Our Board

Jeffrey Swartz (Chairman)

MAOZ's Co-Founder and Board Chairman, Jeff served as CEO of Timberland (NYSE: TBL), a global footwear and apparel brand, for 15 years. While at Timberland, Jeff incorporated a social agenda within the company's business agenda — he led public and private partnerships with several social change organizations, including City Year, where he served as chair for 10 years, and as a board member of Share Our Strength, the Harlem Children’s Zone and the Climate Group. In 2011, Jeff led the sale of Timberland to the VF Corporation. Since then, he invests all his professional energies to advancing sustainable socio-economic change in Israel, principally through the MAOZ platform, but also in pursuit of Sustainable Democracy and Covenantal Capitalism in Israel. Jeff holds an MBA from Dartmouth University (1984) and a BA in Comparative Literature from Brown University (1982). Having finally made aliyah, Jeff lives in Jerusalem. Married to Debbie, with three married sons and a growing number of beloved grandchildren, Zayde is Jeff’s preferred “title."
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Yodfat Harel Buchris

Yodfat is a Managing Director at Blumberg Capital, based in Tel Aviv. She is an experienced investor and board member with a track record in management, business development, marketing and strategic planning in North America, Europe and Asia. Prior to joining Blumberg Capital, Yodfat ran her own investing and consulting business. Previously, she was Managing Director of Tamares Capital Ltd., a large international private investment fund with holdings in technology, media, manufacturing and real estate. Earlier in her career, Yodfat served as Corporate Director and Head of the Medical and Venture Capital Groups at Orbotech LTD., a world leader in automated inspection for printed circuit boards and panel displays. She also previously served as Managing Director at Harel-Hertz Investment House Ltd., managing investment and business development for Japanese and Israeli corporations, and as Chief Advisor to ITX-Corporation, a leading Japanese electronics conglomerate listed on NASDAQ Japan. Yodfat serves on Israel Discount Bank's Board of Directors and serves as an industry representative on the National Labor Court. Yodfat obtained her executive MBA from Bradford University School of Management in Great Britain and her BA in Communications and Political Science from Bar-Ilan University. She has also completed advanced programs in director studies, mediation, advertising and marketing.

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Doron Livnat

Doron manages a group of family-owned international companies specializing in rental of logistic sites and seaports, and leasing construction-lifting equipment and investments. He is a tireless social entrepreneur who has focused his efforts on education and long-term infrastructure projects with Shanti House, Ayalim, Sapir Academic College, Matan Israel, Lishma Program, Or Association, 2048, Nalaga’at Center, Bialik Rogozin School and Peres Center for Peace (a program focusing on Palestinian children and physicians). He is the co-founder of Tovanot B'Hinuch – Insights in Education, the Weiss-Livnat center for Holocaust Studies at the University of Haifa, Access for All, the robotics program in Yeruham, and many other ventures. Doron is also involved in social initiatives in Brazil, India, Africa and in the Netherlands. He sits on the boards of many social organizations, including MAOZ, of which he is a co-founder. Doron holds an academic degree in Economics, International Commerce and Logistics from DAV Bremen in Germany and is a graduate of the Senior Executive Course (O.P.M) at Harvard Business School. In addition, Doron was awarded an honorary doctorate by Haifa University.

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Doron Latzer

Doron is a Co-Founder and Senior Partner of Pearl Cohen Zedek Latzer Baratz law firm. He has over 25 years of commercial and corporate law experience, working with international companies, both as an in-house and outside counsel. At present, Doron serves on the advisory board of EMM Investments in New York and is a member of several technology companies' boards of directors. He is active in the 8200 Entrepreneurship & Innovation Support Program, which promotes entrepreneurship and innovation among alumni of elite IDF units and is a mentor for the Microsoft Accelerator program in Israel, which assists selected startup companies in the IT and software fields. Previously, Doron worked as an in-house attorney for Kansas Power & Light (KCPL), specializing in joint ventures and technology-related investments. He also served as an advisor at Shook, Hardy & Bacon Company in Kansas City, Missouri, as an in-house attorney at Elbit Ltd, a leading international contractor in the defense field, and as the Chair of the Aktiva Holdings BV, a Dutch private investment fund. Doron graduated from the Middle Temple Law School, London. He lives in Tel Aviv with his wife Yael and three children.

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Rabbi Tzvi Lau

Rabbi Lau is married with nine children and lives in Tel Aviv. After studying at the Hebron Yeshiva and completing his rabbinical studies at the Binyan Av Beit Midrash, which was headed by the late Chief Rabbi of Israel, Rabbi Eliyahu Bakshi-Doron, Rabbi Lau was ordained by the Chief Rabbinate of Israel. Rabbi Lau is a multi-talented individual and has headed the Yeshivat Netivot Yitzhak for over 10 years. In addition, he has served as the Yad Eliyahu congregation rabbi in Tel Aviv and as the rabbi of the Kahal Hassidim congregation in Kfar Ganim, Petah Tikva. Over the past three years, he has served as the rabbi of the Lema'anchem organization, which provides consultation and medical guidance and supports social initiatives. Rabbi Lau also teaches Torah and lectures in various secular communities throughout the Gush Dan and Sharon regions.
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Deborah Cogen Swartz

In addition to serving on the board of MAOZ, Debbie invests in building the capacity and impact of a variety of Israeli and American organizations which focus on education, hunger, poverty, and Jewish identity. Debbie earned an Ed.M. from the Harvard Graduation School of Education and BA in American Civilization from Brown University. She believes that all children deserve access to quality education, the key to a sustainable democratic social covenant. Debbie formerly served as chair of Boston's Schechter School; of PEJE: The Partnership for Excellence in Jewish Education; and as a board member of CJP and as a co-chair of its Acharai communal leadership program. She is married to Jeff and they share three sons, three daughters-in-law, and an increasing number of fabulous grandchildren. Debbie made aliyah from Boston with her family in 2020 and now lives in Jerusalem.
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Scott Tobin

Scott is a General Partner at Battery Ventures, a firm he joined in 1997. He leads investments in the United States, Israel and Europe. Scott has focused on a variety of deals at Battery, including venture capital and private equity investments in sectors including enterprise infrastructure, materials science, application software, business services, media, and financial services. Scott has been named multiple times to the Forbes Midas List, which ranks top venture capitalists from around the world. He graduated with honors from Brandeis University with a BA in International Relations and Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies. He and his wife are proud parents to five wonderful sons.

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Aiman Saif

Until recently, Aiman was the Head of the Authority for the Economic Development of Minorities in the Ministry for Social Equality. During his decade-long tenure, Aiman led development processes of unprecedented magnitude. In addition, he was responsible for implementing governmental decisions which included strategic and organizational planning, the establishment of an advisory committee for the authority, advancing the authority's establishment and more. Aiman also advanced a variety of economic projects, such as a private equity fund for the private sector, projects promoting women's employment, the establishment of the Kav Mashve (employment opportunities for Arabic speakers, employees and academics) joint venture, the opening of vocational counseling centers, the creation of MATI – the Galilee Business Development Center, and aid to potential investors. Aiman advocated Knesset legislation of an authority for the economic development of minorities and represented the authority in conferences and in the various committees that are related to the Arab society's economic development. Aiman holds a BA in Economics and Business Administration from Bamberg University in Germany and an MA in International Planning and Development from Clark University.

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Yael Lavie

Yael is the Chairwoman of the Bar Lev High Tech Park, which is being built in the western Galilee and which will provide quality employment opportunities for some 5,000 area residents. Yael is also the Founder and Chair of the Moshal Scholarship Program, which provides scholarships to 1,000 students and has an alumni network in Israel and in South Africa. The students in the program come from challenging socio-economic backgrounds and study for a degree that will enable them to earn a respectable living. Yael previously established and managed a private investment firm in London that focused on real-estate and finances. Earlier on, Yael worked at Bank HaPoalim for 17 years, serving as VP of the bank's Switzerland offices for six years. During her time there, she also held a number of additional management positions, such as managing the bank's platinum division. Yael holds a BA in Economy and an MBA with a specialty in Financing from Tel Aviv University. Yael has three daughters and lives in a village in the Sharon region.

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Amir Levy

Amir is a partner and CEO of Sphera Funds, Israel’s oldest and leading hedge fund. Prior to assuming his current position, Amir served as CEO of IBC (Israel Broadband Company) Unlimited, an advanced communications infrastructure company that is based on fiber optics and is owned by Cellcom, HOT, the Israel Infrastructure Fund and the Israel Electric Corporation. Before joining IBC, Amir spent a year as a Senior Fellow at Harvard Kennedy School, examining how Israel can promote minorities and address inequality. His relocation to Boston came after Amir had served as the Director of the Budgets Department at the Ministry of Finance (equivalent to the White House's Office of Management and Budget). During his four-year tenure (2013-2017), he managed the state budget through the Government and Knesset plenum, setting fiscal policy targets, the budget framework and economic reform programs. He was responsible for structural reforms such as developing infrastructure and innovation and integrating the Israeli Arab and the ultra-Orthodox communities into the economy. He also regulated several markets as the Telecommunication, Public Transit and Energy Council.  Previously, Amir held several key positions in government, academia and the private sector. He has been teaching macroeconomic policy at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem since 2015. From 2006 to 2013 he was the CEO of Shikun & Binui Renewable Energy, a company that initiates, constructs and operates power stations – especially solar – in Israel and abroad. Amir has served on the board of directors of corporations, such as the England-Israel and Singapore-Israel Industrial R&D Foundations, Israel Railways and Israel Electric. He holds a BA in Economics and Political Science and an MA in Economics, both from Hebrew University.
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Nimrod Sheffer

Major General (Res.) Nimrod Sheffer completed his successful term as President and CEO of Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) in November 2020. During his tenure, he led the company to the two most successful years in its history, as it achieved significant growth and profit data following a decade of stunted growth and very low profitability.

 Nimrod completed his 36-year IDF service as Head of the Planning Directorate in the IDF General Staff. In this position, Sheffer was responsible for the military/international strategic planning, international military collaboration and in building the IDF’s manpower (thereby working on the military’s annual and multi-year programs).

 He holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Harvard University in Boston and a Bachelor’s of Applied Science Degree in Geophysics and Planetary Sciences from Tel Aviv University.

 Nimrod enlisted in the Air Force in the fall of 1979 and completed the pilot course in 1981 as a fighter pilot and has since held several positions in the corps, including the command of two combat squadrons, commanding the Ramon Air Force Base, serving as Head of the IAF Air Division, and as IAF Chief of Staff.

 Nimrod lives in Nataf, is married to Haya and is the father of four children.

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Emeritus Board Members

Orna Barbivai

Orna Barbivai is a Major General (reserves) in the Israel Defense Forces and the former Commanding Officer of its Manpower Directorate. She was the first woman to obtain the rank of Maj. Gen. (Aluf), the IDF's second-highest rank. Growing up in a family of eight children in Afula, Barbivai is the daughter of Tzila, a Jewish immigrant from Iraq, and Eli Shochetman, a Jewish immigrant from Romania. She was drafted into the IDF in 1981 and spent her entire career as an officer in the Manpower Directorate. Barbivai holds a BA in Social Sciences and Humanities from Ben Gurion University and an MBA from Haifa University. She is also a graduate of the "Turn-Point" administration course for senior military officials. Barbivai was the first woman to hold the IDF positions of Chief Adjutant Officer of a Command, Chief Adjutant Officer, Head of the Ground Forces' Manpower Division and Head of the Individuals' Sector in the Manpower Directorate. On May 26, 2011, Israel's Minister of Defense, Ehud Barak approved her appointment as the Commanding Officer of the IDF's Manpower Directorate. The promotion of Barbivai, a mother of three, to the rank of Maj. Gen. was praised by Israeli opposition leader Tzipi Livni, who said that "There is no rank that is too heavy for a woman’s shoulders, and there is no doubt that Brig. Gen. Barbivai was appointed because of her talents".

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Yaakov Berger

Prior to completing his civil service, Yaakov was Israel’s Deputy Civil Service Commissioner, a position he served in for 10 years. During his tenure, Yaakov was responsible for some of the most significant civil service reforms to date. Previously, Yaakov served as Senior Vice President in the Ministry of Health and in a number of senior roles in the IDF within the field of human resources, among them as Adjutant Officer of the Northern Command and as Head of Human Resources of the Ground Forces. Yaakov was discharged with the rank of Brigadier General. Today, Yaakov is involved in several organizations dealing with public service, creating training and leadership programs that will develop the next generation of Israel’s public leaders. He has sat on the boards of MAOZ, Cadets for Public Service and Kriat Kivun. Yaakov holds a BA from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, an MA with distinction in Political Science from Haifa University and is a graduate of the National Security College (of the Israel Defense Forces). Yaakov and his wife, Agi have two sons and six grandchildren and live in Herzliya.

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Isaac Devash

Itzik is a social and business entrepreneur with over 25 years of experience in the field of venture capital and private equity investments and several years as an investment banker specializing in mergers and acquisitions at Credit Suisse First Boston in New York, London, and Tokyo. He is a partner at a fund focusing on life sciences called aMoon and is instrumental in establishing the first independent Israeli digital bank. In the past, Itzik established and managed a number of private investment funds and and represented a number of international investors and investment funds in Israel. He is one of the founders of Israel’s national talent management program called "Atudot le’Israel". For about two decade he has been investing his time and energy to promote the buildup of a critical mass of about 25 managerial and professional talent management programs that are meant to strengthen the public sphere in the central and local government as well as in the NGO sector. He was a member of the Goshen Corporate Governance Committee that promoted the establishment of a Delaware type "Economic Court" and he assisted in the planning and implementating structural reforms in the capital markets, leading to a more efficient allocation of capital and credit for the government, the private sector and for households, while reducing the systemic risk. He also founded the Israeli alumni clubs of the Harvard Business School and the Wharton School. During his military service, he served as an officer in the IDF during the 1982 Lebanon War. Itzik gained his BA degree, summa cum laude, from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and holds an MBA from Harvard University. Itzik and his wife Anna live in Tel Aviv and are the parents of three children.
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Michal Cohen

Michal Cohen served as Director-General of the Ministry of Education for four years, and previously filled different managerial roles in the public service, most recently as the Ministry's Senior Deputy Director and Director of the Pedagogic Administration. During the course of her professional career, she has led significant, large-scale pedagogic and structural reforms and initiatives. Michal holds an MA in Education from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a diploma in Organizational Consultation for Education Systems from Tel Aviv University, as well as an MA in Law from Bar-Ilan University. She has served as General Director of Rashi since September 2017.

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Eli Paley

Eli is a businessman and social activist. A Chevron Yeshiva alumni, he holds a BA in Talmud and Jewish History from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Since 1990, he has served as owner and publisher of Mishpacha Media Group, which targets the ultra-Orthodox society and publishes weekly magazines in Hebrew and in English, with distributorship throughout the Jewish world. In 2014, he established the Paley Family Foundation in memory of his father, Yehuda Paley. The Foundation supports and promotes institutions and social initiatives in the ultra-Orthodox society. He is also a member of the Jewish Funders Network and is active in several philanthropic organizations. He is the Founding Chairman of the Haredi Institute for Public Affairs, the first ultra-Orthodox research institute of its kind, which endeavors to promote systematic, professional dialogue on social policy issues relating to the ultra-Orthodox society. Since its establishment, the Institute has recruited key players from the intra-Haredi professional ranks and leading academics, alongside a team of ultra-Orthodox and secular researchers with expertise in a variety of disciplines. The Institute works in collaboration with various government ministries to advance work plans and policy documents in many fields. The Institute is funded mainly by the Paley Family Foundation and various philanthropic partners.

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