Why Us?

Our Shorashim Team

Our Executive Team

Michal Tamim

Executive Director

Michal has been the Executive Director of Shorashim for the last three years. After receiving her BA in Law, she began working at Shorashim 10 years ago. Beginning as a logistical coordinator, she was responsible for groups upon their arrival in Israel. Following this position, she became  the director of the Israel Team and then the Executive Director. Michal enjoys traveling, both around Israel and abroad, interior design, thai food, and, of course, Shorashim!

Michael Waitz

North American Director

Michael Waitz began his role as the North American Director of Shorashim after spending five years with Alpha Epsilon Pi Fraternity, where he was the Director of Jewish and Philanthropy Programming and Director of Centennial Development. Michael graduated from DePaul University with a business degree and has a Certificate in Jewish Leadership from Northwestern University/Spertus Institute. Michael currently lives in Chicago and is married to Aviva who is a Shorashim alumnus with Birthright Israel and Alternative Spring Break.

Yaniv Carmi

Israel Director

Yaniv, who was born and raised in Jerusalem, currently serves as the Director of the Israel Team. Following his army service, Yaniv received a Law Degree from Hebrew University. He was a participant on a Birthright Israel: Shorashim trip and following a short stint as a lawyer, he joined Shorashim as a logistical coordinator. He is married to Dafi and they have two fantastic boys, Guy and Michael.

US Office

Lauren Schmidt

Marketing & Communications Manager

After studying in Israel during High School on Alexander Muss High School in Israel, Lauren became passionate about working for a Jewish, non-profit organization. Originally from the Chicago area, studied Journalism and Mass Communications at the George Washington University. Following graduation, she helped launch the Midwest Region of the Simon Wiesenthal Center as an event coordinator, before joining the Shorashim team in July 2014. Lauren also mentors for the teen advocacy program, Write On For Israel, and writes for both Oy!Chicago and JUF News.

Leah Steinberg

Engagement & Outreach Coordinator

After a summer internship at the Museum of Tolerance in 2013, Leah became passionate about working and engaging with the Jewish Community. Originally from Boston, MA, Leah studied the History, Culture, and Literature of Religion at the University of Michigan (go Blue!). Following graduation, Leah worked at the Center for Jewish Genetics, an affiliated agency of the JUF, as their Community Outreach Coordinator, before joining the Shorashim team in December 2015. Leah is also an instructor at the Barre Code Chicago and loves exploring the city!

Jessica Ost

Program Manager

Jessica studied at the University of Illinois in Urbana Champaign where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Global Studies and a minor in Jewish Studies. During her time in college, Jessica went on Birthright with Shorashim. Shortly after, she studied abroad in Jerusalem at the Hebrew University. Before joining Shorashim, Jessica worked for Metro Chicago Hillel and the Jewish United Fund's Young Leadership Division and travelled Asia for 3 months. Jessica enjoys hiking, reading, cooking and walking around Chicago's neighborhoods.

Trudy Miller

Program Associate

Trudy joined Shorashim in May 2016. When in high school, she became involved with BBYO where she developed a strong love and passion for Israel and Israel education While studying Non-Profit Management and Jewish Studies at Indiana University, she dedicated a great portion of her time to educating others on Israel. After spending a semester abroad at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, she decided to return to Israel to receive her Masters Degree at Hebrew University in Israeli Studies upon completing her degree at Indiana.

Israel Office

Amit Helper

Finance & Human Resources Manager

Amit has worked for Shorashim for 10 years and has served in many different and important roles. Currently, she is the Human Resources and Finance Manager in the Israel office. In addition to work in Shorashim, Amit is in the process of getting her Ph.D. in Social Work from Ben Gurion University in Beersheva.

Itzik Nahum

Finance & Human Resources Department

Itzik was born and raised in Ra'anana, where he currently lives as well. He is studying Business Management and Ffinance at the IDC College at Herzliya. Itzik loves to play football. He is a huge fan of Maccabi Haifa F.C. and has never missed any game!  

Yoni Kott

Groups Manager

Yoni Kott was born and raised in Givatayim, a small city near Tel Aviv. After his military service as a tank commander he moved to Jerusalem, there he studied for his Bachelor's degree in Statistics and Business Management. Once finishing his studies, he spent six months in Barcelona beginning his Master’s Degree. Nowadays, Yoni is responsible for all the aspects of our Birthright Israel groups through his role as a Groups Manager.

Gilli Kalifon

Reservations Manager

Gilli was born and raised in Kibbutz Tzuba and recently moved back with her fiance. She has a BA in Israel studies and a teacher's certificate from Haifa University. Gilli loves to listen to music, eat good food, yoga and traveling around Israel.

Nofar Morai

Reservations Department

Nofar was born and raised in Mevaseret Tzion. She has a BA in  in psychology and criminology from Ariel University. When she is not working on solidifying reservations for groups in Israel, she loves to play sports! 

Udi Krauss

Israel Educational Director

Udi is a Shorashim high school trip alumna from the summer of 1993. Since then, Shorashim has been a full part of his life and heart. Udi started leading Shorashim trips after his army service in 1998. He has led 10 Shorashim high school trips and more than 50 Birthright Israel: Shorashim trips. Udi leads the Israeli educational staff and trains them in Shorashim’s mission and vision of education and mifgash. In addition, Udi is a musical producer, drummer, and guitarist who works with top Israeli musicians in the Israeli contemporary folk and rock scene.

Yossi Nameri

Founder & Educational Director

Yossi was born in Haifa, Israel, and currently lived in Kiryat Yam. Yossi was a medic and officer in the Israel Defense Forces and holds a Master’s Degree in Political Science and Israel Studies from Haifa University. Yossi is one of the founders of Shorashim and has led many high school trips and even more Birthright Israel trips. He was the Director of the Melitz North Office from 1985-1995 and a Delegator to the Jewish Agency from 1995-1996. In his spare time, he loves to take part in one of his favorite hobbies, Israeli folk dancing.

Shlomit Solomon DeLouya

Tailor-Made Programs Team

Shlomit was born and raised in Jerusalem. After completing her national service, she went on to attain a BA in Jewish History and Media Studies from Hebrew University. She then completed her MA in American Jewish Studies from Haifa University and has been working for many years in the field of informal Jewish education and program writing. She lives in Re'ut with her family.

Arielle Adler

Tailor-Made Programs Team

After graduating from Boston University with a BS in History and Education, Arielle made Aliyah and served in the Israeli Navy as a Non-commissioned Officer of Education for two years. Since her release, Arielle has worked as a Madricha, Educational Supervisor, Donor Relations Coordinator, and Rosh Machane for various organizations including the Jewish Agency, Young Judaea and Thank Israeli Soldiers. Arielle brings with her years of experience in Israel Education.

Ido Katz

Birthright Israel Team

Ido Katz was born in a kibbutz in the Negev. He lived in the states for an year, studied in the beautiful city of Eilat and is currently living at the holy city of Jerusalem, loving every minute of it! He has a BA in Social Work and is proud to be a member of the Shorashim family!

Sharna Marcus

Educational Consultant - Aspergers Trip

Sharna Marcus is an educational consultant for Shorashim, focusing on the Birthright Israel: Aspergers program. She was the director of education from 2008 to 2013. Sharna is a high school History and English teacher and writer in Israel, where she lives with her husband and two children.

Lior Chacham


For his entire career as a Jewish educator, Lior has been bringing Americans to Israel and Israel to Americans, which began and continues through his work at a Birthright Israel tour educator. Lior has staffed numerous Birthright Israel experiences with Shorashim and worked as a shaliach at Shorashim. Lior is currently earning his masters in Jewish Professional Studies through the Spertus Israel Cohort and is expecting the graduate in August 2017. Originally from Kiryat Gat, Lior lives in Netanya, Israel with his wife and two children.