Our History

Over the last 25 years, The Democratic Institute has worked in different areas of education and in various communities in order to advance its vision of a Democratic Society based on a Democratic Culture that is both growing and nurturing growth.
The Democratic Institute has created operational partnerships with academic institutions both in Israel and abroad in order to develop unique learning and research tracks.

Our Mission

The Democratic Institute’s main objective is to advance and develope a Democratic Culture together with creating a more equal society in which a Cross-Sector Dialogue takes place, in which room is held for diverse opinions and approaches and holds no tolerance of discrimination.

The Democratic Institute seeks to implement a Democratic Culture within all communities within the public sphere and bring high-quality and Innovative Education to sectors that had historically lacked it.

Our Vision

The Democratic Institute believes that a Aemocratic Society is based not only on Democratic Procedures, but also on a Democratic Culture Of Living, which is rooted in the Human Rights Charter.

The community’s part, within a democratic culture, is one that hold responsibility for expressing each person’s uniqueness,together with the advancement of cooperation between parties, it enhances reciprocal relations between the Individual, the Community and its surroundings. The Democratical community seeks to create a Society of Equals, one which is fair, growing and sustainable.

Co-Management at the Democratic Institute

LIOR and SIGAL have served as co-directors of the Democratic Institute since January 2022. They both bring to their role integrative skills, experience in educational entrepreneurship, systemic and strategic thinking together with high managemental skills. They also apply their way of thinking to the daily management of the Institute, in a way that demonstrates the uniqueness of the organization, which is managed and run in a democratic manner, while functioning responsibly for the sake of its financial existence and independence.
סיגל וסר

Sigal Vasser

Co-executive Director of the DI

SIGAL is an expert of trust-based management of complex systems, in a manner that keeps sight of both the task and the person.
During the last 15 years, Sigal had created and led inter-office and inter-organizational partnerships and work concepts within the social and municipal fields. She maintains the ability to see the person in front of her and their personal and professional development as an integral part of the overall result.
Pre joining the Democratic Institute, Sigal had served as the Deputy District commissioner of the ׳National Program for Youth at Risk׳. Sigal had previously filled various management positions, Those included TrainingTherapist at the “Connected Vessels – School for the Healing Arts,” and a ׳Referent of Credits׳ at the management of “LEUMI” BANK , Galilee area.
At the Democratic Institute, Sigal had managed the field of Early Childhood,had acted as ׳partnerships׳ leader while acting as an administration member.
Sigal holds an MBA in Business Management from Tel Aviv University, a B.Ed in Education, and has years of experience in training therapists and providing complementary medicine treatments—an unusual combination that brings a broad and unique perspective.
Sigal lives in Pardes Hana with her family and enjoys the combination of urban life and quick access to nature.
Sigal Vasser – sigalv@democratic.co.il
סיגל וסר
ליאור טל שדה

Lior Tal Sadeh

Co-executive Director of the DI

LIOR has been dealing with the symbiosis of management, leadership, education, dialogue, and social action, for many years.
In his previous position as Vice President of Content at the KOLOT organization, he had specialized in the area of Local Authorities and had accompanied groups of Heads of Authorities and its directors. Beforehand he was A director of the Pre-Military preparatory program, ׳BINA׳.
Additionally, he served as an academic director of the BAAM university; he lectured in various organizations including the IDF; LIOR HAD delivered the podcast “Voices of Spirit” for 3 years, on the military Radio (Galei Zahal).
Lior had published many articles and his book “What is Up and What is Down,” by Carmel Publications will see light this coming year. LIOR had completed his Master’s Degree in Political Science from Bar Ilan University with honors and had specialized in local authorities and the public sector.
Lior lives in Ramat Gan with his spouse and his three wonderful children. Every now and then you will find him hiking, biking, spending time with his children in the park, and venting on Facebook.
Lior Tal-Sadeh – liortal-sadeh@democratic.co.il

The Democratic Institute’s Board of Directors

Michal Zimler

Executive Committee Chairwoman of The Democratic Institute since 2023
“I am a pioneer at heart and aspire to create a true impact on people. That is my main motivation. I first and foremost believe in human dignity, liberty, and equality—as flowery as it sounds—and I try to apply these values and pour content into them in everything I do.”

Michal’s special perspective expresses the combination of a variety of different sectors, including the government, international businesses, tech and social startups, hi-tech companies, and non-governmental social organizations, where she served in different managerial positions throughout the years and consistently achieved business and social growth.

Michal has over 30 years of experience in management with an extensive background in establishing and creating multidisciplinary initiatives.

Before joining MIND as a partner, she was VP of Microsoft and leader of the CSU unit. In Israel, she was GM of Orbs, a blockchain infrastructure company, and CEO of IVN, a leading impact investment company in the Israeli business-social ecosystem. She also founded and managed the first social investment funds in Israel. In addition, she served as a partner in Deloitte, where she founded and led the management consultation unit, and before that, she founded and managed the CRM department at the Israeli telecommunications company, Cellcom.

Michal has lectured throughout the years at academic institutions. She is a board member in governmental, business, and social organizations.

Michal has three grown children with her partner of many years and lives in Even Yehuda.

Tamar Kedar Harris

Democratic Institute board member
since 2012

Miriam is a music therapist and head of the MA program in music therapy at the Levinsky College of Education. She initiates and works in joint music projects between students and various special populations – people with mental disabilities, Holocaust survivors, refugees, youth at risk, etc. She is also active in the Forum for Bereaved Families which purpose is to meet the Other Side’s narrative thus advancing Dialogue.

Dr. Miriam Druks

Democratic Institute board member
since October 2014

Miriam is a music therapist and head of the MA program in music therapy at the Levinsky College of Education. She initiates and works in joint music projects between students and various special populations – people with mental disabilities, Holocaust survivors, refugees, youth at risk, etc. She is also active in the Forum for Bereaved Families which purpose is to meet the Other Side’s narrative thus advancing Dialogue.

Ronnie Kenneth

Democratic Institute board member
since October 2014

Ronnie has over 20 years of experience at the global high tech business and is currently a private investor in high tech startups. He serves as the chairman of Teridion Technologies, a company which specializes in the overlay of network technologies for service providers. He previously served as a CEO of Pontis, a company specializing in providing online marketing and analytics platforms, and of Voltaire Technologies. Ronnie has a BA in economics and computer science from Bar-Ilan University and an MBA from Golden Gate University in San Francisco.
אייל מלובן
אייל מלובן

Eyal Meluban

member of The Democratic Institute’s board
since 2017

Until recently Eyal was a member of the board at the 2nd authority for Television and Radio. Nowadays, Eyal is a member of management of the Academy of Film and Television.
A senior media person, with vast experience in production, management and regulative activity. Eyal has been leading and managing organizations in the field of culture for many years.
רפאל יודלביץ

Rafael Youdelevitch

member of The Democratic Institute’s board
since 2017

He is an educational psychologist and works as an organizational and strategic consultant in various companies. Rafael holds an M.A. in social psychology and clinical psychology from the Tel-Aviv university. He had worked with the educational system at Ra’anana municipality , where he had learnedabout the different needs of all educational sides: team, parents and children. Rafael believes that Education is the key to reduce social gaps and enable equal opportunities. He is married + 3, Lives at Giva’at-Ada’ Rafael is A retired Lieutenant Colonel of the field forces of the I.D.F.
רפאל יודלביץ

Rana Fahoum

member of The Democratic Institute’s board
since 2022

Rana Fahoum serves as a member of the Democratic Institute’s Board of Directors since November 2022.
She holds a BA in International Relations and English Linguistics from the Hebrew University, an MA in English Linguistics from the Hebrew University, and an MA in Political Science from Tel Aviv University. She is a graduate of the Mandel School of Educational Leadership and a member of the Maoz Network.
Rana is the director of the Center for Shared Society and a member of the Shalom Hartmann Institute administration. She was the CEO of YMCA Jerusalem and the Three Arches Company up until January 2022. In 1998 Rana had established a girls’ middle school in Jerusalem’s Abu Tur neighborhood, and was the school’s principal for 14 years. Over the years, the school grew from three classrooms to 15, its special approach emphasizing the sciences, languages, and feminist and humanitarian education. Rana was later appointed as the general supervisor of the Ministry of Education, responsible for elementary education at the Jerusalem Education Directorate. Alongside this position, she had served as a referent for the manager training in East Jerusalem.
In the years prior to management, Rana worked as a teacher and counselor at the Ministry of Education; she was a tutor and teacher’s assistant at the Hebrew University’s ׳English Linguistics׳ department, and an English teacher at the ׳English as a Second language׳ department. Rana is a member of the Israeli Council of Culture and the Arts, of the Board of Directors of ׳The Museum of Islamic Art׳, and of ׳Lavi׳ – the Municipal Association for the Advancement of Education in Jerusalem.

Avital Blonder

member of The Democratic Institute’s board
since 2023

Avital is CEO and Founder of the Jindas – Social Urban Vitalization organization. She holds a BA in Psychology from Ben Gurion University and an MBA from the Mandel Social Leadership program at Ben Gurion University. She is a Kolot fellowship program graduate and a member of “Maoz” – a trust-based network of influential and diverse leaders. Avital established and managed the student department of Paamonim and established the Derech Lod community. Previously she worked for the Mozes-Wolfowitz Foundation, in the program Lamerhav, which accompanies young boarding school graduates who have no family support. Avital is active in the fields of social mobility, urban revitalization, affordable housing, strengthening Israeli civil society, and advancing equal rights and social solidarity in different Israeli communities.
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