Our staff throughout the program is professional, caring, and experienced, from our guides and counselors to our therapists and educators. What brings us all together is our passion and love to everything we do here at Free Spirit… and it shows. What incredible role models they are to our youth and young adults!
THE PROGRAM LEADERS ARE:
Tzahi Billet–Program Director
M.A. in Public Administration and certified group counselor-facilitator, DBT specialist, and 12-step group facilitator, Tzahi is an avid educator with vast experience in the field of residential care, at-risk youth and crisis intervention. In the past 10 years and since its inception, Tzahi worked at “Nirim”, a youth village for troubled youth with a focus on outdoor therapy in many roles, including guidance, supervision, and management. Tzahi is a proud father of 3 wonderful children.
Gal Farchi –Director of Collaboration
B.A. in Economics from Haifa University, M.A. in Conflict Resolution from the University of Sydney, Australia and a certified mediator. After living for a few years in China and Australia, Gal returned to Israel and has served in several managerial positions in the private and public sectors, mainly in the field of formal and informal youth education. Gal started his career path as an educator at “Nirim” youth village 12 years ago, and is also experienced in parents’ and teachers’ training and intercultural group facilitation. Gal lives in Haifa with his wife and two children.
Dr. Tamir Rotman –Director of Change
Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology (Clark University in Massachusetts), Tamir is a practicing psychologist, working both inside and outside of the therapy room with youth from various cultures, difficulties and needs. Among others, Dr. Rotman have spent 20 summers at Camp Ojibwa in the Wisconsin North Woods, 2 years as the clinical director at “Lotan’s Way”, a not-for-profit specializes in desert-wilderness therapeutic expeditions for at-risk youth, and a milieu psychologist in residential care settings for troubled youth both in the U.S. and in Israel.
Counselors and proffesional staff
Our main staff for day-to-day life are English speaking extraordinary professionals who believe in true change-by-caring. Beyond previous training in education and counseling, we focus on in-house, program specific training, supervision and support that bring us all together in helping each individual participant, each and every day.
Uri Hetz – M.A. in natural and environmental resource management, B.SC. in biology from Haifa University, and a teaching certificate from Oranim College. Uri taught for 6 years at the Hebrew Reali School in Haifa in many roles, including elementary age teacher, biology teacher and homeroom teacher at the junior-high level, and high school finals prep teacher. In the reserve-forces Uri advanced to the level of a compppany commander. In 2012 Uri lived in Berlin, Germany. On his return to Israel, Uri with his wife moved to Kibbutz Hazorea where he integrated into the educational system while leading Israeli and international youth projects, some in collaboration with the Reali school and the Kibbutz. Uri’s main role at Free Spirit is our integration into Kibbutz life and culture.
Nili Shai-Mor – M.A. in Transpersonal Counseling Psychology from Naropa University (Boulder, CO). Nili brings an extensive educational and milieu therapy experience working with at risk youth and adolescent psychiatric population in multi-cultural settings. Nili also draws upon her individual and group therapy work with students at the Naropa Counseling Center. Currently Nili is teaching Group Process class in Reidman College’s Transpersonal Psychotherapy program in Israel. As a practitioner of meditation and yoga, Nili brings present moment awareness into therapy in the form of experiential and body centered work. She believes in people’s inherent qualities and facilitates a safe space to explore their own inner wisdom on the journey towards health and wholeness.
Rami Bader – Rami’s passion are sailing and teaching. A successful and prolific entrepreneur and investor, Rami dedicated much of his spare time teaching sailing in Israel’s largest sailing club, Sea-Gal. At Free Spirit, Rami directs our sailing program and heads our amazing Cyprus expedition. He adds a significant value as an instructor and a mentor to our youth, able to reach and teach the secrets of sailing to our various youth and young adults. Rami also brings to the table as a mentor his incredible experience from the world of business entrepreneurship around the globe.
Yasmin Raanan – Born at Kiryat Shmona and raised in Metula, a beautiful town lays on the Lebanese border. Yasmin has a Bachelor in Education, and for the past 8 years she has worked as an educator and a consular for teens (13-18), mostly in Kibbutzim in North Israel and in the Golan Heights. Yasmin personal tool box includes also theater and drama, which she finds useful as an instrument to empower youngsters, as it allows them to express themselves an individuals and as a group in a unique way. For Yasmin, education is a life-long mission, and she enjoys impact the next generation, and equip them with useful skills and positive spirit. Yasmin lives in Kibbutz Hazorea with her husband and their dog, Chello.
Ofek Yosef – A student of life and an incredible “mensch,” Ofek is truly a self-made former at-risk youth, who is now an honor college student and a mentor-guide to our youth. Ofek is an 8 year participant to co-leader in our Cyprus sailing expedition and a true role model to our challenge by choice philosophy. An amazing addition to our staff, Ofek relates to our participants on a different level, and he easily builds trust, respect and friendship.
Gal Sasson – 24 years old, from Kochav Yair-Tzur Yigal. Spent most of my free time during high school in the Scouts movement. Loving it so much, I chose to continue for a year of volunteering before my military service. During that year I was an instructor in “Lotan’s Way” organization which uses wilderness therapy to work with youth at risk. Served for 3 and a half years in the 8200 intelligence unit in various positions including course instructor and recruitment officer. Upon finishing my service I traveled for 6 months across the USA, 3 of them in which I fulfilled my dream and hiked almost 1,000 miles on the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT).
Omry Livne – Born in kibbutz Mizra. Since youth Omry worked in the kibbutz’ agricultural branch while also guiding the kibbutz youth group. He volunteered in the youth village “Nirim”. At 2013 join to the military service for 3 years in a fight position as a commander an then as a sergeant. After service he worked as a security officer On a cruise at the Caribbean sea. Omry decided to leave the ship and stop travelling around the world for join the “Free Spirit” family and return to work with teenagers like he always wanted.
Additional Staff – Professional guides for our wilderness trips, Specialty staff for special interest and activities, and academic staff.
Medical Staff – Onsite infirmary and psychiatric services are provided by “Kupat Holim Clalit” at Kibbutz Hazorea.
Our Board of Advisors
The Carmeli family (Directors) – Dalya and Alon Carmeli, Sean’s parents, Gal and Or, Sean’s sisters, Asher Bar Mocha, Sean’s brother in law. The Carmeli family supports, advises, and provides inspiration to us all.
Galit Granot – Our esteem mentor, CEO of Reut – Wizo high school in Haifa, and a co-founder and chairman of Israeli Makers.
Gili Pinchasi (Director) – a mentor to social entrepreneurs, a recipient of the President’s volunteer award, and a co-recipient of the Israeli Defense Award.
David Friedman (Director) – Head of the David Friedman Fund for local students in northern Israel, former CEO of Western Galilee College .
Dony Zussman (Audit committee) – A veteran of the Israeli Navy, Dony is the founder and managing director of Zivan Ltd.
Dr. Pavel Jarkovski (Audit committee) – Inspection committee. Dr. Jarkovski specializes in informal education management, and is the director of a residential center for challenged adults.