Makom Staff

Makom Staff

Abi Dauber Sterne

Abi Dauber SterneAbi Dauber Sterne is the Director of Makom: Israel Education Lab.She comes to Makom after 7 years as the VP for Jewish Education at Hillel International. Previous positions have included Director of the Mandel Jerusalem Fellows, founding Director of Limmud NY, and planning executive at UJA-Federation of NY. Abi has a passion for creating frameworks and programs to strengthen pluralistic Jewish life around the world. She lives with her husband and four children in Jerusalem. She can be reached at

Osnat Fox

Osnat Fox brings extensive experience in community engagement and education from diverse communities. She has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology, a master’s degree in Education Policy and Management and a teaching certificate. For the last four years she served as the Jewish Agency and JEWISHcolorado Senior Israel Emissary, Shlichah. Osnat was brought up in Kinneret, a small town on the shore of the Sea of Galilee and chose to raise her family in Sde Boker, Ramat HaNegev in Israel’s South. In these areas she was a teacher in schools and with college and graduated students at Ben Gurion University, where she created and facilitated courses about sexual violence and more. Having lived most of her life in Israel’s peripheries and her expertise in education enable Osnat to bring a unique understanding of parts of Israel that are sometimes neglected. This knowledge is at the base of her ability to craft honest, complex and authentic education. Osnat loves traveling and spending time with her family and friends. She is married to Shalom, a water scientist, and is the proud mother to Shahar, Sagi and Yogev.

Alan Goldman

Alan Goldman is an educator and podcaster, serving as the Director Makom Challenging Israel Programs. For over thirty years, Alan has developed a specialty in teaching text and history, both formally and informally, combining classroom studies with inspiring field trips for Ramah Israel, Young Judaea Year Course, Tochnit Shalem, and more. Today, he teaches in multiple gap year programs, leads educational heritage tours to Poland, and consults for numerous Israel education organizations. In addition, Alan co-hosts the Makom podcast, which takes listeners behind the headlines to learn about Israeli politics, news and culture. As a life-long learner, Alan has a B.A. in Sociology and Judaic Studies, M.A. in Modern Jewish History, and Rabbinic Ordination. He lives in Nechusha, a Moshav in the Ellah Valley, with his wife and two kids. He can be reached at

Cynthia Tzvibel-Navon

Cynthia Tzvibel-Navon holds a BA in Criminology, Sociology and Anthropology from Bar-Ilan University as well as an MA in Criminology from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. During her army service she served in the intelligence corps. Cynthia has been employed by the Jewish Agency since 2001 and now serves as the operations director of Makom. She is married to Yishay Navon and the mother of Ben and Lia. She can be reached at

Jamie Maxner

Jamie Maxner is a community builder, activist, connector, organizational guru, and lifelong lover of all things camp. She spent over a decade producing dynamic, immersive programs in the Jewish community at Young Judaea and Camp Tel Yehudah. After picking up to live and volunteer in Rwanda for half a year, Jamie returned to Brooklyn and was excited to get back to her camp roots, working with Moishe House to launch the inaugural season of Camp Nai Nai Nai! Jamie currently works at Heritage Tours, a luxury travel company, where she launched their Middle East division. Jamie lives in Brooklyn, NY with her husband, Andrew (who she met and married at camp), she serves as the Board Chair of Repair the World NYC, and just retired from her 9x championship-winning dodgeball team, so she’s thrilled to fill that time with all things 4HQ!

Jonny Ariel

Jonny Ariel, a connoisseur of experiential education, is the founding director of Makom, and currently serves as a consultant. He founded and led Makom’s pioneering efforts in the field of Israel and Jewish Peoplehood education for more than a decade. He has taught in public school, university and in adult and travel settings. Jonny studied history and education at universities and is a graduate of both the Institute for Youth Leaders and of the Jerusalem Fellows. He has held senior policy-making positions at the Mandel Leadership Institute, the United Jewish Israel Appeal and Melitz. He is an Adjunct Faculty member at Hebrew Union College, M2 – Institute for Jewish Experiential Education, and is an Associate Fellow of the Institute for Jewish Policy Research.

Lauren Cohen Fisher

Lauren Cohen Fisher is the Director of Israel Education at Hillel International. At Makom, she serves as a mentor and writer. Lauren received her BA in Government from Colby College and her MA from Tel Aviv University in Political Science. Lauren’s interest in Israel blossomed during her semester at the University of Haifa’s Peace and Conflict program, where she had the opportunity to unpack some of the complexities of the contemporary Israeli landscape. Following her graduate work, Lauren worked in experiential education in Israel, focusing on the intersections between leadership, pluralism, and the Jewish-American connection to Israel. A summer camp counselor at heart, Lauren’s favorite pastime is reminiscing on her memories at the Cohen Camps, where she has been for the last fifteen summers.

Matthew Lipman

Matthew Lipman has been working in Israel education for over 15 years. He has taught Judaic Studies at Jewish Day Schools in North America and led many innovative programs at those schools. He has written high-tech educational materials for U.S. public schools and the IDF and directed the multimedia development of an online Jewish day school. In addition to his teaching work at several gap year programs in Israel, he has trained Day School leaders in North America to create meaningful Israel education programs. Matthew has a B.A. in Politics and History from the University of Liverpool and holds a Master’s Degree in Jewish Education from the Hebrew University. He lives with his family in Modi’in. He can be reached at

Michael Unterberg

Michael Unterberg has been an educator for over 20 years. He was a founding member of the Torat Tzion Kollel movement, led the Jewish History department at Fuchs Mizrachi School, and was lead educator for Write on For Israel in Cleveland, Ohio. He was also a creative consultant for the the Cleveland Playhouse. After he made aliyah, Mike worked for three years as an IT Consultant for an Israeli tech startup. Michael helped develop the Makom Challenging Israel curriculum, using the Understanding by Design framework, and is the creator and host of Makom’s Israel Teachers Lounge podcast. Mike lectures on Israel and Zionism to Birthright groups and various visiting Israel Missions. His hobbies include painting in acrylic, amateur film-making, and learning to play bass guitar. Michael studied philosophy in and received smicha (Rabbinic Ordination) from Yeshiva University. Mike and his wife Dara live in Efrat and have five children, two grandchildren and a mini-Schnauzer. He can be reached at

Rami Wernik z”l 1968-2015, Former Director of Makom North America

Rami held an Ed.M. from Harvard University as well as an M.A. in Religious Studies from Stanford University. Rami was writing his doctoral dissertation on Civic Education in Israel at Stanford before he was so cruelly taken from us. An alumnus of the Wexner Graduate Fellowship, he also completed the Mandel Jerusalem Fellows Program. Rami served as faculty for Midreshet Har Herzl, Melitz, and the Brandeis Collegiate Institute. He was Dean of the Fingerhut School of Education at American Jewish University.

Robbie Gringras

Robbie Gringras is a British-born Israeli living in the Galilee, working in education, performance, and writing. Since emigrating to Israel with a Literature degree from Oxford University, a teaching qualification, and his own theater company, he has trained hundreds of educators in generating honest complex connections to Israel. While Creative Director of Makom, he coined the phrase “Hugging and Wrestling with Israel”, drove the 4HQ System of Israel Education, and wrote for and ran the Makom website. His article on “Educating with Art without Ruining It” was commissioned for the International Handbook on Jewish Education. Robbie has also taught at Israel’s main theater schools, directed several plays, and his solo shows have performed throughout the world in English, Hebrew, and Spanish. He’s married to Dorit, a magical stained-glass artist, and they have two kids.

Yitzhak Bronstein

Yitzhak Bronstein, originally from New York, Yitzhak is a graduate student at the University of Chicago Divinity School and the Midwest/South regional Jewish educator for Moishe House. Before moving to Chicago and founding the Hyde Park Moishe House, his life was guided by a passion for travel and exploration. His frequent visits to Israel have introduced him to inspiring people and organizations all along its intersecting social, religious, political and cultural spectrums. Yitzhak is excited to be a FASPE Ethics fellow (Fellowship at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics) and 4HQ Encounters mentor this summer. Shtisel is his favorite Israeli tv show.