AFK Board Members
AFK’s Board Members are ambassadors for the Society for Advancement of Education, Jerusalem, helping to build awareness and generate support for SAE’s high schools, residences and national educational programs. (Click on each name for brief biographical information.)
Dr. Joseph Ahram – New York
Ravit Bar Av – New Jersey
Tamara Lippman Bernstein – California
Zvi Chalamish – New York
Atalia Katz – New York
Karen Kennedy – California
Dr. Rafael Lazimy – Wisconsin
Rina Levy;– New York
Shaul Maouda – California
Eitan Moran – Israel
Dr. Dina Roginsky – Connecticut
Yair Segev – New York
Rina Shkolnik – New York
David Shtulman – Michigan
Dr. Michael Vaknin – New York
Liz Wolfson – Colorado
Dr. Joseph Abraham Ahram – Co-Chair & Secretary of the Board
Dr. Joseph Abraham Ahram, a Board Certified Obstetrician and Gynecologist, is a native of Israel and a member of the first graduating class of the SAE Mae Boyar High School. He attended medical school at the Hebrew University Hadassah Medical School and practiced medicine in Israel for ten years before coming to the United States. Joseph is affiliated with 4 hospitals in the New York City area, and has a private practice in Brooklyn. He was awarded “Compassionate Doctor Recognition” in 2014 as well as a Patients’ Choice Award.
Ravit Bar Av
Ravit Bar Av has worked to strengthen the relations between different communities in the United States with Israel by serving a variety of Israeli and American organizations over the past 30 years. Currently she serves as the Northeast U.S. Regional Director for Naale Elite Academy, which operates under the auspices of the Society for Advancement of Education. Ravit was also the first representative of SAE in North America.
In the past she was the Director of Public Relations and Information for The Peres Center for Peace, Director of Education and Special Events for the Israeli Consulate in New York and National Director Keshet and Shishi Israeli for the Israeli-American Council. Ravit is a Founding Board Member at The Council for Hebrew Language and Culture in North America.
Tamara Lippman Bernstein
Tamara Bernstein is the third generation of a family who have actively supported education in Israel. In addition to her prominent role in the Jewish community of Southern California, she is Executive Vice President of Metalmart International. Tamara and her family have made several trips to Israel to visit the Steinberg Interdisciplinary Educational Residence in Kfar Saba, founded by her grandparents Sol and Betty Steinberg. The family legacy of tzedakah and tikkun olam will continue to motivate succeeding generations of this generous family.
Zvi Chalamish is a Principal with the 40 Broad Real Estate Fund. Previously he was the CEO of Giza Singer Even, Israel’s largest investment banking and economic consulting firm. During the last 6 years, Zvi has also been a partner in various real estate funds focused on investing in the United States. Earlier he served as CEO of ASHRA, an Israeli Foreign Trade Risks Insurance Company. In addition, Zvi spent 15 years representing the Israeli Ministry of Finance in a wide range of executive positions, which included responsibility for raising foreign currency for the State of Israel in international markets and serving as Deputy Accountant General. Zvi holds a Bachelor’s Degree and an MBA from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and is a licensed CPA.
Atalia Katz is a prolific photographer with works extending from social minded documentary to stylized still-lives of her frozen sculptures. She has traveled extensively around the world capturing a variety of moments, views and people through a strong personal perspective and her love of humanity. Her works have been exhibited in New York, Scarsdale, Denver, Jerusalem and Tel-Aviv. Atalia is involved in many non-profit activities and organizations using photography as a way to get communities involved, including, “Jdoco”, a group of philanthropic photographers documenting Jewish communities all over the world. She divides her time between New York City and Tel-Aviv.
Karen Kennedy is the president and founder of National Asset Services, which specializes in the management of tenant-in-common properties. In addition to her background in asset and property management, she has extensive experience in leasing, project management, construction, and the development of commercial and retail properties. Her grandfather, Louis Boyar, was the founder of the SAE Mae Boyar High School and Educational Residence in Jerusalem, which is named in memory of her grandmother, Mae Boyar.
Dr. Rafael Lazimy
Dr. Rafael Lazimy is an associate professor at the University of Wisconsin School of Business, where he formerly chaired the Department of Operations and Information Management. He received a BA and MBA from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and went on to earn a Doctor of Business Administration at Harvard University School of Business. After returning to Israel he became the director of an advanced management program for officers sponsored jointly by the Jerusalem School of Business and the Management Center. Rafael has taught at the University of Wisconsin since 1988.
Rina Levy spent many years of her career managing software systems development and implementation, running large projects and founding her own business. She has worked all over the world, from the United States to Europe to the Middle East, in the corporate arena, private consulting, as well as contributing to non-profit organizations like the Peace Corps. Most notably, Rina founded a software consulting company in Bethesda, Maryland, which was sold to a large international hi-tech company.
Rina invests her time in activities and causes she is passionate about, especially consulting young entrepreneurs, Jewish and Israeli non-profits, hiking and exploring the NYC area. She is a proud mother of three young Americans living in Boston, New York City and St. Louis.
Shaul Maouda is Senior Executive Vice President for Professional Security Consultants (PSC) based out of Los Angeles, CA., responsible for overseeing security operations for over 150 shopping centers and commercial accounts such as Westfield, General Grown Properties, Starwood Retail and Related Companies. Before immigrating to the United States and joining PSC in 1989, Shaul held the rank of Captain of the Parachute Commander Terrorism Unit for the Israeli Defense Forces. A 1982 graduate of Steinberg-Kazenelson High School, he is a member of the Dept. of Homeland Security, Infrastructure Protection for the Private Sector Committee.
Eitan Moran is the Executive Director of the Israeli Society for the Advancement of Education, Jerusalem (SAE), the most recognized Israeli non-profit organization educating and advocating for under-served youth in Israel.
In this role he oversees 3000 students in fifteen high schools and boarding schools, a variety of national support projects for students across Israel, and manages a budget of over 25 million dollars and a staff of 500.
Eitan has served as the General Director of the Society for Advancement of Education since graduating from the prestigious Mandel School for Educational Leadership in 2008.
Eitan is a founding member of the Nadav Merhav Democratic School in Modi’in, which he helped establish in 1999. He holds an MA in Management and Public Policy from Ben Gurion University of the Negev, and a BA cum laude in Sociology and Political Science from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where he was awarded a Rich Foundation Fellowship for academic achievement.
Eitan is a recent graduate of the Tavistok Institute of Human Relations – a non-profit organization that deals with organizational research and development and applies approaches and concepts from the social sciences in order to create innovative, effective methods for dealing with core subjects and current issues.
Dr. Dina Roginsky
Dr. Dina Roginsky, a sociologist and anthropologist, teaches Modern Hebrew language and culture in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at Yale University, where she has been since 2010. Before joining Yale she taught at Tel-Aviv University, at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, and at the University of Toronto. Dina is a graduate of Tel Aviv University, where she completed her doctoral dissertation. She came to the USA as a post-doctoral fellow in the Department of Performance Studies at New York University. Dina is a co-editor of the books Dance Discourse in Israel (Resling, 2009), Sara Levi-Tanai: A Life of Creation (Resling, 2015) and Moving through Conflict: Jewish-Arab Relations in the Israeli Dance (in progress).
Yair Segev – Co-Chair & Treasurer of the Board
Yair Segev, a native of Israel, is the New York leader of Escalon Services, a Silicon Valley based service provider that delivers customized and comprehensive solutions for startups and international businesses in the area of finance and accounting, human resources, payroll, benefits and taxation. Yair is known within the industry as a business and financial leader who is superlative in developing and delivering strategic plans and execution of company-wide financial policies and procedures. Yair holds degrees in Accounting and Economics from Tel Aviv University.
Rina Shkolnik is Executive Director Emeritus of the JCC of the Greater Five Towns, on Long Island, NY, where she served as Executive Director for 11 years, from 2002 to 2013. She is currently serving as Interim Executive Director. Previously Rina held key positions with UJA-Federation New York and the Hebrew Education Society. Rina is a skilled resource development leader with an established track record of increasing philanthropic revenue through best practices, including personally cultivating and successfully closing major gifts.
David Shtulman has nearly 40 years of experience as a Jewish communal professional. He recently retired after nine years as the CEO of the Jewish Federation of Ann Arbor, Michigan. Previously David held a variety of leadership positions with the Pittsburgh United Jewish Federation and Pittsburgh Chapter of the American Jewish Committee. A dual citizen of Israel and the U.S., David and his wife Debbie were co-founders of Moshav Shorashim in the Misgav region of the Galilee and lived there from 1981-88.
Dr. Michael Vaknin
Michael Vaknin serves as Chief Economist for J.P. Morgan Private Bank. In this role, he is responsible for the global, macroeconomic and market research that underpins the firm’s long-term views and, by extension, how client portfolios are positioned. Prior to joining J.P. Morgan, Michael was a Senior Global Markets Economist at Goldman Sachs International in London. While earning an M.A. and Ph.D. in Economics and Finance from Columbia University, he worked as a research assistant to Nobel Laureates Joseph Stiglitz and Edmund Phelps as well as for Richard Claridge, former Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Treasury.
Liz Wolfson, a Denver, Colorado resident, is the Founder/Chief Visionary Officer of The Girls Athletic Leadership Schools, Inc. and a board member of the One Million Faces Project. Liz grew up in New Jersey, made aliyah in 1997 and stayed for ten years before returning to America. She is a Board Member of Judiasm Your Way, an organization that provided both an inclusive Jewish education for her daughters as well as an inclusive family environment for holidays and spiritual experiences.