Meet The Staff and Board of directors
Sarah Bassan-Zehavi - Library Manager
Sarah Bassan-Zehavi is an avid reader and Tzfat resident since 1994. "I am honored to have the opportunity to carry on Edyth Geiger's legacy: lending a vast variety of English books free to the public, and maintaining a center for English-speaking immigrants to share and to celebrate our wide-ranging culture."
Nechama Solomon - Assistant Library Manager
After semi-retirement as a clinical nutritionist in northern Israel, I took on the position of assistant manager at the library.
Being a regular user of the library since my arrival in Tzfat in 1982, I feel so blessed to be an integral part of this dynamic community project, especially over the past couple of years.
Miri Newcome - Interim Board Chair
Miri made Aliyah to Tzfat in 2012, befriending Edyth Geiger and a host of others courtesy of the
She has spent countless hours volunteering there applying her experience in library science, strategic planning, project management, and implementation consulting
for corporate learning and development technologies.
Miri resides in a village not far from Tzfat where she keeps bees with her husband Dave, visiting Tzfat almost daily.
Linda Stern - Board Member
Linda is a bilingual translator/secretary/office manager by profession. She immigrated to Tzfat via London and Dublin with her family in 1980 and planned to stay for one or two years so that her husband, Dr. Yitzchak Stern, could do his internship at the city's Ziv hospital. They are both still here...
Having been introduced to Edyth Geiger OBM almost immediately upon arrival in Tzfat, Linda has been involved in different ways with the English Library ever since; initially as a sporadic reader (bringing up five children came before reading...); as the daughter of Anne Curzon OBM who volunteered in Edyth's apartment for more than two decades; as a student of translation whose teacher was Edyth's daughter, Miriam Shlesinger OBM; as a regular volunteer and board member, and finally as Library Chairperson for some 10 years.
She continues to be proactive and highly committed to the future of the beautifully renovated Library.
Allison Ofanansky - Board Member
Allison served as secretary of the Edyth Geiger Memorial English Library from 2009-2022.
She is the author of twelve picture books for children, edits and translates (Hebrew-to-English) academic texts, and volunteers for various organizations that address environmental, social justice, and women’s issues.
In 1996, she made aliyah from the United States, and lives in Kaditah, near Tzfat.
She is married and mother to one (now adult) daughter.
Phyllis Shalem - Board Member
I Immigrated to Israel in 1972. After serving in the IDF, I enrolled at the Hebrew University, graduating in 1978. I have lived in Tzfat since 1980. I have four children and 10 grandchildren.
I currently provide computer services for the Geiger Library.
I worked for the local Livnot U’Lehibanot Jewish studies program for 11 years, and for BMC Software as a technical writer for six years, until my retirement.
Volunteer projects include six years as a volunteer Warden for the American Consulate in Tel Aviv, helping American citizens who require consular services, “Bureaucratic Escort” — assistant for Anglos navigating local bureaucracy, and founder of the Gallivanting Grannies list, a platform for seniors, organizing recreational activities.
Susan Heller - Board Member
Susan is editor-in-chief of Menucha Publishers. She is the author of one novel and five books for children.
Originally from Chicago, she and her husband made aliyah and have lived in Tzfat for over 30 years. Her children enjoyed coming to the children's library and now she brings her grandchildren.
Yehoshua Sivan - Board Member
Yehoshua has lived more than half his life in Safed, along with his wife Hilary, also a library volunteer. After aliyah in 1966, they lived in Rehovot, Netanya, and Petah Tikva, and don't see themselves living anywhere else. Their five daughters were all born in Israel, though only the youngest locally.
Wounded in the Yom Kippur War, he continued to serve in the artillery, doing 11 stints of reserve duty in Lebanon.
For years Yehoshua taught chemistry both in the Rav Tehumi and Amit high schools, as well as training chemistry teachers and giving enrichment programs to teachers and students all over the country. These activities enabled him to interact positively with people from every part of the Israeli population, which he feels is of paramount importance in our present-day society.
Ever since Jews from Ethiopia first arrived here, in 1985, Yehoshua and his family have been involved in their absorption through the Safed Committee for Ethiopian Jews: http://www.committeeforethiopianjewsinsafed.org/ethiopianjewssafednewsletters.html.
Although fluent in Hebrew, "I still read in English for pleasure, and use the library as my main source for biography, history, occasional detective and spy stories." If you want a book recommended, you're welcome to get in touch!
Meir Glazer - Board Member
Meir came to Tzfat in 1977, and married the next year. He and his wife, Chana, have eight children who all used the library while growing up.
When not volunteering as the Library treasurer, Meir is a tour guide/storyteller, a musician, Carlebach-style chazan, and event provider. His activities can be found at his site: http://www.shvilhalev.co.il
Dave Bender - Board Member
I'm a US-born, four-decade immigrant to Israel and lived in Tzfat for eight years, and now reside in a nearby village.
Besides managing and developing the library's website and cross-platform social media presence, I am a professional beekeeper, photographer, and videographer.
I have a three-decade background in news and feature production, editing, and reporting for television, radio, print, and online in Israel and the US.
My personal multimedia site: http://www.davidbrianbender.com
Our honey, and beekeeping site: http://www.neshikha.com