No Ordinary Team
Every Fund member brings something unique to the table, and shares the drive necessary to inspire action, bring parties together, and change the perception of what can be done to help end this conflict. The Fund intends to incur minimal administration costs so the highest possible percentage of monies raised can go to the organizations doing the real work on the ground.
Dr. Ron Pundak - Executive Board member
Dr. Pundak has served as the Director General of the Peres Center for Peace since 2001. The organization’s mission is to build an infrastructure of peace and reconciliation by, and for, the people of the Middle East that promotes socio-economic development, while advancing cooperation and mutual understanding.
As Director General, he also serves as the co-Chairperson of the Palestinian-Israeli Peace NGO Forum. He is a member of both the Academic and Executive Board of the Tel Aviv University Institute for Diplomacy and Regional Cooperation. Dr. Pundak played a decisive role in creating the secret track of the unofficial Oslo negotiations in 1993, which culminated in the historic signing of the Declaration of Principles in Washington later that same year.
Dr. Pundak is continually involved in various peace-related initiatives such as think tanks, working groups, and advisory committees.
Sireen Fathie Shakhshir
Sireen Fathie Shakhshir is an emerging expert in women’s rights and development in conflict zones, and currently works for the International Fund for Agricultural Development in Jordan as the Regional Gender Coordinator.
Sireen has been an activist for women’s rights since she was sixteen, and she has devoted her career to promoting women’s rights in the political and social spheres. Since earning a BA in Commerce and Economics from Birzeit University in 1996, Sireen has been active in civil society, coordinating and participating in many social enterprises, gender rights initiatives, and management training programs and seminars.
In 2007, Sireen received her MA in the History of Arabic and Islamic culture from Birzeit University. During her MA studies, Sireen was appointed Head of the Social Research Department in the Palestinian Ministry for Women’s Affairs.
In 2008 Fathie Shakhshir coordinated the UNFPA’s National Committee to Combat Violence against Women, and in 2010 she was appointed Regional Gender Coordinator for IFAD — Jordan.
Moshe Halbertal - Executive Board member
Moshe Halbertal is a professor of Jewish thought and philosophy at Hebrew University and a fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute. He has also served as a visiting professor at Harvard Law School and at the University of Pennsylvania Law School.
In 2002 he was appointed the Gruss Professor at New York University School of Law. He is the author of several books including ‘Idolatry’ (co-authored with Avishai Margalit), ‘People of the Book: Canon, Meaning, and Authority, and Concealment’ and ‘Revelation: The Secret and its Boundaries in Medieval Jewish Thought.’
He is the recipient of the Bruno Award of the Rothschild Foundation, and the Goren Goldstein award for the best book in Jewish thought in the years 1997-2000. Professor Halbertal received his Ph.D. from Hebrew University in 1989 and was a fellow at the Society of Fellows at Harvard University from 1988-1992.
Rukaya Sabbah is a filmmaker and producer for Arabic language programming in Israel and Palestine. Sabbah’s films have been featured in the Jerusalem International Film Festival, the UK Jewish Film Festival, and the NY Other Israel Festival. Recent works include “Israel’s Hi-Tech Industry” which she directed for Aljazeera, and a drama entitled, “Dusty Road”, a film she wrote and directed, that was featured at the Haifa International Film Festival.
Sabbah’s filmmaking spotlights the complexity of daily life for regular Palestinian citizens. Through the medium of film, Sabbah works to break stereotypes and bring people closer to knowing and accepting one another.
Sabbah studied at the Camera Obscura School of Art, Film and Television in Tel Aviv and since 2005 has acted as the Executive Producer & Vice-President for Al-Arz Productions Ltd. in Nazareth, Israel
Dr. Nedal Jayousi - Executive Board member
Dr. Jayousi is a leading expert in education and curricula development, with 23 years of experience working with Palestinian and international educational institutions.
He is Founder and Chairman of the Palestinian House for Professionals Solutions, a non-governmental institution that assists Palestinians, Israelis and Jordanians develop and implement conflict resolution strategies that break down stereotypes, increase mutual understanding and enhance dialogue. He is also a professor and Dean of the Education Department at the Faculty of Educational Sciences.
Dr. Jayousi has advised leading international organizations including various UN agencies, the World Bank, Belgium Technical Cooperation, InWEnt , GTZ, Hamline University and USAID. He served as the Executive Director of the Palestinian Domestic Monitoring Committee on Elections and was responsible for managing, recruiting and training over 1,500 domestic monitors during the first Palestinian Elections.
He is a winner of the 2009 Dormition Award in recognition for his involvement in promoting peace and understanding between Israelis and Palestinians.
Gili Zivan is a Jewish education professional with over 30 years’ teaching experience. Her inspiration for teaching comes from watching her students connect with ancient texts and witnessing young people break down stereotypes through education. Zivan emphasizes that the values of tolerance and acceptance of “the other” are intrinsic to Jewish text, which promotes a path to peace and friendship for Jews and Arabs.
Zivan earned her Doctorate in Jewish Philosophy from Bar Ilan University in 2001, and has worked for many years teaching Bible, Talmud and Jewish Philosophy in various educational settings, both formal and informal, counseling youth and facilitating between religious and secular teachers.
In 2003 Gili won the Liebhaber Prize for Promotion of Religious Tolerance and Cultural Pluralism in Israel, (Schechter Institute) - for activity in the area of pluralistic Jewish dialogue in the context of the Yaacov Herzog Center.
Between 2001 and 2008 Zivan served as Executive Director of the Yaacov Herzog Center for Jewish Studies, after many years occupying various teaching positions at the Center. In this capacity, she developed curriculum focused on pluralistic approaches to Jewish studies.
Zivan lives on Kibbutz Saad, in Israel (3 kilometers from the Gaza Strip), and is married with 5 children and one grandchild.
Dr. Azzam Ahmad Al-Araj - Executive Board member
Lecturing on the American electoral system in high schools and universities around the West Bank in an effort to empower youth to take part in politics, Azzam is a leading academic and political activist.
He is a Faculty for Israeli-Palestinian Peace member, for which he organized several conferences and meetings for academics from around the world as well as student exchange programs to Palestine and Israel. Al-Araj was selected by the Palestinian Health Council to help create the Palestinian National Health Plan and to represent Palestine in the Arab and International Union’s conferences on laboratory medicine. He is also Advisor to the Tulkarem Municipality Mayor for Educational Affairs.
In 1994 he was appointed to the PLO’s Political Committee, through which he took part in the Multilateral Negotiation of the Peace Process in the Middle East. In 1986 he was elected General Secretary of the Patient’s Friend Society, an NGO dedicated to helping those in need by providing them with basic medical services free of charge, work he continued to do as a member of Physicians for Human Rights.
Dr. Al-Araj received his M.Sc in Microbiology and began his academic career at Al-Najah National University in the West Bank as a lecturer on Public and Environmental Health.
Yitzhak Frankenthal was a businessman until a fateful day in July, 1994 when his son, Arik, then a soldier in the Israeli army, was abducted and killed by the Hamas. Following his son’s death, Frankenthal relinquished his various business interests and made a life-changing decision: to focus all his efforts on getting behind and organizing public activities that advocate reconciliation, tolerance and peace between Israelis and Palestinians.
To this end, he established and managed the Parents Circle — Families Forum, an organization made up of over 500 Israeli and Palestinian bereaved families. Yitzhak also established and ran the Arik Institute from 2004 until October 2009. The Arik Institute had worked to overcome the fear, hate, animosity and revenge felt by both sides. Through its educational, youth and media programs, the Institute brought the Palestinian narrative into mainstream Israeli discourse. It also heightened Israeli and international awareness regarding the occupation and its tragic impact on each society. In tandem, it promoted awareness among the Palestinian public regarding the psychological, security and political assurances that are needed by the Israeli public. With the establishment of the Fund for Reconciliation, Tolerance and Peace in October 2009, the Arik Institute is no longer active, and Yitzhak today serves as the Executive Director of the Fund.
Abed Alqader Yousef
A teacher and Deputy Headmaster at the Shufat Secondary School, Yousef brings his pedagogical and managerial experience to bear at the Fund, working hand-in-hand with Executive Director Yitzhak Frankenthal to realize the vision of the organization.
Yousef coordinates all Fund activities in the Palestinian Authority, meeting with activists, community leaders, organization heads and movements who are dedicated to achieving a just solution to the conflict. He liaises with all of these groups to identify the most effective efforts being undertaken in the PA to achieve an end to the conflict. Prior to joining the Fund Yousef served in various managerial positions in the hotel, insurance and apparel industries.
Yousef holds a BA from Bethlehem University in English Literature.
Kamel A. Husseini is Founder and Managing Director of Ellam Tam, a company established in 2000 as the first communications and public relations firm in Palestine. He also founded the Palestinian Economic Forum NGO in 2001. Prior to that, he worked with Arthur Andersen as Economic/Financial Consultant for three years and was also Business Adviser for the Bethlehem 2000 Project Authority. Husseini is a Board Member of Partners for New Beginning, Palestine Chapter, an initiative set up by the US administration after President’s Obama Cairo Speech. He holds a BA in International Relations and an MBA in International Business.
To aid in the development of a successful, targeted program model, The Fund has solicited renowned scholars in the fields of television, media, creative marketing, social psychology, public opinion research and conflict resolution to join an Experts Advisory Council and a Creative Council and that will provide active guidance in the development of the Fund’s innovative program model.
Dr. Noah Salameh
Prof. Said Zeedani
Dr. Walid Salem
Prof. Haim Omer
Prof. Daniel Bar-tel
Dr. Eran Halperin
Prof. Tamar Hermann
Prof. Ifat Ma’oz
Prof. Mohammad Shaheen
Dr. Fathi Darwish
Dr. Nabil Kukali
Prof. Dan Jacobson
Prof. Galia Golan
Prof. Matti Steinberg
Prof. Yaron Ezrahi
Dr. Alick Isaacs
Dr. Yehuda Paz
Prof. Dan Bitan
Dr. Tzvia Greenfeld