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About

Vision:

Shalom Corps was founded in 2020 as a global Jewish volunteer movement, dedicated to meaningful service and social responsibility as an expression of Jewish values and love of humanity.

Mission:

Shalom Corps’ mission is to empower a global Jewish volunteer network involved in meaningful and significant volunteerism that engages participants in Jewish service-learning experiences.
Shalom Corps believes that authentic, needs-driven service can have a transformative impact on vulnerable populations around the world, and on young Jews looking to make a difference.

Values:

Objectives:

Leadership

Yuval Ekstein

Chief Executive Officer

Yuval is a strong valued leader, and a Zionist with a love for people. From a young age, he served as a leader, first in the Scouts, then volunteering for a year in a development town post-high school, and finally leading medical teams in the army. In 1987 he established Beit Ekstein, an organization for people with disabilities. Over the years and under Yuval's leadership, Beit Ekstein evolved into Israel's largest leading organization providing services to people with special needs. It employed about 1800 workers and provided services to 3500 families. By the time Yuval stepped down from his position as founder and CEO, Beit Ekstein was operating 18 schools, 30 assisted living facilities and hostels, 4 residential homes, and 5 employment centers at 60 different sites around the country. Yuval is a visionary with an outstanding ability to lead and to motivate people while maintaining excellent interpersonal relations. As the son of a Holocaust survivor, Yuval is strongly connected to the unity of the Jewish people. He sees the role of the Jewish people and of the State of Israel as being a light unto the nations through Tikkun Olam (improving the world) by helping reduce human suffering in the world. Yuval has a Master's degree in education, is married and has 4 children. He lives in Pardes Chana.

Daniela Blecher

Chief Operating Officer

Daniela is responsible for planning the development and implantation of projects for Shalom Corps. She has a Master's degree in Public Health and specializes in quality management, especially when it comes to welfare and health promotion. Daniela feels it’s a privilege to work with so many Jewish organizations and programs that are deeply engaged in strengthening Jewish identity and healing the world with service, social action and humanitarian aid. In her words: “I believe that each of us has the responsibility and privilege to contribute to a better world.” She lives in Netanya with her family.

Avraham Schurder

Chief Financial Officer

For 30 years Avraham has led companies to success. As a senior audit partner at KPMG, he assisted clients in transforming their financial results to business and managerial aids. Avraham has become a mentor to a wide variety of small and large organizations, private and governmental, local and international (from all sizes). Avraham loves working with people and never wants anyone to leave the room without a smile on their face. He joins Shalom Corps because he feels he’s spent most of his professional life helping businesses and industrial clients. But with Shalom Corps, he now has the opportunity to serve the Jewish people, which he says provides much more satisfaction. He also says he loves working with a great team.

Ovadia Sofer

Director of Service Learning

Responsible for implementation of education in our programs, Ovadia is committed to the global Jewish mission of repairing the world. Raised in London, he has been involved in education in the United States, England and South Africa where he developed educational resources, trained teachers and coached upcoming leaders. As a community rabbi and Judaic Studies director he worked tirelessly to make Jewish spaces more open and inclusive. He was known for refusing to answer any question that began with the words "What does Judaism say about.." and prefers "How can Jewish tradition add value too…" Ovadia believes that wonderful things happen when we challenge ourselves by moving beyond our preconceived boundaries and engaging with people who seem different to ourselves, and that experience is the only true form of learning. He considers himself fortunate to have worked with many organizations that have worked toward these goals. Ovadia lives in the Judaean Mountains with his wife and five children and is passionate about archaeology, hiking and mixed martial arts.

Arik Prince

VP of Marketing

Arik Prince began his career when he graduated in the field of film studies. Since the age of 21 he's brought his studies to the real world by working in the media and journalism industries. Arik has served as the V.P. of Marketing for the largest Israeli TV studios and founded ILTV – an international news broadcast from Israel. He's created films, commercials and has also built political and campaign strategies in Israel and abroad. His favorite hobbies are wine tasting, watching good films and indulging in a bit of spirituality in order to balance the two worlds. Arik considers Shalom Corps as the most important mission of his life. He believes he's been placed in a role where he can influence the world for the better and touch the hearts of human beings everywhere.

Maya Gershon

Program Director

Maya is responsible for executing all programs at Shalom Corps, including the ongoing daily contact and guidance with our partners in Israel and around the world. She made Aliyah in 2006 from the United States. Maya previously served as the Global Director at Zikaron BaSalon, the Marketing Director of the International School at IDC Herzliya, and the Marketing Manager at Garin Tzabar. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Marketing and Communications and her Master’s degree in Government, Diplomacy and International Relations from IDC Herzliya. Maya lives in Netanya with her husband Ben and her two sons Michael and Adam.