ARDC staff

Mutasim Ali, Executive Director

Mutasim Ali Ahmed is originally from the Darfur region of Sudan, arriving in Israel in 2009. He is a well-known activist for his community and is constantly on the front lines of the refugee debate in Israel. He helped found five community centers and has worked with many NGOs in refugee rights. Since 2010, Mutasim has been involved with ARDC as a community leader, Board member, and then as CEO in 2013 before being sent to the Holot detention center. He filed legal proceedings against his detainment and won his release in July 2015. Shortly after, Mutasim rejoined our team as CEO.

Tamar Dagan, International Relations & Resource Development Manager

Tamar Dagan was born in the US and grew up in Israel and has spent several years working on educational programs in developing countries. Tamar's field experience includes working at the Embassy of Israel in Accra coordinating MASHAV activities in Ghana, leading a team of volunteers working with street children in Ethiopia and volunteering with women's groups in Nepal. After returning to Israel and wishing to learn more about African refugees here, Tamar began volunteering at ARDC as an English teacher which happily led to a position as Resource Development Manager. Tamar Dagan holds a Masters in Gender Studies and a B.A in Sociology and believes strongly that education is the best way to create change.

Naomi Caplan, Operations Manager

Born in Israel and raised in the southern U.S., Naomi is a firm believer in civil and human rights. Her particular interest is in working with individuals who have suffered trauma and forced separation from their support networks, such as foster children and refugees. She previously worked in child welfare and as a NYC public school teacher for at-risk and over-aged high school students. After moving to Israel in Fall 2013, she received her MPH in Emergency & Disaster Management. During this time, she volunteered at the Tel Aviv Refugee Health Clinic, and there she saw and heard the daily struggles of asylum seekers in Israel. It inspired her to find work a few meters away at the ARDC, where she has been Operational Manager since January 2015.

Yikealo Beyene, Community Organizer

Yikealo Beyene, an asylum seeker from Eritrea, arrived in Israel in 2008 after a perilous journey through Sinai. In pursuit of his education, he earned his undergraduate degree in Psychology and his MA degree in Organizational Behavior and Development from the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC), Herzliya. He managed to pursue his education in spite of the continuous threat of deportation and the uncertainty of policies imposed by the government of Israel. Active in the asylum seeker community, he coordinates an after-school program for the children of asylum seekers. At ARDC, he organizes trainings and groups to strengthen self-advocacy within the community.

Anne Sapir, AAA Program Manager

After earning her LLM in Public International Law from Leiden University, Anne moved from Belgium to Israel with the goal and hope of using her legal skills and knowledge to protect human rights and prevent further violation of human rights in Israel. As a grand-child of refugees and survivors of the Holocaust, Anne firmly believes in the necessity for the State of Israel to enforce, implement, respect and promote Public International Law, including Refugee Law.

Emily Primack, PREP Project Manager, AAA Deputy Manager

Emily Primack is a TEFL certified, Education Program Manager at the African Refugee Development Center. Her research and curriculum have been used at the International Rescue Committee-New York Regional Office, One to World-Global Classroom and Learning Enterprises–Panama program. Emily holds a BA in International Affairs from The George Washington University and an MA in International Educational Development from Columbia University. While Los Angeles, California is home for Emily and her extensive shoe collection, she lives a nomadic life abroad working on education programs for refugee communities.

Itamar Skalka, AAA Technical Coordinator

Itamar is doing his national service with the ARDC. He has a background in photography, art and theater. Prior to coming to the ARDC, Itamar worked with Hava ve Adam, an ecological farm near Modi'in, where he learned eco-agriculture, permaculture, mud-building and enjoying nature, humans and simplicity.