The Team

Miriam Freier     

Founder & Chairperson

Previously a teacher for the hearing impaired and writer of a dictionary of medical terminology, Miriam has devoted the past 30 years of her life to advocating for people with physical challenges together with her husband Professor Zerem Freier, Founding Director of the Paediatric Department at Shaarei Tzedek Hospital. Miriam and Zerem live in Jerusalem and have 5 children and 12 grandchildren.

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Idit Haimovitz        Vocational Empowerment Coordinator

Idit has been working at Shalheveth since 2015, advising residents of Beit Shalheveth about work, running workshops on relationships and intimacy, and counseling residents on individual and group relationships.  Idit previously worked at Inbar, a nonprofit organization that works with people with disabilities on relationship-building. Idit is trained as a couples counselor and a counselor in special education. 

Haim Kozochovitz                 Volunteer Counsellor

Haim has an MSW from the Hebrew University, worked as a social worker in Hadassah Hospital and taught “Coping with Physical Disabilities” at the Social Work School of the Hebrew University.  Haim contracted polio as a child and as a result of his declining health had to retire early. He volunteers extensively at Shalheveth, especially in the field of relationship counselling, as well as at The Centre for Independent Living. Chaim lives in Jerusalem and has 5 children and 3 grandchildren.

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Debbie Perla

Resource Development


Originally from New York, Debbie made aliyah in 1989.  She has been working in fundraising since 2013 and most recently served as Development Director for the Hannaton Educational Center. Debbie attended Barnard College and List College at the Jewish Theological Seminary, and has a law degree from Hebrew University. She has four children and lives on Kibbutz Hannaton.


David Eliav 

Executive Director


Before joining the Shalheveth team in 2017, David served as founding Executive Director of the Or Etzion Hesder Yeshiva in Mercaz Shapira for 27 years.  There David oversaw the building of a 17 dunam (4 acre) campus, helped raised funds and developed numerous educational programs, including a pre-army program and a rabbinical school. David also served in executive positions in Gush Etzion and at Machon Meir. He brings to Shalheveth vast experience in management, fundraising and nonprofit development. 

Boaz Atzmon 

Social Worker


Boaz Atzmon received his Social Work degree from Ashkelon College, a branch of Ben Gurion University. Priot to joing the team at Shalheveth, Boaz worked as the Coordinator for "Shekel", providing social services for people with special needs. He has many years of experience with at-risk youth and the elderly. Boaz lives in Jerusalem.

Hannah Keren (Feuchwanger)                    Volunteer Counsellor

Hannah assists in coordinating the tenants’ committee of the building (Vaad Bayit) and offers a shoulder to lean on and day to day guidance to each and every individual living in the Shalheveth apartment complex. A board member, she taught biology to high school students for many years and lives in Jerusalem. 



Yair Cohen


Michael Barkan


Avi Ben-Jan


Irit Berman


Devorah Friedman


Yehuda Karniel


Hannah Keren


Haim Kozochovitz


Haim Libskind


Esther Morono


Yehezkel Nomburg


Henia Schwartz


Yehuda Shapira


Kochava Tzuriel


Phyllis Ziskin