Gabe Axler, Special Programs Manager is a Chicago native and has worked at Shorashim since 2006. Gabe has helped to shape our Club Israel program and our Hebrew enrichment, and currently manages special programs in Israel. Gabe received his masters degree from Spertus college in Jewish Professional Studies and is married to Ravit Greenberg. They have a daughter, Sela. 


Lior Chacham, Shaliach  comes to Chicago from Kiryat Gat. He has led countless Taglit-Birthright Israel, Alternative Winter Break and Alternative Spring Break trips. Lior was a staff seargant and instructor in the Artillery Core of the IDF.





Udi KraussUdi Krauss, Educational Coordinator for Israel Programs is an alum of the Shorashim High School program (1994) and works as a senior educator and trip leader. He is a graduate of the Rimon School of Music and for the past six years has been working with the Israeli singer/songwriter, Eric Berman. Since its inception in 1999, Udi has led over forty Taglit-Birthright Israel trips (in addition to dozens of other programs), where he seeks to combine his passions for music and informal Jewish education. 


 Becky Kupchan, Program Coordinator has returned to her hometown of Chicago after spending time living in Israel, first as a participant on the WUJS Peace and Social Justice program in Jerusalem where she worked with Ethiopian Jews, and then as a volunteer on Kibbutz Kholit where she harvested mangoes. She graduated from Brandeis University where she studied American Studies with minors in Art History and Latin  American Studies. She is a Chicagioan and a Cubs fan at heart, but enjoys traveling whenever the opportunity arises and is excited to travel back to Israel with Shorashim.


Sharna Marcus, Director of Education, focuses on staff training, curriculum writing, innovative program development and teaching about Israel through the use of multimedia. Sharna is also a contributing blogger at OyChicago. Sharna has her M.Ed. in Secondary Education (Depaul University) and M.S.J. in New Media Journalism (Northwestern University). She is a proud Hoosier. 


 Kira Moscowitz, High School Program Coordinator is originally from Minneapolis, MN. She received her B.A. in Psychology and Sociology from the George Washington University. After spending a year volunteering in Israel, and leading high school programs and Taglit-Birthright Israel trips, she braved the cold again and moved to the Windy City of Chicago. Kira is looking forward to being a part of the Shorashim team and contributing to Israel education.


Yossi Nameri, Educational Manager for Israel Programs is one of the founders of Shorashim and has been leading American and Israeli groups (as CCP, Shoresh, and Shorashim) since 1979. Born in Haifa and raised in Kiryat Yam, Yossi served as combat medic during the War of Attrition and Yom Kippur War, before he was promoted to an officer. He has a masters degree in Political Science and Land of Israel Studies from Haifa University. For 15 years, he worked with Melitz and has served as the Youth Delegate of the Jewish Agency in Ukraine and Latvia.


Naomi Shapiro, North American Director comes to Shorashim after working for Birthright Israel NEXT and JUF. Naomi graduated from the University of Wisconsin and is persuing a master's in psychology with a concentration in Organizational Leadership at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology. Naomi is married to Adam Braun.


Adam StewartAdam Stewart, Director is an alum of the Shorashim High School Program (1988) and has led many high school and Taglit-Birthright Israel programs. Adam is completing his Ph.D. in History at Loyola University Chicago and lives in Chicago with his wife and three children. Adam is also an educational consultant to The iCenter.



Michal TamimMichal Tamim, CEO of Shorashim Israel was born in Beer Sheva and raised in Lehavim and currently lives in Kfar Varburg, Israel. In her army service Michal Served in the Nahal brigade as a commander, and later graduated with a law degree from Tel Aviv University. Michal has been working with Shorashim since 2007 as a logistical coordinator for all Shorashim groups, and was also the special projects coordinator for our joint JNF programs, including the Alternative Winter and Spring Break Programs.