The Tikvah Fellowship

The Tikvah Advanced Institutes program operates in partnership with the Tikvah Fellowship. Institute participants will study alongside a cadre of full-time residential fellows who are spending anywhere from 3 months to one year taking courses, conducting independent research, and working for some of the leading newspapers, magazines, universities, and think-tanks in the world.

Enclosed below are bios of some past, present, and future fellows, grouped by the nature of their expertise: policy, journalism, Jewish thought and religious life, and literature and culture.


Yaira Frankel-Schroeder
Yaira Frankel-Schroeder lives in Modi’in with her husband and two daughters.  She has been working for the past eight years as a lawyer in the legal department of the Israeli Antitrust Authority, where she has been responsible for banking, financial, intellectual property, communication, and the food and retail sectors. At her last position she served as the Deputy Legal Adviser for Civil Affairs. Following her army service in the intelligence corps, Yaira completed a year of Middle Eastern Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and then joined the honors program for joint studies in law and business. She holds an LL.B. and M.B.A. degrees from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Alan Goldsmith
United States
Alan Goldsmith is a national security professional with over six years of experience in foreign policy, Congress, policymaking, oversight, and communications. He served on the staff of the House Foreign Affairs Committee from 2007 to 2013, covering the Middle East and international organizations. Alan previously served as senior writer for Americans for a Strong Defense, a non-profit campaign opposing Chuck Hagel’s nomination for Secretary of Defense. Alan holds an M.A. in Strategic Security Studies from National Defense University and a B.A. in Political Science from Yeshiva University. He is a member of Young Professionals in Foreign Policy and of the Republican Jewish Coalition.

Simone Hartmann
Simone Dinah Hartmann was born and raised in Vienna, Austria and holds an M.Sc. in Information Technology and Politics from the Vienna University of Technology. She served in the Austrian student parliament where she became engaged against the Austrian far right and anti-Semitism. During the second intifada, she initiated pro-Israel events throughout German-speaking countries. In response to Iran’s nuclear program she started the European-wide coalition “Stop the Bomb,” and serves as its spokesperson and director in Austria. Hartmann has lectured and written extensively on matters related to the security of Israel, anti-Semitism and the Iranian threat in the German-speaking and international press, and is co-publisher of two anthologies on Iran and its European supporters.

Robert W. Nicholson
United States
Robert W. Nicholson, born in Los Angeles and raised in upstate New York, is a former U.S. Marine who recently earned both a J.D. and an M.A. in history from Syracuse University. He has held a variety of legal and academic positions and has published articles in, among other places, the Syracuse Journal of International Law & Commerce and the Journal of Jewish Identities.  His research focuses primarily on the role of law in Israel and the wider Middle East, and he plans to develop a website to track and analyze important developments in Israeli jurisprudence. He is also very interested in the development of relations between Christians and Jews.

Elad Popovich
Elad Popovich is Executive Director of the Liberal Democracies Facing Asymmetric Conflicts project (LD-AC) at the University of Haifa. Previously, Elad served as Secretary General and an executive committee member of the Association of Civil-Military Scholars in Israel (2012-2013). Elad is an attorney at law and serves on the Israel Bar Association’s Military and Security National Committee. He is an associate researcher at the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism (ICT), and an adjunct professor in the war colleges of the Israeli Defense Forces and the Israeli Air Force.  Elad holds an LL.B. and B.A. from the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya IDC and is currently pursuing doctoral studies in international relations at the University of Haifa and holds an M.A. in political science from Tel Aviv University.  His professional specializations are: laws of war and international humanitarian law (in the scope of asymmetric conflicts), counter-terrorism and COIN, cyber threats, psychological warfare, psycho-strategy, Palestinian terrorist organizations, Hezbollah, and global jihad.

Ohad Reifen
Ohad Reifen, who lives in Jerusalem, has been working for the past seven years in the budget department of Israel’s Ministry of Finance, where he has been involved in a variety of fields including trade and industry, tourism, social security, welfare, immigrant absorption, and strategic planning and oversight. A native of Rehovot, he completed his high-school education in Hong Kong. Following his service in the IDF, he studied at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem where he completed a dual B.A. in economics and the Amirim honors program. He subsequently received an M.A. in the politics of the world economy at the London School of Economics.


Kate Havard
United States
Kate Havard works as a reporter and editorial assistant at The Weekly Standard. She writes on congressional and national politics for the magazine’s print edition and blog, and in 2012 covered the Ohio Senate race and the Democratic National Convention. Ms. Havard also covered Maryland politics for the Washington Post. She graduated with a B.A. in Liberal Arts from St. John’s College, Maryland.

Erez Tadmor
Erez Tadmor is the Political Editor of Mida, an Israeli web magazine, and the co-founder and former policy division head of the Im Tirtzu movement.  Erez has a B.A. in political science and the multidisciplinary program from the Hebrew University, and is currently studying for an M.A. in political media at Bar Ilan University. He has held publicity and journalism posts at Maariv, Makor Rishon, and Yediot Yerushalayim.

Tom Wilson
United Kingdom
Tom grew up in a rural community in Suffolk, England, before moving to London as an undergraduate student. Tom studied history at Royal Holloway where he went on to complete a Masters in modern history focused on Middle Eastern and Jewish subjects. Having spent several months at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem for research purposes, Tom then returned to Britain to undertake a Ph.D. in Israeli Politics at the University College of London, where he also served as president of the university’s Jewish society. In addition to helping establish the U.K. chapter of StandWithUs, in recent years Tom has been involved with a number of political organizations, acting as a media spokesperson for several of them, including the Zionist Federation, the Institute for Middle Eastern Democracy and British friends of Efrat. As well as these involvements Tom also writes regularly and his work has appeared in Standpoint Magazine, The Commentator and The Jerusalem Post among others.

Jewish Thought and Religious Life

Ben Elton
United Kingdom
Ben Elton studied history at Cambridge, where he graduated with a double first with distinction before going on to earn a Ph.D. from the University of London in Jewish History (2007) and to be elected a fellow of the Royal Historical Society (2010). He is the author of Britain’s Chief Rabbis and the Religious Character of Anglo-Jewry 1880-1970. From 2004 to 2009 he worked in the British civil service, including as private secretary to the Lord Chancellor and as an assistant director of the Judicial Appointments Commission. He is currently a visiting scholar in the department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies at NYU and is studying for semikha at Yeshivat Chovevei Torah.

Tova Ganzel
Tova Ganzel received her doctoral degree in Bible from Bar-Ilan University in 2005 and is a certified halakhic counselor on family purity. She divides her time between serving as assistant director of the Midrasha for Women at Bar-Ilan and teaching Bible at Bar-Ilan and Herzog College. As a halakhic adviser, she has participated in the process of institutionalizing halakhic decision-making by women. In Bible studies, her main areas are the prophetic books and nineteenth-century biblical criticism. More recently, she has translated her practical experience as a halakhic counselor into research on the issue of women and halakha.

Elana Stein Hain
United States
Elana Stein Hain has served as the Community Scholar at Lincoln Square Synagogue for the past five years, and she is a Ph.D. candidate in Religion at Columbia University. Elana is currently a faculty member at the NYU Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service, where she teaches courses as part of a new minor on Religious Life and Leadership.

Aharon Ariel Lavi
Aharon Ariel Lavi is the founder and director of the Nettiot Mission-Driven Communities Network, reengaging Haredi ba’alei teshuva (religious returnees) into Israeli society. He is also founder of Garin Shuva, a Jewish eco-mission-driven-community in the North-Western Negev and he is co-founder and steering committee member of the National Council of Mission-Driven Communities. In addition to his institutional leadership, Lavi has edited and written work on Judaism, economics, social justice, and environmentalism.  He is a Ph.D. student in Science, Technology, and Society at Bar-Ilan University, and holds a B.A. in Economics and Geography from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Yoav Sorek
Yoav Sorek, forty-two, married and the father of seven children, lives in Ofra. A descendant of a rabbinic family, and a devoted yeshiva student, he also has an MA in Jewish history. In recent years, he has worked mainly in the fields of editing and journalism, publishing numerous articles on political and religious issues and creating and editing the Shabbat supplement of Makor Rishon, now a major platform for debates about modern Judaism, philosophy, Zionism, art, and culture. He is searching for ways to revive the talmudic and halakhic tradition as a relevant source of values and practice for an Israeli society that has largely adopted secularism.

Moshe Weinstock
Moshe Weinstock lives in Alon Shvut.  He has studied in Eli Yeshiva, Beit Morasha and at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where he received his Ph.D. in Jewish Philosophy. He has taught in Yeshivat Makor Chayim, Beit Morasha and Herzog College. Weinstock is the author of Uman, the Israeli Journey to the Tomb of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov, published by Yediot in 2011. Since 2010, Weinstock has served as the head of the curriculum division in the religious education branch of the Ministry of Education and as the director of the “Lev Lada’at” which works for religious education reform.

Literature and Culture

Jason Guberman
United States
Jason Guberman earned a bachelor’s degree summa cum laude from Sacred Heart University in Bridgeport, Connecticut, where he was elected class president, was awarded fellowships with the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, and published essays in various periodicals. He now serves as the founding executive director of Digital Heritage Mapping, a non-profit enterprise, and coordinator of its flagship initiative, Diarna, an online geo-museum dedicated to preserving and providing access to the sites and memories of North African and Middle Eastern Jewish life. He has written for AJS PerspectivesSh’ma, and My Jewish Learning, and was recently named to the Council of Young Jewish Presidents.

Jonathan Leaf
United States
Jonathan Leaf is a playwright and journalist. He has received rave reviews for his plays in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Daily News, The New Criterion,, Show Business Weekly and many other publications. He has been identified and profiled by Time Out New York as one of the country’s most important new playwrights. As a journalist and critic, his work has appeared in The Weekly Standard, The American, The New York Sun, New York Post, New York Press, and National Review. A former New York City Public school teacher, he is a native of Trenton, New Jersey. He graduated from Yale with a B.A. in History.

Yakov Meir
Yakov Meir, who lives in Jerusalem with his wife and child, studied at Yeshivat Siakh in Efrat and at the Hebrew University, where he received a B.A. in Talmud and an M.A. in Jewish Studies. He has taught Talmud and Zohar in several different settings and contributes a weekly Torah column to Haaretz and a weekly Talmud commentary to Makor Rishon. His first novel, Gam Tzipor (“The Sparrow, Too”), was recently published by Hakibbutz Hameuhad.