Beer Sheva Yeshiva Staff & Faculty

Dr. Shimon Vaknin

Director of the Beer Sheva Secular Yeshiva

Learn and teach, demand and do."

Dr. Shimon Vaknin is a renown Israeli Bible scholar and educator. Shimon was born and raised in a traditional Jewish Moroccan family in Beer Sheva. After attending yeshiva high school, Shimon served as an officer in the IDF Nahal Brigade. Shimon received a B.A. in Jewish Thought and Ph.D. in Bible and Ancient Near Eastern Studies, with a focus on the judicial system of Ancient Israel. Shimon has taught bible for over ten years - in Israeli secular public schools, Ben Gurion University, Achva College and Kaye College and now the BINA Secular Yeshiva. Shimon also participated in a special multi-year national project researching ancient prayer, under the auspices of Professor Uri Ehrlich. Today Dr. Vaknin heads the BINA Secular Yeshiva in Beer Sheva, teaches at Kaye College, serves as current chair of the Negev Forum for Jewish Pluralism, and is active in numerous religious, secular and pluralistic communities in Beer Sheva. He lives in Beer Sheva with his wife and two children.

Sarah Fassberg-Galili

Director of the 'Negba' Beit Midrash in Beer Sheva

I joined BINA because I believe in the importance of opening the Beit Midrash doors to everyone who is part of the Jewish People."

Born in Jerusalem, Sarah has a BA in Geography and Philosophy of Israel as well as a teaching certificate. She is a graduate student studying social work. Sarah co-founded the ‘Negba’ Beit Midrash, in Beer Sheva and is a member of the management team. Sarah is married to Tom and they are building a home together in Yeruham.

Yehuda Golan

'Negba' Beit Midrash Faculty

What matters to me is continuous learning - for the sake of learning - in a diverse group of people."

Yehuda Golan is a tour guide and a social worker. He's been searching for his path in life and has been asking questions of identity since his adolescence. He navigates the line between religiosity and secularism, between tradition and innovation, between East and West. Yehuda lives in Beer Sheva.

Leah Shakdiel


Leah Shakdiel is a semi-retired grandmother, a Jerusalem Sabra and a resident of Yeruhum since 1978. She’s an educator and social activist, a religious Jewish Zionist who believes that ‘everything is political - the texts, studying, teaching - so let's take responsibility for it’.