• Staff

    Ilan Wagner

    President and CEO

    Ilan was born in New Jersey and moved to Israel in 1986 after years of activity in the Young Judaea youth movement. Upon arriving in Israel, he helped found the Keren Kolot Educational Seminar at Kibbutz Ketura, wrote a text book for teaching English at the high school level, and then went on to be […]


    Elliot B. Karp

    Vice President for Development

    Elliot has been an active member of both the Jewish and general communities where he has lived including leadership within United Way, Jewish Family Service, Hillel and his family’s congregation.  Elliot was the Founder of the Nonprofit CEO Council of Southern Nevada and served on the Las Vegas Mayor’s Community Nonprofit Block Grant Committee and […]


    Jessica Siskind

    Vice President for North America

    Jessica was born in raised in New Jersey. Throughout her youth, she attended and worked at Ramah movement summer camps and was involved in United Synagogue Youth (USY). During college, she had the opportunity to study abroad in two incredible cities, London England and Haifa Israel, which helped shape her interest in giving young people […]


    Eliran Cohen

    Vice President for Operations and Business Development

    Eliran is married to Maayan and father to Or-Yosef. From a very young age Eliran was active in social organizations as both participant and staff. Eliran served as a fighter and commander in the Israeli navy. After this he was a Shaliach in US, before returning to Israel to continue his career. In the last […]


    Scott Copeland

    Vice President for Education

    Scott currently serves as the Vice President and Director of Education at Onward Israel. He holds a B.A. from Brandeis University in Judaic Studies and an M.A. from Hebrew University’s Institute of Contemporary Jewry, and is also a graduate of the Mandel Jerusalem Fellows, a prestigious leadership development center for the Jewish educational world. Scott […]


    Brad Garoon

    Vice President for Marketing and Communications

    As VP of Marketing and Communications, Brad creates and implements marketing strategy, finds new ways to grow Onward’s network and engage its community, and manages the organization’s branding, web presence and social media channels. Brad grew up in suburban Detroit, and lived in the Philippines before moving to New York City. Brad comes to Onward […]


    Veronika Matlov

    Director of Global Partnerships

    Veronika was born and raised in Vilnius , Lithuania, After making aliyah in 1990 she continued her B. A studies in Hebrew University in the field of Sociology and History. Veronika worked for the Jewish Agency for 20 years , mostly with educational projects for young adults and professional projects to new immigrants all over the world . In […]


    Keren Dahan

    Director of Operations and Quality Control

    Keren was born in Paris. She studied in Jerusalem at the David Yellin College of Education, earning a BA in Informal Education and History. As a student, Keren spent her summers in Israel guiding groups from abroad with with the JNF. In 2005, Keren began to working at Yad Vashem as a guide, and two […]


    Desiree Neissani

    Director of Theme Based Programs

    Desiree manages the coordination recruitment and registration for theme-based programs. With the expansion of theme-based programs, she works on best practices for recruiting participants and works with organizers on the ground to ensure meaningful summer experiences. Desiree is a Long Island native and went to Fordham College Lincoln Center where she studied Religious Studies and […]


    Yael Zegelstein

    Educational Project Manager

    After her army service as an Operations Officer in the North Face of Israel, Yael worked at a JCCA Summer Camp in Georgia. She returned to Israel and worked on the screening and training team for the Jewish Agency for Israel’s Summer Shlichim Program. Her passion for Jewish education and for Israel led her to […]


    Jacob Kranitz

    Partner Relations & Special Projects Coordinator

    Jacob grew up in Eugene, Oregon and studied Political Science with a focus on the Middle East and the Environment at the University of Oregon. He spent the summer between his Junior and Senior years as participant on Onward Israel’s Green Energy Theme-Based Program where he lived in Bat Yam and worked in an alternative […]


    Liad Shahar

    Director of Knowledge and Registration

    Liad coordinates Onward Israel’s CRM system and website. she takes the lead on interactions for logistics issues with program organizers before and while the programs are running and is also managing the Israel office and in charge of Ilan Wagner’s schedule, Onward Israel’s CEO. Previously, Liad has worked in the Priority Regions Division ,Scholarships Unit […]


    Koby Geller

    New York & Camp Counselor Program Coordinator

    Koby Geller grew up in Teaneck, NJ, and graduated from the University of Maryland with a degree in government and politics, Jewish studies, and Israel studies. He spent two formative pre- and post-college years living in Israel, where he studied at Hebrew University, volunteered as a first responder with Magen David Adom, studied at the […]


    Sara Naor

    Bay Area Recruiter and Western Coordinator

    Sara Naor joined the Onward Israel team as its first Western Coordinator and helped kick start their Bay Area program as its recruiter. Sara was born in Israel and spent her early life in Kibbutz Na’an. She moved to Los Angeles at the age of 6 and spent her remaining childhood growing up in the […]


    Ilana Shtivelman

    Theme Based Programs Coordinator

    An Israeli native, Ilana moved to Canada when she was 8, then to the US when she was 15. She went to The Pennsylvania State University for her Bachelor (Communications & Foreign Languages) and Masters (International Affairs) degrees. Upon completing her education, she moved back to Israel for a MASA program, where she taught English […]


    Zehavit Algem-Haimof

    Operations and Financial Coordinator

    Zehavit coordinates finance and operations at Onward Israel, taking the lead on budget issues, and managing negotiations with suppliers and organizers. Zehavit served in the army as a satellite communication guide in the Computer and Information Corps. Prior to joining Onward Israel, she has worked at the Jerusalem Mayor’s building as a social media intern […]


    Eliana Budoff

    Operations & Program Assistant

    Eliana grew up outside of Washington, D.C. in Fairfax, Virginia.  She played college softball for two years at Muhlenberg College and completed her B.A. at George Washington University in Political Science and Anthropology. Eliana had the amazing opportunity to live in the center of Jerusalem for a year while she studied and received her M.A. […]


    Renana Shanani

    Project Manager & Assistant to the CEO

    When Renana was a child her family went on a four year Shlichut program to Canada. There she created a deep connection and personal identification with the international Jewish community. Ever since, she has been active and connected to the worldwide Jewish community and committed to connecting it. She believes the personal and national connection […]