio were engaged in dialog and mutual activities.

In parallel, Adi was the General Superintendent of the high schools of the city of Lod.  After taking an early retirement wrote a historic Novel (in Hebrew). It was published two years ago and is in the process of writing a second Novel.

In addition, Adi is a member of the leadership team of the “Psifas” (mosaic) community in Rehovot that was founded five years ago, aiming at promoting a dialog between religious and secular Jews.

Yasmin Sagiv

Yasmin Sagiv

Yasmin Sagiv was born in Argentina and at the age of 2, moved to Israel. She grew up in Naharia, 3 Miles away from the Lebanese border. She Graduated with a BSc. In Soil and Water Sciences and a MSc. In Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, both from the Hebrew University. Yasmin and her family spent 5 years in Minnesota during her husband’s PhD studies at the UMN at the department of Physics.

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They lived in the student housing in the St.Paul campus and two of their three children were born at Regions hospital. During their stay, Yasmin worked in many different places including teaching Hebrew at Talmud Tora in St. Paul, Doula and lactation consultant at HCMC and WIC and also helped in managing a research lab at the UMN. Yasmin and her family returned to Israel in 2011 and since then she went back to work in the Agricultural world. Yasmin also volunteers as a Lactation consultant at Assaf Harofe Hospital. Yasmin is married to Ilan Sagiv. Their family includes three children, Zohar (9), Gilad (7) and Netta (3).

Harry Langbeheim

Harry Langbeheim

Harry Langbeheim made Aliya at the age of 23 from Switzerland to do a Ph.D. in Immunology at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot followed by a Postdoc period at the National Cancer Institute Bethesda Maryland. Harry is Senior Lecturer for Biotechnology Entrepreneurship at the Prof. Ephraim Katzir Dept. of Biotechnology Engineering, ORT Braude Academic College and serves for over 25 years as healthcare/biotechnology business executive and consultant to early-stage companies mostly funded by private investors and by government support programs.

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As former Head of Shevet Sa’ar of the Religious Scouts – Tzofim Harry is part of a community of religious and secular Jews that experience and explore together Jewish identity with the goal of integrating rather than being aloof.

For the past 17 years Harry draws a visual midrash on the front page of “Shabbat Shalom” the weekly Torah portion flyer distributed in 300 Israeli synagogues showing how the values of peace, human dignity, justice and freedom are found in the familiar words of our tradition that we read every week in synagogue.

Harry is married to Rosi Langbeheim. The family includes three children living in Israel and seven grandchildren.

gideon vennor

Gideon Vennor

Gideon Vennor, Partnership2Gether Rehovot – Minneapolis director

Gideon Vennor was born in London to a British Dad and an Israeli Mom, and made Aliyah to Israel when he was six. He is currently – and since 2008 actually – Partnership2Gether Director at the Jewish Agency for Israel. As such, he is responsible for developing ties between the Israeli communities of Mateh Yehuda and Beit Shemesh and the Jewish communities in South Africa; and ties between the city of Rehovot and the Jewish communities in Minneapolis and in Switzerland. These ties touch upon several of Gideon’s favorite themes, including dialog, Jewish and Israeli identity, leadership, and social action.

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From 2004 to 2007, Gideon served as Community Shaliach (emissary) of the Jewish Agency in Columbus, Ohio. During that time, he facilitated various Israel-related programs, delegations, and community events; Worked with a variety of local institutions, committees and community leaders; Initiated a new young shaliach position in the community and secured funding for three years for it; and Established Young Partners, a teen exchange & social action program connecting teens from Columbus with teens in Kfar Saba, Israel, now in its 10th year.

In the decade prior to that, Gideon was with the Branco Weiss Institute for the Development of Thinking in Jerusalem. On behalf of that institute, among other things, he developed and conducted teacher training courses; Coordinated the development and implementation of the Ministry of Education’s curriculum (and matriculation exams) in Entrepreneurship; Initiated the introduction into Israel of several educational models such as Cognitive Coaching and Dimensions of Learning; and Directed the institute’s teacher training center. His favorite thinking model, applicable to a wide variety of contexts (and which he is happy to facilitate as a workshop) is DeBono’s Six Thinking Hats.

Gideon has a Master’s degree in physics from Tel Aviv University. He has also studied in the Kolot Fellowship’s pluralistic Beit Midrash program; the Florence Melton Adult Mini School; the Gavanim program for Jewish pluralism, and the Gevim dialog and mediation program. Gideon is married to Ruth and they have three children, two dogs and two cats. In his spare time, He loves to hike with family and friends, to take photos, run, swim, do yoga and meditate on the meaning of life.

Avital Beer

Avital Beer is a project manager at the research institute, coordinator and member of the International Review Board at the Rabin Medical Center. She has a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the Weizmann institute and an MBA from Bar Ilan University. In her job at the IRB committee, she advances an agenda of improvement and efficiency of the quality of the medical research in Israel while still protecting the autonomy of the patients.

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In her free time, Avital is active in Psefas a mixed community of religious and secular residents of Rehovot who work together with the Ethiopian community and is also a representative of Mirkam (representing all the mixed communities in Israel). She also studies at the Kolot Beit Midrash, is part of a minyan meshalev member of the PTA at her children’s school and a member of the P2G steering committee.
Avital believes that we have the knowledge and ability to improve our society and tries to advance these values in everything she does.
Married to Ilan, they have 3 children.

Mazal Elgazar

I was born in Israel in 1954. I grew up and was educated in Rehovot. I am a mother of three children and grandmother of two grandchildren.

I worked for 36 years as an educator, teaching Bible, linguistics, computers and special education. Today I am retired and spend my time with my family and volunteering in my community.

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Volunteering has been a vital part of who I am since my early childhood. For years, I was editor of the neighborhood newspaper, and I’ve volunteered in a variety of other fields, such as communal activism, urban renewal, mediation, and the Partner-ship2Gether steering committee. The thread running through them all is dialogue and giving.For 11 years I served as a mediator in Rehovot’s mediation center, hearing cases in the fields of education, family, community, police, and small claims. As a mediator, I have helped the community assimilate a “new language” of dialogue, listening, and empathy that promotes the development of a more inclusive society.

For 11 years I served as a mediator in Rehovot’s mediation center, hearing cases in the fields of education, family, community, police, and small claims. As a mediator, I have helped the community assimilate a “new language” of dialogue, listening, and empathy that promotes the development of a more inclusive society.

Two years ago, I joined the Partnership2Gether Rehovot steering committee. I see the organization as bridging between different parts of the Jewish nation, creating interest in our shared Jewishness, and providing mutual support for the challenges we’ll face in the future.

Brenda Ganot

Brenda is the People‐to‐People project manager for Partnership2Gether Rehovot—Minneapolis. She is responsible for coordinating incoming and outgoing missions, the school twinning program and other projects run by our Partnership in Rehovot.

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She has worked for the Partnership unit for over 10 years, coordinating projects in areas such as women’s empowerment, economic development, and community building. Among projects that she has coordinated are, film, theater and musical dialogue between different sectors of the Beit Shemesh Jewish community, the Israel15 project which focused on developing women’s businesses in the field of health and wellness and more recent community building with Arab and Jewish women in Mateh Yehuda.

Brenda made Aliyah from California in 1984 and currently lives with her husband Steve in Beit Shemesh and has 3 children. She is a community activist, and the project she is most proud of founding is Levana, the women’s prayer group in Beit Shemesh. The group teaches women and girls how to read Torah and gives them the opportunity to lead services, or read Torah etc. in a community framework. She is a former International President of B’nai B’rith Girls.

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