Our Team


  • Ora Merin is a licensed tour operator with twenty years’ experience in tourism and event organization.  She has extensive experience and proficiency in working with communities both in Israel and abroad, both on an educational level and on a personal-communal level.


  • Rotem Ayalon- Project Manager Rotem Ayalon joined the Giant Leaps team in 2008 and as Project Manager is responsible for conceiving and developing educational content. She previously served as the Director of Merkaz Hamagshimim Hadassah in Jerusalem, Director of Recruiting and Screening Worldwide Shlichut of the Jewish Agency for Israel and Shlicha to Habonim Dror in Ontario, Canada. She holds an MA in  East Asian Studies at Hebrew University.


  • Etti Mandeleil- Production and Events Manger Etti Mandeleil has been a part of Giant Leaps from its early stages. She has worked as a youth program and cultural coordinator in Mizpe Ramon and Jerusalem, has studied production management and has been the production and event manager of all Mega Events for Giant Leaps including the 800 participant Miami Mega Mission to Israel.


  • Noga Lustigman- Missions Manager Noga Lustigman grew up in Kfar Tavor. She has worked as an International Relations Coordinator at the Ministry of Science and Technology, has managed tenders at the local radio and has worked for three years as a senior account executive at Triwaks Public Relation, with vast experience working with international clients and the tourism industry. She holds a BA in International Relation and Communication and an MA in Conflict Management and Mediation from Tel Aviv University


  • Zalman Spivack- Missions Manager Zalman Spivack is a licensed tour guide certified by the Ministry of Tourism in Israel. He received his degree in Jewish history from Hebrew University of Jerusalem, studied education at Herzog College, and is studying for his Masters degree in Jewish Pluralistic Education at the Melton School for Jewish Education at Hebrew University and at Hebrew Union College. Since 2001 Zalman has been working with youth from all over the world, in Israel and abroad. From 2007 to 2010 he served as the Israel Shaliach (emissary) in Los Angeles for the Jewish Agency and The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, primarily working with the teens and university students of the movement living in the southwest. Today Zalman is an Educator and Tour Guide for Jewish Missions in Israel, developing and managing missions for Giant Leaps with the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) and the JDC.


  • Noa Ziv- Assistant Missions Manger Noa Ziv is currently studying for a degree in Law and holds a BA in International Relations and East Asian studies from Hebrew University. She studied Jewish Philosophy at Midreshet Yeud and has been working with Giant Leaps since 2010. Ziv has extensive work and volunteer experience in project coordination, instruction and social services. She has worked as the Coordinator of the Welfare Department at Hebrew University, was a guide instructor at the Yad Vashem School of Teaching, instructed at Gesher and was a chief research assistant at the Israeli Center for Social Justice.


  • Daniel Schuldenfrei: Assistant Missions Manger Daniel Schuldenfrei served in the intelligence corps of the IDF as a Platoon Commander, and holds the rank of First Sargent. He has previously worked as a adventure coordinator for Surprise Lake Camp (Cold Spring, NY) and was a Giant Leaps tour operators for the great ‘Miami Families’ trip to Israel. Daniel Graduated from the Maccabim-Reut High school, majoring in  business and economics, and now studies Electrical Engineering at Ben Gurion University. He speaks Hebrew, English and Spanish.


  • Tzahala Ben Ishay- Bookkeeper Tzahala Ben Ishay is a certified bookkeeper since 1992. She previously worked managing books of various large industrial companies. Her managing responsibilities included budgeting, balancing, invoicing, property, manpower and payrolls. She served in the IDF Home Front Command Unit Doctrine and Development Wing.