CEO, HaShomer HaChadash
Travels from Israel
Topics:Middle Eastern and Foreign Affairs, Academic Perspectives on Israel and Jewish History, JNF's Work in Israel, Positively Israel
Download a prepared introduction for Yoel Zilberman
Yoel Zilberman, 30, was born on Moshav Tzippori in the Lower Galilee. He is a third generation Israeli rancher. From a young age, he was taught the values of love of land and country.
Yoel graduated from the Hadassah-WIZO Canada Nahalal agricultural high school. He was an active member and counselor of the B'nei Moshavim Youth Movement, where his talent for leadership began to take root.
Before his Army service, Yoel volunteered at an 18-month pre-army Ma'ayan Baruch and Ein Prat Mechina. It was here that he became deeply involved in Zionist and textual study, and in social activism.
During his army service, Yoel served and was an officer, in the Navy's most elite commando unit (Shayetet 13). He saw active duty in both the Second Lebanon and Gaza Wars. In 2007, while he was in an officer's training course, his father sat the family down and told them that he could not hold the family's sprawling ranch in the face of thieves and marauders. He was on the verge of bankruptcy.
Yoel moved into action. He took leave from the army and set up an outpost on his father's property to guard the land. His friends joined him to patrol at night. Other farmers and ranchers asked Yoel if he could also patrol their land. In April 2008, HaShomer HaChadash - was established, and in February 2009, Yoel was discharged from the army. Nowadays, Yoel runs the organization with co-founder On Shifman from the Negev and they are dedicated to creating a more just, caring and mutually responsible society. The Organization has grown to a $8M entity, covering over 150,000 acres of land, at 48 locations, with over 15,000 annual volunteers.
Yoel is completing his studies for his BA majoring in Islamic and Middle Eastern topics at the Open University. At the same time, he teaches social entrepreneurship at the Ein Prat Leadership Academy in Kfar Adumim. Yoel, lectures at many schools, Army units and is a regular T.V advocate for the importance of the Land and enhancing Zionism within the Younger Generation.
Yoel is one of 19 outstanding young social leaders chosen by President Shimon Peres to form a social entrepreneurship "think tank", which brings together young people from all walks of life.
Yoel lives in Zur Hadassah (near Jerusalem) and is married to Tal, who is currently in completing medical school, together with their two young children. Yoel enjoys horse-riding, kung-fu training, hiking, running, basketball and is a fan of the NBA.
Israel and the Connection to the Land
Supporting Farmers in Israel
The Roots of Zionism