Dr. Yehudah Paz, z”l

Founder and Chair

Founder and Chair of the Negev Institute for Strategies of Peace and Development, the forerunner of AJEEC -NISPED

Dr. Yehudah Paz immigrated from the United States to Israel in 1950 and was a co-founder of Kibbutz Kisufim in the Negev. For many years he headed the Central Union for Cooperative Initiative in Israel and was an active member of the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA).

He received numerous international awards, including the Rochdale Award from the International Cooperation Alliance, and the Golden Dove of Peace Prize from the President of Italy.

Dr. Yehudah Paz passed away in 2013, leaving behind a lasting legacy of social change that continues to inspire AJEEC-NISPED’s mission.

Dr. Amal Elsana-Alh’jooj

Founder of Ajeec

Dr. Amal Elsana-Alh’jooj was born and grew up in Laqiya. She has a B.A. in Social Work from Ben Gurion University, an M.A. in Social Work, and a Ph.D. in Community Social Work from McGill University in Canada.

Current roles: Amal is the CEO of PLEDJ, an international organization which believes that the reduction of inequality and advancement of civil society and social justice are inseparable from community development and peace processes.

Past roles: In 2000, Amal joined the Negev Institute and established AJEEC in order to promote equal rights and empowerment within the Bedouin community and to foster shared society between Arabs and Jews in the Negev. Amal has been awarded numerous prizes, including the Einstein Prize for Exceptional Students and the Human Rights Prize from the New Israel Fund. She has also been included among the 101 most influential individuals in Israel, according to The Marker.

Mully Dor

Born in Israel, the second generation of Holocaust survivors.
Married, a father of three sons and grandfather of nine.

Current roles :

Chair of the Board AJEEC NISPED, IsraAid Founder and Board member, Chair of the Board at Israel Academic College, Chair of the Board at Beit Zvi School of Performing Arts, Member of the Coop Europe Development Project Committee (CEDP), at the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA), and lecturer on international development

Past roles:

Deputy Mayor of Ramat-Gan, VP of Hevrat HaOvdim, Council Chairman at the Israel Center for Management. Project manager and lecturer at the Afro-Asian Institute of Labor, Economy, and Cooperation, Founding chairman of “Beit Emanuel”, a municipal informal education company, and Internal Auditor at Clalit Health Services. Director in numerous publicly-traded companies and Cooperatives.  Participated in humanitarian aid work and sustainable development projects in many regions worldwide

Sustainable human-economic development is the main tool for resolving disputes, bringing peace, and achieving equality. This must be done through an engaging, involved cooperative approach, including external experts operating within a framework of tradition and local knowledge. All this must be done efficiently, stressing the pivotal role of people as partners, rather than aid recipients. I believe in building egalitarian, prosperous Cooperatives and societies working to promote peace and sustainable development, thereby contributing towards repairing our world

Ibrahim Nassasra

Resident of Laqiya, married and father of four.

Nassasra has a B.A. in Teaching and a M.S. in Public Administration and Policy from the Hebrew University.

Current roles:

Founder owner of the Tammam Entrepreneurship Group, a business group set up to bring about socio-economic change in the Bedouin society in the Negev. The Group owns the N.A. Afikim Company, Shorashim, Idan Hanegev Afikim Real estate, the Nazid Factory and more

Past roles:

One of the founders of the Metaylei Lahav Transport Company. Founder of Armonot Hanegev, a catering company which grew and renamed itself as Nazid, a catering company with a workforce comprised of 80% Bedouin women. Between 2013 and 2015, Nassasra held the education portfolio in the Laqiya municipality. In this capacity, he advanced projects aimed at employment for Bedouin women, set up the Tamar Center – a center working for the advancement of education in Bedouin society. He has promoted employment projects for people with disabilities and was one of the founders of Qudra – a network of Arab donors supporting the strengthening and development of Arabic society

Vivian Silver

Founder

Member of Kibbutz Beeri, located near the Gaza Strip.
Mother of two sons and grandmother of four.

תפקידים בהווה:

Member of the Board of Directors at El Hudaj – Dedicated Women’s Sports Center in Rahat; volunteer in the Derech LeHachlama NGO; and active in Women Wage Peace.

תפקידים בעבר:

One of the founders of AJEEC-NISPED. Served as Co-Executive Director of the organization between 1998–2014

The key to Israel’s future is mutual respect among all of the population groups in the country

Dr. Rania Alkoby

Born in Rahat, Rania lives in Beer Sheva and works as a gynecologist. She is 37 years old and the mother of two daughters.

Current roles:

Works at Soroka Hospital and for the Clalit healthcare provider. She lectures at Ben-Gurion University and volunteers for the Association of Arab Physicians in the Negev.

In order to be on a par with men and women from Jewish society and the center of the country, Bedouin women need to be empowered. I believe in the education of women. It gives them power. The more educated women are, the stronger they are, enabling them to raise a new generation differently

Prof. Shifra Sagi

Born in Netanya, resident of Omer. Mother of two, grandmother of three.

Current roles:

Head of the Martin Springer Center for Conflict Studies; member of the Council for Higher Education since 2016; head of the Committee for Increasing Accessibility to Israeli Academia among the Bedouin Community in Israel. In addition to her academic work, Prof. Sagi initiates, advises, supports, and guides projects on peace education and for increasing tolerance between groups in conflict

Past roles:

Worked as a psychologist for many years. At age 40 returned to academia and completed her MA and Ph.D. In her work at Ben Gurion University, she served as Head of the Education Department, managed the educational psychology program, established the program for conflict management and resolution and served as Commissioner for Sexual Harassment

My membership in the AJEEC Executive Committee is an important part of my social work. AJEEC plays an important role in Israeli society in general and in the Negev in particular. In view of the chaotic, violent reality we live in today, AJEEC is successful in promoting social initiatives and social change based on values of equality, tolerance and mutual respect. AJEEC personifies a dialog-based culture of listening, dialog and respectful partnership

Maggie Bar-Tura

Resident of Tel Aviv.
Mother of two sons and grandmother of five.

Current roles:

Maggie is a freelance consultant to social change organizations in Israel and in the United States.  Member of the advisory board at Shatil and mentor to social entrepreneurs

Past roles:

Maggie was a member of Kibbutz Hulda for three decades. She has served on the executive committees of  several NGO’s including the New Israel Fund, Yahel, and Women Waging Peace

When we work together to realize the potential of each and every individual in Israeli society, we will really be fit to be a light unto the Nations

Adv. Nisreen Salameh Shahbari

Nazareth native and resident, mother of two boys

Current roles:

Public defense attorney in the Haifa District representing detainees and defendants in criminal trials. Gender Equality Regional manager in the Ministry of Justice, member of the Ministerial Committee on Gender and Advancement of Women, established by the Director General of the Ministry. In recent years, initiated and established an outreach project for women in the community, together with the Legal Counsel, the District Criminal Law Office in the Haifa District, and other civil society organizations.  The project works to provide access to information for women from all walks of society and to spread the message of the social work done in the Ministry of Justice

I believe in every person’s responsibility for their own fate. It is therefore important for me to identify injustice, to contemplate it critically, to stand up against it, and to point it out for all to see - unflinchingly. However, paramount to all this is the decision to right the wrong, even if this can take an entire lifetime. There is a direct line connecting between this motto and the work done at AJEEC-NISPED, along which can be found the vision of creating an egalitarian society living in peace and harmony, and the continual work to achieve this. I am therefore proud to be part of this important organization

Dr. Mahmoud Kaiyal

Father of three, resident of Jedeideh-Makr.

Current roles:

Physician, entrepreneur and investor in the technology sector.

Founder and CEO of the Tawasoul Investment Fund, which connects Arab entrepreneurs in Israel with investors in the Arabian Gulf States

Past roles:

Founder and CEO of WebTeb, the largest medical website in the Arab world, founder and CEO of Wikoia, which improves prevention of chronic diseases, member of various committees in the Israel Innovation Authority and active in advancing innovation and technology within Arabic society

I believe in the power of building trust, which is achieved through working together

Peerli Shahar

Peerli lives in Tel Aviv and has three children and four grandchildren. She holds a degree in Jewish Studies from Tel Aviv University.

Current roles:

Member of the non-profit organization Women Wage Peace, and host of the organization’s Facebook events that promote the importance of making peace. Heads Senior Citizens Affairs at the Tel Aviv branch of the Yesh Atid party. Member of the Board of Directors of the Adam Institute for Democracy and Peace. Member of the Board of Directors of the Yosef Bau Museum in Tel Aviv. Active in Melabev, an organization that cares for the elderly with dementia and Alzheimer’s. Candidate for the Knesset in second place on the Israel Veterans party list

Past roles:

Until her retirement, Peerli was an editor, journalist and news presenter for the Israel Broadcasting Corporation, prior to which she worked at Kol Yisrael. She was a political correspondent for the newspapers Al Hamishmar and Hadashot and an economic journalist and political correspondent for the radio station Galei Tzahal. (She was the first woman to work in the news department.)

I believe in living together and coexisting in peace. This is why I joined Women Wage Peace, whose goal is to create a single social fabric in our divided society, and to bring about greater equality in a country located in an area with one of the highest levels of socio-economic inequality.

Avraham “Avri” Dvir

Born and raised in Kibbutz Maabarot, member of Kibbutz Yad Mordechai.
Father of three, grandfather of two.

Current roles :

Pensioner. Involved in an alternative currencies project

Past roles:

Managed the economic department in the Kibbutz HaArtsi for five years; managed Kibbutz Yad Mordechai’s apiary industry; served as chairman of  hi-tech and biotech companies; chairman of the Council at Kibbutz Kramim, where he led the development of a cohabitation model for religious and secular people

The path to cohabitation is close familiarity and the ability to understand one another. When we succeed in doing this as a society, we will flourish

Sahel Aldabasan

Resident of Rahat, actor, researcher, and creative artist with a B.A. in Humanities. Aldabasan is currently an M.A. student in Culture and Production.

Current roles:

Actor, theater teacher, and marketing manager for the Almahbash Theater, the first Arab theater established by and within the Arab society in the Negev. Manager of the Alwan Entertainment and Culture Company and Hebrew-to-Arabic translator of movies and series (Sand Storm, Baggage, etc.)

Past roles:

Founder and CEO of the Almahbash Theater and drama lecturer at the Kay College of Special Education teachers

My motto: “A happy person is a person that contributes to society

Noam Avni

Resident of Mevaseret Zion.

Married and father of three, with a B.Sc. in Electrical Engineering and Computers from the Technion.

Current roles:

CEO of the Intel Jerusalem R&D Center. Manager of a global microchip development group

Past roles:

Manager of communications microchip development teams, head of a development team working on analog development of PCI-Express standards, hardware development engineer for silicon components at Digital Semiconductors (Jerusalem) and Duelco (Denmark). Formerly a member of the Managing Committee and Treasurer of the KESEM school, member of the Jerusalem Anthroposophist Schools NGO, coordinator of the Young Scientists program at the Science Museum on behalf of Intel, and spent a year teaching at the Givat Gonen School as part of the Young Entrepreneurs program

What man is he that desireth life, and loveth many days, that he may see good? Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile. Depart from evil, and do good. Seek peace, and pursue it

Dr. Yasmeen Abu Freiha

Bedouin doctor with a focus on spearheading efforts to improve the quality of life and social mobility of the Arab-Bedouin community of Israel. Yasmeen holds a B.Sc. in Medical Science, an M.D. from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and is a current MC-MPA student at Harvard Kennedy School.

Current roles:

Yasmeen is a Bedouin doctor specializing in internal medicine and is the Founder and Executive Director of Rodaina, an NGO that aims to prevent genetic diseases in the Middle East, especially in the Bedouin community, by spearheading  premarital genetic testing and matching. She serves on the board of directors of Project Wadi Attir, Yanabia, the Tamar Center, and AJEEC-NISPED; all of which are social projects and NGOs aiming to improve Bedouin lives in Israel

Past roles:

From 2020-21, Yasmeen acted as the Chief Resident of Internal Medicine at Soroka Medical Center, in charge of the hospital’s COVID response. She is the recipient of several awards including the 2007 Ramon Award for quality, leadership, and excellence, as well as being chosen to be on Forbes’ “30 under 30” list

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