Yael Yechieli, originally from Jerusalem, now lives in Berkeley, works at the Palo Alto JCC as a group facilitator and community builder. She is a member of the Zion Conservative congregation in Jerusalem, Israel. Yael is former Director of the Department of Democracy and Freedom of Religion in the New Israel Fund/Shatil. Yael holds a BA in Philosophy and Sociology from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and MA in Jewish Studies from the Schechter Institute. For many years she facilitated Israeli-Palestinian dialogue groups and worked with Israeli youth groups in pre-army leadership programs and informal educational programs. For twenty years she has been part of the Israeli “Jewish Renaissance”, teaching Talmud and Jewish thought. She is one of the founders of “Havaya” an organization for the facilitation of alternative Jewish life cycle ceremonies.