Rachel Zomer

Office Manager

Rachel (Kachlon) Zomer serves as Shavei Israel’s Office Manager in Jerusalem. She is a graduate of Bina College of Naturopathy and Alternative Medicine Studies in Jerusalem. Previously, she worked as Director of Client Service Centers for a prestigious Israeli company and directed an English studies project for elementary and high school students. In her spare…

Eran Barzilay

Chinese Jews Community Coordinator

Born and raised in Israel, Eran Barzilay received his BA from the School of Business and East Asian studies at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He received his MA in Chinese at Henan University in Kaifeng, China. Since 2011, he has served as Shavei Israel’s coordinator for the Chinese Jews of Kaifeng, China, and has…

Tzvi Khaute

Coordinator for Bnei Menashe

Tzvi Khaute is Shavei Israel’s community coordinator for the Bnei Menashe in Israel and India. He previously served as Shavei Israel’s emissary to India, where he helped to set up the organization’s local headquarters and educational centers. Born and raised in the northeastern Indian state of Manipur, Khaute made Aliya in 2000 along with his…

Avi Mizrahi

Project Director for Bnei Menashe & Absorption

Avi Mizrahi is a retired senior Jewish Agency immigration and absorption official who worked on the organization’s behalf in countries such as Turkey and Ethiopia. Mizrahi directed “Operation Moses” and “Operation Solomon” for the Jewish Agency, which involved the large-scale immigration of Jews from Ethiopia. A social worker by profession, he was involved over the…

Rabbanit Renana Birnbaum

Director of Machon Miriam

Rabbanit Renana Birnbaum is the director of Machon Miriam, Shavei Israel’s Spanish-, Portuguese- and Italian-language Institute for Conversion and Return. She also serves as Director of the Amiel Institute’s Training Program for Rabbis’ Wives in the Diaspora. Birnbaum has taught in primary schools both in Israel and abroad, supervised kindergartens, taught at teacher-training seminars, and…

Chaya Castillo

Director of the Bnei Anousim & Hidden Jews of Poland Departments and of MaAni Center

Chaya Castillo oversees and directs Shavei Israel’s outreach work to the Bnei Anousim (“Marranos”) and the Hidden Jews of Poland. She was born and raised in Mexico and made Aliyah to Israel in 2009. A graduate of Hadassah Academic College Jerusalem, she completed a BA degree in Business Administration with a specialty in Management of…

Laura Ben-David

Director of Marketing & New Media

Highly-regarded marketing consultant, writer, and photographer. Originally from New York, she made Aliyah from Boca Raton, Florida, in 2002. Prior to joining Shavei Israel, Laura managed social media for the Nefesh B’Nefesh organization. Laura is the author of the book, “Moving Up: An Aliyah Journal”, a memoir of her move to Israel, as well as…

Edith Blaustein

Deputy Director-General of Administration

Prior to making Aliyah to Israel in 2008, Edith Blaustein served as Director of the Center for Judaic Studies in Uruguay on behalf of the Jewish Agency. Previously, she was the Director and Chief Administrator of the Yavne Institute of Montevideo, where she prepared and oversaw educational programming, and authored the Spanish-language book, “Words From…

Michael Freund

Founder and Chairman

Born and raised in New York, Freund moved to Israel in 1995 and was appointed shortly thereafter by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to serve as his Deputy Communications Director at the age of 28. After leaving the Prime Minister’s Office following the 1999 Israeli elections, Freund worked for the Jerusalem branch of Ruder Finn, the…