Dialog Box

Our people

Project Rozana is a global initiative in Australia, USA, Canada and Israel with an international executive board and boards of directors in each country.

On this page:

International board

Ron Finkel AM


Ron Finkel AM is a well-known Melbourne-based businessman. He is the Managing Director of Momentum Ventures Ltd., one of the first venture capital funds established in Australia. Ron is President of Hadassah Australia, and Founder of Project Rozana. 

Ron is a graduate of law and commerce from Melbourne University.

Since his undergraduate days, Ron has been an activist in Jewish political affairs, spending time in London as President of the World Union of Jewish Students and then several years living and working in Jerusalem before returning to Australia with his family in 1985.

A leading member of the Australian Jewish community, Ron has been President and Chairman of many communal organisations and in 2003 was elected President of Hadassah Australia, the Australian ‘Friends’ of Jerusalem’s Hadassah Hospital. In 2019 Ron launched the Hadassah Australia Medical Research and Collaborations Foundation.

In 2013, Ron established Project Rozana and is proud that it is now active in Australia, Canada, Israel and the US, noting that Project Rozana programs have touched the lives of many thousands of people in Israel and Palestine. In 2018 Ron was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM), in recognition of his community service and achievements.

Jon Allen

Board Member

Former Canadian Ambassador to Spain and Israel. Currently serves as Diplomat in Residence, Fulbright Canada. Fellow, Munk School of Global Affairs.

Born in Winnipeg in 1950, Jon Allen (LL.B., University of Western Ontario, 1976; LL.M., International Law, University of London School of Economics, 1977) joined the then Department of External Affairs in 1981.

In addition to postings abroad in Mexico City (1983-85), New Delhi (1989-92) and Washington (1997-2001), Mr. Allen spent his early career in the Legal Bureau where he represented Canada in disputes under the Canada-US Free Trade Agreement and worked in the areas of human rights, humanitarian and environmental law.

Mr. Allen also held the positions of Director General, North America Bureau (2001-2004), Minister (Political Affairs) at the Embassy of Canada in Washington (2004-2006) and Assistant Deputy Minister, Americas (2010-2012).

From 2006 to 2010, he was Ambassador of Canada to Israel. From 2012 to 2016 he was Ambassador to Spain and Andorra. From December 2012 to July 2014, he was Chargé d’affaires a.i. to the Holy See.

Mr. Allen is currently a Diplomat in Residence at Fulbright Canada and a Fellow at the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto.

He is married to Clara Hirsch. They have two sons, Jake and AJ and a precious grand-daughter, Olive.

Dr Saif Azzawi

Board Member

A British Iraqi consultant plastic reconstructive and aesthetic surgeon. He studied Medicine in Baghdad and later completed his medical studies in Scotland.

Saif completed his training in plastic surgery in London with advanced fellowships in Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide. He is on the GMC specialist register in the UK. and also holds specialist registration in the UAE as a plastic surgeon.

He is the clinical lead for the plastic surgery department in his NHS practice and sits on the skin cancer multidisciplinary team with a specialist interest in complex cancer reconstruction, and facial reanimation. He is a graduate of The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. He serves as a British Army commissioned medical officer and is involved in educating and mentoring medical officers and future surgeons in his NHS and military reserves practice.

Saif has won international awards for his research including the president’s prize at the international Royal Medical Services meeting for his work on facial reanimation surgery. He is a fluent Arabic linguist and a defence cultural advisor on the Middle East. He is involved in defence healthcare engagement and capacity building projects. He has worked on healthcare projects in Jordan, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Oman.

Saif’s interests include the study of the Talmudic origins of Abrahamic religions, intercultural and interfaith dialogue, and building a shared future for citizens in the Middle East.

Kenneth Bob

Board Member

Ken Bob has a long and successful track record of advising entrepreneurs and founders of emerging technology companies on management and strategic development issues. 

Ken volunteers his time at a wide variety of not-for-profit organisations.  

He is a member of the Long Island Children’s Museum board of directors and of the Jewish Agency for Israel’s International Board of Governors.

Most recently, he was Vice President, Strategic Alliances for iPass (NASDAQ/IPAS) which provides remote and mobile workers secure and simple connectivity to their corporate network across wired and wireless providers in over 150 countries. Mr. Bob joined iPass following the September, 2004, acquisition of Safe3w, an international Internet security and anti-fraud company where he served as CEO and President.

Prior to joining Safe3w in 2000, Mr. Bob served as Senior Vice President, Worldwide Business and Industry Development, for Descartes Systems Group (NASDAQ; DSGX), a global e-commerce logistics technology company. He joined Descartes in 1998, after its merger with The Lightstone Group, a leader in the logistics optimisation software market, which he co-founded in 1989 and served as its CEO. For the years prior to co-founding Lightstone Group, Ken lived in Israel.

During that time he held numerous management positions, including work as a business and marketing consultant, and served as CEO of an international adhesives manufacturer. During that period he also held elected office in local town and regional government. Since 2005 Bob has served as president of Ameinu the American progressive Zionist organisation. He serves on the J Street Board of Directors as Treasurer, and is a member of the Forward Association Board of Directors.

Doron Levinson

Board Member

Leading Israeli businessman, composer, consultant and philanthropist, Doron’s distinguished military service in the Israeli Army strengthens his position as a spokesman for peace and reconciliation.

Doron studied law at Tel Aviv University and practised at the law firm of Haim Zadok (former Israeli Minister of Justice). He continued his LL.M studies at the University of Michigan and did his PhD studies at Toronto University.

In 1992, after the death of his father, he returned to Israel and took on himself to manage the Levinson Brothers Engineers Ltd., a family owned business (established by his grandfather in 1930), which has been involving mostly in international trade and international investments. In 2000, he received the I.U.P.A. Award from the President of Israel for his promotion of Israeli music and culture and for his assistance to Israeli artists.

In recent years Doron has dedicated his life to the pursuit of peace in the region. He established the ‘Together as One’ Foundation. It encourages social and cultural cooperation between Arab and Jewish youngsters through the ‘Prayer for Peace’ project in Israel’s Arab and Jewish schools.

He has been actively involved with Project Rozana for a number of years and is Chair of the Project Rozana Israel Board.

Dr Jamal Rifi AM

Board Member

Jamal is a strong advocate of multi-faith initiatives. He was a founding member of Muslim Doctors Against Violence and the Christian Muslim Friendship Society.

Jamal is a General Practitioner and prominent figure in the Lebanese Muslim community in Sydney, Australia. He is recognised for his work to prevent the radicalisation of young people by Islamic State.

In 2010 he was a National Finalist as Australia’s Local Hero for the Australian of the Year. Jamal is known for his efforts in promoting cohesion, courage and unity, winning The Australian newspaper’s Australian of the Year in 2015. He was praised at the time as “a great Australian” by current Prime Minister, Scott Morrison,

Professional staff

Ruth Ramone Rosen

Executive Director

An Australian, with a wide and varied previous career in the education and business sectors in Israel and Australia.

Ruth (Ramone) Rosen joined Project Rozana in early 2018 after many years in the education sector in Australia and in Israel.

During her years living, studying and working in Israel, she taught in high school and lectured in English and Comparative Literature at Tel Aviv University. She also worked as a translator-editor-writer for the Israel Labor Party, a freelance writer and translator and as private tutor to the first Egyptian Ambassador to Israel.

Returning to Australia, Ruth moved into international education management. Her roles encompassed program management, education policy and marketing as well as governance and communications.

Ruth brings to her role at Project Rozana enthusiasm, skills and knowledge at both the strategic and operational levels. She enjoys being part of a team taking the organization forward supporting the mission of building better understanding between Israelis and Palestinians through health, making a difference to individuals and communities in Israel-Palestine and in Australia.

Prior appointments, expertise, qualifications

Ozford Australia, August 2014 to December 2017 – Head of Education Programs
A private education institution for international students offering English language courses, Senior Secondary and Vocational qualifications, and Undergraduate degree programs in a supportive, individualised and innovative learning environment.

Innovation & Business Skills Australia, March 2008 to August 2014 – Manager Corporate Governance & Communications
IBSA is a not-for-profit independent Industry Skills Councils established by the Australian Government to work closely in the Vocational Education & Training sector to develop national qualifications.

Australia Council for Private Education & Training (ACPET), August 2005-March 2008 – Manager International Policy & Marketing
ACPET is the national peak industry association for non-government providers of education and training to domestic and international students across all education sectors, with particular focus on post-secondary education.

Monash University, Monash International, May 1990 to December 2004 – Teacher, Coordinator, Director of Studies, Director Melbourne Access Programs (Monash College and Monash University English Language Centre)
Monash International P/L was a wholly owned Monash University company responsible for the recruitment, teaching and welfare of international students.


  • Strategic planning, analysis, development and implementation
  • Research and writing proposals and reports
  • Staff management, mentoring and leadership
  • Communication, relationship-building, marketing and presentation skills
  • Corporate governance and board compliance and support


  • Bachelor of Arts (Hons) Monash University
  • Master of Arts (Cum Laude) Tel Aviv University
  • Grad Diploma of Education (ESL and History) Tel Aviv University
  • Grad Certificate of Business Management (AIM)

Dr Raid Mansour

Regional Director

Dr Mansour is well-known among the political and bureaucratic elite in Israel and Palestine. It is these relationships which he manages in an efficient and effective way.

Fluent in Arabic, Hebrew and English, Dr Mansour graduated in medicine from the Haifa Technion. Since then he has built a successful career through collaborating with hospitals and government agencies to bring professional social welfare and medical support services to countries in Africa and Eastern Europe as well as Northern Israel. In 2016 he established a business in Cyprus to provide high level Israeli medical and surgical services to patients from Arab countries.

Based in Israel and described as an honest broker and a man of integrity, Dr Mansour played a pivotal role in the transfer of critically needed ventilators and associated equipment sent by Project Rozana to Ramallah at the height of the COVID-19 crisis. He is held in high regard by both the Israeli and Palestinian communities by representing the values that have made Project Rozana a force for good.

Dr Mansour is well-known among the political and bureaucratic elite in Israel and Palestine. It is these relationships which, as Regional Director, he will manage in an efficient and effective way. He will also be working actively to engage with countries in the Middle East region to expand support for Project Rozana’s capacity building programs in the Palestinian Territories.

Ronit Zimmer

Executive Director Israel

Founder and CEO of various international startups with experience across a broad spectrum of non-profit organizations in the peacebuilding, human rights and women’s empowerment space.  

Ronit Zimmer was department director at the Peres Center for Peace for five years, and then founder and CEO of Beyond Israel, a boutique international communications firm for seven years.

Ronit has cooperated with a broad spectrum of non-profit organizations in the peacebuilding, human rights and women’s empowerment space including The Van Leer Jerusalem Institute, the Human Rights Defenders Fund, and many others. She also worked with Keshet Media Group on its INTV conference and the President’s Office on the Israeli Presidential Conference.

She is the founder and CEO of Mailfixer.com and Rephraser.ai, startups in the English writing and communications space.

Dr. Samuel Schidem

Executive Director Germany

A leading educator on minority rights in Germany and his career has focussed on Jewish-Muslim relations, peace education and academic exchanges.  

Samuel Schidem (PhD) was recently appointed as Executive Director in Germany. Samuel brings to the role a great deal of direct relevant experience as a bridge builder and peace maker and, over the next few months, he will be working to establish a Board and Project Rozana Germany.

Samuel is a leading educator on minority rights in Germany and his career has focussed on Jewish-Muslim relations, peace education and academic exchanges. In 2016 Samuel founded a Humanitarian Aid Organisation that was honoured with the Prize of the German Chancellor in 2018. He lectures on educational approaches to remembrance culture in Germany and Israel, religious radicalization, new forms of nationalism as well as racism, Islamophobia and Antisemitism.

The other boards

See the people in our sister organizations round the world.

International advisory council

Professor Sir Edward Byrne AC


Neuroscientist, researcher and Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences, Ed was most recently President and Principal at King’s College, London. He will  join the Global Executive board of Ramsay Health as Group Chief Medical Officer in February 2021.  

In a stellar career, neuroscientist, researcher and Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences, Ed was most recently President and Principal at King’s College, London and Chairman of King’s Health Partners board from 2014 to 2020. He joined the Global Executive board of Ramsay Health as Group Chief Medical Officer in February 2021.

He began his career in Adelaide after graduating with first class honours from the University of Tasmania in 1974. He was made Neurology Registrar at Royal Adelaide Hospital in 1978. He finished his neurology training and completed his doctorate at the Institute of Neurology Queen Square and in 1982 was awarded the Queen Square prize for neurological research. In 1983, he was appointed Director of Neurology at St Vincent’s Hospital and Professor of Clinical Neurology at the University of Melbourne in 1992.

Professor Byrne was a founding director of the Melbourne Neuromuscular Research Unit and the Centre for Neuroscience in 1993. He was also made Professor of Experimental Neurology at the University of Melbourne in 2001. His major research contributions have been in the field of mitochondrial medicine and neuromuscular disorders.

He first came to Monash University as the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine Nursing and Health Sciences, a role he held from 2003 until 2007.

Professor Byrne was then appointed the Vice Provost (Health) at University College London (UCL). He held that position until becoming the eighth University President and Vice-Chancellor at Monash University in 2009.

The University of Melbourne awarded him a Doctor of Science, a higher degree conferred in recognition of a demonstrated record of research excellence. He completed a Masters of Business Administration in 2005.

He has been awarded…

  • UCL, honorary professorship.
  • Warwick University, honorary professorship.
  • Peking University, honorary professorship.
  • University of Adelaide, honorary degree.
  • Warwick University, honorary degree.
  • Western University, honorary degree.
  • University of Sydney, honorary degree.
  • Australian Academy of Science and Technology, fellowship.
  • Australian Academy of Health and Medicine, fellowship.
  • American Academy of Neurology, fellowship.
  • American Neurological Association, fellowship.

He was elected as a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2019.

He was awarded a Knighthood in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in October 2020.

He has wide interests in the arts and has published four books of poetry through Melbourne University Press and has recently co-authored with Charles Clarke, a former senior UK Cabinet Minister, a book, The University Challenge: Changing universities in a changing world.

Recreation: Poetry; fly fishing

Tim Costello AO


Director of Ethical Voice and Exec Director of Micah Australia. Former Chief Advocate of World Vision Australia (2004 – 2016) and leading voice on social justice issues Tim is a globally respected human rights activist and commentator.

Tim Costello is recognised as one of Australia’s leading voices on social justice issues, having spearheaded public debates on gambling, urban poverty, homelessness, reconciliation, and substance abuse. 

Tim is also involved in…

  • The Community Council of Australia. 
  • Alliance for Gambling Reform
  • Senior Fellow for Centre for Public Christianity 

Prior to World Vision, Tim served as a Baptist Minister in St Kilda and at Collins St Baptist Church.

Tim has authored Another Way to Love, Streets of Hope: Finding God in St Kilda, Tips from a Travelling Soul Searcher, Wanna Bet? Winners and Losers in Gambling’s Luck Myth (co-written with Royce Millar), and Hope (2013), Faith (2016) and in 2019 published a memoir called A Lot with a Little.

In 2004, Tim was named Victorian of the Year, made an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in 2005, and named Victorian Australian of the Year in 2006.

Martin Indyk


Martin is best known, as to date, the only foreign-born United States Ambassador to Israel, a role he held from 1995 to 1997, and again from 2000 to 2001. Currently on the Advisory Board for ‘America Abroad Media’.   

He was the first and, to date, the only foreign-born US ambassador to Israel.

Born in London in 1951, Martin grew up in Sydney, Australia. He graduated from the University of Sydney in 1972. In 1973 he spent time volunteering on a kibbutz in Israel during the Yom Kippur War. He returned to Australia and enrolled at the Australian National University where he received a PhD in international relations in 1977.

Martin emigrated to the US in 1982 and began working as a deputy research director for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). From 1985, he served eight years as the founding Executive Director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

He has been an adjunct professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and has also taught at Columbia University, the Moshe Dayan Center at Tel Aviv University, and Macquarie University in Sydney.

Martin has served Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama in various roles. He currently serves on the Advisory Board for the non-profit America Abroad Media.

Mark Sofer

Board Member

Mark Sofer was, until September 2020, a 45-year veteran in the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Completing his posting as Ambassador to Australia in August 2020.  

After receiving his BA in Economics and International Relations from the London School of Economics, Mark took an MA in Political Science at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Following his studies, he performed his military service before joining the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

His distinguished career with the Ministry has seen him posted to Peru, Norway, and New York, before being appointed as Ambassador to Ireland, and later as Ambassador to the Republic of India and, concurrently, Non-Resident Ambassador to the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. His career also spans acting as a Policy Advisor to the then-Foreign Minister of Israel Shimon Peres, and heading a prestigious non-profit foundation, the Jerusalem Foundation.

Before his posting to Australia, Mark served as Deputy Director General of the Foreign Ministry and Head of Asia and Pacific Division.