The Faces of Bar-Ilan University

The Faces of Bar-Ilan University

The Faces of Bar-Ilan University

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Kim Kyoungsik Kim Kyoungsik

Meet Kim Kyoungsik, 38, a Christian pastor from Seoul, who is one of the more than 20 South Korean graduate students enrolled at Bar-Ilan University's Zalman Shamir Bible Department – the largest of its kind in the world devoted to the study of the Hebrew Bible. Currently completing his doctoral dissertation on Plot Conventions in the Scroll of Esther, Kim aspires to make the Bible in its original Hebrew text far more accessible to the Korean public. Toward that end, he has developed his own, free, user-friendly Bible software, called AlphAlef, which is already averaging a thousand clicks per day from both scholars and devout common folk. He also uses this innovative app in teaching Bible in Korean on his own private YouTube channel. Read more >>
Dr Shifra Mescheloff Dr. Shifra Mescheloff

Meet Dr. Shifra Mescheloff, 41, an accomplished civil litigation attorney and talmida chachama, who directs Bar-Ilan University's one-of-a-kind Jewish Law Clinic at the Faculty of Law. Under her expert guidance, the Civil Legal Aid Clinic in Jewish Law Tribunals, as it is officially known, uniquely provides free legal assistance to claimants wishing to take their monetary disputes to Batei Din (Jewish religious courts) rather than civil courts, while acquainting LLB candidates with the practical aspects of monetary law according to halakha (Jewish law). The Jewish Law Clinic is one of the Faculty's eleven clinics in areas ranging from women's rights to environmental regulation, where third-year law students engage in volunteer legal work to advance causes not granted sufficient consideration in today's legal system. Read more >>
Uzi Rubin

PhD candidate Uzi Rubin

Meet PhD candidate Uzi Rubin, 81, the legendary "father of Israeli missile defense," a PhD candidate at Bar-Ilan University's Department of Political Studies and a senior research associate at BIU's Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies (BESA).

Rubin, who spearheaded the development of Israel's cutting-edge Arrow weapon system, has devoted much of his career to safeguarding Israeli national security. Now, as a BIU doctoral student in his golden years, he has taken a step back to chronicle and reassess Israeli missile defense policy after decades of service in the Israel Ministry of Defense (MOD) and the Israel National Security Council. Read more >>

Camila Edry Alumni Success Story: Camila Edry

Meet Camila Edry, an alumna of Bar-Ilan University's Executive MBA (EMBA) program and BSc program in the Department of Math & Computer Science. Edry serves as Director of National & Aviation Cyber Programs at Elta Systems Ltd, a global leader in cyber defense and subsidiary of Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI). One of Elta's senior women managers, she has been employed at the company for a quarter of a century. "It's exciting to work on cutting-edge cyber security solutions for large international industries and enterprises, foreign governments, and defense forces," says Camila, who travels the globe to advise clients in Latin America, Europe, Asia and Africa. "It's fascinating to apply big data and machine learning technologies in the state-of-the-art systems that we design to counter online threats." Read more >>
Noa Yechezkel-Lubin

Student Spotlight on Noa Yechezkel-Lubin

Meet Master’s student Noa Yechezkel-Lubin, 28, an Artificial Intelligence researcher at Bar-Ilan University's Department of Computer Science and a National Aeronautics and Space Administration - NASA alumna. Noa recently returned from a prestigious three-month internship at NASA Ames Research Center in California where she applied algorithms and other deep-learning methods to identify earth-like planets outside our solar system. As the first Israeli to work at NASA at the behest of the State of Israel, Noa is grateful for the Assaf Ramon Israel Space Agency Fellowship granted through the Ministry of Science, Technology and Space, which made it all possible. Read more >>

Pavitra S R

Pavitra S R

Meet Pavitra S R, originally from India, a PhD candidate at Prof. Dror Fixler’s Advanced Light Microscopy Laboratory in the Faculty of Engineering, Bar-Ilan. Pavitra works on developing a novel, non-invasive method to detect and treat atherosclerosis – the leading cause of death and disability in the western world. In research led by her doctoral adviser Prof. Fixler, who is also Director of Bar-Ilan's Institute for Nanotechnology and Advanced Materials (BINA), Pavitra is using gold nanorods and new imaging technology in an effort to diagnose and treat this disease in its early stages, before hardened and narrowed arteries trigger heart attacks or strokes. Read more >>

Jonnie Schnytzer Jonnie Schnytzer

Meet Jonnie Schnytzer, a doctoral candidate in the Department of Jewish Thought at Bar-Ilan University, a newly published novelist, and Director of Programs and Strategic Partnerships at the Israel-Asia Center. Former Advisor to the CEO of Taglit-Birthright, Jonnie served in the IDF as a Staff Sergeant in an elite Naval Intelligence Unit. He joined BIU’s BA track in Interdisciplinary Behavioral Sciences and moved on to pursue an MA in Sociology and Anthropology at the university. An articulate advocate on behalf of Israel and Jewish causes, Jonnie credits his Bar-Ilan education with empowering him to assume leadership roles in the Jewish world. Read more >>
Dr. Dvir Raviv

Dr. Dvir Raviv

Meet Dr. Dvir Raviv, 35, a teaching associate at the Martin (Szusz) Department of Land of Israel Studies and Archaeology at Bar-Ilan University, who has recently published his exciting findings about a newly discovered Hasmonean-Herodian Fortress in Judaea. His documentation of the Artabba fortress, which appeared in the Israel Exploration Journal (IEJ 68 (1)), sheds light on settlement activity in northern Judea during the Second Temple period. "This is important since many historians have questioned the historic authenticity of Maccabees 1 and Flavius Josephus' Antiquities of the Jews with regard to the early stages of the Hasmonean period," explains Raviv. "This fortress and the other archaeological finds support the historical narrative that there was indeed a Maccabean revolt and a Hasmonean state already under the rule of Jonathan and Simon, the Hasmoneans." Read more >>

Aya Maruf

Aya Maruf

Meet Aya Abu-Maruf, 23, a graduate student focusing on Brain Research and Vision Science at Bar-Ilan's School of Optometry and Vision Science – a one-of-a-kind Israeli academic center which combines academic studies with R&D, while offering free screenings for underprivileged visually-impaired communities. Aya, who holds a BSc in Optometry from BIU and owns her own optometry shop, is a role model for Arab Israeli women. She uses every opportunity to encourage them to acquire an academic degree in order to launch a professional career, advance themselves and inspire others in their communities. Read more >>

Eyal Zusiman Eyal Zusiman

Meet Eyal Zusiman, a 12 year-old recent graduate of the Program for the Advancement of Mathematically Talented Youth at Bar-Ilan University, who has completed his Israeli high school matriculation exams (Bagrut) in math with flying colors. The young math whiz, who joined the three-year BIU program normally geared for 8th-10th graders when he was just in 4th grade, successfully completed the demanding five-point curriculum of calculus, algebra, probability theory, and other subjects required for the top tier of the Israeli Bagrut. Read more >>
Maya Gura Maya Gura

Meet Maya Gura, 39, an alumna of the MA program in Clinical Criminology at Bar-Ilan University's Department of Criminology, and co-founding CEO of Missbeez, one of the hottest startups making a buzz worldwide. Missbeez is a premium on-demand mobile platform enabling independent beauty industry service providers to offer their services to busy career women in their location. With some 100,000 clients in Israel, the United Kingdom and Spain, this immensely popular company, also has an important social mission. It helps hundreds of self-employed women access clients and establish a firm base for advancing their beauty care businesses. Read more >>
Prof. Avinatan Hassidim

Prof. Avinatan Hassidim

Meet Prof. Avinatan Hassidim, 37,of the Department of Computer Science at Bar-Ilan University, head of the Google Research Group in Israel, and one of The Marker's "40 under 40" list of promising young superstars of 2018. A graduate of the IDF's elite Talpiot training program for recruits with top scores in math and physics, Avinatan served in the IDF's top secret and prestigious Intelligence Corps crack cybersecurity unit known as "8200," and received the Israeli Chief of Staff Award given to some 25 outstanding officers each year. He joined Bar-Ilan’s faculty in 2010, after completing a post-doc at MIT and serving as a consultant at Microsoft in the US. Read more >>

Debby (Deborah) Haber Debby (Deborah) Haber

Meet Debby (Deborah) Haber, 20, of Sao Paulo, Brazil, who is an undergrad at the Department of Political Studies and the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Bar-Ilan University. 

Debby arrived at BIU in July 2016 for summer Ulpan to improve her Hebrew language skills before embarking on the year-long Mechina (preparatory) program. "I met people from France, America, Russia, Columbia, Argentina and other countries. Many of my good friends are from my Mechina days." Last year she began her BA studies in the regular Hebrew program. Read more >>
Dr. Rinat Meir Dr. Rinat Meir, Engineering

Meet Dr. Rinat Meir, recent alumna of the Bar-Ilan Faculty of Engineering. Meir, who completed her PhD in the lab of Prof. Rachela Popovtzer at the faculty and at BIU's Institute for Nanotechnology and Advanced Materials, received the prestigious Fulbright Scholarship and is currently pursuing her postdoc at Columbia University on new nano-biomaterials in drug-delivery. Read more >>
Prof. Leib Moscovitz Prof. Leib Moscovitz

Meet Prof. Leib Moscovitz of the Department of Talmud and Oral Law at Bar-Ilan University, who will be heading the Chair for the Study of the Jerusalem Talmud at BIU – the first of its kind in the world. An internationally renowned expert in the study of the Jerusalem Talmud, Moscovitz has been tapped to serve as incumbent of the new Rabbi Shlomo Goren Chair, which is being established in BIU's premier Faculty of Jewish Studies. Read more >>
Rabbi Joel Lion

Student Spotlight on Rabbi Joel Lion, Ambassador of the State of Israel to Ukraine

Meet Rabbi Joel Lion, 54, a PhD candidate at Bar-Ilan University’s Martin (Szusz) Department of Land of Israel Studies and Archaeology, and the new Israeli ambassador to Ukraine. Rabbi Lion has formerly served as Chief of Diplomatic Staff of the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, as Special Envoy for Holocaust Era Assets Restitution, as Ambassador to the ICAO - International Civil Aviation Organization and as Consul General in Montreal, in addition to other posts. Read more >>

Shira Negbi Student Spotlight on Shira Negbi 

Meet Shira Negbi, 23, an undergraduate in the Department of Computer Science at Bar-Ilan University and co-manager of the BIU branch of she codes; a community of women in technology, working to achieve an equal number of female and male software developers in Israel. Shira, who also works as a product validation software developer at Intel Israel (in a student position), is well acquainted with the "she codes;" initiative – both as a volunteer and as a beneficiary. She helps female students seeking to improve their coding skills and learn new technologies through the various she codes; programming tracks, while advancing her own knowledge and expertise. Read more >>
Naomi Bareket Naomi Bareket

Meet Naomi Bareket, 2005 alumna of Bar-Ilan University, International MBA program (with honors). The co-owner of Bareket Jewelry Design - Empowerment Jewelry, and CEO and co-founder of an international Life Transformation AcademyNeuroSUCCESSology, Bareket is also currently establishing a social business venture in Nigeria to empower impoverished Africans to get ahead in life. Partnering with fellow iMBA graduate David Tosin Bakare of Nigeria, Israeli-born Bareket has formulated specialized mindset training to help women and young adults break through their limitations, tap into their innate creativity and become independent and successful entrepreneurs. Read more >>
Elisheva Jeffay Elisheva Jeffay

Meet undergraduate Elisheva Jeffay, originally from Manchester, England, who is majoring in French Studies at the Department of French Studies and Linguistics at the Department of English Literature and Linguistics. One of four BIU students selected to receive scholarships from the Institut français, she spent two weeks in August immersed in French at Cavilam Vichy – Alliance Française. 
Prof Yuri Rassovsky

Prof. Yuri Rassovsky

Meet Prof. Yuri Rassovsky, head of the Cognitive Enhancement and Rehabilitation Lab at Bar-Ilan University’s Department of Psychology, and senior researcher at The Leslie and Susan Gonda Multidisciplinary Brain Research Center. Prof. Rassovsky’s research focuses on innovative methods for cognitive enhancement and rehabilitation of neurocognitive deficits in severe mental illness and neurological disorders: “Our lab’s key objective is to decipher how sports activities affect the human brain, and by extension – our cognitive functions.” Using his findings, Prof. Rassovsky aspires to improve cognitive and mental functions among children, teens and adults, thus promoting awareness to the importance of physical activity. Read more >>

Itzhak (Itzik) Dessie

Itzhak (Itzik) Dessie

Meet Attorney Itzhak (Itzik) Dessie, a Doctoral Fellow of Excellence at Bar-Ilan University's Faculty of Law, and Israel's first Ethiopian-Israeli lawyer. A social entrepreneur who has sought to protect the rights of new immigrants from Ethiopia and other disadvantaged communities, Itzik is spearheading the launch of BIU's new Legal Clinic for the Advancement of Equality, which he will supervise jointly with BIU law professor Ariel Bendor, Dean of BIU's School of Graduate Studies. The new clinic, the first of its kind in Israel, is one of several pro-bono clinics operated by the Faculty of Law, servicing the general public. In the new clinic, Itzik hopes to effect change in Israeli society: "I am very proud to be able to establish this clinic here at Bar-Ilan, which will both monitor and actively deal with discrimination." Read more >>

Eyal Tur

Israel Model UN National PresidentEyal Tur

Meet BIU undergrad Eyal Tur, 21, the newly-elected President of the Israeli Model UN Association – IMUNA. Eyal, who resides in Givat Shmuel, is pursuing a double major in political studies and economics at BIU ("it's close to home and feels like home, and I'm enjoying my academic studies"), in the framework of the Israel Defense Forces' prestigious Atuda (Academic Reserve) program. After graduating Bar-Ilan, he will attend IDF officer's training and then be assigned an economics position, possibly in the Israeli Air Force or Ground Forces. Following his tour of duty, he hopes to take the Foreign Ministry's cadet course and pursue a career in diplomacy or public service, possibly serving as an economic attaché or in another position where he can apply his training in economics. Read more >>

Shirly Klivitzky Shirly Klivitzky

Meet Shirly Klivitzky, a graduate of BIU's MA Program in Translation and Interpreting Studies, who translates official correspondence, presentations and overviews for Israel's defense establishment. She is the former senior in-house Hebrew-English-Hebrew translator at a leading translation and subtitling studio. Shirly, who holds a BA in comparative literature from Tel Aviv University, chose to study at Bar-Ilan because "this is the only university in Israel that offers an academic degree in translation and interpreting studies. Besides, my brother studied at BIU (BA in Economics) and was always saying that Bar-Ilan best prepares you for the job market and provides you with a useful toolkit for the years after graduation. I soon realized exactly what he was talking about." Read more >>
Nir Levitan

Nir Levitan

As an Israeli with Danish roots and a fascination with international negotiations, BIU Doctoral Fellow of Excellence Nir Levitan is exploring a topic that is close to home: Scandinavian Mediation in the Middle East.

Enrolled in Bar-Ilan's Graduate Program in Conflict Resolution, Management and Negotiation (CRMN), has interviewed former Danish foreign ministers, and the ambassadors of Norway, Sweden, Denmark and the EU. "Scandinavian politicians and statesmen see a lot of resemblance between Israel and Scandinavia in terms of values, goals, and issues effecting small states," he relays. Read more >>

Jessica Bellworthy Jessica Bellworthy 

Meet British marine scientist Jessica Bellworthy, who is exploring the effects of global warming on the diverse tropical coral reefs in the Gulf of Aqaba, in the Red Sea. Enrolled in her second year of PhD studies in life sciences at BIU, Jessica, 29, works in Bar-Ilan Prof. Maoz Fine's lab at the Interuniversity Institute for Marine Sciences (IUI) in Eilat. Using his "world class" Red Sea Simulator, she assesses the effects of increased temperature upon the offspring of the parent coral colonies. Notes Jessica, "Our exciting finds thus far point to the amazing resistance of Gulf corals to heat stress. Their larvae and reproduction seem unaffected by significant temperature change." This is encouraging news given the mass coral bleaching occurring elsewhere around the globe which may cause irreparable damage to entire ecosystems. Read more >>
Eyal Walach Eyal Walach

At 16, Eyal Walach holds a BSc in Mathematics and Physics from Bar-Ilan University, and is currently completing a master's degree in Physics on campus. Enrolled in the Outstanding Graduate Students track, Eyal is specializing in solid state physics – that in addition to his high school studies in Hod Hasharon and impressive recent accolades: In July, Eyal was awarded an individual gold medal at the IPhO2018, the International Physics Olympiad in Portugal, and last May, a bronze medal at the APhO 2018 - the Asian Physics Olympiad in Vietnam. Read more >>
Ariel Ashkenazi

Ariel Ashkenazi

Ariel Ashkenazi, 27, a married father of one, is a pathblazer in his family as well as in the haredi community. “My parents did not have the benefit of an academic education but they encouraged my siblings and me to acquire university training. There is no contradiction between Torah and academia,” says the ultra-Orthodox Ashkenazi, whose academic adviser and mentor is the Faculty of Engineering's Prof. Dror Fixler, who also heads the Bar-Ilan Institute for Nanotechnology and Advanced Materials (BINA).


Nisan Ozama

Nisan Ozana

Doctoral candidate Nisan Ozana’s groundbreaking medical diagnostics research has awarded him the Wolf Foundation Prize

Although Nisan Ozana’s research focuses on electro optics, his recent study might actually help millions of people with health issues. “My research, conducted at the Alexander Kofkin Faculty of Engineering, under the supervision of Prof. Zeev Zalevsky, Vice Dean and Head of the Faculty's of the Electro-Optics study track, monitors remote vibrations for the purpose of medical diagnostics.

David Tosin Bakare David Tosin Bakare 

Meet David Tosin Bakare, 43, of Lagos, Nigeria, who's proud to be the first citizen of an African nation to enroll in BIU's one-year Bar-Ilan University, International MBA program. As part of the course, Entrepreneurship: From Idea to Market, Bakare – an entrepreneur himself – has partnered with an Israeli classmate and an American IMBA alumna in designing a social business project to help break the vicious cycle of poverty in Africa. With a three-pronged focus on women empowerment, youth support and enhancement of entrepreneurial motivation, the project employs an "innovative micro-credit model and smart agriculture driven by 21st century technology using the power of social media."
Naftali Stoch

Naftali Stoch

Drawn to BIU's fascinating multidisciplinary Program in Neuroscience - the only one of its kind in Israel to offer a BSc degree in the field – Naftali Stoch from Beit Shemesh, relays with a grin: "I knew I made a good decision when I got a call about the Schulich scholarship." Enrolled in his second year, he joined Prof. Izhar Bar-Gad's Neural Interfaces ("Neurint") Lab in The Leslie and Susan Gonda Multidisciplinary Brain Research Center.The lab team examines the bi-directional interaction between computerized systems and the central nervous system. Read more >>

Andrea Emanuelli Andrea Emanuelli

Meet Andrea Emanuelli, of Milan, Italy, who is completing his PhD studies at Bar-Ilan University Faculty of Medicine in the Galilee. Probing molecular mechanisms involved in the development of cancer, he examines a protein which plays a crucial role in cell replication. His novel research findings – which may help to improve the efficacy of anti-cancer treatments – were published in a peer-reviewed journal and even featured on its cover.
Read more >> 
Dr Adi Salomon Dr. Adi Salomon:
Harnessing Sunlight to Create Fuel

BIU scientist Dr. Adi Salomon and her research team are on the way to harnessing sunlight into energy in the form of fuel. While studying the interaction between metallic nano-structures and light, Dr. Salomon, of the Department of Chemistry and the Bar-Ilan Institute for Nanotechnology and Advanced Materials, synthesized a new type of material – lightweight metals.
Dr. Adam Zaidel

Dr. Adam Zaidel:
Do We Really Perceive Reality?

You run into an acquaintance in your neighborhood and say hello. But if you bumped into that same person on a street in Shanghai, would you do the same?


According to Dr. Adam Zaidel, of BIU’s Leslie and Susan Gonda (Goldschmied) Multidisciplinary Brain Research Center, you may not even recognize that person at all!

Dr Osnat Keren

Dr. Osnat Keren:
Secure Hardware – Fighting Side Channel Attacks

Dr. Osnat Keren’s interest in secure hardware began when she was studying codes for enhancing the reliability of hardware systems. She earned two degrees in Electrical Engineering from the Technion, pursued her PhD in coding theory at Tel Aviv University, and she worked as an algorithms developer in hi-tech companies. About twelve years ago she returned to academia, where she focused on spectral methods for logic design. Her research interests then turned to secure hardware. Read more >>

Prof. Orit Taubman - Ben-Ari

Prof. Orit Taubman-Ben-Ari

Meet Prof. Orit Taubman-Ben-Ari, a psychologist and lecturer at BIU’s School of Social Work. Taubman-Ben-Ari’s main research fields are multigenerational relations and personal growth following life transitions and crises, and transition to parenthood/grandparenthood. Taubman-Ben-Ari was one of the first scholars in the world to prove that personal growth occurs not only following trauma, but also following normative changes. Her studies examine both negative and positive aspects of families coping with stressful life events such as the birth of a preemie baby, fertility treatments and parenting twins. Read more >>

Tamar Dreifuss Tamar Dreifuss

In February 2018, the Israeli Society for Medical and Biological Engineering (ISMBE) held its annual conference, during which excelling doctoral candidates from all universities in Israel were awarded for groundbreaking discoveries. This year, six awards were handed out, one of which to Tamar Dreifuss, of Prof. Rachela Popovtzer's lab at BIU’s Faculty of Engineering.
Dr Ran Gelles

Dr. Ran Gelles - The Goal: an Error-Free Network

Distributed computing issues are becoming increasingly more critical, as we advance towards a more computerized existence. Dr. Ran Gelles (36) focuses on combining coding theories with distributed computing, and studies computation performance on communication networks with communication errors. “Today, issues of failed communication arise when a few computers need to communicate with each other, for instance, when performing calculations on clouds, which are essentially a distributed network. Read more >>

Efrat and Yehuda Shilat Yehuda and Efrat Shilat 

Meet Yehuda and Efrat Shilat, a married couple of undergrads at BIU.

Yehuda, 27, grew up in a Zionist family in New Jersey. After graduating from high school, he applied for a BA in Business Administration at Tauro College, but one semester in, he realized he wanted to choose a more fulfilling path, in line with his Jewish and Zionist background. In 2009 he decided to take a gap year in Israel, where he completed two years in Yeshivat Shaarei Mevaseret Zion. He then began studying Business Management at Jerusalem College of Technology (JCT) – Lev Academic Center, but after a year there, he knew he wanted his stay here to become permanent. Read more >>
Dr Amitai Oberman

Dr. Amitai Oberman

Meet Dr. Amitai Oberman of BIU’s Azrieli Faculty of Medicine in the Galilee, an expert on internal medicine, geriatrics and palliative medicine. Palliative medicine focuses on improving the life quality of chronic patients and their families, and end-of-life treatments. Dr. Oberman has been serving as the Head of the Rehabilitative Geriatrics Ward at the Baruch Padeh Medical Center in Poriya since 2006. He is one of the pioneering experts in Israel in the field of palliative medicine, and teaches the subject at various institutions. Read more >>

Nofar Leviticus

Nofar Leviticus

At the outset of her undergraduate studies in Biotechnology, Nofar Leviticus has also embarked on a fascinating Jewish learning experience in the Midrasha's Norman and Johanne Sternthal Reshit Program. Growing up with traditions but not observance, she says, "I'm pleased to engage in interactive Jewish study – examining and discussing texts and sources in an intimate setting with ten other students." Read more >>

Dr. Elana Zion Golumbic

Dr. Elana Zion Golumbic

Meet Dr. Elana Zion Golumbic, Founding Head of the Human Brain Dynamics Lab at BIU’s Leslie and Susan Gonda (Goldschmied) Multidisciplinary Brain Research Center. Dr. Zion Golumbic studies the ways in which the brain processes complex information such as language, speech and music, and attempts to decipher the correlation between all the data input.


Shiri Taron and Alex Solodukhin Shiri Taron Solodukhin and Alex Solodukhin

Meet Shiri Taron Solodukhin and Alex Solodukhin, married parents to newborn Refael, who are both students at BIU’s Azrieli Faculty of Medicine in the Galilee. Shiri, 30, is a 5th year (pre-residence) medical students, and holds a BSc in Biomedicine and an MSc in Neurobiology from the Hebrew University. She grew up in Netanya, and during her pre-clinical studies served as research exchange coordinator for the students’ union and a doctor’s assistant in the Galilee Medical Center and Mazor Medical Center. “Becoming a doctor was something I thought about for several years." 
Michael Manchik

Michael Manchik:
Spurring on Urban Revival in Lod

BIU alumnus Michael Manchik first came to the city of Lod as a student volunteer in a community outreach project. Today, he is working in the local youth center,encouraging Lod’s youngsters to pursue higher education and breathe new life into their hometown.

Michael Manchik’s leadership skills and charisma first came to fore when he was a combat soldier and commander in the Israeli Navy. He later developed an interest in social activism while preparing teens for army service in the framework of the Aharai! (Follow Me) organization. Read more >>

Jonathan Milgram Jonathan Milgram

Meet Jonathan Milgram, 27, a third year student in the International B.A program at BIU. Jonathan was born in Philadelphia, and moved to Boston when he was in high school. The Milgrams were always a very Zionist family, participating in various Bnei Akiva groups, and by the age of 7, Jonathan knew that he would make Aliyah one day. Wasting no time, upon finishing high school, Jonathan made Aliyah and joined an Ulpan on Kibbutz Yavne. After completing Ulpan, he worked on Kibbutz Alumim, before enlisting into the IDF Nahal Infantry Brigade. Read more >>
Miriam Schachter Miriam Schachter

Meet Miriam Schachter, a graduate student at BIU's School of Social Work and an academic mentoring coordinator at Bar-Ilan's unique Academic Mentoring Project for accompanying and supporting students coping with mental disabilities (details about joining the project at the end). Miriam, a married mother of two sons, also voluntarily organizes lectures for Russian speakers on Judaism and Zionism. "I remember the day I made Aliyah as one of the happiest and most exciting days of my life," she says, "but it was not long before I experienced a crisis. I felt lonely after having left my friends and family behind, as well as my studies in university (she was a third year student in Clinical Psychology) and the job I loved very much - the director of the Jewish Agency's youth club. I came to a new country where I didn't know anyone ". Read more >>
Dr. Ron Piran

Dr. Ron Piran:
Improving Treatment for Diabetics

At BIU’s Azrieli Faculty of Medicine in the Galilee, Dr.Ron Piran is working on a new treatment method that could improve the condition and quality of life of diabetic patients. “Diabetes is a condition where thebody does not produce enough insulin because of beta-cell destruction,”explains Piran. “Since insulin is the substance that allows glucose entry into the cells, they are deprived of food and energy. A side effect is an increase in blood sugar levels. In extreme cases, this may cause gangrene of certain organs,arteriosclerosis, renal failure, strokes and more.” Read more >>

Dr. Ofer Limon

Dr. Ofer Limon:
Optometric Examinations Through a Novel Application

The technology developed by Dr. Ofer Limon provides vision solutions for 2.5 billion people around the world. Six Over Six, headed by Dr. Ofer Limon - a graduate of all three Faculty of Engineering degrees - is based on a breakthrough technology which performs full optometric testing by means of a software application alone. "We developed the technology thanks to a different kind of observation of optics and physics than what has been accepted up till now, and out of a deep understanding of optics and years of experience working alongside optometrists," he said. Read more >>

Prof. Zohar Amar

Prof. Zohar Amar:
Ancient Health Remedies

Modern medicine relies on ancient sources as well as traditional health remedies. However as time goes by, these health remedies are slowly disappearing, and along with them – a grand tradition of healing and a nurturing way of life. Prof. Zohar Amar of the Martin (Szusz) Department of Land of Israel Studies and Archaeology has been amassing and examining these ancient remedies for two decades, thus preserving this extensive knowledge for generations to come. Read more >>

Ivan Bonamassa Ivan Bonamassa

Meet Ivan Bonamassa, 29, a Ph.D. candidate in Professor Shlomo Havlin’s laboratory at the Department of Physics. Born in Puglia, Italy, Ivan was always interested in science, and was curious to find out “how the world works”. He completed his BA and MA in Physics and Theoretical physics respectively, at the University of Salento in Lecce, Italy. As an undergrad student, before ever hearing of Bar-Ilan or knowing much about Israel, Ivan was already fascinated with Prof. Havlin’s work. “He’s very famous in his field and has had a huge impact, especially with complex systems.” After learning more about the research and innovative technologies developed at Bar-Ilan and the world famous professors, and impacted by Havlin’s work in particular, Ivan decided to apply for a position in his lab. Read more >>
Prof Yuri Rassovsky

Prof. Yuri Rassovsky:
Using Martial Arts to Improve Social Behavior

How do the martial arts improve cognitive skills and behavior, and even reduce violence and aggressiveness among youth? That’s the subject of an intriguing neuropsychological study conducted in the sports lab of Prof. Yuri Rassovsky, Head of the Clinical Rehabilitation Division in Bar-Ilan University’s Department of Psychology. “Neuropsychology focuses on understanding the brain-behavior connection and aims to use this understanding to help people,” he explains. “In order to explore the impact of martial arts on mental, emotional and physical wellbeing, the sports lab enlists students who are athletes and certified fitness instructors to explore a broad spectrum of topics related to this phenomenon.” Read more >>

Jennifer Brenis

Jennifer Brenis

Meet Jennifer Brenis, 22, a second-year undergrad student in Communication and Educational Administration. Jennifer grew up in a Zionist home in Cleveland, Ohio, and attended a Zionist school and summer camp. "There were always Bnot Sherut (National Service girls) and "Shlichim" (Jewish Agency emissaries) from Israel working with our community." says Jennifer, "Bnei Akiva and Israel were a part of my life since childhood". While she had always toyed with the idea of making Aliyah, it was at a shiur (Torah lesson) in Camp Stone the summer before her gap-year in Israel that Jennifer decided she would make Aliyah at the end of that year.

Prof. Amir Leshem

Prof. Amir Leshem:
Breaking the Net

What do Facebook and Twitter have to do with fighting terror or curing epidemic diseases?
Prof. Amir Leshem presents the study of social media and its unexpected contexts.

Prof. Amir Leshem has spent the past year delving into facebook, twitter, and other social networks. No, he has not neglected his academic research for recreational pastime. In fact, Leshem, who is an expert on communication networks, signal and data processing, is working – he is currently studying the dynamics of social networks, and their implications on other realms – from genetic research to fighting terror. “Using a well established sociological model for opinion dissemination in social networks. My team and I are trying to identify the influencing factors in social media, and their level of influence,” Leshem explains. “From a marketing perspective, identifying the influential factors will enable advertisers to target them as opinion leaders in their circles. Read more >>

Aditya Mukherjee

Aditya Mukherjee

Meet Aditya Mukherjee, a 19 year old law undergrad from Kolkata, India. After completing his second year of law studies at the Jindal Global University in India, he decided to participate in BIU's "Identity Based Conflict-Resolution" summer program, which focuses on the various conflicts over collective identity that are about in the world today. Studentsfrom around the world have the opportunity to learn from leading scholars and practitioners about local, national and international conflicts and how to engage them. Read more >>

Prof. Zvi Mark

Prof. Zvi Mark:
The Healing Power of Hasidic Stories

Hasidic stories can do more than fascinate the reader. They can inspire and foster introspection, encourage emotional growth, and even heal. "The connection between bibliotherapy and Hasidic literature is very natural, and today there's greater awareness among therapists that if you want to reach people, you need to speak their 'language,'" says BIU Hebrew Literature Prof. Zvi Mark academic head of BIU's new diploma studies program, The Healing Power of Hasidic Stories. "It's difficult for a person to talk about something very painful in a direct way but through stories, he's able to express his perspective without discomfort," explains Mark, incumbent of the Chair for the Study of Hasidism and the Teachings of Rabbi Levy Yitzhak of Berdichev, founded by Levy Yitzhak and Yehudit Rachmani. Read more >>

Magda Korakhashvili Alumni Success Story:
Magda Korakhashvili

Meet Magda Korakhashvili, 24, a recent graduate of BIU's International MBA Program. Magda was born and raised in Tbilisi, Georgia. After graduating high school, she moved to Vienna, where she studied business administration at the Lauder Business School, while simultaneously completing a Law degree on line from a Georgian University. During her time in Vienna, she became involved in the European Union of Jewish Students, an organization that seeks to strengthen Jewish communities and European society through Jewish student activism and advocacy. Her involvement in the organization led her to open a branch in Georgia and become a local representative of EUJS. Read more >>
Dy Eyal Hendel

Dr. Ayal Hendel
Developing Therapeutic Genome Editing to Correct Genetic Disorders

For children suffering from sickle-cell anemia, cancer and immune diseases such as the "bubble boy" syndrome, the prognosis is bleak: pain, severe discomfort, difficulty in pursuing a normal lifestyle, and an uncertain future. But novel research underway in Dr. Ayal Hendel's Genome Editing & Gene Therapy Laboratory at BIU's Mina and Everard Goodman Faculty of Life Sciences may now offer promise and a new lease on life for countless youths. Read more >>

Natan Ben Hamou

Natan Benhamou

Meet Natan Benhamou (24), a second year undergrad in Political Studies and Criminology. Growing up in Paris, Natan knew from a young age that he wanted to make Aliyah. "The second intifada and the growing antisemitism in France made me realize that there is no better place for a Jew than Israel," he says. He served as a combat soldier in the Artillery Corps and participated in Operation Protective Edge. "This was a turning point in my life,” he says of this experience. "It was my first time on the front line, and it was very difficult, especially because I was alone in Israel. Read more >>

Dr. Achia Urbach

Dr. Achia Urbach 
Identifying Gene Causing Kidney Tumors

An important link between the Lin28 gene and Wilms Tumor has recently been identified by Dr. Achia Urbach, a senior lecturer at BIU’s Mina and Everard Goodman Faculty of Life Sciences. Wilms Tumor comes about due to the improper development of the kidney during the fetal stage, and is the most common form of kidney cancer in children. Dr. Urbach conducted this research during his Postdoc at Boston Children’s Hospital right before joining the Bar-Ilan University faculty. Read more >>

Noa Leah Cohn

Noa Leah Cohn

Meet Noa Leah Cohn, a doctoral candidate and researcher at BIU’s Department of Jewish Art, the only department of its kind in Israel. Born and raised in a religious family in Netanya, she now lives with her family in Jerusalem, where she manages an art gallery. Cohn says she always liked art but she fell in love with Judaic studies, and specifically Judaica and Jewish art, while studying at Midreshet Lindenbaum after high school. She decided to combine her two passions and study Art History and Jewish Thought at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.


Sarah Hasenson

Sarah Hasenson


Meet Sarah Hasenson, 26, a PhD candidate at BIU’s Mina and Everard Goodman Faculty of Life Sciences, studying Biology. Sarah grew up in in a Zionist home in Stockholm, Sweden. Throughout her childhood she was involved in Bnei Akiva, as well as the Chabad of Stockholm. She came to Israel for a gap year program in 2009, touring the country and experiencing different aspects of the Israeli culture. At the end of that year, she made Aliyah. “I grew up in a small community of Jews in Sweden,” Sarah explains, “I wanted to feel part of the community here in Israel.”


Dr Joseph Keshet

Dr. Joseph Keshet
Disease, Distress & Quality of Relationships: All in the Voice

Beyond words, volumes may be learned from the human voice: Is a cry for help genuine or fake? Does a person unknowingly suffer from a vocal cord disorder? What is the relationship between spouses, or the compatibility of a therapist and patient?  

BIU computer scientist, Dr. Joseph Keshet, a foremost authority on voice analysis, has developed sophisticated systems and software to address such questions and tap the vast potential in this exciting frontier field. Read more >>

Dr Eyal Yaniv

Dr. Eyal Yaniv
Head, Gradute School of Business Administration

The Head of BIU’s Graduate School of Business Administration, Dr. Eyal Yaniv, is considered one of Israel’s internet pioneers, and is also the co-founder of of Haaretz Group (now Walla). Dr. Yaniv returned to BIU after completing his post doc at Harvard Business School.  Having acquired three degrees in Computer Science and Psychology at BIU, in the mid 1990’s Yaniv ventured into the business world. He headed various divisions at IAI and IBM, before delving into internet entrepreneurship. “When internet bandwidth began to evolve, I founded “Nonstop”, a company providing ADSL high-speed Internet and infrastructure services.” Read more >>


 Ami and Samara Yunger

Meet Ami Yunger (24), a third-year undergrad student of Economics and Business Management. Originally from Montreal, Ami was raised in a Zionist home, joined Bnei Akiva and attended Moshava summer camps. After graduating high school in 2010, he came to Israel for a Yeshiva gap year program. Early in the program, he took part in a memorial trip to Poland with his Yeshiva and it was there that he decided to make Aliyah. "I wanted to be where I felt I belong, to feel like I was part of something important," says Ami. And part of belonging was joining the IDF. In 2012 he enlisted in the Combat Engineering Corps and not long after made Aliyah. " This is where I want to be. The place that you can feel is really yours. Here you can make a big impact even by doing the smallest things."

Dr Amos Danielli

Dr. Amos Danielli: Rapid and Accurate Diagnosis for Heart Attacks

Since joining BIU's Faculty of Engineering in 2014, Dr. Amos Danielli is exploring new medical applications for the novel technology he developed, which can help shorten diagnosis time for heart patients. Each year, over 10 million people visit emergency rooms in US hospitals with symptoms of chest pain. About 8-9% of these patients have actually suffered heart attacks, though most of them cannot be diagnosed with simple clinical evaluation and an electrocardiogram test. Typically an accurate diagnosis can take six to nine hours after the onset of symptoms — and longer if stress testing is required. Read more >>

Sarit Lapp Sarit Lapp

Meet Sarit Lapp (22), a first-year undergrad in Communications and Political Science. Sarit was brought up in a religious-Zionist family in Ohio. Though her family made Aliyah when she was 6-months old, they returned to the States when she was seven. "We always intended to move back to Israel, and when I graduated high school, we decided it was the perfect time to do so." Upon their return to Israel, the Lapp family settled in Modi’in. "I always wanted to join the army," she shares, “but I had just moved back, and wasn't fully fluent in Hebrew, so I was a little intimidated.” Instead, Sarit joined the one-year overseas program in Midreshet Yeud. "This year gave me time to acclimate and to grow religiously, allowing me to feel more prepared for whatever challenges may come my way."
Dr Moshe Dessau

Dr. Moshe Dessau
Head, Structural Biology of Infectious Diseases Lab, School of Medicine

Research at Dr. Dessau’s lab focuses on viruses common in developing countries. His long-term research objective is to detect biological processes indigenous to those viruses and parasites, in order to develop groundbreaking treatments. Dr. Dessau uses structural biology and biophysical techniques to study the function of viral proteins on the atomic level. Dessau says structural biology analyzes biological processes using the laws of physics and chemistry, and enables scientists to understand these mechanisms in an atomic resolution. Read more >>

Netanel Kleinman

Netanel Kleinman 

A second-year undergraduate in English Literature with a minor in Classics, Netanel Kleinman (25) is originally from Barnet, a suburban borough in North London, England. Growing up, Netanel was involved in Bnei Akiva, later attending Yeshivat HaKotel in Israel. He ultimately served in the artillery corps as part of his Hesder-Yeshiva program and came on Aliyah. Regarding his college major, he says, "I decided to do the same degree as I intended to do in England -- English literature." After researching the programs offered by Hebrew University and Bar-Ilan University, he was drawn to the one at Bar-Ilan. Netanel was impressed by the warm reception of the department when he inquired about the program. "They were incredibly friendly and eager to help. They are a lovely department." Read more >>

Prof Daniel Sperber

Rabbi Prof. Daniel Sperber:
Finding Meaning in Prayer is Explored

For most people, it is extremely challenging to find meaning in prayer. Rabbi Daniel Sperber, who recently spoke in at the Young Israel of Scarsdale about this issue, said that this is because “we are trying to understand the infinite — the incomprehensible.”

Rabbi Sperber, professor emeritus of Talmud at Bar-Ilan University and past Israel Prize winner, explained that part of the problem comes from the contradictory nature of our prayer, which should be more personal in nature yet has become increasingly standardized. “Prayer should come from the heart or spirit. Ideally, it should be formulated by what we feel at the moment.” Read more >>

Deena Felsenthal

Deena Felsenthal

Meet Deena Felsenthal (22) a first-year student in Social Work, originally from Los Angeles, California. Deena attended a religious girls' high school before coming to Migdal Oz Midrasha for a gap year program, planning to go back to the US to pursue an academic degree. "I didn't intend on staying in Israel," she reveals. "I was accepted to Stern College, but it was important for me to experience Israel first. A month into my stay, I made up my mind to make Aliyah." At first, her parents were shocked. "But when they realized I was really serious about making Aliyah, they supported me fully."


Prof Yehuda Lindell

Prof. Yehuda Lindell

Prof. Yehuda Lindell is a researcher at BIU’s Department of Computer Science, specializing in cryptography, secure protocols and theoretical foundations. Lindell focuses on questions of feasibility and efficiency, which enable coding and protecting personal information in internet systems, and on secure protocols, which provide an effective and discreet calculation of data without revealing its source or contents. Lindell explains: “A primary aim of my research in this area is to demonstrate that secure computation has potential for real-world use, and many real-world problems can already be solved today.” Read more >>



Student Spotlight on: 
Leora Jaffe Steinman and Noam Steinman

Meet Leora Jaffe (22), who just completed her BA in Political Studies and Jewish Studies. Growing up in a modern orthodox family in Cleveland, Ohio, Leora attended the local Jewish school and was involved in the Bnei Akiva Youth Movement. "After high school I came to Midreshet HaRova for a gap year, and planned to return to America for college, where I was already enrolled at Brandeis University. After that I was planning to make Aliyah.” Read more >>

Prof Yona Amitai

Prof. Yona Amitai:
Is Desalinated Water a Health Hazard?

Underscoring the risk of consuming desalinated water devoid of magnesium, BIU Prof. Yona Amitai, a public health expert, recommends adding the mineral to drinking water in order to thwart fatal heart disease.

Warning: Consuming desalinated water may be hazardous to your heart!

That, in fact, is the conclusion of a joint Israeli study conducted by researchers from BIU and Sheba Medical Center (Tel Hashomer). Read more >>

Prof. Avi Bell

Prof. Avi Bell:
From Tax Laws to Warfare – Anything but Boring

Prof. Avi Bell has never shied away from controversy. The professor in the Bar-Ilan University Faculty of Law has written on hot topics such as the infamous Goldstone Report and the implications of the Levy Commission’s report on the status of building in Judea and Samaria. Originally from Chicago, Bell has been at Bar-Ilan since 2002 and, despite such high profile papers, he jokes that most of his work is actually on “really boring stuff” like land planning and property tax law. Hardly. For his participation in a project being run by the Kohelet Policy Forum where he is a research fellow, Bell is looking at the unique situation in Israel where, unlike anywhere else in the West, nearly all of the country’s land is owned by the state. Read more >>

Miriam and Ben Yablom

Ben and Miriam Yablon

Meet Miriam Yablon (22), a first year student of English Literature and Linguistics. Originally from Colorado, Miriam first arrived at Bar-Ilan to join the Israel Experience Gap Year Program, which, she says, made a huge impact on her life: "It helped me answer some spiritual questions by spending time here and learning from exceptional teachers." Though the program offers both secular and religious classes, Miriam decided to focus on Torah Studies, where she became more committed to the Jewish heritage: "The Shabbatonim were a stepping stone in helping me shape my beliefs and values, and the classes were enriching and fascinating." It was at the program that she met Ben Yablon and the two were married in 2014. Read more >>


Dr. Amit Tzur:
Finding the Humor in Good Science

Cell biologist and BINA faculty member Dr. Amit Tzur has never been shy about declaring his faith in the redemptive power of basic science, and he has a healthy sense of humor. An expert in cellular growth and proliferation, Tzur recently declared that his most recent research – related to the post-transcriptional modifications of proteins – may help redeem mankind from “shame” generated by one of the most successful scientific endeavors of all time. “At the end of the Human Genome Project, we learned that humans have only about 25 thousand genes, which was downright embarrassing,” Tzur says. “I mean, are we really only four times more complex than bacteria?” Read more >>

Batsheva Joffe

Batsheva Joffe


Meet Batsheva Joffe (21), a first year student in psychology and art at BIU. At thirteen Batsheva made Aliyah with her family from South Africa to Beit Shemesh. In high school, she majored in both biology and art, and after graduating she spent a year at Machon HaMikdash in Jerusalem for Sheirut Leumi (national service), giving lectures in English to Jews and non-Jews from all over the world.

When the time came to attend university, Batsheva already had a direction in mind. "Art has always spoken to me," she shares. "It's at my core, but I never thought of pursuing it as a degree." That changed, however, when Batsheva was urged by her high school art teacher and mentor to compete for the scholarship offered by Bar-Ilan University in affiliation with Chemed. Batsheva won the competition and the scholarship. Read more >>

Dr Rafi Haddad

Dr. Rafi Haddad

Despite remarkable technological advances, cures for diseases and other developments, science has yet to find a way to quantify and qualify odors. Animals have already gotten the hang of it. Ants build roads, dogs can track people, drugs and other substances, parrots can identify fellow parrots, all based on their sense of smell. Dr. Rafi Haddad, who joined BIU’s Gonda (Goldschmied) Multidisciplinary Brain Research Center following a post-doc stint at Harvard, is working on revolutionizing our ability to measures smells, as head of BIU’s Neural Circuits, Neural Coding, Neural Computations and Olfaction lab. Read more >>

Last modified: 11/03/2019