Ofer Dahan – Executive Director

Ofer Dahan has worked in various frameworks to bring tens of thousands of Jewish immigrants and refugees to Israel. He established and managed the Israel Centre in South Africa and on his return to Israel, joined the Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI) as the marketing director of the Aliyah and Absorption Department. As the director of the Jewish Agency’s 2010-2011 Ethiopian Immigrant Campaign, he was instrumental in arranging for hundreds of Ethiopians to come to Israel on special flights. Ofer then joined Naale Elite Academy as the Western Countries director and was responsible for bringing high school students to Israel to finish high school. He later worked with the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ), also known as the Friendship Fund, helping Jews from Eastern Europe to immigrate to Israel. In 2018, Ofer was recruited by Bar-Ilan University to open an International School dedicated to enabling students and researchers from all over the world to come to Bar-Ilan and to support them during their journey.

Prof. Rachel Dekel – Academic Head

Prof. Rachel Dekel, a professor at Bar-Ilan’s Louis and Gabi Weisfeld School of Social Work and its former director, has served as the Academic Head of BIU’s International School since October 2018. Rachel is a world-renowned professor who is known for her research on the effects of trauma on family relations. She is also the founder and current director of the Bar-Ilan clinic for conjoint intervention for couples in which one member suffers from PTSD. You can find out more information about Prof. Dekel and her research on her website: www.racheldekel.com.

Merav Gilad – Director of International Student Services and Affairs

Merav Gilad manages the International School’s Student Services and Affairs department, which assists all international students before, during, and after their academic studies at Bar-Ilan University, thus making sure that students receive all the support and services they need to succeed. Merav joined the International School in December 2018 after working in various different positions at Bar-Ilan University for many years. Her extensive experience includes creating and managing academic curricula as well as establishing study partnerships between the university and other international institutions.

Neta Moallem – Director of Marketing & Recruitment

Daniel Schuval – Director of Academic Partnerships and Projects, Erasmus+ ICM Coordinator

Daniel has been an integral member of the International School at Bar-Ilan University since before the school was officially formed. Today, Daniel heads up international relations and partnerships with universities in the EU and around the globe. He initiates and provides support for the formal establishment of academic partnerships, projects, and programs with foreign institutions and relevant organizations or institutes. Daniel also represents the university at relevant international conferences, forums, and government meetings related to internationalization.

Yael Toledano – Director Academic Visits

Yael joined the Bar-Ilan University team after many years of professional activity with olim chadashim and other immigrants to Israel. Yael herself immigrated to Israel from France, studied for her BA in Jerusalem, and has a master's degree in public policy from Tel Aviv University. Until September 2018, Yael founded and managed an immigration network from Western Europe and created innovative models for absorption, education, and employment in Israel. Currently, she is responsible for academic visits between Bar-Ilan University and foreign institutions.

Dalia Harats – Deputy Director of Marketing and Recruitment

Dalia Harats was born in Switzerland and made Aliyah soon after high school. After working on the Europe Desk in BIU’s Global Resource Development Operations Department, Dalia joined the International School team. Dalia is now responsible for marketing and recruitment of international students from all over the world. She has a BA in business administration and marketing. Dalia is currently on maternity leave, but the marketing and recruitment team is handling her responsibilities while she is away.

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Explore Available English Programs at Bar-Ilan University

Ayelet Gerling – International School Coordinator

Ayelet Gerling joined the International School in 2019 after having worked in Bar-Ilan University’s School of Business Administration as coordinator of the Executive MBA program for six years. She manages and is responsible for all the operations and logistics of the International School and assists the executive director in his day-to-day tasks. After studying Industrial Design at the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem, Ayelet moved to Berlin where she worked in various design and marketing positions. While in Berlin, she attended the Berlin University of the Arts, graduating with a Master’s degree in Design in 2000. After returning to Israel in 2007, Ayelet held a variety of marketing and project management positions prior to joining Bar-Ilan. She speaks three languages fluently – Hebrew, English, and German.

Alyta Pitaru – Director of Administration for IX Gap-Year Program

Alyta Pitaru, Director of Administration, was born in Petach Tikva Israel, raised in an English-speaking household by parents who immigrated from England. She did her national service as a coordinator of a B'Nei Akiva branch in Moshav Netzer Hazahi in Gush Katif. She attended Bar Ilan University earning a BA in Land of Israel Studies and Jewish History. Alyta has been the director of Administration for overseas students on the Israel Experience Gap-Year Program at Bar Ilan University since 1997.

Eldad Shetrit – Social Media Manager

Born in Haifa, Eldad lived in Minnesota as a young child. Eldad continued his “American connection” by attending Ramah Wisconsin every summer until joining the army as a sniper in Golani. His BA (social sciences) and MA (political communication) are from Bar-Ilan University. Eldad has worked as a writer for the Knesset, and in advertising agencies He is also a bilingual stand-up comedian.

Ahlam Ibrahim – Visas, Dorms, and Health Insurance

Ahlam Ibrahim has a BA in English Literature and Latin Studies and an MA in English Literature and Education from Hebrew University. Before joining the Bar-Ilan University team, she worked at NYU Tel-Aviv and the Israeli Center for Excellence through Education. Ahlam is the coordinator for visas, dorms, and health insurance at the International School.

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Visas, Dorms, and Health Insurance

Ronit Gershtain – Undergraduate Degrees: Admissions

Ronit Gershtain is responsible for the undergraduate application process for all international students and olim chadashim (new immigrants). Prior to joining the International School, Ronit worked in the professional trade fairs arena in the areas of purchasing and marketing. She also worked as a Special-Needs English teacher for several years. Ronit holds a BA in Communication and English from Hebrew University.

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Post-Application: Undergraduate Programs

Tal Koor- Graduate and Postgraduate Degrees: Admissions

Tal Koor is responsible for advising Master’s and PhD students after they have registered for their degrees. She is happy to assist international students with anything related to their applications, registering for courses, learning about the Bar-Ilan systems, and more. Tal started working at the International School in 2020 as the international student coordinator in the Visa and Dormitory section before taking on her new role. Tal holds a BA in Psychology, Sociology and Criminology.

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Int’l Graduate & PhD Programs


Zvi Swisa – Students’ Academic Advisor

An avid reader and fervent Eurovision fan, Zvi Swisa is an MA student in the Department of History at Bar-Ilan University, writing his thesis on early modern England. At the International School, Zvi is in charge of the multifaceted academic aspects of the international students, especially those who study one of the school's special international programs. Zvi is your go-to person for academics and beyond.

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Int’l Undergraduate & Post-Docs Matriculating Students

Oz Nackar – Director of Student Exchange

Oz manages the International School’s Student Exchange program, which provide students with the opportunity to experience a new country, culture, and customs, and see life from a different perspective. Bar-Ilan University’s incoming and outgoing Student Exchange Program enables students to spend 3-12 months in the host country, whether in Israel, Europe, the UK, the US, India, or China. Oz joined the International School in January 2022 after working in various managerial positions at Bar-Ilan University for many years. His vast experience includes Formulating and carrying out yearly workplans targeted for enhancing the University’s image and achieving its strategic goals, leading multiple cross functional and complex projects and managing the University's renewed brand. oz holds a BA in in Public Communication and Political Science, MA in Political Communication and an MBA, all from Bar-Ilan University.

Hadar Giat – Coordinator of Student Affairs and Well-being

Hadar began working at the International School in July 2021. She is responsible for the well-being of all international students on campus. Her aim is to ensure that the students receive all the help they need to succeed at Bar-Ilan. She is happy to be able to help international students with any requests or issues they may have, whether socially, personally, or with their studies. Hadar’s experience in leading social and community activities, combined with her background in psychology (she holds a BA in Psychology), means she is well-suited to the position.

Dr. Dorith Raviv Shay – International Representative: Azrieli Faculty of Medicine

Dr. Dorith Raviv Shay is the Scientific Coordinator of the Research Management and Academic staff at Bar-Ilan University’s Azrieli Faculty of Medicine in the Galilee (Safed/Tsfat campus) and serves as the International School’s representative for international students who choose to do their research in this faculty. She joined the International School on 2019 after having identified the needs of international PhD students on the Safed campus and handles everything from recruitment to graduation. Dorith holds a PhD in Molecular Genetics and lives in the north of Israel with her family.

Shira Gafni – Global Engagement, Head: North America

Shira joins Bar-Ilan University with vast experience in global marketing and business development from the fields of higher education, high-tech and healthcare. She has held key functions within higher education in the US, involving the marketing and recruitment of graduate programs and in the establishing and developing of institutional partnerships towards online programs. In her capacities in high-tech and healthcare, she led marketing and business development teams focused on global initiatives. Shira holds a BSc in business marketing from Arizona State University and an MSc In business management from Boston University.

Rabbi Ari Kahn – Director IX Gap year Program – International School

Rabbi Ari Kahn is the Director of Foreign Student Programs at Bar-Ilan University in Israel, where he also is a senior lecturer in Jewish studies. Rabbi Kahn received his rabbinic ordination from Yeshiva University, where he studied with Rabbi Yosef Dov Soloveitchik. He also holds a BA in psychology and an MS in Talmud.Rabbi Kahn is a renowned speaker, and has lectured worldwide. Having authored hundreds of articles on the weekly parsha with a readership in excess of 10,000, Rabbi Kahn is also the author of “Explorations,” an in-depth analysis of the weekly Torah reading, “Emanations,” an in-depth analysis of the Jewish holidays, and “Echoes of Eden,” a projected 5-volume set of parsha analysis. Rabbi Kahn combines the mystical explorations of kabbala and chassidism with a highly-intellectual and broad-minded approach to Torah study, incorporating psychology, literature and Jewish history into his observations as well. He has lived in Israel since 1984 with his wife Naomi and 5 children.

Anabella Jaroslavsky – Educational Programs Coordinator in Central America for the World Zionist Organization

Anabella is currently the coordinating of educational programs in Central America for the World Zionist Organization. She Is also the President of the Latin American Department of the Maccabi World Union (Israel), Former Executive Director of Hebraica Jewish Community Center in Caracas-Venezuela. (1993-2018) Former Director of CLAM (Latin American Maccabi Confederation) (2008-2015) Director of Hatzad Hasheni Public Diplomacy Institution since 2010 She is an Organizational consultant for Jewish communities, dedicated to the design, management, development, and fundraising for educational and socio-cultural projects. Specialist in the training of teams of volunteers and professionals.


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