Yossi Garr, Director

Yossi has been working with the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism and Nativ for more than 18 years. He began as a Madrich for Nativ 16 (1996-1997), was the Assistant Director of Nativ from 1998-2000, and has now been the Director of the program since 2005. Yossi also served as the USY Central Shaliach in New York for four years. Yossi has a B.A. in Jewish History from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and an M.A. in Public Policy from Tel Aviv University. He lives in Modi’in together with his wife Jen and their three sons, Nadav, Eitan, and Shai.

Emuna Belenky, Assistant Director

Emuna was born and raised in Jerusalem. After her completion of high school, she did two years of National Service in Holon. She started her B.A. at Bar Ilan University studying Archaeology & the Land of Israel, but after two years went for a year of Shlichut in the Jewish community in Oslo, Norway. Since then she has been working in European summer camper and various jobs in the field of Jewish education. She is very excited to become part of the Nativ family!

David Abraham, Assistant Director for Yozma

David grew up in New Mexico and Arizona, where he was very involved with the Far West chapter of USY and went on to be a participant on Nativ 24 (2004-2005). After attending the University of Arizona, where he received a B.A. in Elementary Education, David made Aliyah with Garin Tzabar and served as a tank commander for two years. Later, he returned to the states and received an M.A. in Rehabilitation Counseling from the University of Kentucky. David is excited to be back living in Israel, and taking on a new role with Nativ as the Assistant Director for Yozma.

Deborah Shafran, Assistant Director for Admissions (New York Office)

Deb (Lobel) Shafran was both a participant on Nativ 16 (1996-1997) and a Madricha for Nativ 21 (2001-2002). Deb grew up in upstate New York (Tzafon USY) and after Nativ, completed a B.A. and M.A. in Elementary and Special Education at Boston University. During her years of study, Deb took every opportunity during summer vacations to work for different USY programs (Wheels, Pilgrimage, Parent’s Pilgrimage). After working as a teacher for several years in New York City, Deb lived in Israel for over 8 years. She has recently returned to the NYC area with her husband and 2 children.

Zoe Avery Grossman, Admissions and Program Associate (New York Office)

Zoe grew up in Teaneck, NJ and was a very involved member of Hagalil USY. After high school, she was a participant on Nativ 31, on the Yeshiva/Yerucham tracks. After Nativ, she went on to Brandeis University and earned a B.A. in Linguistics and Anthropology. She spent every summer growing up, and during her college years at Camp Ramah in the Berkshires – with the last five as a counselor and as a Rosh Edah.




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