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.”
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.
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 grandmother of Ora, Carmel, Hodaya and Oz-Baruch.
 
 

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."
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.”
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.”
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.”
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."
Lital Reubens

Lital Reubens

Coordinator, Membership and Life Cycle Events
Lital has been coordinating the community’s life cycle events and membership since 2007. 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.”
Rabbi Debbie Greenberg-Weinberg

Rabbi Debbie Greenberg-Weinberg

Preschool Pedagogical Director
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, Debbie is responsible for the pedagogical development of YOZMA's preschool program and leads the staff in implementing groundbreaking progressive educational programming. Debbie is married to Andre and mother to Nittai and Amit.
Dalit Hilo

Dalit Hilo

Preschool Administrative Director
Married to Eitan and mother to Amit, Guy and Maya, Dalit has been part of YOZMA's preschool program staff since 2012. "I believe in educating towards an egalitarian, pluralistic society; I believe in an educational approach that encourages choice and allows for self-expression. I invite you to join YOZMA's preschool programs which offer an excellent education framework from birth to school age."
Riki Zyl

Riki Zyl

Program Coordinator
Married to Gabi and mother to Eden and Ro’ee – both former students in YOZMA’s educational programs. “I believe ‘the person makes the job’. In my position I am interested in promoting YOZMA’s pluralistic and communal vision and in working for social justice.”
Shahaf Haimovich

Shahaf Haimovich

After-school Program Coordinator
“I believe in creating safe and enjoyable spaces for children that combine clear rules and age-appropriate activity (such as board games, LEGO blocks and sports games) to foster creativity, imagination and social interaction.”
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.”
Amit Barkin

Amit Barkin

Overseas Groups Coordinator
Amit has been YOZMA's Overseas Group's Coordinator for the past three years and a community member since the age of twelve. She believes that hospitality and interpersonal encounters contribute to bringing people together and enriching the experience of our guests from the Diaspora.
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.
Gal Stern

Gal Stern

Youth Coordinator
Gal is an experienced Noar TELEM alumni, having served in various leadership roles both locally at YOZMA’s flagship branch and on the national level. He spent his gap year after high school at Noar TELEM’s “year of service” program in Haifa. Gal brings his special blend of determination, responsibility and sensibility to his job as YOZMA’s Noar TELEM youth leader, and has come to know each and every child personally. Gal believes that we can make the world a better place through education.
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.”
Barbara Hurwitz

Barbara Hurwitz

Immediate Past Chair
Barbara is mother to Shani and Nadav – both of whom celebrated their bat and bar mitzvah at YOZMA - and grandmother to Yuval. A dedicated YOZMA member since moving to Modi’in in 1999, Barbara has served in various volunteer capacities, most recently as YOZMA’s first female chairperson. Barbara is a project manager at an Israeli high-tech firm.
“I believe in the importance of Reform Judaism in Israel and its crucial role in ensuring that Israel is a home for pluralistic expressions of Judaism.”
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.”
Yehuda Price

Yehuda Price

Treasurer and Finance Committee Chair
Married to Mila and father to Yoel, Shalev and Lily – the two eldest of whom are enrolled in YOZMA’s educational framework. Holding a master’s degree in business administration, Yehuda is an accountant specializing in financial consulting.
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 and her husband Robert are parents 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.”
Betty Ron Betzalel

Betty Ron Betzalel

Community Committee Chair
Betty Ron Bezalel and her husband Inon are parents of three daughters – all of whom are graduates of YOZMA's formal educational systems and Noar TELEM youth movement. Betty and Inon are themselves alumni of Noar TELEM and Former members of the Reform movement's Kibbutz Lotan. Betty is Director of the Occupational Therapy department at the Maccabi Health Services Child Development Clinic in Modi'in. Betty believes in the importance of community as a social, moral, cultural and educational network and in pluralism as a basis for discourse and cooperation.
Nitzan Barak

Nitzan Barak

Youth Committee Chair
A YOZMA member since 2008, Nitzan is mother to Shir – a YOZMA elementary school graduate who celebrated her bat mitzvah at YOZMA. Professionally, Nitzan holds a bachelor’s degree from Hebrew University in informal education and works at the Jewish Agency in resource development.
“I believe that (in the words of a popular Israeli song) the ‘song of our youth is the song of our future’".
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.

Shira Lev-Ami

Audit Committee
Shira is mother to three children – all of whom are currently in YOZMA formal elementary frameworks. Professionally, Shira holds three master’s degrees in political science, business administration and law and is currently the CIO of Israel’s Ministry of Health.
“You and I will change the world” (popular Israeli song)