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About the Authors

Peggy Barzilay, PhD

Peggy Barzilay received her BA from Hunter College, NYC; MA Smith College and PhD at Tel Aviv University, with her thesis Changes in Metalinguistic Ability in Primary (English) Language Attrition due to Submersion in a Hebrew-Speaking Environment.

Peggy taught French for 9 years, and then began teaching in the English Dept. at Beit Berl, introducing and heading the remedial reading program. Peggy is the author of the very popular remedial reading program: Ready, Steady, Read (for elementary and lower junior high grades) and Read 1; and Read 2 for older students.

Email: peggyb(at)bezeqint(dot)net

Terry Benor

Terry Benor has a MA in TESOL from London University. She has been teaching English for nearly 30 years in a regional school (now Geon HaYarden) and has been a counselor in schools in the north for the last 15 years. Many years ago she took one of the first LD courses in Nitzan and later became a didactic assessor in English. She has given in-service courses covering a range of subjects including teaching students with special needs, the New Curriculum (when it was new) and teaching English to emergent readers.

Email: terry(at)messilot(dot)org(dot)il

Gay Bergman

Gay Bergman was born in Leeds in Yorkshire, England. She studied for her teaching certificate at Maria Grey College, London. In 1967, she volunteered, came to Israel and got hooked, returning to London to complete her studies. She made aliyah in 1969 and taught English in elementary schools in Tel Aviv, eventually working also as a mancha for new immigrants. From 1981-83 she lived and worked in Nigeria, teaching EFL. On her return to Israel she completed an honours degree in English Literature, graduating with distinctions from Tel Aviv University. Simultaneously, she taught in Junior High School in Ramat Hasharon and was the English coordinator. In 1988 she co-authored a coursebook for the 7th grade and started to work as a teacher adviser for Eric Cohen Books. She received her MA from the Institute of Education of London University through the British Council. She is currently Marketing Manager for Israel at Eric Cohen Books.

Email: gay(at)ecb(dot)co(dot)il

David Gilmore

Born in 1974 in St. Louis, Missouri, I grew up in Stockton California and attended U.C. Berkeley where I majored in Film Studies, played intercollegiate water-polo and experimented briefly with alternative lifestyles. Following graduation, I traveled to Israel for a one-month trip that developed into a six-month odyssey and transformed my life – most significantly since I met and fell in love with my future wife (we first met one moonlight night on a Tel Aviv beach when she mistakenly imagined I wanted to commit suicide by throwing myself off the rocky pier into the sea). I made Aliyah for her in 1999 and began teaching English soon after that. I've taught in just about every E.S.L. framework imaginable: adult education, elementary, middle and high schools; public, private and semi-private; "democratic" and totalitarian; learning-disabled, gifted, native speakers, mentally disturbed. In 2000 I began an MA in "Security Studies" (Tel Aviv, Dept. of Political Science) that I finished in 2004; it wasn't enough to get me into the Ministry of Security or the Diplomatic Corps, but I have yet to renounce my grandiose visions of participating in something of international significance... in the meantime the best things in my life are my wife Shira and our soon-to-be-two-year-old son, Itamar. My hobbies (in theory) are reading, playing basketball, listening to music and working on a script for a film based on my life.

Email: davidbrucegilmore(at)gmail(dot)com

Nellie Deutsch

Dr. Nellie Deutsch (Ed.D) is a Canadian education technology, curriculum and instruction, e-learning practitioner, relationship-based transformative mentor, researcher, writer, speaker, and community builder. She combines technology and teacher related professional development courses with mindfulness practice and the Alexander technique. Her teaching experience ranges from teaching English as a foreign language (EFL/ESL) in high school and higher education for over 35 years and teacher professional development with technology since 2006. She’s an instructor at Atlantic University Masters of Arts in Transpersonal and leadership studies, speaks at online and face-to-face conferences, and organizes annual informal MOOCs, online conferences, and free online courses and webinars on Moodle for Teachers .

Nellie Deutsch offers online and face-to-face courses on teaching with technology, mobile devices in the classroom, Moodle (course and learning management system), Google Drive, tools to develop video tutorials, Adobe Connect and WizIQ. She mentors teachers on how to engage and allow students to teach as a way to learn using active learning methods. Her focus is on integrating technology into blended, the flipped class, and fully online programs. She founded Integrating Technology for Active Lifelong Learning (IT4ALL) community of educators, Moodle for Teachers (M4T) network, Connecting Online (February) and MoodleMoot (August) annual virtual conferences. She organizes annual Moodle MOOCs (November and May) and Second Life MOOC (April). ​

Email: admin(at)nelliemuller(dot)com

Naomi Epstein

Naomi Epstein teaches English to deaf and hard of hearing students at Yehud Comprehensive High-School and is the "Shema" national counselor for English for the hearing impaired.
Author of "Apples and Zebras" and "The Book of Keys"

Email: ronea(at)012(dot)net(dot)il

Erica Garb, PhD

Dr. Erica Garb is Director of English Studies at the Association for the Advancement of Education (the Aguda L'Kidum Hachinuch), a Ministry of Education organization, which administers 60 pre-academic centers throughout Israel. She is responsible for curriculum development, teacher training, textbook development and the construction of the twice-yearly examinations with bagrut-equivalence status. She has taught EFL at all levels through high school and pre-academic colleges, including the Learning Centre for the Blind at Hebrew University, where she was the EFL co-ordinator for several years. She has had extensive experience in teacher training, curriculum design, and the construction of EFL materials and methodologies, with a specialization in cognitive and metacognitive education.
In this field she has lectured in South Africa for the South African Cognitive Association and in Holland and Sweden for the European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction (EARLI). Her work has also been presented in Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Canada and Brazil by her co-author, Professor Alex Kozulin.

Publications include:
  • 2000: Maximizing the potential of young adults with visual impairment: the metacognitive element: American Journal of Visual Impairment
  • 2001: New cognitive curriculum for pre-academic centres
  • 2001: Metacognitive Strategies in EFL, USIE Journal of the Graduate Research Centre for Education, University of Sussex,
  • 2002: Dynamic Assessment of EFL Text Comprehension: School Psychology International, Vol. 23 Issue 01, February, (with Alex Kozulin).
  • 2004: Can general meta-cognitive strategies improve domain-specific learning? Cognitive Education in South Africa, Vol 11,
  • 2004: Dynamic Assessment of Literacy: European Journal of Psychology of Education, Volume xix, (1) (with Alex Kozulin).
  • 2004: Cognition and metacognition: tools for change: (book chapter) Integrating Content and Language, ed. Robert Wilkinson, Maastricht University Press.

    Text books:
  • 2001: P.A.R.T. 1 - EFL text-book for 3-point students. Academon
  • 2002: I think... therefore I read (teachers guide), Academon

Email: erica2(at)netvision(dot)net(dot)il

Mitzi Geffen

I live in Beer Sheva and I am the English co-ordinator at Makif Amit Beer Sheva where I teach classes from 7th to 12th grade. I direct and produce an annual English musical there and at Ulpanat Amit, as well.

Email: mitzi1002001(at)yahoo(dot)com

Barry Gonen

Immigrated from England in 1971.
Living on Kibbutz Negba from 1973 .
Married with four children (3 girls, 1 boy) + 7 far!
Teaching at Tsafit regional high school since 1978
Special Ed division in the 'Mercaz Limida'
Music-songwriting, composing, archeology, gardening, photography.
Also am still serving with Border Police Unit as local security coordinator.

Email: barry(at)negba(dot)org(dot)il

Maris Mohr

I was born in NYC, graduated from the Bronx H.S. of Science in 1969, and started my BS in biology at SUNY Stony Brook. Israel was too much of a pull on my life, so I became a member of Garin Hashachar, came to Israel in 1970, returned to NY to close circles, and made alliya in 1971. I served in Nahal and as a result got to Kibbutz Dorot, where I met my husband. Our first daughter, Nitza, was born there in 1974, only a month after Shaul was discharged from the very long (6 months) miluim of the Yom Kipur War.
During all that time, starting in H.S., I wrote poetry. In 1976 we moved to Mitzpe Ramon where we've been ever since. I worked at all kinds of jobs for 9 years until, in 1985, I started teaching EFL officially at the Misgav Comprehensive H.S. in Mitzpe Ramon, grades 7-12, and the elementary school at Midreshet Sde Boker, grades 5,6,8. I continued in Misgav, which later became Shalom School for Arts and Sciences, for 16 years, during 13 of which I was English Coordinator. I used poetry as a major part of my teaching and built many projects for upper grade students around studying, analyzing and writing it and as a tool for the understanding and development of English language. I also taught for 6 years during this period at the pre-academic college for discharged soldiers that we had in M.R.
During this period I returned to university at Ben-Gurion in B.S. where I completed my BA in literature and linguistics. Just as I was about to begin my Masters studies in linguistics at B-G, I was hospitalized for worsening health problems and was diagnosed with MS. Because of the progression of the MS, I took disablility retirement in 2002. I never stopped writing poetry.
My book: Memo Book of My Mind, self published, first collection of 30 years of poems. The book was printed by UPP in Tel Aviv in 1999. It is available directly from me.

Email: mbgm14(at)yahoo(dot)com

Phyllis Oded

[Made Aliyah from Chicago: date: Feb. 3, 1967]
Teaching experience in Israel: taught 3 years in Rehovot, 33 years in Ironi Daled [Tel Aviv] and am in my second year teaching at Handasaiim High School [next to T.A. Univ.]
[personal non-info; married with three children and three grandchildren]
Personal Problem: with the textbooks for teaching English. As you have seen from a sampling of my material. That's where the true evaluation is, not just filling in grammar tenses on a test page!
In addition to my poems and crossword puzzles ........., I have created hundreds of grammar stories for various levels and at least 30 unseens for the E,F.G modules.
I went on early pension 4 years ago and continue teaching because I HAVE TO. By this I mean, I love it. Leah Kernig is still acting, isn't she? GETTING OLDER, GETTING BETTER. Teaching should not only be FUN for the teacher, but a great learning experience for the students. Don't you agree?

Email: phylliso(at)zahav(dot)net(dot)il

Lauren Ornstein

Lauren is an American born folksinger, songwriter and EFL teacher. She grew up in Yonkers, NY and moved to Israel shortly after graduating high school. After being a "wandering Jew", she settled down in the Negev at Midreshet Ben Gurion to raise her daughters, Shlomit and Shikma.

Today Lauren teaches at the local High School for Environmental Studies. In addition, she performs at the English-language folk clubs around Israel. She has appeared at Jacob's Ladder Folk Festival (Israel), Fiddler's Green Festival (N. Ireland) and Turtle Hill Festival (USA). Lauren combines her musical and EFL teaching skills in folksong workshops in schools around the country. She conducts in-service workshops for EFL teachers on songwriting and also on how to use songs in the classroom.

Email: laurie(at)etni(dot)org

Adele Raemer

Adele Raemer: EFL teacher Ma'ale Habsor Regional Comprehensive School, Counselor for the southern section of the Rural English Education Department (REED) and webmistress (female of "webmaster") for the REED website, Adele earned her MATESOL from Moray House Institute of Education, Herriot-Watt University and lives with her family and dogs on Kibbutz Nirim in the western Negev.

Email: adeler(at)kfar-olami(dot)org(dot)il

Dorit Sasson

I came to Israel on my own originally from Manhattan’s Greenwich Village in 1990 before my parents decided to join me. Before I decided to study teaching, I was a soldier in the Nahal Brigade for two and a half years. Since then, I've completed my BA (English literature and education) at Oranim College and MA (English Literature) at Haifa University. I’ve taught EFL from the elementary level to adult education courses - all in the North. For the past seven years, I’ve been teaching at Emek Hahula Comprehensive High School grades 7-12, which is situated in the Upper Galilee, one of the most picturesque places in Israel. I live in the neighboring kibbutz of Sde Nehemiya with my husband and son.
When I’m not busy teaching, preparing lessons or checking work, I’m writing articles for educational publications or other forms of creative non fiction. I’ve just completed an online fiction course and I hope to finish my first novel by the end of this coming month.
Lately I've been exploring a writing venue that started with attempting to write a novel way before I made aliyah. But it is only with signing up to the Nanowrimo's website, ( I found that my dreams of writing a novel dreams actually had a future. As of November 30th, I became a nanowrimo winner and just finished a first draft of my novel entitled Underneath the Cracks. I am looking to publish it sometime next year. Recently I joined the suite 101 freelance writing team for New Teacher Support representing the Israel region. link:, I also keep a writing journal. You may access it here:

Email: doritelv(at)hotmail(dot)com

Aviva Shapiro

I was born and raised in the USA . I completed my BA at the University of Maryland and my MBA at Leicester University . I have lived in Israel since 1980 , first a s a kibbutznik in the Upper Galilee and since 1996 in the Yishuv Karkom. I am presently the English coordinator at Beit Yerach Comprehensive Regional High School in the Jordan Valley, a full time English teacher of 22 years and a Madricha for the Rural Sector in the North. . I love to read and dance. I am the mother of five great kids and for the most part, I am an optimistic person.

Email: alshapirose(at)hotmail(dot)com

Ellen Hoffenberg-Serfaty, J.D

Co-editor of The Rag and SEN columnist Ellen Hoffenberg-Serfaty, J.D., most recent career as an EFL teacher has been entirely with special students. Presently EFL coordinator at the Learning Center for the Blind Mechina at Hebrew U., Ellen has pioneered the use of assistive technology for students with special needs, especially blind, visually impaired and those with learning problems and disabilities, for Bagrut exams and daily work. She has trained teachers for many years on all aspects of working with SEN students, including courses at a teacher's college, and has served as a consultant and counselor for schools and teachers working with this population. A lawyer by training, she has developed children's rights projects for the Israeli branch of an international children's rights organization, and was a criminal defense and children's rights lawyer, advocate, lobbyist, governor's representative, juvenile justice consultant, author and trainer in Florida USA. A frequent contributor to ETNI and editor of the original ETNI News, Ellen's life "joy" is being a mom, and exploring a myriad of sports, crafts and the arts, as well as feeding her internet and web-site building addictions.


Email: serf(at)inter(dot)net(dot)il

Barry Silverberg

Good Evening. Nice of you to drop by. You know, I've written so many mock bios ( Barry was born Barigouti Eben Igetbored in the pastoral Palestinian town of Nabless Manitoba. His parents left him in the snow overnight as a test of endurance. The next morning, when young Al Silverberg opened the door for the milk man, he was surprised to find such a Spartan carton . . .) that, maybe, just to surprise you , I'll do one straight:

I entered the world in May 4th of 1952. Google your head off, but nothing else happened in the world on that day. I guess I was enough. My parents, Canadian citizens, eventually moved into a house on Kilbride Ave. And if you go there today you can still see it, unchanged except for the color of the paint and the Chinese language spoken. Nursery school, kindergarten, Talmud Torah Elementary school, Joseph Wolinsky (Jewish Day School) till 11th grade, one wonderful year at Public School, Aliah, four years schmoozing around Bar Ilan University, army service, marriage, move to Kiriat Shmona in 1982, five kids, presently teaching English at Hamatmid Relligio' School and "Maddah Vedaat" at Tel Hai College; a little writing for fun on the side, and, of course, developing the Thai Massage Clinic. Enjoys cycling and singing old Dylan songs.

Email: barisil(at)netvision(dot)net(dot)il

Gunther Volk

I was born in Germany and educated both in Germany and the US. I graduated from university in 1979 with a double degree in English and geography. Since then I have taught in the US, Germany and Israel, where I was an exchange teacher at the Leo Baeck Education Center in Haifa in the fall of 2003. I had my lucky break when I was offered a position as teacher trainer of English at a state teacher training college in 1998. For a number of years now I have specialized in using contemporary British and American drama in EFL teaching. During the last academic year I offered workshops on "Teaching the Holocaust through Anglo-Jewish Drama and Film" at the ETAI conferences in Haifa, Beer Sheva and Jerusalem. Though I work in Germany my heart is in Israel and I am back here whenever time permits.

Email: gunther.volk(at)gmail(dot)com

Dina Wyshogrod, PhD

Dina Wyshogrod, Ph.D. is a licensed clinical psychologist in private practice in Jerusalem, specializing in anxiety disorders and behavioral medicine. In addition, she teaches courses in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction to laypeople and professionals.

Email: Dr.Dina(at)breathedeep(dot)net

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