Project Zug is led by a team of Israeli and American Jews seeking to strengthen relationships between Jewish communities across the globe.

Founding story...

Project Zug was founded by Benjamin Ross, a rabbinical student at Hebrew Union College, and Hagit Bartuv, Former Director of Midreshet, a Jewish-Israeli online learning platform. Benjamin and Hagit connected in 2012 in Jerusalem, and developed a shared goal of using Jewish learning to connect Jews in Israel and America.

Their vision became a reality, leading to over 800 participants in Project Zug in under 3 years!


Project Zug is run in partnership between Mechon Hadar and Panim. 
Learn more about Mechon Hadar at
Learn more about Panim at

The Project Zug Team

Rabbi Avi Killip, Director

Avi was ordained from Hebrew College's pluralistic Rabbinical School in Boston. She is a Wexner Graduate Fellow and holds a Bachelors and Masters from Brandeis University in Jewish Studies and Women & Gender Studies. Avi has worked as a teacher and Jewish professional in two synagogues, an independent minyan, a mikveh, and a yeshiva.

Emunah Glazer, Israel Coordinator

Emunah was born in Cleveland, Ohio and made Aliyah over 10 years ago. She earned her bachelor’s in Educational Counseling and Jewish Art History from Bar Ilan University and is currently studying towards an MBA at Hebrew University. She has volunteered at the Diaspora Museum’s visitors center and worked with disadvantaged youth across Israel with “Per”ach”, “Shach”ak” and Youth Futures. Over the past several years, she has worked for a variety of educational and ecological nonprofits in Israel. Emunah currently lives in Jerusalem and joined Panim’s staff at Project Zug and Resource Development Coordinator in 2015.

Jeremy Tabick, Content Manager

Jeremy curates Mechon Hadar's and Project Zug's online content. He is also pursuing a masters degree in Talmud at JTS. He graduated from the University of Manchester (in the UK) with a Masters in Physics, and is an alumnus of Yeshivat Hadar and the Conservative Yeshiva in Jerusalem. He has been involved in editing and producing educational resouces for Limmud, both in the UK and internationally, such as the Chavruta Project and Limmud On One Leg. He also teaches at the Ivry Prozdor High School.

Odeya Goldshmidt, Content Specialist

Odeya is studying for her masters in Hebrew Culture at Tel Aviv University. She has a bachelors in Jewish Thought from Hebrew University and is an alumna of a variety of Batei Midrash including Migdal Oz, Havruta, and Elul. In addition to working at Panim she is a facilitator for Gesher, Elul, and Itim - the Beit Midrash at Tel Aviv University.

Rabbi Elie Kaunfer, Executive Director of Mechon Hadar

Rabbi Elie Kaunfer is co-founder and executive director of Mechon Hadar. Elie has previously worked as a journalist, banker, and corporate fraud investigator. A graduate of Harvard College, he completed his doctorate in liturgy at the Jewish Theological Seminary, where he was also ordained. A Wexner Graduate Fellow and Dorot Fellow, Elie is a co-founder of the independent minyan Kehilat Hadar and has been named multiple times to Newsweek’s list of the top 50 rabbis in America. He was selected as an inaugural AVI CHAI Fellow, and is the author of Empowered Judaism: What Independent Minyanim Can Teach Us About Building Vibrant Jewish Communities (Jewish Lights, 2010). Click here to find out more. You can also watch a video of him at the Jewish Federations of North America, in Denver, CO, 2011.

Michal Berman, Executive Director of Panim

Michal joined Panim after a decade working at the Central School for Holocaust Education at Yad Vashem, and worked for five years for Ginot Ha'Ir Community Center in Jerusalem to advance Jewish renewal. She completed her bachelor’s with honors in Psychology and Jewish History and master’s in Jewish Pluralism from Hebrew University. She is the graduate of a moderator's program at Seminar Hakibbutzim. She lives in Alon with her husband and three children.