The Alliance endeavors to reinvigorate Israel’s liberal camp by identifying and supporting the most ambitious, resourceful, and thoughtful organizational leaders in Israel today, alongside organizations working in the sphere of liberal political ideas. We envision that these individuals and organizations, who have demonstrated commitments to democratic, pluralistic values, will become the next generation of Israeli leaders.
Avi Buskila is the General Director of Peace Now, Israel's largest and longest standing peace movement. Prior to joining Peace Now, Avi has led a variety of social and political campaigns, including elements of the struggle for LGBT rights and the struggle for rights of self-employed workers. As a social entrepreneur, Avi also co-founded the Public Defense Front, an NGO focusing on narrowing social-economic gaps in Israel. Over the past decade, Avi worked as the CEO of two advertising firms, David & Jonathan and Migzarim, both of which focused on tailoring campaigns to specific sectors of the Israeli public. Each campaign ran by these two companies had a corporate social responsibility element. Prior to his work in advertising, Avi served as a Major in the Israel Defense Force for 15 years, and became known in 1997 after preventing a Jewish settler from committing a massacre in Hebron.
Mickey Gitzin is the Executive Director in Israel of the New Israel Fund. Prior to this role, he was Executive Director of Israel Hofsheet (“Be Free Israel”), a grassroots organization that aims to influence public opinion and policy making on the issues of religion and state in Israel. Mickey also serves as a city council member in the city of Tel Aviv-Jaffa. Previously, Mickey was the Spokesperson of MK Ilan Gilon (Meretz). Prior to his work with MK Gilon, Mickey was a Project Director at European Friends of Israel (EFI), a Brussels based organization which aims to improve relationships between the European Parliament and Israel. Additionally, Mickey worked as the Associate Director of “Festival Beshekel” an Israeli Non Profit, which works to develop avenues for cultural and artistic expression in the periphery of Israel. After completing his military service as an Intelligence Officer at the IDF, Mickey served as an Emissary (Shaliach) for the Jewish Agency for Israel under the auspice of the Jewish Federation of South Band, Indiana. Mickey holds an MSc in Public policy from the University College London, as a Chevening scholarship awarded by the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the British Council, and a BA in International relations and Middle Eastern studies from the Hebrew University. Mickey was the recipient of the 2013 NIF UK Human Rights Award, and was selected to receive The Gallanter Prize for Emerging Israeli Social Justice Leaders in 2015.
Yehuda Greenfield-Gilat is an architect and planner, a co-founder of SAYA/Design for Change and founder of Terra Una Planning LTD. He is a graduate of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government (Masters in Public Policy), holds a bachelor’s degree in architecture from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology (Bachelor in Architecture Cum Laude), and is a current Doctoral candidate at the Hebrew University, writing his dissertation on cross border movement in peaceful border regimes. Yehuda specializes in the connection between design, planning, conflict resolution and policy, aimed to inspire and envision peaceful approaches to security oriented issues and. In the past years he has been an advisor to Mrs. Tzipi Livni, former Israeli minister of Foreign Affairs, advised Mr. Reuven Rivlin the President of Israel, and has worked with a broad array of governmental entities NGOs, peace initiatives and think tanks to conduct studies, tools, designs and partnerships to promote concept of constructive border regimes, and conflict resolution in areas of civil, economic or territorial dispute. Along the years, his work creates an extensive database for peace making, and has served policy makers, military entities and leaders in former negotiations. He is the author of “Children of Time and Residents of Space” (Resling Publishers 2015) and has written extensively about his work.
Nasreen Haj-Yahya is Co-Director of the Arab-Jewish Relations Program at the Israel Democracy Institute (IDI), and a researcher in the geography department of Tel Aviv University. She holds an MA in education and social geography and is a doctoral candidate in the History Department at Tel Aviv University. The topic of her doctoral dissertation is, “The contemporary impact of social space barriers on the inaction and future orientation of young Arabs aged 18–22.” Prior to her work at IDI, Nasreen was Arab Education Coordinator at the Merchavim Institute. She serves on the board of Ajial, an organization dedicated to developing education in the town of Tira, Israel.
Rami Hod is the Executive Director of the Social and Economic Academy (SEA) and the Educational Center of the Berl Katzenelson Foundation. Rami holds an MA in Sociology from Ben Gurion University in the Negev, with his research focused on education inequality in Israel. Prior to joining SEA, Rami worked for five years at ‘Koach LaOvdim”, a ground breaking labor union established in 2007 that sparked a revival of labor organizing in Israel. Rami was the organization’s first employee with its establishment, serving a pivotal role in developing its professional and organizational structure, as well as organizing workers from variety of fields. In the past Rami worked with former leader of the Labor party MK Amir Peretz and also served as the director of a unique program at Haifa University for Jewish and Arab students involved in community organizing in impoverished communities. Rami is a lecturer and a regular commentator and publicist in Israel’s newspapers and journals on issues of inequality, social Policy and politics.
Michal Gera Margaliot is Managing Director of the Israel Women's Network (IWN). Prior to becoming managing director of the IWN, Michal served as a parliamentary advisor and chief of staff of MK Merav Michaeli. In the years 2010-2012, Michal completed her pre-internship and internship at the of Orna Lin & Co. law firm, which specializes in labor law. In the years 2007-2010 Michal was the coordinator of the Laufer Institute for Women's Studies at the Hebrew University. Michal holds a BA in philosophy, economics and political science, an additional bachelor's degree in law and a master's degree in law with specializing in gender studies. She served as a member of the IWN's managing board, the organization's Jurist Forum and Finance Committee. Over the past decade, Michal has been active in promoting women's rights and raising awareness to the issue.
Yael Patir currently serves as the Israel Director at J Street – an American pro-Israel pro-peace lobby group. Born and raised in Tel Aviv, Yael holds a Master Degree in Public Policy and a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology, Anthropology, and Political Science both from Tel Aviv University. In her previous position, Yael worked at the Shimon Peres Center for Peace where she served as Director of the Civil Leadership Department. During this time, she also served as the Israeli coordinator of the Palestinian-Israeli Peace NGO Forum, a network of some 100 Palestinian and Israeli peace and dialogue organizations, a position she held from its establishment in January 2006 until January 2012. Prior to that, Yael was a Research and Teaching assistant in Tel Aviv University. Yael is an Atkin research fellow at the International Center for the Study of Radicalization in King’s College London and a fellow at Mitvim the Israeli Institute for Regional and Foreign Policy. Yael writes and interviews on issues relating to the Israeli Palestinian conflict, Israeli civil society and politics, American politics and Jewish community and foreign policy.
Michal Zernowitski is founder and chairperson of the ultra-Orthodox Caucus in the the Labor Party in Israel. She was one of several ultra-Orthodox women who recently ran for a seat on the all-male local council in the town of El'ad, a religious municipality. Michal manages Haredim for the State, a series of courses for politically engaged ultra-Orthodox women and men, a project of the Berl Katzenelson Foundation and Friedrich Ebert Stiftung. She is also a Fellow in the Social Economic Academy, and an active member of Ko'ach La'Ovdim, Israel's Democratic Workers' Organization. Michal is involved with Bat Melech, an organization that helps women victims of domestic violence in the religious community. She is also a Board member of the Israel Women's Network. Committed to integrating ultra-Orthodox women into local and national politics in Israel, Michal believes in unifying all Israelis in the struggle for social justice and peace. Michal holds a B.Sc. in Computer Science, and lives with her husband and 4 children in El’ad.