Clinical Staff

Dr. Micha Belzer

Director of The Family Institute

Dr. Micha Belzer completed his Ph.D. and studies of psychotherapy, couple and family therapy in the Hebrew University. He is a certified couples and family therapist and supervisor by The Israeli Association for Couple and Family Therapy. His topic of research is “religious and secular mixed couples”. He is certified as a parenting coordinator by the CPI Institute in America helping separated and divorcing parents to focus on the children. He has over 20 years of therapeutic experience in a variety of therapy institutes and experience in teaching different aspects of therapy. He is the director of The Family Institute and maintains a private practice in Jerusalem.

Deena Mendlowitz, M.S.W.

Clinical Director, Clinical Supervisor

Deena Mendlowitz earned an M.S.W. at Wurzweiler School of Social Work and a graduate degree in Assessment and Counseling at the Institute of Child Study at the University of Toronto. She worked in a wide range of social service agencies prior to making Aliya and completed postgraduate training in Family Therapy at The Family Institute of Neve Yerushalayim. She served on the faculty of the Master’s program in Clinical Sociology at the Center of Foreign Studies. Deena is currently the Clinical Director of The Family Institute and maintains a private practice in the Beit Shemesh area.

Rivkah Menkes, M.S.

Administrative Director, Clinical Supervisor

Rivkah Menkes, M.S. is the Administrative Director of The Family Institute. She is a  graduate who trained at The Family Institute for many years, after earning her Master’s degree in Clinical Sociology from the University of North Texas. Her role at The Family Institute includes the coordination of Professional Development Programs, along with a full range of key administrative functions. She maintains a private practice in Jerusalem as well as works on the Sexual Abuse Unit at The Family Institute.

Fran Ackerman, M.S.W.

Clinical Supervisor

Fran Ackerman, M.S.W., has worked directly with the pioneers of Family Therapy in the United States Drs. Murray Bowen, Salvador Minuchin, and Carl Whittaker. She is a former faculty member at the Ackerman Institute for the Family in New York City, the Philadelphia Child Guidance Clinic, and the School of Social Work at Hebrew University. Her published work focuses on the clinical application of Bowen Family Systems Theory. In addition to being a Clinical Supervisor at The Family Institute, she maintains a private practice in Jerusalem.

Bilha Fruchter, M.S.W.

Sexual Abuse Unit Coordinator

Bilha Fruchter is a social worker (MSW) and a therapist with over 20 years of experience in Israel, Canada, England and the U.S. She works with individuals of all ages who are coping with anxiety, depression and other mental health issues, and to explore and develop coping strategies to deal with various forms of abuse and trauma. For the last 8 years, Bilha has worked for Mercaz Meital, where the focus is working with children who have experienced sexual abuse and their families. She also currently supervises practicing therapists who are in a two year training program at Mercaz Meital, specializing in therapy with children who have experienced sexual abuse. For the last few years, Bilha supervises students studying in the School Of Social Work department at the Hebrew University.  Lastly, Bilha is part of a team of therapists who provide short term therapy for teachers through the national teachers union.   

Bilha combines various therapeutic approaches including psycho-dynamic therapy, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), trauma focused cognitive behavioral therapy (TFCBT), and task-oriented psychotherapy focused on understanding behaviors, choices or struggles that arise. Her methods are strength based, goal-oriented, based on her many years of experience. 

Bilha is centrally located in Katamon, Jerusalem.

Dr. Zev Ganz

Clinical Supervisor, Adolescent Unit Coordinator

Dr. Zev Ganz earned a master’s degree from the Wurzweiler School of Social Work of Yeshiva University and a doctoral degree from Smith College School for Social Work. He completed postgraduate training in Individual and Family therapy at The Family Institute of Neve Yerushalayim with a focus on working with young children and their families as well as the treatment of child sexual abuse. He is a certified practitioner of the attachment- based model Child Parent Psychotherapy (CPP), and has lectured and published widely on the topic of attachment and families. Zev currently serves as Rosh Tzevet of the Lamerchav/Kav L’noar mental health clinic in Ramat Beit Shemesh, is a clinical supervisor at The Family Institute of Neve Yerushalayim, a lecturer at Machon Shiluv, and maintains a private practice in Ramat Beit Shemesh and Jerusalem.

Joan Kristall, M.S.W.

Clinical Supervisor

Joan B. Kristall, M.S.W., earned a Master’s degree in social work at the University of Denver and received a certificate in trauma treatment from the Institute for Advanced Psychotherapy Training and Education in Baltimore, MD. Prior to her aliyah, she was Clinical Coordinator for the Shofar Coalition, a collaborative community program for survivors of childhood trauma. Currently she is a clinical supervisor at The Family Institute and maintains a private practice in Jerusalem and Efrat.

Dr. Stacey Leibowitz-Levy

Clinical Supervisor, Trauma Unit Coordinator

Dr. Stacey Leibowitz-Levy is an experienced psychologist with wide ranging skills and expertise in the areas of trauma, anxiety, stress, and adjustment issues in adults and children. She has extensive experience in the training and supervision of mental health professionals in trauma work. Stacey was a board member of the South African Institute of Traumatic Stress Studies (SAITS) and has run self-care and supervision groups for trauma practitioners working with war veterans, refugees and torture survivors. She participated as an expert panel member in the development of the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation (CSVR) intervention model for torture survivors. She worked as an academic at the University of the Witwatersrand (Johannesburg, South Africa) for twelve years and has publications in in the trauma field. Stacey made Aliyah with her family to Ramat Beit Shemesh.

Miriam Timsit, M.S.W.

Clinical Supervisor

Miriam Timsit earned her M.S.W. from Adelphi University. She is a Clinical Supervisor at both The Family Institute and Machon Shiluv in Jerusalem. She was also a Clinical Supervisor at Hebrew University’s program in Family Therapy. Miriam maintains a private practice in Jerusalem.

Aviva Zahavi Asa, M.S.W., L.C.S.W.

Clinical Supervisor

Aviva Zahavi-Asa, M.S.W., L.C.S.W., received her clinical license in California in 1989 and worked with at-risk children and adolescents for ten years before making Aliya in 1997. She completed post-Masters training at the Family Institute in 2009, and in 2011 completed advanced training in family therapy at the Magid Institute, School of Psychotherapy at the Hebrew University. Since then, she has received recognition as a certified couples and family therapist and supervisor by the Israel Association for Couple and Family Therapy. She is also certified as a social work supervisor by Hebrew University’s School of Social Work. She served for over 12 years as part of the clinical staff at Ma’ane, a therapy clinic under the auspices of Kiddum Noar of the Jerusalem Municipality, where she provided individual therapy to at-risk adolescents; family therapy to teenagers and their families; treatment to parents of at-risk youth; and where she supervised social work students, social workers and family therapists. In addition, she worked at Machon Shiluv in Jerusalem for over nine years providing couples and family therapy to a diverse client population as well as providing supervision to couple and family therapy interns. She has maintained a private practice since 2007 in Jerusalem and Efrat providing individual, couples and family therapy in both Hebrew and English. She joined The Family Institute staff in 2019 as a clinical supervisor.

Esther Marcus, M.S.

Clinical Supervisor

Esther Marcus, M.S. earned her Master’s degree in Clinical Sociology from the University of North Texas, and completed Postgraduate training in Family Therapy at The Family Institute of Neve Yerushalayim. Esther has extensive experience working with families coping with psychiatric mental health challenges as a therapist, and clinical supervisor at “Milam” in Jerusalem.

She is also an Adjunct Professor in the Wurzweiler/Sara Schenirer MSW Program, and maintains a private practice in Jerusalem.

Bracha Coopersmith, M.S.

Clinical Supervisor, Children's Unit Coordinator

Bracha Coopersmith, M.S. earned her Master’s degree in Clinical Sociology from the University of North Texas completed Postgraduate training in Family Therapy at The Family Institute of Neve Yerushalayim where she received extensive, specialized training in psychotherapy with children and their families. In addition to being the Coordinator of the Pinat HaYeled Children’s Unit, she maintains a private practice in Jerusalem.

Ido Schindler, M.S.W.

Ido Schindler

Clinical Supervisor

עידו שינדלר, מרכז תכנית בעברית – במכון משה מנחם של הכשרה בטיפול משפחתי וזוגי של נוה ירושלים. עידו מטפל משפחתי וזוגי מוסמך, מטעם האגודה הישראלית לטיפול משפחתי וזוגי. M.S.W בעבודה סוציאלית קלינית בהצטיינות מטעם האוניברסיטה העברית בירושלים. עידו ניהל מרכז הורים וילדים של עמותת יד רחל מעל 7 שנים בגוש עציון, בהם הדריך צוות המטפלים, וכן טיפל בהורים ומשפחות. עידו טיפל משפחתית 5 שנים במשפחות במגזר החרדי בירושלים במרכז הורים וילדים. עידו בעל תעודת מטפל בפגיעות מיניות בילדים מטעם מכון חרוב, תעודת קורס CPP טיפול הורה ילד- בקשר סביב טראומה, וטיפול דינמי ממוקד שינוי. עידו חבר צוות הטיפולי במכון ראות – לטיפול זוגי, בירושלים. עידו, מטפל ומדריך מטפלים, בקליניקה פרטית בירושלים, ובגוש עציון.

Micki Lavin-Pell, M.S.

Micki Lavin-Pell, M.S.

Clinical Supervisor

Micki earned her Masters Degree in Counselling (2001) from a combined program with Relationships Australia and La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia. She earned her Graduate Diploma in Marriage and Family Therapy from the Alma Family Therapy Institute (2004). She has since completed postgraduate work in EMDR and Somatic Experience therapy and treats individuals with Trauma such as sexual trauma, birthing trauma and developmental and attachment trauma. She has also completed Sue Johnsons Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy Externship at the Ackerman (2016) Institute and has since completed the Core Skills program. In addition to Couples therapy and trauma therapy, Micki’s area of expertise is helping her clients work through attachment traumas that prevent them from creating and sustaining healthy, loving relationships. She is a lecturer in Couples Therapy at the Family Institute of Neve Yerushalayim and also a clinical supervisor trainee. Micki has a Private Practice in Jerusalem and also sees clients over Zoom.


Rachel Pinkasowitz, M.S.W.


Rachel Pinkasowitz, M.S.W.

Clinical Supervisor in Hebrew Program

רחל פנקסוביץ מדריכה בתוכנית לטיפול משפחתי וזוגי ,במכון נווה ירושלים. M.S.W. בעבודה סוציאלית קלינית מטעם האוניברסיטה העברית. רחל מטפלת משפחתית מוסמכת מטעם האגודה לטיפול משפחתי וזוגי. רחל מטפלת טיפול פרטני ומשפחתי ומדריכה מטפלים  בקליניקה  הפרטית שלה בירושלים. רחל עבדה שנים רבות כמטפלת משפחתית במכון שילוב, ביחידת גילוי העריות,  והיא מתמחה בטיפול בפגיעות מיניות. לרחל ניסיון בריכוז והדרכה בתחום חוק הנוער  בעירית ירושלים. כמו כן עבדה כעו”ס לחוק נוער במשך 10 שנים ,בטיפול בילדים ונוער בסיכון ומשפחותיהם במגזר החרדי .רחל לימדה בביה”ס המרכזי להכשרת עובדים לשירותי רווחה. רחל עברה הכשרה בתחומים של: הדרכה בתפיסה דינמית, הנחיית קבוצות טיפוליות, טיפול בפגיעות מיניות ,התערבויות במשפחה במצבי אלימות והכשרה בתחומי הורות וזוגיות.

Silvana Weiner, M.S.W.

Silvana Winer

Clinical Supervisor in Hebrew Program

Silvana Winer earned an MA degree in Psychology at the Hebrew University and is a
certified Couple and Family Psychotherapist.

She conducted pioneering OD Projects in Israel as part of the ‘Organizations and
Communities’ Program’s staff lecturing and leading groups at the Ben-Gurion University Behavioral Department and later as program developer and trainer at the Shahar haNegev Social Services Unit. She coordinated, treated, trained and supervised in the area of Addictions on behalf of the Israeli Authority, the National Addiction Division of the Welfare Ministry and in several Therapeutic Communities and Youth rehabilitation centers.

Currently a therapist and Director of Maagalim Center for Psychotherapy that she
founded in Zur Hadassa where she lives.

Moshe Hoffman

Moshe Hoffman

Clinical Supervisor in Hebrew Program

Clinical Psychologist supervisor – Psychotherapy and Psychodiagnostics. Certified Family Therapist, Certified Family Therapy supervisor. Private clinic and supervisions in public organizations. Supervises, teaches, and treats (individual, couple, and family therapies) with an integrative approach focused on emotion, attachment, and mentalization.


Marcela Finaret, M.S.W.

Supervisor, Lecturer

Marcela Finaret is a clinical social worker (M.S.W) from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She is a certified therapist and supervisor by the Israeli Association for Couple and Family Therapy. She is a certified supervisor for social workers and social work supervisors. She is a certified coordinator and supervisor in parental coordination. Additional training: group therapy, emotionally focused couple and family therapy (EFT), acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT). For 10 years, Marcela was the director and supervisor of the addiction’s unit in northern Jerusalem and the department of social services in southern Jerusalem. She was the director of the Jerusalem municipal center for couple and family therapy for 7 years until 2023. At the center, Marcela developed and led unique programs such as parental coordination, parenting coaching for divorced parents, and working on relationship difficulties between parents and children in high-conflict divorce situations. Marcela provided group and individual supervision to the therapy staff and trainees, including supervisor training. Currently: Marcela provides individual, couple, and family therapy at her private clinic in Har Adar. She supervises and teaches trainees at the Family Institute of Neve Yerushalayim and provides group supervision for trainees at Shiluvim Institute. She provides group and individual supervision to therapists and social workers in various public frameworks such as couple and family therapy centers and the Ministry of Defense. She supervises parental coordination teams nationwide and teaches various courses at the Central School for Training Social Workers.
Dalia Agrest, M.S.W.

Dalia Agrest

Clinical Supervisor in Hebrew Program

דליה אגרסט – הנה מדריכה ומטפלת זוגית ומשפחתית מוסמכת מטעם האגודה לטיפול זוגי ומשפחתי בישראל. בנוסף הנה מטפלת EMDR מוסמכת.  דליה סיימה בהצטיינות תואר ראשון ושני בעבודה סוציאלית – MSW –  באוניברסיטת בר אילן והאוניברסיטה העברית. היא מומחית בתחום שיקום ובריאות הנפש. ניהלה במשך 7 שנים את עמותת אנוש בבית שמש, וכן הקימה את מרכז הייעוץ למשפחות מתמודדות בבית שמש, אותו ניהלה במשך 5 שנים, טיפלה במרכז והדריכה את הצוות. החל מ 2013 עובדת בעיקר בקליניקה פרטית, מטפלת בזוגות ובמשפחות. כמו כן טיפולים פרטניים סביב נושאים של טראומה, חרדה ודיכאון. בנוסף, דליה מדריכה מטפלים ומרצה במסגרות שונות בתחום פסיכופתולוגיה, התמודדות משפחה עם מחלת נפש, שיקום, החלמה ועוד.


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