Former Team

Former Team Members

Adam Baratz was born in Israel and grew up in the U.S. He graduated in 2011 from Cornell University, majoring in Natural Resources and Development Sociology. At Cornell he was involved in a variety of community projects. In addition, Adam was the manager at Cornell's student run organic farm. At BTF Adam projects focus on building community readiness by connecting and empowering residents.

Ala Jorban was born and raised in Jisr a-Zarka and is a talented musician. He worked with children of all ages to raise their self esteem through music.

Efrat Pollak helped build the framework for community development in the Valley of Springs. She specializes in youth at risk and has worked with a wide range of communities in Israel (religious, secular, and from different ethnic backgrounds). She has two masters degrees in social work and emergency and crisis management. Before joining the Valley of Springs Regional Council she was the general secretary of Kibbutz Tirat Tvi in the Valley of Springs. 

Fathi Ammash was born and raised in Jisr a-Zarka. He is currently studying for a degree at the Beit Berl Institute in the field of Society and Community Studies. Fathi is very involved in various aspects of community work within the village and without.  His work centered on coaching teenagers in the fields of social involvement, and personal and group empowerment. In addition, he was central to the vacation activities of the village children. Fathi organized a theater group of 14 teenagers who perform, with emphasis on social and community issues. He also works as a guide for the Nature Reserve Authority.

Dr Gila Ya’akov is a former head teacher and is now a specialist in community development. For over ten years she was an advisor to Neighborhood Renewal in the areas of social capital and community involvement in strategic planning. For many years she was also a member of P2K’s Steering Committee in a voluntary capacity. She also lectures in medical ethics at the Technion and is an assessment manager at Yesodot, an organization that deals with issues of democracy in the religious sector.


Hema Peshwani was born in Morocco into an Indian-Jewish family. Hema moved to Israel in 2001. She qualified in Tourism and Hospitality in Morocco and later specialized in languages and inter-cultural communication. Hema speaks seven languages. In Israel she re-trained and holds an Israeli real estate licence.  She has a range of community development experience gained through  working on several community projects abroad and in Israel. Hema now lives in Beit Shean, and is studying environmental sciences at the IDC in Herzliya.

Ilana Francis specializes in establishing multi-disciplinary teams across both public and third sector agencies. She has recently retired from the Ministry of Education, where she was the Regional Supervisor for Education and Welfare in the Haifa region.

Itzhaki  Golan managed our work in Beit Shean and the Valley of Springs. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Masters in Business Administration. He served in the IDF for 30 years, latterly as a colonel. He was the Commander in charge of the IDI International Intelligence Cooperation Unit. Today he is head teacher at one of the schools in the Valley of Springs.

Lior Belavie was born  and brought up in the Valley of Springs, and now specializes in tourism, supporting local tourist entrepreneurs and promoting Beit Shean. He works for BTF as well as the Beit Shean / Valley of Springs P2Gether Partnership.

Lilach Uri-Dubnov worked with individuals and communities on growth and advancement processes towards a desirable quality of life. She uses plastic art as a means for experiential learning, and as a way of expanding familiar thinking patterns, enabling growth. 

Maya Ertel  Maya has a BA in Education and Israel Studies and an MA in Educational Management and Leadership from Haifa University. Most of her career has been in the informal education system specializing in work with young people at risk. Maya led the initiative to promote volunteering and establish a volunteer support framework in the Valley of Springs. 

Morry Sivan is an active volunteer with a number of NGOs and not for profits.  With BTF he was a volunteer business coach. Morry trained first as a lawyer, and went on to hold a number senior roles in government as well as in the private sector.


Myra Small helped with international outreach and events management. She was a biology researcher and university lecturer in a former life and is trained in dispute resolution. 

Nadav Arad was personally involved with the individuals and the community of Jisr a-Zarka. Through this connection, he promotes a tourism approach with the fishermen of the village.  He was responsible for helping residents to find employment through professional training. He also supported residents in their initial contact with employment places, and helped them to write CV's and to prepare for interviews.

Dr Osnat Suued helped develop BTF's  for evaluating community change (called GEAR). Osnat has a PhD in conflict resolution and a background in sociology and anthropology. Prior to joining the team Osnat was a researcher at the Scholion Interdisciplinary Research Center at the Hebrew University.

Dr Rinat M. Ben-Noon has a PhD in geography and social planning. She is a specialist in planning and programing social services, and civil society development. She has extensive experience in data collection, sharing and distribution,. Rinat has worked with many different communities in Israel, secular, religious, Jewish and Arab.

Salha Ammash is a resident of Jisr a-Zarka. She is a registered nurse and midwife with a diploma from the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan Nurses and Midwives Council. She worked for several years in hospitals in eastern Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Tulkarm. Her work as part of the Bridge to the Future team involved coaching individuals and groups about disease, health care and general hygiene. She also works individually with diabetic patients. Salha also gives courses in economic empowerment for women under the auspices of Womens' Own.

Sigal Berg is a marketing consultant with 25 years experience in tourism marketing. She has been a deputy director for a number of tourist destinations in Norther Israel. Today she runs her own consultancy in developing and marketing tourism packages.

Watfa Ammash was born and raised in Jisr a-Zarka. She has studied and worked in the field of computer graphics, but her real vocation is in the field of education. In this capacity, she has worked as a kindergarten assistant in the village, and as a guide for the Nature Reserve Authority. She coached 3 groups of children, aged 4-12, in the area of personal and group empowerment.

Yoram Reuveni is a social worker and has a masters degree in the field of Children and Adolescents. He is a group coach and director of the Etrog Center for the Enhancement of the Emotional Environment of the Child. In Jisr a-Zarka, Yoram led teachers' workshops in the field of promoting a healthy emotional environment in the home. Those teachers then coached families from the village. Today, Yoram coached parents' groups about healthy communication between adults and children in the village community.