Board of Trustees
The Foundation’s Board of Trustees brings together individuals from the fields of science, economy, culture, politics, and the media. Each member is committed to furthering German-Israeli relations actively in his/her professional field. This engagement and dedication plays a key role inside the Foundation: The Board members establish the guidelines of the Foundation’s work and decide on the allocation of funds. They advise, support and supervise the Executive Director with respect to his or her activities.

The Foundation’s highest authority is the Board of Trustees. Our commitment to bilateral work is also evident in the Board’s composition, with each participating government appointing six members.

Our Board members:

Brigitte Zypries (Chairwoman)
Brigitte Zypries was Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy and Federal Minister of Justice. . As Parliamentary State Secretary, she was charged with Germany’s aviation and space policies, from 2013 to 2017. From 2005 to 2017, she represented the Darmstadt constituency for the SPD in the German Bundestag as a directly elected member of parliament.
Brigitte Zypries studied law at the Justus Liebig University in Giessen and graduated with the second state law examination. She is Chairwoman of the Advisory Board of the European Leadership Network Deutschland e. V. (ELNET) and Ombudswoman of the Federal Association of German Debt Collection Companies (BDIU). She is also a member of the Board of Trustees of the German National Foundation.

Photo © Susie Knoll
Netta Korin (Deputy Chairwoman)
Netta Korin is the co-founder of ORBS, Israel’s largest Blockchain group and Hexa Foundation, a nonprofit organization that aims to achieve social change using Blockchain. She began her career on Wall Street as an investment banker and later on became a hedge fund manager.
In the following years, she served as Senior Advisor to the Israeli Ministry of Defense and the Prime Minister’s Office. She has been a philanthropist for more than 15 years, and has held senior board positions in several nonprofit foundations in both Israel and the United States. She currently chairs IMPACT!, one of the largest scholarship programs in Israel.

Photo © Itay Selikter
Prof. Dr. Menahem Ben-Sasson
Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Menahem Ben-Sasson is Chancellor of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, having previously served as President of the Hebrew University, for eight years. In 2017, he received the Cross of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, honoring his outstanding commitment to German-Israeli cooperation. From 2006 to 2009, he was a member of the Israeli Parliament (Knesset), where he served as chairman of the Constitution, Law and Justice Committee.
He received his doctorate in Jewish history from the Hebrew University, in 1982, and has held teaching and research positions, for more than 40 years. He has authored some forty books and scholarly articles on a range of topics. He is president and board member of several academic organizations.

Photo © Miriam Alster/Flash90
Elke Büdenbender
Elke Büdenbender is a judge and married to Federal President Dr. Frank-Walter Steinmeier. She trained as an industrial clerk. She then studied law at the Justus Liebig University in Giessen and, from 1994 on, served as a judge at the Administrative Court in Hanover.

Since 2000, she has been a judge at the Administrative Court in Berlin (during her husband's first term, she was on leave). She is a patron of UNICEF and is committed to equal rights, educational justice and equal opportunities for young people.

Photo © Bundespresseamt / Steffen Kugler

Prof. Doris Dörrie
Prof. Doris Dörrie is a well-known German film director and author. In 1997, she was made a professor at the University of Television and Film (HFF) in Munich, where she heads the Creative Writing department.
In 1985, she achieved her breakthrough as a director with the feature film Männer. To date, she has directed 33 films, including box office hits such as Keiner liebt mich, Kirschblüten – Hanami und Grüße aus Fukushima. She has also written 24 books, staged seven theater and opera performances and has won numerous awards and accolades for her work. Her latest film, Kirschblüten und Dämonen, appeared in 2019; with her current book, Leben Schreiben Atmen, she encourages readers to take up creative writing.
photo © Mathias Bothor
Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Ute Frevert
Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Ute Frevert is a historian and has served as Director of the research center for the History of Emotions at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin, since 2008. Between the years 1989 and 2007, she was a professor at Yale, Bielefeld and Konstanz Universities and the Free University of Berlin. She received her PhD from the University of Bielefeld, in 1982, and was habilitated, in 1989.

Her publications on social, cultural, and political history, history of emotions and on gender history have been published in numerous languages. She is a member of the Presidium of the National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina and the Council of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences, among others.

Photo © Andreas Reeg

Jana Hensel
Jana Hensel works as an author and freelance journalist for ZEIT Online and DIE ZEIT magazine. She was a member of the editorial board of Der Freitag weekly journal, and studied Germanic and Romance studies in Leipzig and Aix-en-Provence.

In 2002, her generation book, Zonenkinder, was published. In 2010, she won the Theodor Wolff Prize in the Essay category for ‘Vater Morgana’; in 2017, her first novel, Kleinland, was published, and in 2018, her collection of interviews Wer wir sind. Die Erfahrung, ostdeutsch zu sein and in 2019: Wie alles anders bleibt. Geschichten aus Ostdeutschland. She was elected cultural journalist of the year for 2019 by Medium Magazine.
photo © Dominik Butzmann

 H.E. Ambassador Jeremy Issacharoff
H.E. Ambassador Jeremy Issacharoff was Ambassador for the State of Israel in Germany, until spring 2022. Previously, he was Deputy Director General at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Jerusalem, and before that, was Deputy Director General for strategic affairs.

He was posted twice to the embassy in Washington, D.C., most recently as an envoy (2005-2009). He was also appointed twice to the United Nations, most recently as a member of the UN Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters (2003-2008). He studied law at the London School of Economics.

photo © Embassy of the State of Israel

Gadeer Kamal Mreeh

Gadeer Kamal Mreeh is the Jewish Agency's first Druze envoy to the United States and, in 2019, became the first Druze woman elected to the Israeli Parliament (Knesset). She worked as an anchorwoman for the Israeli Public Broadcasting Corporation, starting 2011.
. She holds a bachelor's degree in Medical Imaging and Social Sciences from Bar-Ilan University and a master's degree in International Relations from Haifa University. As a member of the Knesset, she served as co-chair of the Israel-Germany Inter-Parliamentary Friendship Group.

Photo © private
Minister of State Michelle Müntefering
Minister of State Michelle Müntefering has been a member of the German Bundestag, since 2013, and was Minister of State at the Federal Foreign Office from 2018 to 2021. She was a member of the Committee for Foreign Affairs, spokeswoman of the SPD parliamentary group for cultural and educational policy and chairwoman of the German-Turkish parliamentary group.

After completing her studies in journalism with a focus on economics in 2007, she worked as a freelance journalist and as a research associate in the German Bundestag.

Photo © Jorinde Gersina

Prof. Dr. Irit Sagi
Prof. Dr. Irit Sagi has been Vice President for Technology Transfer at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, since 2020. She also holds a professorship there in the Department of Biological Regulation. She is the leader of a research team working on the Extracellular Membrane (ECM).

She is an internationally sought-after and science award-winning researcher, presenting at numerous high-level symposia in the U.S., Israel and Europe. She received her PhD in Bioinorganic Chemistry from Georgetown University, in 1992.

Photo © Weizmann Institute of Science / Eyal Yzhar

Nili Shalev 
Nili Shalev has been appointed the Director General of the Israel Export Institute, starting June 2022. Prior to that, she was the Vice President of the International Division of the Israel Innovation Authority and the Director of ISERD – the Directorate of Israel's Research &Development with the European Union.

She was the Director of the start-up fund at the Office of the Chief Scientist, the Commercial Attaché of Israel in Australia and New Zealand, the Director of the Aid Department in the Foreign Trade administration at the Ministry of Economy and the Economic Attaché of the Ministry of Economy in North America. She has a master's degree in business administration and a master's degree in communications from the Hebrew University.

Photo © Shahar Azran

Dr. Dr. Hermann Simon (Chairman)
Dr. Dr. Hermann Simon (Chairman) was Director of the Stiftung Neue Synagoge Berlin – Centrum Judaicum from 1988-2015. He studied history and oriental studies at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin before continuing his studies as a postgraduate in Prague; he completed his dissertation in 1975.

From 1975 onwards, he worked at the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin. He has published numerous articles on numismatic topics, and in particular on the history of the Jews in Germany.

Photo © Stiftung Neue Synagoge Berlin – Centrum Judaicum / Anna Fischer

Yair Hamburger (Deputy Chairman)
Yair Hamburger (Deputy Chairman) has been CEO of the Harel Insurance Company and the Harel Insurance & Finance Group for over 20 years.

He is also Chairman of the Board of the Israeli Insurance Association and Association of Life Insurance Companies, and is a member of numerous non-profit organizations working in the charity sector and offering art for the public good. He holds a B.A. degree in economics and political science from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Photo © private

Dr. Yael Hadass
Dr. Yael Hadass is Managing Director of the Schocken publishing house in Israel and teaches economics at the Raphael Recanati International School at the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) in Herzliya and at the Tel Aviv Academic College.

She studied economic science and English literature at Tel Aviv University, and gained her doctorate in economics and political science from Harvard University. She worked as a lecturer at both universities.

Photo © Ofir Rachbuch

Dr. Esther Lopatin
Dr. Esther Lopatin works at the Language Institute of Tel Aviv University. Previously, she taught at the Lauder School of Government, Diplomacy and Strategy at the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) in Herzliya.

Until 2019, she also headed the Center for European Studies at the IDC. Her work focuses on relations between the European Union and Germany, immigration and integration policy. After gaining her doctorate in 2004, she taught at the George Washington University and was a visiting scholar at the Institute for the Study of International Migration (ISIM) at Georgetown University. She was also a Fellow of the German Marshall Fund.

Photo © private

Dr. Thomas Sparr
Dr. Thomas Sparr works as Editor-at-Large at the Suhrkamp Verlag publishing house in Berlin.

After completing his studies in literature and philosophy in Marburg, Hamburg and Paris from 1986 to 1989, he worked at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and then at the German Literature Archive in Marbach. From 1990 to 1998, he was head of the Jüdischer Verlag publishing house and was Editor-in-Chief at the Siedler Verlag. He gained prominence with works about Paul Celan. His most recently published works are Grunewald im Orient. Das deutsch-jüdische Jerusalem and Todesfuge: Biographie eines Gedichts.

Photo © Jürgen Bauer

Prof. Dr. Shlomo Avineri
Ambassador Yoram Ben-Zeev
Minister of State Prof. Dr. Maria Böhmer
Dr. Arye Carmon
Dr. Ruthie Eitan
Michael Federmann (vice chairman)
Ambassador Yaacov Hadas-Handelsman
Dr. Michael Jansen (chairman)
Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Christoph Markschies
Dr. Michael Naumann
Prof. Dr. Günther Nonnenmacher
René R. Obermann
Prof. Dr. Fania Oz-Salzberger
Minister of State Cornelia Pieper
Adar Primor
Christina Rau
Daniela Schadt
Nava Semel (1954 – 2017)
Dr. Sylke Tempel (1963 – 2017)
David Witzthum
Prof. Regina Ziegler