Shira Ben-Simon Schonfeld is the Head of the Hevruta Gap-Year Program. She was born in Boston and grew up in Jerusalem. She holds a BA in philosophy and French studies and an MA in community development studies, both from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Shira joined Hevruta after extensive work experience with civil society organizations, including with the Ethiopian community in Israel, and an NGO in Sri Lanka. In the US, she worked in New York for JCRC-NY, where she directed all Brooklyn-based programs. Since returning to Israel, Shira has worked in the arts, Jewish culture and renaissance, and has held positions at Hebrew University, Ginot Ha’ir Community Council and Hansen House. As the head of Hevruta, Shira is responsible for cultivating the program’s vision, its network and partnership both in Israel and North America, overseeing the academic program and faculty, and teaching in the program’s core curriculum.