Meet Kehillat YOZMA Modiin

Meet Kehillat YOZMA Modiin

YOZMA is the Reform Jewish Community in Modiin, Israel.

Founded in 1997, YOZMA is the vibrant spiritual, educational and cultural center for Progressive Jewish life in Modi’in and the surrounding area. We integrate Jewish heritage and progressive values throughout our community programs, events and educational frameworks.

Our Community in Numbers

Dedicated Employees

Dedicated Employees

Dedicated Volunteers

Dedicated Volunteers

Overseas Visitors Annually to YOZMA

Overseas Visitors Annually to YOZMA

Families Impacted Daily by YOZMA

Families Impacted Daily by YOZMA

 
 

Rabbinic Leadership

Rabbi Nir Barkin

Rabbi Nir Barkin

Senior Rabbi and Executive Director
Appointed Senior Rabbi and Executive Director of YOZMA in 2017, Rabbi Nir Barkin had previously served in a variety of capacities at YOZMA since first joining the community in 2004. Rabbi Barkin and his wife Anat are parents to daughter Amit and sons Omri and Assaf. "My approach to Israeli culture and the traditions of the Jewish people is based on complete equality. I invite you to take part in the spiritual, educational and communal life at Kehillat YOZMA."
Rabbi Philip Nadel

Rabbi Philip Nadel

Rabbi
Rabbi Nadel serves the YOZMA community, including the YOZMA pre-school and nursery school programs. Rabbi Nadel was ordained in 1988 by the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR). Prior to making aliyah with his family in 2007, Rabbi Nadel was the Co-Director and Jewish Studies Principal of the Milwaukee Jewish Day School in Wisconsin. He also served as head of the Alexander Muss High School in Israel. Rabbi Nadel and his family live in Kfar Saba. “I believe in the power of synagogue communities to enrich and sustain its members through the celebration of Jewish life, including prayer, study, and a commitment to social justice.”
Smadar Bilik

Smadar Bilik

Student Rabbi
Smadar has been an active member of IMPJ's congregations since her Bat Mitzvah, and has worked for many years in the field of Jewish education. Currently, Smadar is a rabbinical student at HUC-JIR. She is married to Ilia and mother to Yonatan and Roni. "I believe that community life has the power to provide meaning to Jews and Israelis of our times, and in the ability of Jewish tradition to be a source of wisdom, inspiration and comfort.
Rabbi Kinneret Shiryon

Rabbi Kinneret Shiryon

Rabbi Emeritus
Founding rabbi of the community. She was ordained in 1981. First woman to function as a community rabbi in Israel. Founded the community of YOZMA in 1997, and served as the community's rabbi under she retired in July 2017. Prior to that, she served as the rabbi of the Ramat Aviv community for seven years and managed a Jewish education system for students from abroad for five years. She was the chairman of the Council of Progressive Rabbis for two terms. Widow of Baruch, mother of Ayelet, Erez, Inbar and Amichai and a grandmother.
David Azoulay

David Azoulay

Student Rabbi
David was born and raised on Kibbutz Sha'alvim and lives there today with his wife Efrat and their three daughters Reshit, Clil and Assif. David has a B.Ed. degree from the Kibbutzim College of Education, Technology and the Arts in Tel Aviv and is currently completing a masters degree in Jewish studies from the Schechter Institute in Jerusalem. In his capacity as student rabbi at YOZMA, David leads Shabbat and holiday services and teaches bar and bat mitzvah students. Having previously taught as a classroom teacher in YOZMA’s Reform elementary school, David now teaches Jewish studies in the school. David is currently enrolled in the rabbinic program at HUC-JIR’s Jerusalem campus.
 
 

Management and Staff

Rabbi Nir Barkin

Rabbi Nir Barkin

Senior Rabbi and Executive Director
Appointed Senior Rabbi and Executive Director of YOZMA in 2017, Rabbi Nir Barkin had previously served in a variety of capacities at YOZMA since first joining the community in 2004. Rabbi Barkin and his wife Anat are parents to daughter Amit and sons Omri and Assaf. "My approach to Israeli culture and the traditions of the Jewish people is based on complete equality. I invite you to take part in the spiritual, educational and communal life at Kehillat YOZMA."
Naomi Ben-Ari

Naomi Ben-Ari

CFO
Naomi has been handling YOZMA’s finances since its inception in 1997. Mother to daughters Shira, Atalia and Romia, Naomi is a lover of both letters and numbers. “I believe that by combining the community’s spiritual strength with a solid economic foundation, YOZMA will be able provide its members the space for continued growth and development.”
Tsipi Weinberg

Tsipi Weinberg

COO
Tsipi is mother to Amit and Omri – both graduates of YOZMA’s preschool program. Over the past years, Tsipi has worked to nurture and develop the YOZMA community, with special emphasis on Jewish identity and culture in Israeli society. “I believe in people and in the empowering force of the group and in the importance of leading a life of cooperative and supportive relationships. I believe in an ethical way of life that is rooted in Jewish tradition and yet open to creativity and renewal.”
Karin Sigal

Karin Sigal

Director of International Relations
Over the past years, Karin has worked in resource development and in fostering and cultivating YOZMA's overseas connections. Karin is married to Tamir and mother to 3 sons: Yonatan, Ben and Daniel (all of whom celebrated their bar mitzvah at YOZMA). "I believe strongly in the importance of creating and maintaining a close connection between Diaspora Jewry and Israelis, and I work locally to foster these connections with YOZMA. I believe that this is the foundation that serves to anchor and connect Jews the world over with Israel."
Rabbi Philip Nadel

Rabbi Philip Nadel

Rabbi
Rabbi Nadel was ordained in 1988 by the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR). Prior to making aliyah with his family in 2007, Rabbi Nadel was the Co-Director and Jewish Studies Principal of the Milwaukee Jewish Day School in Wisconsin. He also served as head of the Alexander Muss High School in Israel. Rabbi Nadel and his family live in Kfar Saba. “I believe in the power of synagogue communities to enrich and sustain its members through the celebration of Jewish life, including prayer, study, and a commitment to social justice.”
Rabbi Deby Greenberg-Weinberg

Rabbi Deby Greenberg-Weinberg

Community Coordinator
Originally from Argentina, Rabbi Weinberg has garnered years of international experience in both formal and informal Jewish education – having worked in Jewish communities in Argentina, Chile, Brazil and Israel. Ordained by the Seminario Rabínico Latinoamericano in Buenos Aires, Rabbi Deby is responsible for overseeing YOZMA’s many community activities - coordinating all social justice, cultural and informal educational programming. Deby is married to Andre and mother to Nittai and Amit.
Lital Reubens

Lital Reubens

Pre school Finance & Administration
Lital is married to Yirmiyahu and mother to Omer, Sagi and Ofir. Products of YOZMA’s formal educational frameworks, Omer and Sagi celebrated their b’nai mitzvah ceremonies at YOZMA. “I believe in the importance of preserving the values of Jewish tradition and rituals- in order to strengthen the connection of the Jewish people from generation to generation – in an egalitarian and liberal manner which acknowledges the modern way of life.”
Tali Milo

Tali Milo

An 18-year veteran of YOZMA’s preschool staff, Tali is currently the program’s pedagogical director. She is married to Alon and is mother to Sagie, Shir and Shani. A graduate of the Kibbutzim College of Education, she also holds a Bachelor’s degree in early childhood education from The David Yellin Academic College of Education. Tali firmly believes that “The way that we are raised in early childhood has a critical impact on who we become as adults” (Aristotle)
Efrat Melamed

Efrat Melamed

Coordinator, Membership and Life Cycle Events
Efrat is married to rabbinical student David and is the mother of three daughters - Reshit, Clil and Assif. Efrat has a B.A in Social Sciences and Communication. She comes to YOZMA with extensive experience - having worked in a variety of community positions. Her strong connection to the spirit of Judaism is based on personal choice, pluralism and equality. She strongly believes that “there can be no progress without change”.
Ariela Beery - Katzir

Ariela Beery - Katzir

After-school Program Coordinator
Director of YOZMA's after-school program – is a graduate of the prestigious Wingate Institute for Physical Education and Sports and has been involved in informal education for the past 13 years. A proud mother of three children, Ariela's educational philosophy is based on creating a safe place for children by teaching them clear boundaries through warmth, respect and understanding.
Smadar Bilik

Smadar Bilik

Student Rabbi
Smadar has been an active member of IMPJ's congregations since her Bat Mitzvah, and has worked for many years in the field of Jewish education. Currently, Smadar is a rabbinical student at HUC-JIR. She is married to Ilia and mother to Yonatan and Roni. "I believe that community life has the power to provide meaning to Jews and Israelis of our times, and in the ability of Jewish tradition to be a source of wisdom, inspiration and comfort.
Bar Segev

Bar Segev

Youth Coordinator
Bar is an experienced Noar TELEM alumni . Bar brings hers special blend of determination, responsibility and sensibility to her job as YOZMA’s Noar TELEM youth leader, and has come to know each and every child personally. Bar believes that we can make the world a better place through education.
Danny Morian-Shavit

Danny Morian-Shavit

Grounds & Facilities Supervisor
Danny is father to Reut, Maoz and Alon (who is currently a student at YOZMA’s elementary school). Danny oversees the maintenance of YOZMA’s communal and educational facilities. “I believe that with professionalism, daring and initiative, YOZMA can become the best it can be – both inside and out.”
YOZMA’s Ensemble

YOZMA’s Ensemble

YOZMA’s Ensemble: Lior Soltz – piano, Guy Bar-Even – flute, Amichai Shiryon – guitar.
 
 

Steering Committee

Yoram Tekoah

Yoram Tekoah

Chairperson
A graduate of the Israeli Reform Movement’s youth group and one of the founders of Kibbutz Lotan in the Negev, Yoram has been a YOZMA member since 2010. Married Shir and father to three children who are all active members of YOZMA’s TELEM youth group.
“I believe that educating the children in a Reform life - at home, at school and in the youth movement - is part of our mission and enables us to spread the values of equality, cooperation and reform of the world to wider audiences as well.”
Meryl Feinberg

Meryl Feinberg

Development Committee Chair
Meryl and her husband Uri are parents to YOZMA elementary school graduates Meitav and Shira, both of whom celebrated their bat mitzvah at YOZMA, and to current YOZMA school student Adi. Meryl and her family have been active in YOZMA almost since its inception – volunteering in social action, fundraising and helping to create international connections. Professionally, Meryl is a business writer at Amdocs. “I feel that creating relationships – near and far – is the foundation of a strong community. And it is my privilege to work within YOZMA to build these connections.”
Shira Lev Ami

Shira Lev Ami

Treasurer and Finance Committee Chair
“You and I will change the world” (popular Israeli song) Shira holds three master’s degrees from Tel Aviv University in political science, business administration and law. The former Chief Information Officer of Israel’s Ministry of Health, Shira is currently the Director of Digital and Data Innovation at The Joint (The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee). A believer in the power of “impact-tech”, Shira applies her technological expertise toward making the world a better place. She is also actively involved in promoting green causes. Shira is mother to three children – all of whom grew up in YOZMA's formal elementary frameworks.
Anna Avital

Anna Avital

Ritual Committee Chair
Anna is the mother of four, married to Erik and a longtime resident of Modi'in. Each of her children commemorated their Bat and Bar Mitzvah at YOZMA. Anna works in the field of economic development enabling financial and business development services to marginalized communities throughout Israel. Anna believes in social justice & equality.
"It is an honor and duty to be involved in and a part of YOZMA with all of activities."
Merav Israel

Merav Israel

Education Committee Chair
Merav and her family have been active YOZMA members since 2008 – participating in TELEM youth group, celebrating their children’s bar and bat mitzvah at YOZMA and regularly attending YOZMA services. Merav is a mother to YOZMA school graduates Ori, Noam and Ittai and to current YOZMA student Alma. Merav earned an MBA and is a manager at Bank Leumi.
“I believe in pluralism and in the power of education to affect thinking and reality. I believe that with faith and perseverance we can create a truly open and empowering dialog.”
Daphna Weisfeld

Daphna Weisfeld

Social Action Committee Chair
Daphna, a YOZMA member for over 15 years, is married and the mother of two YOZMA school graduates and one current YOZMA student. Daphna is a trained clinical social worker and family therapist specializing in trauma.
“I believe in community action for the sake of those less fortunate; I believe in our basic need as human beings to belong and to have meaningful interactions with others. I believe in love and in every person’s right to choose his/her own way of achieving meaning in life by connecting to the emotional, environmental and social world.”
Eli Dalitski

Eli Dalitski

Audit Committee Chair
Married to Barchi, father to Uri, Gali and Doron. Member of the Yozma Community since 2009. Eighth generation Israeli. Lt.-Col. Holds a BA in Economics, Sociology and Anthropology and a BA in Accounting. Law degree. Deals with the development of infrastructures in the fields of energy.

Guy Olamy

Audit Committee
Guy – a “sabra” – is the father of three children. He holds a BA from Hebrew University in Political Science and Government as well as a Masters Degree in Business Administration. Over the years, Guy has held a number of management positions in Israel’s leading insurance companies and agencies. Guy’s most recent position is as the CEO of Hilan - offering pension operation management to Israeli businesses. Guy has been a dedicated member and volunteer at YOZMA for many years. Guy also volunteers at Pa’amonim – a non-profit aimed at providing free mentoring to families in financial difficulty.

Gaby Admon-Rick

Chair, Youth Committee
Dr. Gaby Admon-Rick and her husband Laurence are the parents of Noam and Einav – both of whom were actively involved in YOZMA’s Noar-TELEM youth group. Gaby – who in addition to her PhD holds both a BA and an MA in the field of the history of science – is director of research and international issues at the Israeli Commission for Equal Rights of Persons with Disabilities in the Justice Ministry. Gaby believes in the importance of investing in our youth and cultivating their independence, leadership and Jewish identity as a crucial component of building a better future for us all.

Ronny Sapir

Chair, Community Committee
Ronny – mother to Gal and Shachar – is a strategist working to integrate innovative digital products into Israeli society. Ronny is currently working at the JDC’s "The Joint" department of Digital Innovation, Data and Research. Ronny believes in the ability to change the world through technology and data and works to expand their impact especially in the weaker population sectors.