Danny Tropper: Founder and President Emeritus

Danny Tropper is the driving force behind the initiatives and activities of Gesher.  He received his ordination from Rabbi J. B. Soloveitchik and his Ph.D. in Jewish History from Yeshiva University (1970).   He has published both scientific and popular articles in the Jewish Quarterly Review, Tradition, Petachim, The Jerusalem Report, Maariv and The Jerusalem Post. He lectures extensively in schools, army bases and public forums throughout Israel and abroad.

Ilan Geal-Dor: Executive Director

Ilan has an MBA in psychology from Bar Ilan University and a degree in business studies from the Hebrew University.  He is a member of the Bet Shemesh City Council, where he lives with his wife and 6 children.  Ilan was the Chairman of the city’s Partnership 2000 project (a Jewish Agency program, partnering Bet Shemesh with Washington DC and South Africa.)   A mediator and senior teacher of Bible Studies, Ilan has been the Executive Director of Gesher since 1995.

Rabbi Benji Levene: Sr Vice President & Director of Education

Rabbi Benjamin Levene made aliyah from the U.S. in 1969 and received his rabbinic ordination from the Chief Rabbi of Israel in 1973. Benji (as he is affectionately known) is the grandson of the renowned Tzaddik Rav. Aryeh Levine and aspires to promote his beloved grandfather's spirit of love and tolerance, from whom he gets his inspiration.  Like his legendary grandfather, Benji is loved and respected by Jews throughout the world. A renowned story-teller and inspirational teacher, Benji has an unusual ability to put people at ease and create a personal connection with young men and women, no matter what their Jewish background, often leaving a lasting effect on program participants and audiences with whom he comes into contact. Benji has been with Gesher since 1978.

Yoni Sherizen: Director of Resource and Program Development

Yoni hails from Detroit, Michigan and made aliyah in 2009 with his wife and young family.  He brings a wealth of experience and enthusiasm to his role of Director of Resource and Program Development.  Yoni has run summer camps in the Former Soviet Union, served as the first full time Jewish Chaplain at Oxford University, was the first CEO for University Jewish Chaplaincy in the UK, and has been involved in social welfare projects across the world. With a Bachelors degree in History and Rabbinic Ordination from Yeshiva University, he has a love for learning and teaching and is passionate about Gesher's mission.  Yoni joined us in 2011.

Gome Sheffer: Program Director

Gome has a Bachelor's degree in International Relations and Communication from the Hebrew University. He is currently studying for a Master's degree in Educational Leadership and Management at the University of Tel Aviv. Gome originally joined Gesher in 2006 and has extensive experience in leadership with Gesher and other initiatives central to Israeli domestic issues including the Society for the Protection of Nature. Gome joined Gesher in 2006.

Shira Zik: Director of New Initiatives

Shira has a Bachelors degree in Jewish History and a Masters Degree in Non-profit and Social Organization Management from the Hebrew University. She also has a teaching certificate. She manages and develops special projects of Gesher, and is also a group facilitator. Shira has been working at Gesher since 2002.

Audrey Weitz: Director of Development

Audrey has decades of experience in development, from the national political stage in the early ’90’s to various not-for-profits. She has spent her entire adult life prepping for her role with Gesher and feels that the ahavat Yisrael created thru Gesher’s programming is her mission in life. Audrey lives in New York, together with her husband and young children.