Professional Team

Michal Steinman
Executive Director

As Executive Director, Michal Steinman oversees overall Task Force strategy and operations including member engagement, education, outreach and communications. Michal joined the Task Force after directing the Bedouin Farmers Project, an Israeli government initiative establishing a Bedouin organization to represent Bedouin farmers before government ministries. Michal worked with senior government officials and local Bedouin leaders to create incentives for Bedouin farmers to organize.

Prior, Michal served in Israel's Permanent Mission to the United Nations where she represented Israel in negotiations on General Assembly resolutions and managed election campaigns for Israel's candidacy to various UN organs. This included a successful campaign for a seat on the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). Between 2006-2007, Michal was a senior Law Clerk at the Supreme Court of Israel where she focused on constitutional cases brought to the High Court of Justice. In 2004, after completing her internship at the Ministry of Justice, Michal joined former MK Avshalom (Abu) Vilan's Knesset chambers as a parliamentary director and legislative advisor. During these years she was also involved in the establishment of the Israeli Center for Human Dignity, founded by Orit Kamir, Professor of Law and Gender at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Visiting Professor at the University of Michigan Law School.

In 2007, Michal was selected as one of five Israelis to participate in the Israeli-Palestinian Joint Leadership Program in Tokyo, an annual program of prominent young individuals hosted by the Japanese Foreign Ministry.

Michal holds an M.A. in Public Administration from Harvard Kennedy School of Government and an LL.B in Law from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Contact: michal.steinman@jdcny.org
 

Liron Shoham
Associate Director

Liron Shoham is Associate Director at the Inter Agency Task Force on Israeli Arab Issues where she works to further the organization’s mission of raising awareness and providing education about Israel’s Arab citizens for North American Jewish communities. 

Liron joined the Task Force after serving as Director of Operations for the Harold Grinspoon Foundation's (HGF) New York Office, which she co-founded to grow PJ Library, the foundation's signature family engagement program, in the metropolitan region and through national partnerships.  Prior, Liron was part of the Major Gifts and Foundation Relations division at the American Friends for the Weizmann Institute of Science.  With a lifelong interest in cross-cultural coexistence, Liron has traveled widely and trained in community dispute resolution, non-violent communication, restorative justice and cross-cultural dialogue facilitation.  Born in Israel, raised in the US, Liron is bicultural and speaks fluent Hebrew. She holds an MA in Conflict Resolution from Bradford University in England and a BA in Anthropology and Arts-Semiotics from Brown University. 
Contact: liron.shoham@jdcny.org
 

Avivit Hai
Program Director in Israel

Avivit Hai is the Program Director in Israel for the Inter Agency Task Force on Israeli Arab Issues.  In this capacity she is the "eyes and ears" of the Task Force on the ground, liaising with local players - from government offices to Arab, Jewish and joint NGOs - in order to maintain up to date acquaintance with the field, assisting our members in their missions and educational programs and leading a number of information-sharing and coalition-building efforts.

Avivit joined the Task Force after having initiated and held numerous positions at the Economic Cooperation Foundation (ECF) in Tel Aviv from 1998 until 2008.  Her work involved managing and implementing a wide array of Israeli-Palestinian civil society projects in the spheres of social welfare, education and cross border cooperation. In 2000, Avivit founded and managed ECF's activities on internal Israeli Jewish-Arab issues and between 2002-2005, under the umbrella of the ECF, Avivit has served as the Senior Research Assistant to Shira Herzog, Executive Vice President of the Kahanoff Foundation in Canada, in a large-scale research examining cooperative Israeli-Palestinian civil society activities in the 90s.

Between 2004-2008, while living in Cremona, Italy, Avivit continued her work with the ECF as a project writer, translator and consultant. She has also worked with the Italian Center for Peace in the Middle East (CIPMO) in Milan where she consulted on Israeli-Palestinian and internal Israeli issues. Avivit holds an interdisciplinary MA from Tel Aviv University in Politics, Law and Society, is the author of several publications on Israeli-Palestinian issues and is fluent in Hebrew, English and Italian. 
Contact: AvivitH@jdc.org
 

Katie Falk
Task Force Specialist

Katie Falk is the Task Force Specialist at the Inter-Agency Task Force on Israeli Arab Issues. Her responsibilities include coordination of educational opportunities across North America, as well as budget management and assistance with communications. 

Before joining the Task Force, Katie completed an internship with Encounter Programs, where she assisted the Development and Operations team with managing the organization’s database, planning fundraising events, and donor research. Prior to that, while living in Tel Aviv, she interned with the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) in their International Relations Department, where she aided in the management of ACRI’s English Twitter and Facebook pages, edited English-language materials, and conducted development research. Katie holds a BA in International and Global Studies with a focus in Middle Eastern History and Arabic from Middlebury College.
Contact: Kathryn.Falk@jdc.org
 

Alma Schneider
Writer/Researcher

Alma Schneider conducts research and writing for periodic, in-depth Task Force briefings on central and developing issues in the field.

Alma previously led educational tours for international groups at the Ben-Gurion Heritage Institute, to the Ben-Gurion home, Bedouin villages, and lone-farms in the Negev region. In the United-States, she worked for organizations such as the Israel Education Initiative and the Israel Center at the United Jewish Federation of San Francisco, helping to promote and develop Israel education in local Jewish schools and community events, as well as Israel-US educational and philanthropic partnerships. She developed Israel to US missions for Ha’reali High School, and under the San Francisco Bureau of Jewish Education, co-coordinated the 2011 Diller Foundation teen mission. Alma is fluent in English and Hebrew, and has provided translation & editing services to academic researchers at Ben-Gurion and Tel-Aviv universities, among many others. A hybrid of Israeli and American identities, she returned to Israel in 2011 after a 14-year stay in the United-States to join the International Israel Studies Program at Ben-Gurion University’s Research Institute for the Study of Israel and Zionism, where she attained her MA.  She holds a BA in Playwriting and Directing from Cornish College of the Arts, and is a graduate of the Jacobs International Teen Leadership Institute.
Contact: AlmaSc@jdc.org