Makom Staff

Makom Staff

Abi Dauber Sterne

Abi 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 abigaild@jafi.org

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 Jewish Colorado 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.

Bryan Oren

Bryan is a seasoned program facilitator, curriculum developer, and education researcher. While living in Brooklyn, New York from 2017-2020, Bryan served Facing History and Ourselves, where he led the Jewish Education Program’s work on race and equity in Jewish settings. For the first six years of his career, Bryan was a teacher in low-income communities of color. Bryan also completed the Dorot Fellowship in Israel, during which he studied Mizrahi cultural representation and inequity in Israel. Bryan holds a bachelor’s degree in Comparative Literature, Neuroscience, and Jazz Studies from the University of Southern California, and a master’s degree in Educational Leadership with an emphasis in Advanced Teaching and Learning from the University of North Florida. He is currently a Program Director at M2: The Institute for Experiential Jewish Education, and he is pursuing a Ph.D. in Learning, Instruction, and Teacher Education from the University of Haifa. When he’s not working, Bryan loves to bake bread, play saxophone and basketball, and practice meditation and yoga. Bryan lives in Beit Zayit with his partner.

Jamie Salter

Jamie Salter is a Jewish Educator and officially licensed Israel Tour Guide. He has a BA in Modern History from Oxford University and a MA in Jewish Education from the Hebrew University. Jamie works in many different Jewish educational arenas – in recent years he has taught in a Jewish school in America, guided British Members of Parliament on their trip to Israel, and worked as an educational consultant for the Jewish Agency. He is a regular guide and educator in Israel for, amongst others, Hebrew Union College, the Nachshon Project, and the Brandeis Schusterman Centre for Israel Studies. Jamie served as the educational director of the Ministry of Tourism Tour Guide course at the Yad Ben Zvi Institute. He currently holds a position as the director of Israel education at the Pardes Institute. Jamie has completed about a quarter (so far!) of the ‘Israel Trail’. He and his family live in Jerusalem.

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 cynthiatn@jafi.org

Liel Zahavi-Asa

Liel was born in Berkeley, California. Her parents made Aliyah when she was six and raised her and her siblings in Israel. After Liel completed her national service she moved back to the States for college. Upon graduating, Liel spent three years working at Rutgers Hillel as the IACT Birthright Coordinator and the Director of Israel Engagement and Jewish Life. She holds a Masters Degree in Jewish Education from Hebrew University and has worked for Birthright, Onward Israel, Pardes, Impact Seminars, and several other Jewish and Israel educational organizations. Liel is also a licensed tour guide in Israel. 

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.

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.