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ITC Executive board members

Executive Board of the Israel Trauma Coalition

Leadership is Key-The Israel Trauma Coalition is fortunate to benefit from the wisdom and experience of Israel’s leading psycho-trauma professionals on its Coordinating Board.

The following individuals give generously of their time and expertise to advance the causes of healing and resilience, amongst a population exposed to perennial sources of trauma on personal, communal and national levels.

Major General Gideon Sheffer, President of the Israel Trauma Coalition

Sheffer was born in 1948 in Poland. He served 32 years in the Israel Air Force (IAF), enlisting in 1966 as an electronic technician and retiring in 1998 as a Major General. As an IAF pilot he flew all fighter aircraft, including attack helicopters, in the IAF Fleet. From 1995 until his retirement in 1998, he served as a Major General on the Israel Defense Force (IDF) General Staff as Head of the Manpower Division. Following his retirement from the IDF, Mr. Sheffer served as Deputy Israeli National Security Advisor and a member of the team that established the Israel National Security Council. Gideon Sheffer joined Elbit Systems, Ltd. in 2001, and in August 2009 was appointed as Executive Vice President - Strategic Planning and Business Development - Israel. Mr. Sheffer holds a Bachelor's Degree (with distinction) in Israel Studies from Bar Ilan University and is a graduate of Harvard University's Advanced Management Program. He serves as a member of the Board of Directors of a number of Israeli corporations and organizations and is actively involved in various Mid-East peace initiatives. Mr. Sheffer is married to Shosh. They have four children and five grandchildren.


Prof. Mooli Lahad, President, Community Stress Prevention Center (CSPC)

Prof. Mooli Lahad is a senior medical and educational psychologist who holds the position of Professor of Drama Therapy and Psychology at Tel Hai College, Israel and Roehampton University, United Kingdom. Prof. Lahad is considered one of the world's leading experts on community and public behavior. Currently, Prof. Lahad is the president of the Community Stress Prevention Center (CSPC), an NGO which he established 30 years ago. CSPC is both a training center and an academic institute where models and methods of intervention in mass disasters are developed and tested in the field.


Ruth Bar-On, Director, Selah – Israel Crisis Management Center (ICMC(

Ruth Bar-On was born and raised in Tel Aviv. She was active for many years in the world struggle for Soviet Jewry and worked closely with Prisoners of Zion. After serving as the executive Director of the Israel Public Council for Soviet Jewry, in 1993 she established SELAH- the Israel Crisis Management Center. SELAH serves a country-wide address for new immigrants hit by crisis, terror or another life-altering tragedy.


Dr. Fortu Benarroch, Clinical Director, Center for Post-traumatic Stress, Hadassah University Hospital, Jerusalem

Dr. Fortu Benarroch is a senior child and adolescent psychiatrist. He currently holds the position as clinical Director of the Center for Pediatric Post Traumatic Stress, Hadassah - Hebrew University Medical Center, Jerusalem. Dr. Benarroch has extensive teaching experience including teaching trainees in pediatric clinical psychology, training social workers in crisis intervention and family practitioners in the detection and treatment of pediatric post-traumatic stress. He is a member of the Israel Trauma Coalition (ITC) Board and as part of an ITC project Dr. Fortu Benarroch has trained emergency room staff in immediate intervention principles for children following traumatic events and has trained clinicians both in Israel and abroad in the comprehensive psychological treatment of children, adolescents and their families in zones affected by war and terrorism.


Cheryl Fishbein, Public representative


Orly Gal, Director, Natal – Israel Trauma Center for Victims of Terror and War

Colonel (Res.) Orly Gal, the Executive Director of NATAL joined the organization after a prestigious 25-year career in the IDF. Her last position was Deputy IDF Spokesperson -responsible for the entire Public Relations Department and commander to over 1,000 soldiers. In 2005 Orly represented the Army in the Prime Minister's Office, as a member of the Coordination and Strategy Team, which initiated and developed the information campaign for the disengagement plan in Gaza. She also served as Secretary to the High Command. Additionally, Orly was a Jewish Agency emissary in Columbus, Ohio and in England, and has a Master's Degree in Public Policy. Since joining NATAL in March 2006, Orly successfully led the organization through the Second Lebanon War, the crisis in Sderot and Operation Cast Lead. As a result of her extensive PR experience she has helped to significantly increase NATAL's presence in the national and international media.

David Koren, CEO, ERAN – Emergency Hotline for Emotional First Aid

David Koren is the CEO of ERAN –Emergency Hotline for emotional First Aid. Before entering this post, he served as the Director of several NGOs, including the Center for Rights of Pensioners and Holocaust Survivors and the National Kibbutz Movement amongst others. Mr. Koren has a long trajectory in the non-profit sector, having served as board member of several NGOs and as a Member of the Presidium and the Board of the Non-profit Sector and Non-profit Associations in Israel. Mr. Koren has a B.A. in Social Work from Haifa University and has attended educational programs in group facilitation and organizational consulting, computer, marketing and management, and mediation and crisis management.


Miriam Shapira, Director, Mahut – Center for the Development of Coping Skills

Miriam Shapira is a clinical psychologist, )M.A. Bar Ilan University) group facilitator and consultant to educational and community agencies. She holds the position of Director of the Center for Coping in Emergency (Mahut). Miriam is a Member of Besod Siach (Open Discussion Groups, professional consultation and facilitation) and first chairperson and member of Ofek (The Israel Association for the Study of Group and Organizational Processes.

Yehuda Toonik, adv., public representative

Yehuda Toonik, is a senior faculty member in the law department of Tel Aviv University, and between the years of 1970-1978 he participated in security matters related to the Prime Minister’s Office. Mr. Tooknik has worked in private practice since 1978. He has held various positions including Chairman of the National Mediation Institute of the Israeli Bar Association, Chairman of theCapital Markets Committee of the Israeli Bar Association, member of the licensing, certification, and legislation of the Institute of Internal Auditors and has held various positions in commercial companies. He has also served as the Chairman of the Israel Bar Association.


Dr. Moshe Vardi, Psychiatrist, Loewenstein Hospital and Rehabilitation Center

Dr. Moshe Vardi is the Director of Psychiatric Services in Beit Loewenstein Hospital and Rehabilitation Center, the largest rehabilitation center in Israel, and the Director of the Post Trauma Unit for Child victims of Accident and Terror. He specialized both in general psychiatry and in children and adolescents. At Beit Loewenstein, his main interest and work is in the field of Traumatic Brain Injury Rehabilitation, Neuropsychiatry, Trauma and Post Trauma, in children and adults.


Sarah Bogen - an independent consultant in the field of community and organizational development

Sarah began her professional work as a community worker in Jerusalem. After a mission with the World Zionist community in the United States, Sarah began working at JDC-Israel as a project coordinator in the field of community centers, and later Head of community centers, and as head of community development.

After the collapse of the former Soviet Union, Sarah joined the FSU Department and started a program for the development of community centers and educational programs in Jewish communities throughout the former Soviet Union, she later served as Senior Director of the Jewish Renewal division and Director of planning and Development . After leaving the Joint, Sarah served as the Director of External Relations at the Hebrew University.

Sarah has a Master's degree in management of institutions and non-profit organizations from New York University, is graduate of the Executive Education Program Schwartz and senior staff in community centers, and holds a BA in psychology from the Hebrew University.


All member organizations of the Israel Trauma Coalition are eligible to be represented on the ITC Board of Directors.

The ITC invites Trauma professionals and lay leaders to contact the ITC office for more information.



Our Mission

The mission of the Israel Trauma Coalition (ITC) is to create a continuum of care in the trauma field, response and preparedness, by leveraging diverse resources to initiate, prioritize, and optimize services.

In the past 13 years  the ITC has proven its effectiveness in partnering with over 60 organizations including government ministries and Home Front Command to ensure a comprehensive view of the trauma field, timely delivery of needed services, resilience building at a personal, community and national level and influencing policy.