Meet our board

Mola Michael Gosha

Chairman of the Board

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Mola has long been a leader of the asylum-seeker community and Originally from Ethiopia, he has lived in Israel for over 25 years. Mola served as chairperson for the Ethiopian Community in Israel organisation for eight years, advocating for the Ethiopian community and promoting relationships between Ethiopians and social and religious groups in Israel. He was also a leader in the opposition of the Ethiopian political regime for over 20 years.

Mola is also a motivated student and he has studied many subjects such as business administration and environmental studies. He worked for our organization between the years 2014-2015 as a paid translator, volunteered with us and joined the board in 2016. He has always been our valuable member. Mola wanted to join the ARDC to continue contributing as much as he can to the organisation and the African asylum-seeker community.

Osman Keday

Board Member

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Keday is from Darfur, Sudan, and a leader of the asylum-seeker community in Israel. He now serves as a board member after serving as Chairman. He was summoned to the Holot Detention Facility while serving as the Chairman of our organization. He is an active artist, poet, and author. After geographic restrictions enforced by the Ministry of the Interior, Keday now resides in Haifa. He was accepted for a Bachelor’s degree in 2019 to study Communications at the IDC University in Herzliya. He feels that communication is important in times like these and is essential to creating global empathy across borders. He hopes one day to work in media as a journalist or a broadcaster showing people what is happening all around the world.

Kona Viabata

Board Member

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President of the asylum-seekers from Liberia. Kona Joined the board in 2015.

Rutman Zahar Kayleh

Audit Committee Member


Kayla is a human rights practitioner, working for the past ten years on gender related human rights abuses in both the US and Israel-Palestine within the context of human trafficking and migration. She has worked with the Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinic on gender-based asylum claims; worked with the Center for Gender and Refugee Studies in San Francisco, where she contributed legal briefs on asylum seeker domestic violence cases at the border; In Israel, while working for HIAS-Israel she worked to start the first Pro-Bono Legal Aid Program in Israel for refugees; wrote the national manual on how to represent asylum seekers in Israeli detention proceedings and wrote Amicus Curiae briefs for the Supreme Court in Israel on access to rights for women refugees. Kayla co-founded the Coalition for Refugee Women & Children in Israel, and volunteered at the ARDC sporadically since 2010 on different projects. She is currently finishing her LL.M in International Comparative Law at Ohio State University.

Ian Jaffe

Board Member

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Ian Jaffe was born (1964) in South Africa and then lived for a decade in the UK before immigrating to Israel (1986) where he has spent all his adult life.

Married with 4 children, Ian lives and works as a lawyer in Raanana. Specializing in Employment Law, Ian was a senior lawyer for nine years in The Democratic Workers’ Trade Union - Koach La'Ovdim. Whilst working in Employment Law he has generally represented foreign workers since 2000 as an external lawyer to the Workers Hotline Organization, Kav Le Oved. Ian has a private law office in Raanana.

He holds a BA in History and Political Science, and LLB and an MA in Refugee Protection and Forced Migration Studies. He is now studying for his PHD in Holocaust and Genocide studies. Ian joined the ARDC as a board member In 2015. Amongst other things Ian is a keen sportsman, politically active and an avid reader.

Solomon Gebreyohans

Board Member


Gebreyohans is an asylum seeker from Eritrea. In addition to being our board member, he serves as the community mediator and as an interpreter at Assaf aid organization. Gebreyohans worked as a photographer and video editor within the asylum seeker community in Israel. He is currently studying for his GED diploma, looking forward to studying communication.

Merghani Ali 

Board Member

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Merghani is an asylum-seeker from Kaboum in Darfur, Sudan. He arrived in Israel in 2012 and currently resides in Tel Aviv. A leader and a community activist, Merghani is passionate about helping the of Sudanese asylum-seeker community in Israel. He works to help people attain education and find resources such as the ARDC and other organizations to protect and inform them of their rights.

Merghani holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Sudan. He is a motivated student who is very interested in studying coding and has taken several computer science courses. He has been connected with the ARDC for a very long time and has participated in many ARDC courses. Merghani understands the importance of the ARDC to the asylum-seeker community and was excited to be asked to join the board to continue to give back to his community.

Mutasim Ali

Audit Committee Member


Mutasim holds a Bachelor’s degree in law, a prominent leader of the asylum-seeker community from Darfur, Sudan. Ali served as the CEO of ARDC from 2013-2015. He was summoned to the Holot Detention Facility during his tenure as CEO. Ali is one of the recognized spokespersons for the asylum-seeker community and joined the audit board in 2017.

Meet our staff

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Ori Lahat


Ori grew up in The Ivory Coast, moving to Israel when he was 9 years old. He lived in Herzliya, and attended Tel Aviv University, receiving his Masters degree in Business Administration. Before working at the ARDC, he worked in the private sector running his own start up. In 2014, he became finance manager at the ARDC––a part time gig. Eventually, he took on a greater role and became Deputy CEO in 2015. He has served as CEO since 2016. Ori’s mission is to keep the ARDC directly involved within the asylum-seeker community. The ARDC’s role has always been to respond to the needs of the community whether it be assisting with shelter, childcare, or helping with RSD’s. This has been a challenge since previous CEO’s have been sent to Holot amid other political and financial challenges. He is passionate about community empowerment and creating an atmosphere in which asylum-seekers can move up the ladder and support themselves without relying on welfare. 

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Sumia Omar

Community Activity Manager

Sumia is an asylum-seeker from Darfur, Sudan. Since arriving in Israel in 2011, she has become a leader of the leaders of the Sudanese asylum-seeker community. She holds a degree in microbiology and worked with Doctors Without Borders in Darfur. Sumia has led many demonstrations in collaboration with NGOs and was a spokesperson in the Women’s March against the deportation which was organized in March 2018 in Southern Tel Aviv. She wanted to join the ARDC continue helping her community

and started working with the ARDC in 2012 as a translator from Arabic to English. She began her community outreach position in 2018- traveling to different cities to help inform and educate community members. Sumia also works in the reception and is involved in a women’s and children program within the Sudanese community.

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Teclit Beyene

Community Activist

A community leader in the Eritrean asylum-seeker community. Teclit and number of other activists established in previous years to establish a group which acted to empower Eritrean asylum-seekers in Israel and inform them of their rights. He joined the organization in 2018 as a community activist. Teclit is an important contact between the asylum-seeker community and the Israeli public.


Guli Dolev-Hashiloni

Media Manager

Guli is our Education Assistant at ARDC. Guli started volunteering with the community at the age of 13, when he coordinated a tutoring program where gifted high school students taught asylum seeker children Hebrew. Since than, he became an activist in various movements. Guli was born in Tel-Aviv, but spent periods of his childhood in Germany and in England. He is a graduate of the gifted class of Ironi D, and before he joined the ARDC in 2018 he was a journalist at Galei Tzahal, where he produced and edited programs about Africa. He recently finished his BA in political science and international relations.


Allison Sheehan

Impact Assessment Manager

Allison Sheehan originally hails from Columbia, South Carolina in the United States, and has lived in Israel for 7 years. Allison obtained her Bachelor’s degree from Wofford College where she studied Literature, with a focus on Literature from Genocide. She completed her Masters in International Community Development at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and has experience working in Education and Economic Development in Israel, Palestine, Kenya, Nigeria, and Vietnam. Currently, she is the Impacts Manager at ARDC, and enjoys seeing ARDC grow and evolve to offer exciting educational opportunities for the community.


Leah Hecht

Project Manager of Education and Professional Training 

Leah is our Director of Operations and Strategy. Leah leads ARDC's Education & Economic Inclusion program, which is aimed at enabling Israel's asylum seeker and refugee community to access education and employment opportunities, and increase social and economic mobility. Leah joined ARDC, at first as a volunteer,  because she is passionate about working closely with communities and advocating for the rights of asylum seekers, and has seen first hand the power of education to change a person's life. Leah holds a BA Laws/ BA Arts from UNSW in Sydney Australia, and has 5+ years experience working as a corporate and civil rights lawyer, and facilitating legal education trainings for remote communities. 

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Andi Gergely

Coding Program Manager

Andi is the Coding Program Manager at ARDC since 2019.  Previously she served as Coordinator of Private Sector Partnerships at the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies, was a consultant at Deloitte Israel for Impact Investment and Development Finance, and Community Manager at the Pears Program for Global Innovation. Andi was President of the World Union of the Jewish Students and European Union of Jewish Students in Brussels. Andi is passionate about community development, refugee rights, environmental challenges and loves Eritrean food. She is excited to create opportunities for the asylum seekers to access opportunities in the Israeli high-tech sector and help transform their lives by contributing to their social and economic development. 
She grew up in Hungary and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Intercultural Business Administration from Vienna, Austria.




Community Development Coordinator

Kasanesh is an Ethiopian asylum seeker who arrived to Israel as an unaccompanied minor in 2008. Since then, she has completed Israeli high school and beame the first asylum seeker who graduated from Bezalel Art Academy, with a BA in Fashion. Her dream is to become a fashion designer, and to start her own fashion brand and label. Kasanesh is passionate about the importance of education and working with the African community, and serves as an important link between different aspects of the community.

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Talia Balkin

Resource Development Manager

Talia has a Bachelor’s Degree in English Language from The University of Leeds and a Master’s Degree in Social Work, Crisis and Trauma from Tel Aviv University. During her Master’s Degree, she participated in a program on Community Development & Social Innovation at Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda. She also has experience working in Education and Economic Development in Iringa, Tanzania. Talia joined The ARDC after volunteering for 1 year and a half at The Schoolhouse organisation. She decided to pursue a role in Resource Development since it would enable her to combine her love of writing with her passion and commitment to supporting and assisting refugees and asylum-seekers both locally and globally. As Resource Development Manager, Talia is the first point of contact between The ARDC and our donors, such as The UNHCR. She spends most of her time writing grant proposals as well as strengthening and expanding our partnerships. She is also a keen volunteer who provides one-to-one GED assistance, as a part of our Tutoring Program.