Eli Gur – National Program Director
Eli Gur is the national program director of Nitzanim: Judaism – Zionism – Israeli Identity, a newly founded Israeli NGO dedicated to strengthening Jewish identity in local authorities, municipalities and city councils in Israel.
A passionate proponent of Jewish renewal, Eli has devoted his professional career to fostering Jewish identity in Israel.
After serving as director of the Amiad-Gesher Institute, which seeks to create a space for dialogue between religious and secular students throughout the country, Eli went on to found the Neve Afek community center in Rosh Ha’ayin, while also serving as a regional mentor, promoting Jewish educational programs on behalf of the Israel Association of Community Centers (IACC).
He then founded the Jewish Community Renewal department of the IACC, which he ran for 7 years before transitioning to the Federation world, where he served as the planning executive for the Commission on Jewish Identity and Renewal of the UJA Federation of New York in Israel.
Eli has been a consultant on Jewish identity and Jewish leadership for the Avi Chai Foundation, the Jewish Agency for Israel, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, the World Confederation of Jewish Community Centers, and the Israel Association of Community Centers.
Eli holds a BA in formal and informal education from Beit Berel, and an MA in Jewish philosophy from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Married to Rivkah + four children and lives in Modiin.
Yaara Ben Gigi – Ben Shmuel – Projects and Logistics Manager
Yaara’s responsibilities include assisting the director in the coordination of large projects such as national conferences, and being the interface between the local programs, suppliers, service providers, and management.
Previously, Yaara worked in a number of capacities for Alumah, whose motto is “from significant service to a life with significance”. As a soldier she was a teacher soldier and coordinate a group of teacher soldiers in southern Israel.
She holds a BA in Behavioral Sciences, and a MA from the Shwartz program for Nonprofit Management at the Hebrew University.
Yaara believes that Judaism belong to everyone and not one particular group in Israeli society, and that it is possible to build a better Israeli society that draws from Jewish and Israeli culture and tradition.
Mordy Cohen – Director of Information Technology
Mordy manages Nitzanim’s information, from collecting data and information from local programs to collecting relevant information and knowledge from outside sources. He also maintains Nitzanim’s website and database, and creates, manages and teaches other about the platforms which facilitate the transfer and use of Nitzanim’s information to others.
In the past, Mordy directed an Education Department, a community center and a multi-media department. He has also been a guest lecturer at Paideia, the European Institute for Jewish Education.
Mordy has a BA degree in Talmud and Hebrew literature.
“The Jewish people have continued to survive,” says Mordy, “because of their values and their implementation into all walks of life. I believe that by balancing and combining public responsibility and individual rights we will be able to realize the vision of the Jewish people being free in our land and confident and proud of our actions.
Orli Brody – Shakuri – Director of Municipalities’ Relations
Orly is responsible for identifying potential local authorities to join Nitzanim, for contact between Nitzanim and the local communities, and for attaining government budgets and allocations
In the past Orly was the Deputy Director General of Panim – an organization that unites the Jewish Renewal organization in Israel as well as holding the same position at Melitz. In addition, in a volunteer capacity, Orly is leading the establishment of a new Jewish secular Israeli community in the Moriah neighborhood of Modi’in.
Orly holds a BA in Education and Hebrew literature, and a teaching certificate in Hebrew literature from Hebrew University and is in the process of completing her MA in policy and educational management at Tel Aviv University.
Orly believes that the elements of identity and Jewish culture and tradition are essential to the sustainability of Israel and the Jewish people. Nitzanim’s unique model, makes these elements accessible to everyone in an open manner that allows each individual to shape these elements according to his values, and life style at the personal, family, community and national level.
Ayelet Meridor – Director of Content and Training
Ayelet is responsible for the educational content of Nitzanim national programs, the content and training of the initiatives’ staff and the annual Nitzanim conferences.
In the past Ayelet Managed the Mirkam NGO, a network of mixed (religious and secular) communities, and led the Kfar Adumim communal programs.
Ayelet holds a BOFD from Shenkar College of Engineering and Design, is a graduate of “Matan- Investing in the Community’s” program for Excellence in Management Studying and the Accelratov Program for Social Initiatives of the P’nima Movement. Ayelet is now studying towards a Graduate degree in the Glocal- Community Development Studies program at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Ayelet envisions an Israeli society that views its roots as its own, and insists on connecting Jewish values with the Israeli reality and its nuances. A society that actively ensures that there is room for everyone’s heritage, and on this basis creates a shared present.