• Our Staff

    Ilan Wagner

    Vice President Birthright Israel Onward

    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 […]

    Eliran Cohen

    Chief Operations Officer and Senior Director of 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 […]

    Jessica Siskind

    Senior Director, 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 […]

    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 […]

    Aryeh Solomon

    Director of Operations and Quality Control

    After his army service as a commander in the Paratroopers Brigade, Aryeh studied for his B.A. in education while working with both formal and informal education projects. In 2009 Aryeh joined Yavne Olami as the director of a summer internship program.  A couple of years later he moved to one of the largest educational tourism […]

    Madison Dore

    Director, Onward Israel Internal and Theme-Based Programs

    Madison joined Onward Israel in January 2022 as their Director of Theme-Based Programs. Madison was born and raised in Chicago and is a fan of the Bears and Chicago style thin crust pizza with giardiniera. Growing up, Madison attended and worked at JCC Day Camps and was involved with her high school’s Jewish Student Union. […]

    Jessi Davidson

    Director of Internal Programs

    Jessi joined the Onward Israel Team in November 2020 as their Director of Internal Programs. Jessi originally born and raised in England, made Aliyah in 2009 after taking part in a summer program and falling in love with Israel. Determined to share her powerful experience with  others, Jessi joined one of the largest educational tourism […]

    Renana Shanani

    Director of Education

    Renana is a 9th generation Israeli with a strong connection to both Israel and the worldwide Jewish community, committed to connecting both. She believes the personal and national connection between all Jews and communities is important and significant for personal, communal, and national development. Renana has been involved in non-formal education since her youth, and […]

    Holly Millet

    Associate Director, Partner Relations

    Holly works with our North American partners to ensure great experiences in Israel for our program participants. Israel holds a special place in Holly’s heart as she completed a Masa Israel Teaching Fellowship where she lived and taught English in Haifa for one year. While in Israel, Holly spent her weekends gaining cultural and spiritual […]

    Yoni Mann

    Head of Organizer Relations

    Yoni Mann serves as the Senior Advisor to the CEO of Onward Israel. He grew up in San Francisco and made Aliyah to Israel in 2011. Yoni has a deep passion for Israel and Jewish Peoplehood. Prior to Onward Israel, Yoni founded and headed the Campus Department at Jerusalem U for four years, working to […]

    Shunit Karako Tanne

    Head of Internships and Employer Relations

    Shunit is in charge of placements and business relations for our Law & Entrepreneurship Theme Based Program and the Finance & Economics Theme Based Program. Born and raised in Israel, Shunit moved with her family to Amherst, Massachusetts for a few years as part of her father’s Navy service. For the past few years, Shunit […]

    Lena Kushnir

    Young Adult Programs Manager

    Lena is a passionate facilitator of inclusive Jewish and Israel experiences. Originally from Ukraine, she worked in Development with the Jewish Agency for Israel in Ukraine, completed a one-year program at the Paideia Institute for Jewish Studies in Sweden, and co-founded a thriving Moishe House in Kyiv. After completing a one-year fellowship in Israel with […]

    Jason Steckler

    Manager, West Coast & Advance Programs

    Jason was raised in Culver City, California and studied Recreation, Parks and Tourism Administration with a focus on Tourism at San Francisco State University. Jason spent the Summer of 2014 on Onward Israel’s National Hillel program where he lived in Jerusalem, interning for a Dual-Narrative Tourism organization. His experience that Summer helped him materialize his […]

    Alyssa Glucksman

    Coordinator, New York & Camp Counselor Programs

    Alyssa is so excited to be joining the Onward Israel team as the New York and Camp Counselor Program coordinator! From Connecticut, Alyssa graduated from the University of Wisconsin Madison with degrees in Human Development & Family Studies and Communications. As an alumna of the Camp Counselor Program, Alyssa looks forward to helping future participants […]

    Aleeza Kharilkar

    Internship Coordinator

    Aleeza, originally from Toronto, now lives in Jerusalem with her husband Avishai and daughter Shirah. She went to Reichman University for her BA where she majored in Psychology and minored in Biology, and is currently in her MA studying Organizational Behaviour and Development. From being a camper to the head of staff in camp, Aleeza has spent […]

    Judy Felner

    Campus Programs Coordinator

    Judy is excited to join the Onward Israel team as the Campus Programs Coordinator. Judy was born in New York and raised in New Jersey. Growing up she was heavily involved with various youth organizations and after being involved in the Hillel programs at both Bergen Community College and William Paterson University, she spent her […]

    Ally Cohen

    Coordinator, Partner Relations and Special Projects

    Ally Cohen is excited to join the Onward Israel team as Partner Relations and Special Projects Coordinator. Ally works with partners to ensure great onward Israel experiences for participants. Ally was born and raised in Massachusetts, but now resides with her dog in Austin, TX. She has a bachelor’s degree from Loyola University New Orleans, […]