Our Staff

Afikim Centers are located in Jerusalem, Lod, Kiryat Malachi, Kiryat Shmona and Netanya. Our head offices are located in Jerusalem.


Moshe Lefkowitz
CEO and Founder of Afikim

Moshe Yosef Lefkowitz was born in Tzfat in 1967 and educated in the independent education system in Bnei Brak. After years of working as an educator in the Haredi school system, Moshe became involved in social service programs for Israel’s poor and directed a network of soup kitchens and welfare programs.

Soon, Moshe came to the realization that impoverished families need more than just handouts in order to escape poverty. With that in mind, Moshe moved on to establish the Afikim Family Enrichment Association, which provides disadvantaged children and their parents with powerful tools to become productive, independent, and successful individuals. Now, in its Bar Mitzvah (13) year under Moshe’s leadership, Afikim provides vital holistic resources to hundreds of families across the country.

Elizabeth Garreault
Coordinator of Donor Relations: Europe

Elizabeth is originally from France where she served as a lecturer in the University of Lyon. Upon making Aliya in 1993 she was distraught by the amount of poverty and underserved populations and chose to dedicate herself to working in the non-profit sector. Elizabeth joined the Afikim team from day 1 in 2007 and has headed the Afikim European desk ever since. She is also responsible for all French language Afikim publications. Elizabeth has raised three children in Israel and in her spare time is a tai-chi and karate master.

Miriam Grotsky
Director of Donor Relations

Miriam Grotsky is originally from Brooklyn, NY, and made aliya upon completing high school. She graduated from Bar Ilan University with a degree in English Literature and Linguistics. For over 30 years, Miriam has worked with Jewish/Zionist organizations in the field of informal education and community service, and for the last 13 years she has been the coordinator of donor relations and projects for Afikim. Miriam lives in Modiin with her husband and three children.

Regional Directors:

Anna Pokidov
Afikim Educational Director: Lod

Anna is a resident of the Ganei Aviv neighborhood of Lod, where she serves as the absorption coordinator for the municipality. She spends a vast part of her time working with families on a personal level, and for the last 6 years she has run the Lod branch of Afikim, which helps children in primary school and junior high.

Hila Hasid
Afikim Educational Director: Jerusalem

Hila Hasid has been the Educational Director of Afikim’s Jerusalem branches for 5 years, and prior to that she was a coordinator for an Afikim center in Jerusalem for 4 years. Hila has a Bachelor’s degree from Bar Ilan University and an academic certificate in Special Education from Efrata College. She lives in Jerusalem with her husband and two children.

Ohad Asraf
Afikim Educational Director: Kiryat Malachi

Ohad Asraf   has headed the center since its establishment 11 years ago. Born in Kiryat Malachi, and a graduate of Wingate University with certification in Mediation and Informal Education. Ohad is intimately familiar with and understands the needs of the local population as well as the intricate workings of the municipality, Afikim’s partner. Ohad is the deputy principal of the Amit Junior High and High School where the Afikim center is located.
Ohad is an outstanding award-winning educator. Ohad has introduced into the Afikim program a volunteer element where, on a weekly basis, the children are involved in giving back to the community. Hundreds of Afikim students have benefited from Ohad’s guiding hand and have successfully matriculated, served in the IDF and become productive members of society.

Rachel Cohen
Afikim Educational Director: Jerusalem Learning Centers

A native Jerusalemite, Rachel Cohen is a mother of four children and a grandmother of five lovely granddaughters. She has a degree in Education from David Yellin College, a certificate for at-risk youth and has completed courses in social/community mediation. 

She taught for many years in the East Talpiot school and in the Karev program. Prior to that, Rachel directed learning centers together with a team of Jewish and Arab teachers in the Shahaf program of Israel’s community centers. Rachel believes strongly in integrating youth into their local community educational frameworks. Since 2018, Rachel has led the Afikim learning center in Jerusalem.

Roni-li Smith
Afikim Educational Director: Kiryat Shmona

Roni-li Smith has over 10 years experience guiding children and youth in informal settings. She currently lives with her future husband in Kiryat Shmona and is a student in the Department of Social Work at Tel Hai College. She enjoys the lifestyle of the northern community and feels that working for Afikim and with the children are significant to her personal development as well as the larger community and society.

We need your help!

Love, joy & happiness – these are the gifts the children receive at the Afikim center. Not to mention – attention, kindness, a comforting atmosphere, academic help and, of course, a warm meal.