I BELONG ISRAEL

I BELONG ISRAEL (Masa Israeli) is a transformative, 6 day journey that impacts and changes lives. Meet our leadership and our leading team.

President

Gen. (Res.) Eliezer Shkedy

Maj. Gen. (res.) Eliezer Shkedy was the 15th Commander of the Israel Air Force and former CEO of El Al Airlines. Today he focuses on philanthropic activities and is involved in helping to lead 15 social start-ups in a volunteer capacity. Eliezer received his BA in math and computer science from Ben Gurion University and an MA in systems management from the Naval Post Graduate School in Monterey, California. Eliezer is married to Dr. Anat Shkedy. He is the father of three.

Board

Gen. (Res.) Avi Mizrachi

Maj. Gen. (res.) Avi Mizrachi, VP Marketing and Development, Elbit Systems. Before retiring from the Israel Defense Forces, Avi served as commander of Central Command. Prior to this, he served as the Chief of the Ground forces as well as the Head of the IDF GOC Army Headquarters. Avi graduated from Hareli military high school in Haifa. He received his BA in business management and computer science from Pace University in New York. Avi is married to Bracha, a history teacher, and has three daughters.

Ephraim Greenfield

Dr. Ephraim Greenfield is a scientist, a high tech entrepreneur, and the founder of Ophir Optronics in Jerusalem, the world’s leading manufacturer of laser measuring instrumentation and night vision optics. He was the R&D manager of the company and CTO until 2018.

Ephraim grew up in the US. He received a B.A. in mathematics from Wayne State University and a BSc in physics from the University of Chicago. In 1968, after the Six Day War, Ephraim made Aliyah and completed a PhD in physics at the Hebrew University. In 1976, together with two colleagues, he founded Ophir Optronics. He is married with 4 children and 12 grandchildren, all living in Israel. In addition to working as a consultant in his field, he is engaged in philanthropy and is involved with a number of NGOs for the benefit of the country, first and foremost as a managing director of I BELONG ISRAEL (Masa Israel(.

Alan Sacks Adv.

Adv. Alan Sacks is a senior partner at Herzog, Fox, and Neeman, one of Israel’s top law firms. Alan was born in England and received his BA in law from Cambridge University. After completing his studies, Alan married Judith, and soon after they moved to Israel with their young family, settling in Jerusalem. Alan and Judith’s major source of pride is their six children who were all educated in Israel and all served in the Israel Defense Forces. Their youngest son, is currently serving in one of the IDF’s elite units, like his brother and sister before him. Several of Alan and Judith’s children are former I BELONG ISRAEL Israeli counselors.

Yariv Oppenheimer

Yariv Oppenheimer is a social activist, media commentator, and thought leader. Yariv was the Director of Peace Now from 2002-2016. He is a member of the Meretz Party and was elected to 13th place on the Party list in the 21st Knesset elections. Yariv received his BA in law and his MA in Public Policy from Tel Aviv University.  He married recently .

Natalie Schneiderman

Natalie Schneiderman began her career in the professional Jewish world in the early 1990s as a coordinator of youth programs at the Moscow Center of Studies and Dissemination of Jewish Culture. After making Aliyah from Moscow, she worked for several summers as an Israeli camp counselor at the Jewish Agency’s summer camps in the former Soviet Union. Natalie joined the Jewish Agency in Jerusalem on a full-time basis in 1997, and she was instrumental in conceiving and running a variety of educational and staff training programs in the former Soviet Union.

Natalie holds a bachelor’s degree in English Linguistics, French Literature and Group Facilitation from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and a master’s in Government and Public Policy from the Open University of Israel. She resides in Modiin, Israel, with her husband, two sons and two pets.

Rabbi Yaakov Meidan

Rabbi Yaakov Meidan is the head of the Har Etzion Hesder Yeshiva in Alon Shvut. He teaches of, Gemara, Torah, and Jewish studies in variety of educational institutions.  He has authored numerous and several books on the subjects of Torah, media, and religious law.  Rabbi Meidan is also thought leader in the area of religious-secular relations.  Together with Prof. Ruth Gavison, Meidan authored the Gavison-Meidan Covenant, which offers a foundation for a new pact among Israeli Jews in matters of religion and state.  For this work, Meidan and Gavison were awarded the Keren Avichai Prize and the Tolerance Prize.  Rabbi Meidan is a graduate of the Har Etzion Yeshiva, he holds a B. Ed form Jerusalem College and a MA from Turo college.  

 

Miriam Peretz

Miriam Peretz is an Israeli educator who lost two sons during their army service. Miriam lectures around the world on Zionism and living with loss. In 2018 she was awarded the Israel Prize for Lifetime Achievement. Miriam was born and raised in Casablanca, Morocco. In 1963 her family immigrated to Israel. Miriam earned a BA in Literature and History from Ben-Gurion University. She married Eliezer Peretz and they moved to Ophira, where their two oldest children, Uriel and Eliraz, were born. In 1982, following the peace treaty with Egypt, the Peretz family moved to Givat Zev, where four more children were born. Miriam worked as the principal of the first school in the neighborhood. On November 25, 1998 their oldest son, Lieutenant Uriel Peretz, 22, was killed in an ambush in south Lebanon. His father, Eliezer, died a short time later at the age of 56. On March 26, 2010, her second son, Major Eliraz Peretz, was killed near the Gaza border. Miriam has devoted her life to imparting Jewish and Zionist messages to youth and IDF soldiers. She has written a book, Shirat Miriam, about the story of her life. In 2016 she received an honorary doctorate from Bar-Ilan University. In 2018, on Israel’s 70th Independence Day, she received the Israel Prize for Lifetime Achievement.

Rabbi Beni Lau

Rav Benny Lau is the founder and co-head of the Israeli initiative 929 along with Gal Gabbai. In addition, he is the rabbi of the Ramban synagogue in Jerusalem and is a community leader, activist, author, and public speaker.

Lawyer Harriett Finn

Harriet Finn is a senior partner at Herzog, Fox, and Neeman, one of Israel’s leading law firms. Harriett specializes in internet and gaming as well as banking and finance. She represents, on an ongoing basis, a leading online gaming entity in connection with their commercial and corporate activities. She also represents banks and borrowers in various international debt financing transactions.

Moshe Shiffman Adv.

Moshe Shiffman is a partner at Shifman, Dorfen, Lifshitz & Company, a leading law firm based in Eilat.  Shiffman attended Nehalim Yeshiva and went on to serve in the IDF’s  Armored Corps. Following his army service he obtained his law degree from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.  Shiffman is one of the founders of Nataf, a mixed secular and religious community, where he resides today. He is married with four children, three of them officers in the IDF.

Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks
Spiritual Advisor

An international religious leader, philosopher, award-winning author and respected moral voice, Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks was awarded the 2016 Templeton Prize in recognition of his “exceptional contributions to affirming life’s spiritual dimension.” Described by H.R.H. The Prince of Wales as “a light unto this nation” and by former British Prime Minister Tony Blair as “an intellectual giant”, Rabbi Sacks is a frequent and sought-after contributor to radio, television and the press both in Britain and around the world.

Since stepping down as the Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth – a position he held for 22 years between 1991 and 2013 – Rabbi Sacks has held a number of professorships at several academic institutions including Yeshiva University and King’s College London. In addition to writing and lecturing, he serves as the Ingeborg and Ira Rennert Global Distinguished Professor at New York University. Rabbi Sacks has been awarded 17 honorary doctorates including a Doctor of Divinity conferred to mark his first ten years in office as Chief Rabbi, by the then Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey.

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Avi Wertheim

Since the year 1996, Mr. Wertheim has served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Alony Hetz Properties & Investments Ltd. He also holds directorships at Amot Investments Ltd, Carr Properties Corp., PSP Swiss Property AG, and Energix Renewable Energy Ltd.

Mr. Wertheim’s previous positions have included Chairman of the Board of Directors of Bank Mizrahi Tefahot as well as partner in Almagor & Co., a leading Israeli accounting firm. Mr. Wertheim is a CPA and holds a degree in Accounting and Business Administration from the Tel Aviv College of Management.  He volunteers in a wide range of youth education activities as well as in the Israeli Police Force.

Robert Baroch Scheinberg

Robert Scheinberg is an Israeli-Canadian philanthropist who sits on the North American Board of I BELONG ISRAEL. In addition, Rob supports other organizations and has established a dedicated foundation that supports the lone soldiers of the IDF elite Duvdevan unit.  In 2014, Rob and his wife Danielle founded Dog Tales, a recue shelter and sanctuary for dogs from overcrowded Israeli shelters.  Located in King City Canada, the 50 acre sanctuary houses hundreds of dogs as well as horses and other animals.

Rob was born in Lithuania. His family made Aliya to Israel when he was less than one year old.  At age 16, the family moved to Canada.  Rob served in the IDF’s Duvdevan unit.  He has a thirteen-year-old daughter.

Beti Erenberg

 

Betty Ehrenberg is Executive Director for World Jewish Congress-United States and North America.  She previously served as Executive Director and Director of International Affairs and Communal Relations for the Institute for Public Affairs, the political action and public policy arm of the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America. Past positions she has held include Executive Director of Dor Hemshech, the young leadership division of the World Zionist Organization; Bureau Director for the Consul General of Israel in New York; Assistant to the Executive Director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York; and Liaison Officer for the Permanent Mission of Israel to the United Nations. She has worked with many organizations on international issues such as the Middle East, the United Nations, anti-Semitism, and community, government, and interfaith relations. In 2004 she was appointed by the White House as a United States delegate to the OSCE Berlin Conference on Anti-Semitism.

A graduate of the City University of New York and Yeshiva University, Ms. Ehrenberg has an extensive background in Jewish education. She taught advanced Judaic Studies at the Ramaz Upper School and at other educational institutions. She speaks to many groups across the country on a wide variety of issues of importance to the Jewish community, and her articles have appeared in Jewish publications.

Suzan Zilbereman

Susan Zilberman is the former owner of Z NYC Hotel in New York. Along with her philanthropic activities as a board member of I BELONG ISRAEL, Susan is Co-Director of Gregg’s Gift in memory of her son. Gregg’s Gift works to help young adults struggling with substance use disorder. Susan is a devoted Zionist, committed to raising awareness of Americans’ need to support Israel.

Zvika Williger

Senior Staff

Uri Cohen
Founding CEO
Chaim Haddad
CFO and VP
Danny Bobman
VP External Relations & Development
Eran walk
COO
Orly Rozenbaum
Director of Business Development
Dror Hamawy
Director of Education
Yaniv Davidai
Director of Operations
Ran Yesod
Director, Schools Communication
Merav Smuel
Director, HR
Roza Naftali
Managing Director

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