About us Nativ—the National Center for Jewish Studies, Identity and Conversion, Ltd est. in 1999 by a decision of the Israeli government in cooperation with the Jewish Agency and with the support of Genesis Philanthropy Group and the Friends of the IDF in America The organization serves as the operational arm of the Israel government in conversion and is the largest conversion institute in Israel. Nativ seeks to provide Israel citizens who are not registered as Jews with the opportunity to enrich themselves with knowledge, values, history and culture of the Jewish people, and to assist them through the entire conversion process. Management Prof. Benjamin Ish Shalom Chairman The founder of the Institute for Jewish Studies, which later became Nativ—the National Center for Jeiwsh Studies, Identity and Conversion, and who serves as the charman of the board of directors. Professor Ish Shalom, who received the Avichai Prize for leadership in advancing Jewish unity, is one of the outstanding Jewish leaders in the world today who are shaping a modern and moderate Judaism. He works to advance official state conversion according to Jewish law with an inclusive approach that welcomes all who seek to join the Jewish people out of shared fate and destiny. Professor Ish Shalom is the founder of Beit Morasha in Jerusalem, served on the staff of the Hebrew University and taught Jewish Thought in other academic institutions, including Yeshiva University in New York, the Techniyon in Haifa, and Bar Ilan University. Yonathan Meir CEO A graduate of Yeshivat Ma’aleh Gilboa who served in Unit 8200 in the Intelligence Corps. He has a bachelor’s degree in Law and a master’s with honors in Business Management from the Hebrew University. He served in a number of positions as a representative of the public interest in public service—including several years head of the legislative division of the investment section at the Israel Securities Authority and later as a senior consultant to the chairman of the Electricity Authority. Mr. Meir was appointed as the manager of Nativ in 2015. Rabbi Tsvi Yanir Manager of the Conversion Department Rabbi Yanir has been serving as a congregational rabbi for over 17 years in Petah Tikvah. He was ordained as a rabbi and certified to serve as a city rabbi by the Chief Rabbinate of Israel, certified to serve as a judge by the Eretz Hemdah Institute, has a bachelor’s degree in education from the Jerusalem Institute and a master’s in Talmud from Bar Ilan University. Rabbi Yanir taught at Yeshivat Har Etsiyon and Yeshivat Petah Tikvah, and managed for more than ten years the Teachers’ Institute at the Yeshivat Hesder Petah Tikvah in conjunction with the Orot Yisrael Institute. Since 2013 Rabbi Yanir has taught at Nativ and in 2015 was named head of the Conversion Department. Yehuda Regev Assistant Manager of Finance and Personnel He joined Nativ more than ten years ago after two intensive years at the logistics firm “Bar”. Before that he worked for more than twelve years at the Jewish Agency computer company “LLN”. In his work managing finance and personnel, Mr. Regev takes care to combine an educational vision together with a financial one. He was born in the kibbutz Kevuzat Yavneh and lives in Jerusalem. Rabbi Chashi Freedman Educational Director With a bachelor’s begree in Talmud and Studies of the Land of Israel, a master’s degree in Jewish Education and rabbinical ordination, Rabbi Friedman has served as an educator and congregational rabbi in California, and organized the area of Jewish Thought and Identity and the Van Leer Institute in Jerusalem. Rabbi Friedman joined Nativ more than ten years ago and has been working in Jewish education for more than thirty years. He serves as the Head of the Education Department and is responsible for shaping the educational vision for learning that is deep, experiential and open. He is also in charge of teacher training, educational programs, educational development, and solving educational dilemmas. Gershon Clymer Manager of the Civilian Branch Born in the U.S.A., he graduated from Brown University with high honors in Russian Studies and Comparative Literature. In 1998 he was ordained as a rabbi and he was sent on a two year mission by “Torah Metsiyon” as a teacher in a Jewish school and lecturer in Jeiwsh communities in order to encourage Jewish observance and Aliyah. Upon returning to Israel, he pursued advanced studies at Beit Morasha in Jerusalem. He joined native in 2003 and has filled various positions since then. Since 2005 he has served as the Head of the Civilian Branch with responsibility for the civilian classes conducted throughout the country. Amichai Eitam Manager of the Military Branch A graduate on the Bnei David Yeshiva in Eli, he serves as a deputy division commander in the IDF reserves. He has a bachelor’s degree in accounting and a master’s degree in political science from Bar Ilan University. He previously managed an educational institution in the Binyamin region. He joined Nativ in 2002 and has filled numerous teaching and management positions in the Military Branch. Since 2011 he has served as the Manager of the Military Branch, responsible for the management of the Nativ Basic Military Program and the Conversion Seminars in the IDF in cooperation with the Education Corps and the IDF Rabbinate. To continue the process and get more information, please provide contact details and we will be happy to get back to you. The program is intended for citizens and permanent residents of Israel.