Inbar Bluzer Shalem is one of the founders and the CEO of Rashut Ha`Rabim. Previously, Inbar founded and directed Haifa Hillel and was the first Hillel shlicha to the University of Massachusetts; she holds a BA in economics and an MA in humanitarian affairs through a joint program of Israelis and Palestinians in Italy. Inbar is the alumna of six pluralistic Batei Midrash programs in Israel. She has recently been ordained as a rabbi following completion of her rabbinic studies at Hebrew Union College. She also received an MA in pluralistic Jewish education from Hebrew University. Inbar is married and lives in Jerusalem with four of the most amazing children in the city.
Born in Be’er Sheva, Bat-El currently lives in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Kiryat HaYovel with her husband Jonathan and their four children. Bat-El is a social worker and a dance-movement therapist, and is also a student in Public Administration and Policy. She managed the education and training department at the organization Aharai! following years of work in the field with the alumni association and the vvolunteers of the national service program in preparation for the army. Bat-El managed the Southern and Central District of the Beit Midrash for Social Leadership for Me’Mizrach Shemesh. She strongly believes in dialogue among people of all ages, genders and affiliations. “And you shall love thy neighbor as thyself” (Leviticus 19:18) is Bat-El’s guiding principle.
Tom is a native Jerusalemite. She holds a BA in Politics and Government and Gender Studies from Ben Gurion University. Tom is currently studying for a master’s degree in Creative Writing at the Department of Hebrew Literature at Ben-Gurion University. Tom began her professional career in social change as spokesperson for the Association of Rape Crisis Centers. Later she became involved in communications and production, especially in the cultural and music arenas. Tom writes, plays music and sings. She believes that music is among the most important connecting and healing forces.
Sophia made Aliyah in 2014 from the U.S. where she grew up in a Conservative Jewish congregation. She was very active in her Jewish community at home. Since her aliyah, she has worked for youth movements in Israel and abroad. Sophia holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theater and Yiddish from the University of Michigan, and is currently completing a degree in informal education at the Beit Berl Academy in Kfar Saba. Sophia currently resides in Kiryat Yovel.
Shani is from Jerusalem and is on her way to become the first Israeli Reform ordained cantor. Her home congregation is Kehilat Kol HaNeshama in Jerusalem. She has served in cantorial roles in Israel and around the world. Shani has an M.A. in Jewish pluralistic studies from Ono Academic College. In 2013, she established T’lamim, a community of young Reform Jewish adults in Israel. Together with Boaz Dorot, she is the co-founder of the Nigunim Ensemble, a pioneering ensemble that creates, arranges, and performs sacred music to accompany religious services throughout Israel. Shani aspires to establish a thriving liberal cantorate in Israel: one that is authentic and relevant to the multi-cultural climate of Israeli society, fluent in the musical treasures of Ashkenaz and Mizrachi Jewish traditions, and creates music for a variety of sacred spaces and occasions that are unique to eretz Yisrael.
Rafi Baranes, 31, is a member of the Dror Israel movement and lives in a kibbutz of educators in Jerusalem. Rafi lives and breathes education and social gatherings. He currently works as an educator at the Tel Aviv-Yafo Social High School. Over the years he has been involved in education and coordination in the Working and Learning Youth movement (HaNoar HaOved v’HaLomed). Between 2017-2019 he worked protecting the rights of working youth as part of the trade union for youth and young people.
Apart from education and meeting people between hobbies, Rafi likes to explore the field of photography, design and eco-agriculture. His love of eco-urban agriculture and connections in the Kiryat Yovel neighborhood led him to take responsibility for the collective garden.