About Ogen

Ogen provides life-changing loans to
families, homebuyers, small-businesses and NGOs in Israel.

Ogen, formerly known as the Israel Free Loan Association (IFLA), is a non-profit social lending enterprise, providing affordable credit to disadvantaged segments of the Israeli public. Our mission is to increase upward economic mobility for low and middle income families and small business owners. Founded by the late Professor Eliezer Jaffe, since 1990 Ogen has provided more than 65,000 interest-free loans, totaling more than $350 million.

Originally established to help new immigrants from Ethiopia and the former Soviet Union adjust to their new lives in Israel, Ogen’s outlook has expanded over the years.

Today Ogen is a social lending enterprise offering various credit solutions as well as financial guidance for low and middle income Israelis. Ogen’s loans are a platform to drive economic growth and empowerment, closing socio-economic gaps on a national scale.

“Ogen changed my life.” 

Meirav Sami
Owner of “Cafe Zarifa” in Jerusalem,
Ogen borrower.

Despite the extent of Ogen’s impact over the past three decades, the need for affordable credit is growing, at a pace which cannot be funded through donations alone. This is why Ogen has launched the Ogen- Israel Social Loan Fund, an impact investment fund providing loans to small businesses, first-time homebuyers and non-profit organizations, on a low-interest, non-profit basis.

Ogen’s lending capabilities build on the success of IFLA, which over its almost 30-year history has lent more than $300 million to disadvantaged people and businesses, with a default rate of less than 1%.

Structure

The Ogen Group, a not-for-profit organization, provides both interest-free and low-interest loans, as well as financial guidance, to people, small businesses and non-profits in Israel who are ill-served by the financial sector. Ogen’s various credit and financial mentoring solutions are all designed to improve financial opportunity and inclusion, creating a fairer and stronger economy for all Israelis.

Having made more than 65,000 loans and lent more than $350 million since 1990, Ogen is now in the process of establishing the first digital, not-for-profit social bank in Israel, the first stage of which launched in January 2020.

Ogen – Free Loan Fund, founded in 1990 as Israel Free Loan Association (IFLA) by Prof. Eliezer Jaffe z’’l, is the largest Jewish interest-free lending fund in the world. The Fund currently holds ILS 185 million ($53 million), raised by thousands of donors from around the world. To date, the Fund has issued 65,000 loans, totaling over ILS 1.3 billion ($371 million), with a loan repayment rate of 99.3%. Money is recycled (loaned to borrowers, repaid to Ogen, then loaned again) continually, thereby creating a long-term re-use of philanthropic capital. Ogen – Free Loan Fund focuses in particular on helping low-income households, including specific loan tracks to catalyze deep long-term improvement in our borrowers lives through economic rehabilitation and support for education and vocational training.

Ogen – Social Loan Fund is a public benefit company (PBC) funded by donors and impact investors from Israel and around the world. After receiving its Credit Services Provider License from the Capital Markets Authority in 2019, the Fund commenced operations in January 2020 with over ILS 150 million ($43 million) in start-up capital. This fund provides accessible low-interest loans to micro and small businesses as well as non-profit organizations. Ogen – Social Loan Fund is currently in the process of obtaining a banking license and establishing the first non-profit bank in Israel and one of the only of its kind in the world.

Keren-Shemesh is a public benefit company (PBC) that operates a nationwide network of over 600 senior Israeli volunteer business leaders who give of their time and experience to mentor small business entrepreneurs, in particular from Israel’s socio-economic periphery. In response to the 2020 coronavirus crisis, Keren-Shemesh has launched Ment-Or, a new program to help the leaders of Israel’s vital not-for-profit sector weather the effects of the coronavirus crisis.

Ogen La’Bayit provides professional consultation and coaching to help young couples from Israel’s periphery manage their finances and purchase their first home. In 2020, spurred by the coronavirus crisis, Ogen La’Bayit launched a program to help all Ogen borrowers improve their financial management and planning, and to help them prevent financial distress.

SparkIL is a peer-to-peer lending platform connecting people around the world to Israel through social impact lending. Individuals can select a business that speaks to them and provide a zero-interest loan. The businesses come from Israel’s social, economic, and geographic periphery. SparkIL is a public benefit company formed in partnership with The Jewish Agency for Israel.

 

The Future - Israel Social Bank

A caring, people-first digital bank, with no commercial shareholders or need to pay out dividends.

Ogen is working closely with the Bank of Israel to receive a banking license having already raised the requisite equity.

Ogen – Israel Social Loan Fund

Ofir Ozeri
Chairman of the Ogen Group

Ofir chairs the boards of directors of both “Ogen – Israel Free Loan Fund” and “Ogen – Israel Social Loan Fund”. In this role, Ofir is intensely involved on a daily basis in the process of establishing the first social, not-for-profit bank in Israel. Ofir joined the board of Ogen (then the Israel Free Loan Association – IFLA) in 2008, serving later as Deputy Chairman before being named Chairman in 2015. 

Ofir, owner of Ofir Ozeri Law Co. in Jerusalem, is a lawyer specializing in real estate planning and construction, as well as commercial and civil litigation. Ofir has extensive experience in municipal government and administration, having served as Deputy Head of Council, member of the local Planning and Construction Committee and Chairman of the Development Committee of his local neighborhood of Har Adar. 

Ofir holds a BA in Economics from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and an LLB from The College of Management Academic Studies. He is a member of the Israeli Bar Association and a licensed notary.

Boaz Raam
Businessman and Social Entrepreneur

Boaz is a businessman and social entrepreneur. As a businessman, he serves on the board of General Mills (Israel), which he co-founded and on the board of Volta Belting Technology.
As an active social investor, Boaz founded and chairs the board committee of Partners of NFTE (Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship), which supports and teaches entrepreneurship to youth at risk. He is also a member of the Board of JDC and chairs its Global Social Business Investments Committee. Boaz is a member of JFN and a former board member of the New Jersey-Israel Commission.

Boaz is an active member of the Committed To Give initiative, dedicated to promoting Israeli philanthropy. As an investor in Social Finance Israel, a community interest company, Boaz helped raise ILS 20 million to fund an experimental treatment for type 2 diabetes.

Boaz served in the Intelligence Unit of the IDF and is a graduate of Columbia University.

David Ram
Partner at Goldrock Capital

David is a Partner at Goldrock Capital – a high-touch multi-family office servicing very high-net-worth clients in Israel and internationally. David joined Goldrock in 2008, helped build out the full alternative investment platform and grow the client base.

In addition, David is a Partner in Goldrock’s Growth Equity Fund, creating a portfolio of private assets in technology companies in Israel. Prior to joining Goldrock, David launched the Israeli office of VantagePoint Venture Partners and acted as an associate in the venture capital investment team. David launched his career at Merrill Lynch in 1998 where he built high growth oriented equity portfolios for wealth management clients.

David moved to Israel in 1999 and began working as a Senior Manager at Ernst & Young within the corporate finance group. David holds a B.S. in Finance from Yeshiva University in New York.

David joined the board of Ogen in 2013 after searching for a platform to drive meaningful change within Israel’s lower socioeconomic environment by providing access to efficient credit. In that capacity, David has been instrumental in launching the Goodwill track at Ogen, in partnership with a number of third party organizations. David was central to the development of Ogen – Israel Social Loan Fund, working closely with the Milken Institute and chairing the initial steering committee that devised the fund’s structure.

David serves on the boards of directors of both “Ogen – Israel Free Loan Fund” and “Ogen – Israel Social Loan Fund”.

Dalia Tal
World-renowned Banking Lawyer at the Meitar Liquornik Geva Leshem Tal Law Firm

Dalia specializes in commercial law and has rich experience in mergers and acquisitions, privatization of banks and other governmental institutions, spin-offs, mergers, tender offers and other complex transactions. Dalia also specializes in corporate governance and related regulatory requirements, and she has extensive experience in representing clients before the Bank of Israel, the Ministry of Finance, the Supervisor of Insurance and the Israeli Securities Authority. Dalia has served for over 25 years as the legal advisor for the board of directors of Bank Leumi.

Dalia teaches a workshop in “Management Aspects of Corporate Governance” at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya.  She has also lectured for many years in her fields of expertise, including at the Tel Aviv University Business School, the Institute for Advanced Studies for Lawyers and in other forums, on commercial law topics such as banking, financing, mergers, corporate governance and administrative enforcement.
 
Prior to the merger that created Meitar Liquornik Geva Leshem Tal, Dalia was a founding partner of Kantor, Elhanani Tal & Co

Daniel Recanati
Founder & CEO of Rhodium

Daniel is the founder & CEO of Rhodium, a privately-owned investment firm with a diverse portfolio including some of Israel’s most promising companies. Daniel founded and invested in numerous tech ventures from early stage to growth, across different sectors such as fintech, foodtech, cyber, AI, digital media, e-commerce, automotive, communication and mobile. Daniel loves working with entrepreneurs from the early stages of their companies and helping them fulfill their potential. He is an early investor in companies such as Outbrain, Yotpo, Storedot, Face.com (acquired by Facebook), Hopstop (Apple), Zooz (PayU), Rounds (Kik), Hexatier (Huawei), and Compass (Sage).

For over two decades, Daniel has been focusing on accelerating social impact through technology, by co-founding and being closely involved in a variety of community organizations. Daniel serves on the board of The Yahel Foundation, the Recanati family philanthropy foundation, which aims to narrow social gaps by driving social processes and supporting non-profit organizations that advance education, welfare and health. Daniel also serves on the board of MadaTech – The Israel National Museum of Science Technology and Space. Daniel co-founded and serves on the board of Apple Seeds Academy (“Tapuah”), an Israeli nonprofit organization that was founded with the aim of bridging  Israel’s growing tech sector and the digital peripheries. Furthermore, Daniel co-founded Skills, a social non-profit venture, powered by several of Israel’s leading tech companies, with a mission to provide accessible tech-orientated education.

Daniel holds an LLB and BA from the Interdisciplinary Center, Herzliya, and lives in Tel Aviv with his wife, Salit, and their two boys. Daniel is a passionate entrepreneur, loves to explore the world, and is especially fascinated by how new technologies can positively shape our lives.

Tal Shlasky
Israel's Leading Expert in Banking Technology

Tal is one of Israel’s leading experts in banking technology. In recent years, he managed several divisions of Bank Hapoalim, including all of the bank’s digital and off-branch activities, overseeing hundreds of employees.

Tal held a variety of executive management positions at Hapoalim, including leading the Business Technology Leadership program, the Direct Banking division, the Financial Markets division’s headquarters, the CRM program, the DWH project and several management and advisory roles in the Security Division.

Tal specializes in business strategy, change management, omni-channel, mobile, data management, analytics & big data, social banking, customer journeys, digital payments, Blockchain & cryptocurrencies, and customer relationship management models.

Tal has lectured at Bar Ilan University, worked as a reporter for the economic newspaper, Globes, and served on the board of a mutual fund.

He holds a BA in Economics and an MBA in Finance and Accounting from Tel Aviv University. He is also a licensed investment advisor by the Israeli Securities and Exchange Commission.

Tal is highly active in his local community of Shoham in a number of social initiatives, as a lay-leader, donor and volunteer.

Yair Cohen
Founder and CEO of Avnei Derech Real Estate Investment Initiative

Yair is the founder and CEO of Avnei Derech Real Estate Investment Initiative, established in 2009, which plans and constructs real estate projects throughout Israel. In its early years, the company focused on guiding families through the process of purchasing their first apartment, realty, and estate management.  In more recent years, Avnei Derech transitioned into an entrepreneurial enterprise that plans and constructs housing projects throughout the country. Today there are nearly 2,000 Avnei Derech apartments in the planning or construction stages, many of which are part of the government sponsored low cost apartment lottery program.

Yair was active in establishing the religious social community in Ramat Hasharon in 2005.  To help support this community, Yair became a financial advisor for the Paamonim organization and he quickly was promoted to a managerial role. At Paamonim, Yair helped hundreds of families achieve financial independence.

In 2012, Yair partnered with Rabbi Amitzur Ariel to establish the Ahim La’Bayit organization, a non-profit designed to guide families through the process of purchasing their first apartment.  In 2017, Ahim La’Bayit merged with Ogen and is now known as Ogen La’Bayit.  Yair currently chairs the Ogen La’Bayit steering committee.

Yair serves on the boards of directors of both “Ogen – Israel Free Loan Fund” and “Ogen – Israel Social Loan Fund”. In addition to his roles at Ogen, Yair is establishing the Jewish Economic Institute, highlighting the role of compassionate social values in Jewish law with regards to public policy.

Linda Benshoshan
Businesswoman, Banker and Investor

Linda is a partner at the private real estate fund “Forma”, specializing in real estate investments in Europe. She also holds directorship at Taro Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd, Energix Renewable Energies and MRR Thirteen Limited.  She serves on multiple boards and chairs the investment committees of a number of provident funds and study funds.

Linda serves as a member of the Executive Committee of the Jaffa Institute, a non-profit that provides educational enrichment to disadvantaged children from Jaffa, southern Tel Aviv and Bat Yam.

Linda served as Deputy Commissioner of the Capital Market, Insurance and Savings at the Ministry of Finance and as Israel’s Consul of Economic Affairs in the southwest United States.  She served in a wide range of positions at Israel Discount Bank, including CEO of Discount Provident Fund, Deputy CEO and the Head of the Asset Management Division and held directorships at Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.

Linda was also a member of the Lubetzki Committee for determining the criteria for the distribution of the funds of TOTO (Israeli National council for Sports Betting Regulation).

Linda earned an MBA from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s School of Management.

Board

Ofir Ozeri Adv.
Chairman of the Board

Ofir Ozeri is Chairman of the Ogen group, chairing the boards of directors of both “Ogen – Israel Free Loan Fund” and “Ogen – Israel Social Loan Fund”. In this role, Ofir is intensely involved on a daily basis in the process of establishing the first social, not-for-profit bank in Israel. Ofir joined the board of Ogen (IFLA) in 2008, serving later as Deputy Chairman before being named Chairman in 2015. 

Ofir, owner of Ofir Ozeri Law Co. in Jerusalem, is a lawyer specializing in real estate planning and construction, as well as commercial and civil litigation. Ofir has extensive experience in municipal government and administration, having served as Deputy Head of Council, member of the local Planning and Construction Committee and Chairman of the Development Committee of his local neighborhood of Har Adar. 

Ofir holds a BA in Economics from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and an LLB from the The College of Management Academic Studies. He is a member of the Israeli Bar Association and a licensed notary.

David Ram
Partner, Goldrock Capital; Chair, Ogen – Israel Social Loan Fund Committee

David is a Partner at Goldrock Capital – a high-touch multi-family office servicing very high-net-worth clients in Israel and internationally. David joined Goldrock in 2008, helped build out the full alternative investment platform and grow the client base.

In addition, David is a Partner in Goldrock’s Growth Equity Fund, creating a portfolio of private assets in technology companies in Israel. Prior to joining Goldrock, David launched the Israeli office of VantagePoint Venture Partners and acted as an associate in the venture capital investment team. David launched his career at Merrill Lynch in 1998 where he built high growth oriented equity portfolios for wealth management clients.

David moved to Israel in 1999 and began working as a Senior Manager at Ernst & Young within the corporate finance group. David holds a B.S. in Finance from Yeshiva University in New York.

David joined the board of Ogen in 2013 after searching for a platform to drive meaningful change within Israel’s lower socioeconomic environment by providing access to efficient credit. In that capacity, David has been instrumental in launching the Goodwill track at Ogen, in partnership with a number of third party organizations. David was central to the development of Ogen – Israel Social Loan Fund, working closely with the Milken Institute and chairing the initial steering committee that devised the fund’s structure.

David serves on the boards of directors of both “Ogen – Israel Free Loan Fund” and “Ogen – Israel Social Loan Fund”.

Ohad Eini
Vice Chair, Ogen; Chief Government Appraiser, Ministry of Justice

Deputy Chairman of Ogen – Israel Free Loan Fund and a member of the Board of Directors since 2006, Ohad is the Chief Government Appraiser at the Ministry of Justice. In the past he held a number of senior positions in the Israel Land Authority and the Jerusalem Municipality. He was also the owner of a real estate appraisal and consulting firm.

Ohad is a graduate of the Hebrew University, with a BA in Geography. He is married to Naomi, an educational psychologist and daughter of the founder of Ogen, Professor Eliezer Jaffe z”l.

Peggy Brill
Private Consultant to Foundations and Non-Profit Organizations

Peggy Brill is chairperson of the Ogen Strategic Partnerships Committee.  Working in non-profit life for the past 40 years, she is currently a consultant to both the Gottesman Fund and the Samis Foundation in their Israeli philanthropy. 

She was Director of International Relations for the Society for the Protection of Nature for a decade before establishing her consulting business, serving a wide range of environmental, educational, cultural and social welfare organizations.

She studied government at Connecticut College and continued on to graduate studies in international relations, social work and Jewish education at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, Yeshiva University and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She was a Jerusalem Fellow in the Mandel School for Educational Leadership.

Samuel Cohen Solal
Managing Director, Sweetwood Capital

Samuel Cohen Solal is the co-founder and Managing Director of Sweetwood Capital, a multi-family office based in Tel Aviv. Additionally, he is the Managing General Partner of Sweetwood Ventures, a Luxembourg based fund of funds of Israeli venture capital created in partnership with Banque Degroof Petercam, a leading Belgian Bank holding over USD 60 billion. Before starting Sweetwood Capital, Samuel served as a corporate lawyer at Weil, Gotshal & Manges. After gaining experience as an analyst at Rothschild, he joined Neuflize OBC – ABN AMRO where he worked as a fund manager, before being promoted to Head of Strategy for Asia and Commodities for Bank Neuflize OBC (€30 billion under management). He then moved to the private banking side of the Bank to manage ultra-high and high net-worth individuals’ accounts.

In addition to serving on Ogen’s board, Samuel is a trustee of La Fondation des Etats-Unis, a board member of Ekhal Abraham and a mentor at IVN. Samuel also served on the University of Chicago Alumni Board of Governors.

Samuel earned a BA with honors in Political Science from the University of Chicago and a Diplome Grande Ecole from HEC. He also holds a Master of Business and Tax Law from Sorbonne University and a Master of Law in Litigation, Arbitration and Alternative Dispute Resolutions from Assas University in France. Samuel holds admission to the French Bar.

Chaim Neuman
Former Treasurer, Tefachot Mortgage Bank

Chaim Neuman is a private investor focused on capital markets. Prior to his retirement, Chaim spent 31 years at Tefahot Israel Mortgage Bank Ltd., now Bank-Mizrahi Tefahot, serving in an number of senior leadership positions, including as Treasurer of the bank.

In addition to his longstanding role on the board of Ogen, Chaim previously served as chairman of Keren Dor HaAtid.

Born in Tel Aviv, Chaim holds an undergraduate degree in economics from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and an MA in international relations from the London School of Economics.

Uri Jaffe
Director of the Volunteer and Non-profit Organizations Division, Municipality of Tel Aviv

Uri Jaffe is a social worker and currently serves as Director of the Volunteer and Non-Profit Organizations Division of the Tel Aviv Municipality.  In this capacity, he matches Tel Aviv residents with volunteer opportunities at non-profit organizations that share their interests.

In the past, Uri served as Israeli emissary to the WZO chapter in Los Angeles.  There he organized and promoted Zionist programming for youth, students, young adults and families.  Prior to that, he served as the Executive Director of the Yeladim – Fair Chance for Children organization and Assistant Director of the AACI Jerusalem Office.

Uri holds a BSW from Bar Ilan University and an MSW from Yeshiva University.

Yishai Tachover
East Jerusalem Regional Director, Gichon Water Company

Yishai Tachover is community leader and public sector professional.  Since 2001, Yishai has served in a variety of management positions at Jerusalem’s Gichon Water Company. Currently serving as East Jerusalem Regional Director, Yishai is responsible for improving the water infrastructure and preventing water waste for East Jerusalem’s 350,000 residents. Prior to that, he served as Collection Department Manager where he managed 65 water meter staff members.  As Information Systems Manager, he established and managed the Gichon IT department.  While acting as Director of Customer Service, Yishai trained and managed around 50 employees who issued invoices at a total of ILS 400 million.  

In 2017-2018, Yishai served as Deputy Mayor of the Gush Etzion Regional Council.  He has been a member of Ogen’s Board since 2007.

In previous years, Yishai served as CEO of the Efrat Local Council, where he ensured that the council ran in accordance with the mayor’s policies.  He supervised 150 employees in 15 departments and met with government officials to finalize projects and budgets. Yishai also served as director of the Efrat community center and as a tour guide who led hundreds of groups throughout Israel. 

Yishai holds a MA in Public Policy and BA in Geography and History from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Zvi Feine
Former Deputy Director, JDC-Israel and Director, JDC Africa and Asia

Born in New York, USA, in 1942, Zvi made Aliyah to Israel in 1960. He has five children and twelve grandchildren in Israel. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and received his Doctorate from the School of Social Work at the University of Pennsylvania.

Zvi was Deputy-Director of JDC-Israel for thirty years. Following that, until his retirement in 2010, he served JDC as Director for Africa and Asia. In addition, for eighteen years he held the position of Chairman of the Board of ESHEL (the Association for the Planning and Development of Services for the Aged in Israel) – JDC’s major partnership with the Government of Israel in carrying out its programs for the aged in Israel. He is also a former Director of the Hebrew University’s Schwartz Program – now Master’s Degree program in Project Management.

In previous years, Zvi was JDC Consultant on Social Services for many countries including Morocco, France, Romania and trans-migrant programs in Vienna and Rome. He was also Chief Program Officer for AJJDC-New York in 2001-2002, which included the role of Area Director for Central and Eastern Europe, Africa and Asia. He served for over five years as JDC Country Director for Poland (1989-1995) and gave almost nineteen years of service as JDC Country Director for Romania (1988-2005), providing professional support for the Jewish community’s youth programs, as well as its health and social services, with an emphasis on aiding elderly, indigent Jews.

Since his retirement in 2010, Zvi has provided high-level consultation to various non-profit organizations in Israel, such as Melitz (Jewish and Zionist pluralistic education) and Shekel (rehabilitation of developmentally disabled young adults). He continues his volunteer work as Senior Consultant to JDC, as well as teaching an annual course in ‘Managing Philanthropy’ at the Schwartz Program, at the Baerwald School of Social Work of the Hebrew University. He has also served as Acting Director of the Taub Center for Social Policy Studies in Israel, for most of 2015.

Yair Cohen
Founder and CEO of Avnei Derech Real Estate Investment Initiative​

Yair is the founder and CEO of Avnei Derech Real Estate Investment Initiative, established in 2009, which plans and constructs real estate projects throughout Israel. In its early years, the company focused on guiding families through the process of purchasing their first apartment, realty, and estate management.  In more recent years, Avnei Derech transitioned into an entrepreneurial enterprise that plans and constructs housing projects throughout the country. Today there are nearly 2,000 Avnei Derech apartments in the planning or construction stages, many of which are part of the government sponsored low cost apartment lottery program.

Yair was active in establishing the religious social community in Ramat Hasharon in 2005.  To help support this community, Yair became a financial advisor for the Paamonim organization and he quickly was promoted to a managerial role. At Paamonim, Yair helped hundreds of families achieve financial independence.

In 2012, Yair partnered with Rabbi Amitzur Ariel to establish the Ahim La’Bayit organization, a non-profit designed to guide families through the process of purchasing their first apartment.  In 2017, Ahim La’Bayit merged with Ogen and is now known as Ogen La’Bayit.  Yair currently chairs the Ogen La’Bayit steering committee.

Yair serves on the boards of directors of both “Ogen – Israel Free Loan Fund” and “Ogen – Israel Social Loan Fund”. In addition to his roles at Ogen, Yair is establishing the Jewish Economic Institute, highlighting the role of compassionate social values in Jewish law with regards to public policy.

Joel Baris Adv.
Private Attorney and Consultant; Former Chief Counsel, Israel Ministry of Finance

Joel Baris Adv. currently heads the Ministry of Finance’s Committee for the Implementation of Regulation of Non-Institutional Financial Services, also known as “the Baris Committee”.  This committee formulated the proposal that was then legislated by the Knesset, regarding non-institutional lenders, financial services providers (money exchanges), and credit unions. In addition, this committee formulated the pending legislation regarding non-interest non-profit credit and deposit institutes. At present, the committee is in the process of hearing public comments to draft legislation regarding Peer-to-Peer (“P2P”) loan platforms.

Previously, he was part of the team of the Legal Department of the Ministry of Finance from 1993 to 2008. In this capacity, he took part in various projects and reforms for the Markets and Insurance Division of the Ministry, and lead the legislation of the Bachar Reform of 2005. From 2008 to 2016 Mr. Baris served as the Chief Legal Advisor to the Ministry. There he led the legal aspects of the government’s programs to deal with the global financial crisis. In these years, he was responsible for the legal advice to the ministry, including the legislation of the Bank of Israel Law of 2010.

Joel is also the Legal Advisor and VP of Public Policy in Start-Up Nation Central, an Israeli non-for-profit dedicated to making Israel a center of innovation and technology.

Yona Cohen
Founding Executive Director, Ogen

Yona Cohen was one of Ogen’s (then the Israel Free Loan Association’s) founders.  After helping Eliezer Jaffe to establish the organization, she served as Ogen’s Founding Executive Director from 1995 to 2013.  In this capacity, she ran and oversaw the fundraising, public relations, budget management and monetary reporting during the organization’s early years.

Prior to this, she served as chief financial officer of a meat processing company.  There she managed a staff of 30 employees.

Josiah Rotenberg
Investor and Advisor

Josiah Rotenberg works as an investor and advisor in international financial markets with a specialization in distressed debt and special situations.  He was a partner at an international investment fund where he was responsible for their European operations for a decade and was responsible for investments in excess of $2 billion.  During his tenure with the fund, he established their operations in Israel and in London.  Josiah is a member of the Board of the Pelech School and Daf Hadash and is the Chairman of the Middle East Forum Israel.  He lives in Jerusalem with his wife and five children.

Racheli Greenwald
Advertiser, Strategic Consultant and Businesswoman

Racheli Greenwald, 39, is an ultra-Orthodox resident of Bnei Brak and mother to two daughters. She is the owner and CEO of the advertising agency “Links 360,” which offers strategic consuling to leading companies, organizations and government ministries.

Racheli has experience with ultra-Orthodox initiatives, leading integration processes in the ultra-Orthodox community in the areas of employment, welfare and business. For years, she has been focused on housing solutions in the ultra-Orthodox community and business collaborations between sectors in Israeli society.

Racheli is currently completing a bachelor’s degree in law at LLB at the Kiryat Ono campus, where she leads initiatives to encourage education and academic accessibility for challenged populations.

Leadership

Sagi Balasha
CEO

Sagi Balasha is CEO of the Ogen Group, comprised of five non-profit organizations dedicated to increasing access to affordable credit and financial empowerment in Israel. Sagi has initiated and oversees the expansion of Ogen from its forerunner, the Israel Free Loan Association. Ogen has provided ILS 1.3 billion in affordable credit to tens of thousands of small businesses and households, and is in the process of establishing Israel’s first non-profit social bank.

From 2011-2015 Sagi served as CEO of the Israeli-American Council, growing the organization into a prominent national operation across the United States. On his return to Israel, Sagi co-founded and served from 2016-2018 as CEO of Concert (formerly Kella Shlomo), which works to combat BDS and delegitimization efforts against the State of Israel. Having stepped away from the CEO role, Sagi remains active to both Concert and a number of other initiatives in support of Israel.

From 2006-2011 Sagi served as VP of Finance and Development at Beit Hatfutsot – The Museum of the Jewish People, devising and leading a large-scale institutional overhaul and financial recovery plan.

Sagi began his career in the budget department of Israel’s Ministry of Finance, where he oversaw major sections of the government budget and was involved in significant structural changes and reforms.

Sagi@ogen.org

MosheDaniel
Moshe Daniel
Deputy CEO

Moshe joined Ogen to lead the establishment and management of the non-profit lending field. After achieving great success in his role, he was promoted to the role of COO & CTO of Ogen group.

Moshe has 15 years of experience as an entrepreneur, a banker and an investment manager in England and Switzerland. He established a trading company in England and after selling it, he joined Clariden Leu Bank as a relationship manager. Later on, he established a family office in Zurich for MMG.

Moshe grew up in Israel served as an officer in the IDF and completed his studies in Industrial engineering and management at Ben Gurion University (BSc) and later on completed his MA in law at Bar Ilan University.

Uriel Dagan
Chief Financial Officer, Ogen Group

Uriel began his career at Ernst & Young Israel, where he audited large Israeli nonprofits as well as government-owned, public and large private companies.

In 2015-2016 he served as the financial manager of several subsidiaries of the Electra FM group. From 2016 to 2021, Uriel served as the CFO and VP of Administration at the Tower of David Museum – Jerusalem. There he successfully rehabilitated the organization following the financial losses of Operation Protective Edge in 2014, doubled its financial turnover and achieved a significant surplus. Moreover, he was responsible for the financial aspects of the museum’s complete renovation, while maintaining continuous communication with donors and various governmental offices.

In parallel, Uriel serves as a finance lecturer at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya and the Jerusalem College of Technology – Lev Academic Center and has authored a number of academic articles.

He holds a BA in Accounting and Information Systems from the Jerusalem College of Technology – Lev Academic Center and earned his MBA at Hebrew University’s School of Business.

Uriel volunteers on the boards of directors at a variety of nonprofits.

Eldan Kaye
VP Development & Partnerships

Eldan joined Ogen in August 2022 to lead the strategic partnerships and manage donor and investor relations worldwide.

With 15 years of experience in the third sector in Israel, the UK and the US, Eldan began his career in leadership development in non-profit organizations and pre-army leadership academies. In the last decade, he has been leading development and partnership building teams in leading organizations throughout the Jewish world.

Prior to joining Ogen, was the Partnerships Director at the Darca School network and was a member of the senior management team. Beforehand, relocated to England as part of his role as Regional Director for UJIA. Building this role for the first time, Eldan led a team of fundraisers and educators across the Northern communities of England and Scotland. Under his stewardship, the income was doubled and the impact of many young people was expanded significantly through their relationship to Israel. Previously, Eldan managed the Abraham Fund Initiatives’ fundraising efforts in Israel and Europe.

Eldan has a B.A. in the History of the Middle East and Africa from Tel Aviv University. Married to Hila and father to three adorable children – Lily, Ilay and Gil.

Simon Cadranel
Chief Credit Officer Social Loan Fund

Simon Cadranel is the Chief Lending Officer of Ogen. Originally from the UK, Simon moved to Israel in 1997 after graduating from the London School of Economics. He has over 15 years’ experience in banking in Jerusalem and in New York. In New York Simon was a successful branch manager, growing his branch from $30m in revenue to over $90, on the back working mainly with local small businesses. Simon was instrumental in building and implementing coaching and customer service programs for the entire branch network. 

Simon has held investment advisor (Series 7 and 63) licenses and has an MA in education. Prior to returning to Israel, Simon worked for Bank Leumi USA in International Private Banking.  He is also a certified bank compliance officer.

For the past five years Simon has run the business loans department of Ogen, including making over 400 emergency loans to small businesses in the South during Operation Protective Edge. As Chief Lending Officer at Ogen, and part of the team working to launch Israel’s first not-for-profit bank, Simon’s goal is to provide a modern, efficient banking service which increases access to affordable credit for low and middle income families and small businesses.

Simon@ogen.org

Avigail Eitan
Group Controller

Began her work at the Ogan Group in 2022 after working for 4 years at the PWC CPA firm. As part of her work at the firm, Abigail was part of the audit team responsible for the financial reports of the Ogan Group, and also volunteered on the audit committee of the Ogen – Free Loan Fund.

In her past, Abigail held accounting positions at the Hadassah Ein Kerem Medical Center and at the high-tech company Ex Libris.

Abigail has a BA in accounting and information systems.

Joel Copeland
Director of Ogen La'Bayit

Joel is a senior manager with 20 years of experience in the third sector. In the past, Joel served as CEO of an import and marketing company, head of the headquarters of the Mount Hebron Regional Council, manager of 3 national regions at the ‘Paamonim’ Association, director of the Southern District of the Yad Sara Association and other management positions.
Joel published a debut book called ‘Plus’ which deals with family economics.
Has an MA in public policy from the Hebrew University and a B. Sc. in business administration.

David Bango
Director of the Housing Sector

David Bango, Director of the Ogen La’Bayit program, is a social entrepreneur and experienced manager in the non-profit and business sectors.  In the past he filled a variety of management roles, including Director of the Citizen’s Empowerment Center in Israel, where he helped dozens of families in Lod, Acre and Ariel; CEO of the Ta’asukatif non-profit organization, secretary of the B’nei Neve Dekalim community, and marketing manager of the Atzmona plant nurseries.

Mr Bango holds a Bachelors in Education and has completed certificate programs in the fields of marketing, training, and mediation.

Svetlana Mishin
Customer Service Manager

Svetlana was born in the Soviet Union and made aliyah in 1991. She joined Ogen (then IFLA) in 2002 and has served in a number of senior positions, working closely with our lending, loan management and collections departments, as well as managing many of Ogen’s partnerships with affiliate organizations. Svetlana holds a Master’s Degree in Philology and Pedagogy and lives in Jerusalem.

MeiraShewarts
Meira Schwartz
Business Loans Department Manager

Meira Schwartz is a Jerusalem-born economist and mother of five.

In 2018 she joined Ogen with the goal of promoting Ogen’s business loans and developing the social bank.
Meira’s past experience includes work in both the banking and philanthropic sectors. She managed a business loan fund at the Jewish Agency and oversaw budgets at JDC Israel and JDC Europe.

Meira believes that providing proper support to small and medium sized business can help these companies flourish and bolster Israel’s social and economic development.

Yifat David
VP Marketing

ifat David has over 15 years of experience in marketing management and business strategy in private, public and international companies. in the years 2010-2016 she served as the VP of Marketing at the ‘Kidum’ Group (‘Kidum’, ‘Lachman’, Wall Street). Prior to that, she held a variety of B2B marketing management positions at the Bezeq Group for about a decade. In the last six years, Yifat accompanied various companies as an independent VP of Marketing and Strategy .

yifat holds a BA in social sciences and communication management from the Open University and an engineering diploma in architecture and interior design from the Tel Aviv College of Biotechnology.

Elad Lubitch
Assistant CEO and company secretary

Married and father of 4 children. Elad has 10 years of experience in legal and public work in the business, parliamentary and third sectors.
In the past, he served as a lawyer in the areas of regulation, tenders and public policy, with an emphasis on regulation of financial services. Before that, he served as the head of the legal department of an organization in the third sector that deals with religion and state issues. In the past, Elad worked as a parliamentary advisor and led legislative and parliamentary oversight procedures on a variety of issues on the public agenda.
Elad specialized in one of the largest commercial law firms in Israel and conducted legal proceedings over the years in a variety of courts, including Petitions to the High Court.
Volunteers as a director at ‘Haim Beplus’, an association that deals with financial education; Graduated with a bachelor’s degree in law and qualified for a research master’s degree (with honors) in public policy, both from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Hadas Melamed
Head of Collections Department

Hadas has over 10 years of experience in legal work and collection processes from various law firms with specialization in collection.

Graduated with a BA in Law and Business Administration from the Interdisciplinary Center and an LLM in Business Administration from the College of Administration.

Hadas, a resident of Jerusalem, joined the ogen group in 2022.

Hadar Vadai
HR Manager

Hadar is an organizational consultant specializing in human capital management, internal organizational communication, development of managers and teams, and leading and implementing organizational changes. Hadar has over 15 years of experience in management, operation and customer service with an emphasis on the third sector in Israel.

Hadar has an MA in business administration and sociology and an MBA in business administration with a specialization in organizational consulting, as well as a certification in group facilitation.

Khaled Hasan
Director of Economic Development in Arab Society

Khaled has held various and varied positions in the financial, economic and social fields, including consulting and accompanying businesses and associations.

 

He held the position of project manager at the Arab Economic Forum, which is a social economic organization whose goal is to develop the economy of the Arab society through research and business networking. He also served as the manager of governmental and official customer relations at the association leading to science and technology.

Khaled also joined the Elrawad project for the extraction of resources and economic development in the Arab local authorities on behalf of the Ministry of Social Equality and the Ministry of the Interior.

Before that, Khaled worked at Mercantile Bank for 23 years in various positions and in his last position he served as deputy branch manager.

Khaled graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and general management from the University of Humberside and a multidisciplinary bachelor’s degree in economics and education from the University Bar Ilan.

History

The Israel Free Loan Association & Prof. Eliezer David Jaffe z”l, 1933-2017

"Life is a loan, and the interest is good deeds."

Ogen, formerly The Israel Free Loan Association - IFLA, began with Professor Eliezer Jaffe’s desire to help the large wave of Russian and Ethiopian Jewish aliyah that began at the end of the 1980′s. Having previously established the Hebrew University’s School of Social Work and co-founded the university’s Center for the Study of Philanthropy, Professor Jaffe’s idea of a free loan fund arose following a 1989 visit to an immigrant absorption center in Jerusalem...