The Ashalim Team

The Ashalim Team

Dr. Rami Sulimani, CEO, JDC Ashalim

I joined JDC-Israel in 1991, after serving as the director of the Center for Youth Technological Education in Jerusalem, where I developed a unique work model for detached youth. In my first position at the JDC, I oversaw the implementation of this unique model and worked to spread it throughout the country. I served in a number of managerial roles and in 2005 I was appointed CEO of JDC Ashalim. Under my leadership, JDC Ashalim developed flagship programs in the fields of early childhood, community, education, welfare and health.

Today I am working on initiating, developing and leading systemic initiatives at the national level for the most vulnerable populations in Israeli society, while expanding the circle of partnerships with NGOs, the Israeli business sector and philanthropy.

Education: BA degrees in Geography and Education, MA in Criminology from the Hebrew University, MA Degree in Social Sciences from the University of Haifa and Ph.D. from the Center for Educational Research at the University of Sussex in England.


Itamar Ben Hur, Chief Financial Officer

As part of my job, I am responsible for the planning, supervision and implementation of JDC Ashalim's budgeting system, all of the association's agreements with the government and the donors, and with operators, suppliers and service providers. I bring to JDC Ashalim work experience both from the public sector in the capital market department of the Ministry of Finance and from the private sector as an accountant at Menorah Insurance.

It is very important to me that our programs will be successfully internalized by the various government ministries and that there will be a significant and ongoing change and impact among the target populations for which we operate.

Education: BA in Life Sciences and Accounting from the Hebrew University and an MBA from the College of Management.

Noa Ben-David, Director of the Early Childhood Unit

For the past two decades, I have been working for JDC Israel. I started my career as a director of training and work force development, where I developed programs through a multicultural approach to train leading personnel in the social services of Israel, to absorb immigrants from the Former Soviet Union and Ethiopia.  In 2000, I moved to the Education and Youth Division for the position of Regional Director of the early childhood PACT (Parents and Children Together) program, which later contributed to the founding of the principles of the "New Beginnings" program, the early childhood component of the "360° National Program for Children and Youth at Risk." From 2012 to the present, I have headed the Early Childhood Unit, which leads the development of programs, professional training and innovative models. We work together with government ministries, academic representatives and public bodies in order to promote early childhood and increase its visibility. 

Education: BA and MA in Social Work from the Hebrew University


Yoav Boukay, Director of the Youth and Young Adults Unit

For more than two decades, I have been working with young adults at risk. I began my professional career as an educator in  "Working and Studying Youth," an Israeli youth movement At the end of the 1990s, I established and managed The Eshbal Boarding School - a school for detached youth who have dropped out of youth villages and other boarding schools, most of whom are Ethiopian immigrants. For seven years I served as the general manager of the Dror Educational Institution and later as the director of operations for the "Darca" high school network founded by the Rashi Foundation. In 2012, I joined JDC Ashalim to help establish and lead the young adult at risk program area, and over time, I was appointed director of the Children, Youth and Young Adults Unit.

I live on Kibbutz Bror Hayil, together with my wife and two children.

Education: BA in Education and MA in Business Administration.

I am a great believer in our social mission and JDC Ashalim's commitment to creating a human society that is inclusive, fair and respectful.

For many years, a picture has hung on the wall of my office with the lyrics of my favorite song, sung by Shuli Natan:

"Please god,

Make me a tool for your mission

Where hatred hates - let me sow love,

In the place of insult - pity,

In the place of darkness - light,

In the place of sadness - joy. "


Shmuel Yilma, Director of Family and Community Unit

"The Road to Jerusalem" is a book I wrote about my journey when I was 11-years old, traveling on foot along 600 kilometers from Ethiopia to Sudan and on an equally important journey to integrate into Israeli society. 

Prior to joining the JDC, I served as Acting Executive Director of the Association for the Advancement of the Ethiopian Families in Beer Sheva and developed an intercultural project for the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel. Since 1997, I have held a number of positions at JDC-Israel, serving as the head of JDC's Absorption unit - a partnership between four government ministries and the JDC. In addition, I served as head of JDC Ashalim's youth department and I initiated the establishment of youth centers throughout the country.

Today I head the community and family unit in JDC Ashalim, which develops and manages programs for family and community resilience circles that support individuals.

Education: MA in Educational Counseling from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. Graduate of the Maoz Program for Public-Social Leadership in Israel.



Ronit Bar, Director of Mayda Center for Knowledge and Learning JDC Ashalim and Director of the Israeli Volunteerism Initiative

Ronit is a graduate of the Mandel Leadership Institute, a social initiative that promotes change and innovation in the organizational space and the social sphere by building partnerships between sectors. She is also a doctoral student studying the relationship between volunteering and employment of people with disabilities.

Looking to influence the social educational sphere, every position I have held focused on the meeting point among disadvantaged populations, professionals, communities and volunteerism. JDC Ashalim's Mayda Center for Knowledge and Learning is a "home" for professionals, and a meeting place that creates accessibility to tools and content. As the director of Mayda, I am involved in the development of professionals.

As the head of JDC Ashalim's volunteerism program area, I have been able to promote concepts and programs that highlight weaker populations in Israel: youth at risk, disadvantaged families, and youth with disabilities. Our hope is to develop these individuals into strong leaders who are involved in their communities. I also ran a national and inter-sectorial initiative - the Israeli Volunteer Initiative, which is a partnership between the Prime Minister's Office, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Social Services, and the Joint Distribution Committee. The initiative promotes professional public participation in volunteering and the construction of infrastructures that has otherwise been lacking in the State of Israel. 

I grew up in Acre, and today, I live in Ofarim with my husband Yishai and children Liel, Shoval, Alma and Yonatan.