Academic Biographies

English Department
David Yellin College of Education

Eleanor Adika is the current head of the IT education unit at the David Yellin Academic College of Education and a lecturer of  Information Technology and The Use of the computer in the Classroom. She is also responsible for the English Department Website.

She is currently on leave from the Keshet School in Jerusalem where she works as a teacher, teacher trainer and computer coordinator.  In the past Eleanor worked in a variety of educational settings including Media + under the auspices of the Ministry of Education and the Technion, and teacher training under the auspices of Manchi and Intel .   She received her teaching certificationat David Yellin and her Bachelors of Science degree from Empire State College in NY,  and her Masters of Science with a major in Computer Education from Arcadia University in Pennsylvania.




Shai Aran is Ministry of Education Inspector for English in the District of Jerusalem. She has been a teacher and teacher trainer at the David Yellin College since 1992. Shai has written two text-books, published by Eric Cohen Books, and she has headed Contact , the association of teacher trainers for EFL in colleges and universities in Israel . Shai Aran has lectured in conferences on the teaching of English both in Israel and abroad, notably in Japan , France , Belgium and the UK .




Professor Yehuda Bar Shalom

Professor  Bar Shalom has has done research in the following topics: Arab Jewish relations, religious and secular encounter is Israel, relations between ethnic groups in Israel, Changes in Israeli society, culture and education, Israel Diaspora relations, Political changes in Israel, multicultural education.

Besides his position as Chair of Education at the David Yellin College in Jerusalem, Yehuda teaches the core course in Jewish Education at Tel Aviv University Overseas school. Yehuda is co-founder of the Network for social entrepreneurship together with Jerusalem's municipality, and he is very active in Jewish/Arab dialogue.





Professor Richard Curwin

 Richard L. Curwin Ed.D., received his B.A. in English and his Doctorate of Education at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst.  He is known internationally for providing thousands of educators and parents with practical, proven ideas to effectively manage children’s behavior in a manner that respects the dignity of each individual. Dr. Curwin is one of the acclaimed authors of the original and newly revised book Discipline with Dignity, Discipline with Dignity for Challenging Youth, Strategies for Successful Classroom Management and author of Rediscovering Hope: Our Greatest Teaching Strategy, Making Good Choices, Motivating Students Left Behind.  Dr. Curwin’s most recent book, Meeting Students Where They Live: Motivation in Urban Schools, offers multiple ideas and practical strategies for motivating children who have given up and are uninvolved in the learning process. 

 His articles have appeared in Educational Leadership, Reclaiming Children and Youth, Instructor, Parenting, and Learning. Dr. Curwin has presented training, seminars and workshops throughout the United States and Canada as well as in Belgium, Germany, Japan, Singapore and Israel.  He was a recipient of the coveted Crazy Horse Award for having made outstanding contributions to discouraged youth. 

He is currently the director of the master’s program in behavior disorder at David Yellin College. Dr. Curwin is the parent of 3 children and 7 wonderful grandchildren.  




Yossi Gotleib PhD

Dr. Yossi Gotlieb is the director of the English Editing program at David Yellin College. He holds Ph.D. and M.A. degrees in     geography, a master's degree in liberal arts and a bachelor's degree in philosophy and sociology. His fields of expertise include society-environment relations, sustainability and international development. He has authored and edited books and articles and has written, prose, poetry and non-fiction for many years






Valerie S. Jakar is a teacher educator and counselor engaged in professional development projects for teachers of ESOL. She has worked and studied on three continents, participating in numerous conferences and meetings with ESOL professionals from many parts of the USA and beyond, Her current interests include Sociology of Language, Multicultural Education, Content-Based Language Instruction and Mentoring and Mentorship.


  • PhD, Language in Education, and MS, TESOL, University of Pennsylvania , U.S.A.

  • Certification in Teaching Studies (Music and English), University of London , U.K. ;

  • Diploma in Counseling in Schools and Colleges, Tavistock Institute, London , U.K. ; Diploma in Remedial Reading ( Open University , U.K. )

Professional Work Experience

  • Ministry of Education, Israel : Language and Education Consultant, Teacher Advisor and Supervisor , Coordinator of the “ Mentoring and Mentorship " program for English teachers in Israel .

  • Jerusalem Municipality : Academic Advisor for English studies , Jerusalem Pedagogic Centers; Leader of the Mutual Coexistence initiative for English teachers in East and West Jerusalem .

  • David Yellin College, Jerusalem : Lecturer, since 1991, in EFL Pedagogic Studies, Multicultural Education, Applied Linguistics and English for Academic Purposes.

  • University of Pennsylvania , Philadelphia , USA : Visiting Lecturer in Sociology of Language, TEFL, Multicultural Education, and Applied Linguistics. 1988-1995.

  • Amit High School , Jerusalem : Head of Department, EFL, 1995-1999 ;

  • Academy of Music High School, Jerusalem , 1981- 93.

  • Teacher of ESL and EFL, London Education Authority , 1968-80

Professional Affiliations

  • TESOL member since 1987; recipient of Professional Development Award, 2002 and TESOL Travel Grant, 1989; Membership Standing Committee, 2002-present; founding member of TESOLers for Social Responsibility Caucus; Teacher

  • Education Interest Section, Council Representative (2003-2006): Affiliate

  • Council Representative for ETAI-IsraTESOL (English Teachers' Association ,

  • Israel ( . International and national conference convener for ETAI, 1985, 1995-2000; UNICEF Education Committee, Israel; member of IATEFL, MECA (Middle East Children's Association), Associate (representative) member of ASCD .

Research and Publications

  • Current research : "The efficacy of in-service education courses in the ongoing development of competent teachers", (with Su-chiao Chen, National Science Council, Taiwan & Aysegul Diagolu, Middle Eastern Technical University, Ankara, Turkey); Content-Based language Instruction and Projects in EFL Pedagogy ; Sociology of Language and Education.

  • 1987-89 "Literacy in Two Languages", University of Pennsylvania .

  • Conference presenter on ethnography, multicultural education, content-based language instruction, and mentoring .

  • Publications : Pickles, Proverbs, and Play in Crandal, J. & Kaufman, D., (eds.), “ K-12, Content-Based Instruction " , TESOL Inc. (in press); co-writer of “ Communicate With Care" a textbook on cultural awareness, Israel , 1986 .





Lisa Kainan  PhD   


Dr. Lisa Kainan is new on the faculty in the English Department, and will be teaching a course on "Students with Special Educational Needs in the English Classroom". She currently teaches in the Mathematics Department as well, on the topic of "Number Sense in Young Children". Dr. Kainan completed her M.A. in Developmental and Educational Psychology at Teachers College of Columbia University before making Aliyah from Philadelphia in 1991, and her doctorate in Cognitive Psychology at Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She also earned a Teaching Certificate in Special Education from David Yellin, where she is currently pursuing a certificate in Diagnosis and Assessment of Learning Disabilities. She has been teaching Mathematics and English to adults and children with special needs in a variety of formal and informal contexts since coming to Israel.





Elizabeth Karvonen  

 Elizabeth Karvonen  was an  elementary school teacher in Israel for 19 years and a counselor for English in the Jerusalem District. She has been a lecturer and teacher-trainer at David Yellin since the year 2000. She also writes text books for Israel and abroad.

 Elizabeth holds a B.Ed degree from Sussex University in England, an Israeli teaching certificate from David Yellin  and  an MA in didactics and curriculum development from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.  She is currently working on a PhD in the field of teacher-training. 





Professor Bella Kotik-Friedgut

Bella was trained as a Neuropsychologist and since coming to Israel in 1992 has developed and taught techniques of psychological support in new language learning.  At David Yellin she teaches courses in Psychological Aspects of New Language Acquisition, and Introduction to Neuropsychology for future special education teachers at B.Ed. and M.Ed. levels and for the special program at the institute for Diagnostics at D. Yellin.

Bella received her M.A. and Ph.D. from Moscow State University in 1975 and was Professor of Psychology at the University of Rostov-on-the-Don.  She was a Research Associate at the Institute for Innovation in Education at the Hebrew University and has given workshops in Psychological Support for New Language Learners in the USA, Russia, Estonia and Portugal.  She also teaches at the Hadassah College in the department of communication disorders.





Fern Levitt


  • English Tutor Program (including Teaching Pupils with Specific Learning Difficulties/Dyslexia in English), David Yellin College of Education, 2003

  • MBA, Computer Applications and Information Systems, New York University 1981

  • BA, Judaic Studies, University of California , Los Angeles , 1978

Volunteer trainer and coordinator, Remedial English Program in development by JDC Israel, in conjunction with Yefe Nof Elementary school and David Yellin College of Education.






Julia Schlam Salman is a PhD candidate at the School of Education and the Melton Center for Jewish Education at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.  Her dissertation and research interests include English language education, English as a global language, second language acquisition and sociolinguistics.  She currently teaches didactics, academic reading and writing and English for academic purposes at the David Yellin Academic College of Education. Previously, she taught at the Hand in Hand School for Arab Jewish Education in Jerusalem.   







Dr. Michelle Waxman, Ph.D (Teachers College, Columbia University).

MA in Remedial Teaching of Reading

Licensed school psychologist in private practice in Israel since 2000. 

Lecturer and Clinical Coordinator of the Center for Learning Abilities and the David Yellin College of Educations since 1998. Lecturer in the Department of Special Education at the Herzog College. Specializing in Learning Disabilities and assessment in bilingual populations (English\Hebrew).





Aliza Yahav PhD

Aliza Yahav  PhD received her doctorate in Applied Linguistics from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem  She received a B.A. from Tel Aviv University in Comparative and English Literature, and an M.A. in Education from Hebrew University and a Teaching Certificate from Hebrew University.