Dharma teachers

Tovana's Israeli Dharma teachers:


Dr. Stephen Fulder

stephen fulder9

Dr. Stephen Fulder was born in London in 1946 and educated at Oxford and the National Institute of Medical Research, where he was awarded his Ph.D in molecular biology. He was a lecturer at London University.

He is the founder and senior teacher of Tovana (the Israel Insight Society). He has been involved in Vipassana/ Mindfulness meditation and dharma practice since 1975, has spent years in India and has been guided by a variety of teachers from Burma, India and the West. Stephen has been teaching for 20 years, mostly in Israel but also abroad, and he teaches a large number of retreats, courses and classes annually, especially to more advanced practitioners.

He has been involved for many years in peace work in the Middle East and was a founder of the MiddleWay organisation. Stephen used to work in the field of herbs and alternative medicine and he has written 14 books, academic and popular, in this field.

He is married with children and grandchildren, and lives in the ecological Galilee village of Clil which he helped to found.

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Simi Levi


Has practiced vipassana meditation since 1988, including four years as a nun in Thailand. Simi leads seminars and retreats in vipassana meditation in Israel. In her work, she emphasizes bringing awareness to everyday life.

Simi is also the founder and coordinator of "The Language of Listening," a program in the Israeli educational system designed to cultivate the skills required to pay attention and listen for children and adults.


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Yonathan Dominitz

YonathanYonathan practices insight meditation since 1997. Since 2002 he teaches Insight meditation courses and retreats.

Among other activities he also teaches meditation courses and programs for cancer patients in hospitals, as well as meditation courses for executives, artists and creatives, with an emphasis on applying the Dharma to everyday life.

To support himself and his family, he leads courses and seminars on creativity. Yonathan is married and a father of two children.


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Michal Cohen


A Dharma, Vipasana and Mindfulness teacher.
Michal has practiced extended periods of time in solitude, meditation and in-depth study of the early Buddhist texts (Teravadan Suttas) in monasteries and spiritual centers around Asia and Europe since the early 90s. For 6 years Michal served as a manager and a senior Dharma teacher in Mandala Yoga Ashram, in Wales.

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Sandya (Rakefet) Bar-Kama


Has been on a spiritual journey since 1986. Rakefet lived for seven years in the Kripalu Ashram, a yoga and meditation center in the United States, and taught there seminars on meditation and personal development. Over the years, her curiosity and drive for knowledge has led her to explore various Buddhist, Hindu, and Indian methods. Rakefet teaches meditation and the Dharma to individuals, groups and at retreats.



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Eran Harpaz

eranHas been practicing, studying and teaching meditation and Buddhism for the past ten years in Asia, Australia, Europe and Israel, where he lives today with his family in the settlement of Clil in the northern Galile mountains. For the past five years, Eran has also been one of the heads of Tovana.

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Lila Kimhi

lilaHas practiced and taught meditation and Buddhist thought in the vipassana tradition in Tovana and other places in Israel and abroad. Lila spent extended periods in monasteries and meditation centers in the East and the West, where she studied and practiced with different teachers, in various Buddhist and Nondualist Hindu traditions.



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Bat-El Tolnai


bat el

Bat-El has been practicing and studying Dharma, meditation and yoga for the last 14 years. She has spent long periods of practice in Asia,
Europe and Israel, studying with many teachers. She is a certified yoga teacher and a social worker.


Keren Arbel

קרן ארבל תובנה

Keren has practiced Buddhist meditation since 1997 and holds a PhD in Buddhist Studies.

She teaches classes and retreats on mindfulness, insight (vipassana) meditation and Buddhist wisdom in "Tovana" and other places. She is also an adjunct professor in the Department of East Asian Studies at Tel Aviv University, where she teaches Buddhist philosophy and psychology.


Zohar Lavie

Zohar fell inZohar love with meditation in 2000 and has been following after her heart ever since. This journey has taken her from the meditation cushion into exploring further ways of expressing truth and love. She now spends most of her time dreaming up and facilitating retreats that offer service as a spiritual path around the world.
Her practice involves relaxing into life with love.
Zohar is one of the founders of SanghaSeva who offer a "meditation in action" retreats.

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Odelia Weinberg

odelia Odelia Weinberg Peri has been practicing yoga and meditation for over 16 years, including long periods of intensive practice in India.

Since 2002 she has been teaching yoga and meditation on retreats, classes and individually, mainly in India and Israel. Odelia now lives in Givat Yishayahu, teaches at her home- based center, the Sukha Center for Yoga and Meditation and continues her wisdom training by raising three small children.

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International Dharma Teachers


Tovana's International Dharma Teachers:


Christopher Titmuss

ChristopherOne of the most senior Dharma teachers in the West. In the 1970's, Christopher lived as a Buddhist monk in Thailand and India for six years as the student of Ajhan Buddhadasa. Since then, he has taught insight meditation courses across the world. Christopher is the co-founder of the Gaia House in England, the initiator of a training program for Dharma teachers in Europe and Israel, one of the founders of an international advisory organization for the spreading of peace in the Buddhist spirit, and an active participant in peace marches.  

Christopher Titmus will visit Israel as a guest of Tovana in September-October 2016

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Donald Rothberg


Dr. Donald Rothberg is a leading teacher and writer on meditation, the intersection of psychology and spirituality, and socially engaged spiritual practice.

He has taught and practiced Buddhist meditation for over 35 years, and his teaching and trainings have helped to pioneer new ways of connecting inner and outer transformation.

He is a member of the Teacher's Council at Spirit Rock Center and board member for the Buddhist Peace Fellowship. Donald has also served as director of the Socially Engaged Spirituality program at the Saybrook Graduate School in San Francisco. He is the author of The Engaged Spiritual Life: A Buddhist Approach to Transforming Ourselves and the World.

Formerly on the faculties of several Universities in the US, and currently teaches and writes on mindfulness and lovingkindness meditation and the application of these and other practices to transforming the judgmental mind, speech and communication, working with conflict, social service, and social action.

Donald Rothberg will teach in Israel during June 2017



Yanai Postelnik

Yanai Postelnik has practiced and studied insight meditation in Asia and the West and has been teaching worldwide since 1992. He was IMS resident teacher 199596. Originally from New Zealand, he lives in Devon, England and is a member of the Gaia House Teacher Council.





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Charles Genoud

Charles Genoud is a meditation master in both the Dzogchen and Vipassana traditions and is perhaps best know for his "Gesture of Awareness" practice.

a major mind of Buddhism today comes this unique philosophical work, which hearkens back to the classical verse-form, but in a modern voice that speaks directly to the 21st-century reader and practitioner. Gesture of Awareness involves a fascinating


philosophical exploration of time, space, and movement but at the same time is a manual for an embodied 'practice of exploration.' Genoud is very well known to the leading lights of Buddhism today. He and his work are continuingly praised for their invention and importance. Well-versed in French and continental philosophies, as well as Eastern thought, he has produced a work that will be welcomed as a Buddhist book and a noteworthy contribution to the larger philosophical community.


Charles Genoud will visit Israel as a guest of Tovana in October 2016

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Jaya Ashmore

Jaya Ashmore

Jaya Julienne Ashmore has dedicated her life to spiritual awakening—in meditation since 1986 and in teaching since 1999.
Born in the U.S., Jaya studied religion and art at Harvard in the 80s, and and earned diplomas in Permaculture and Jin Shin Jyutsu in 1995 and 1996. Christopher Titmuss authorized Jaya to teach Dharma in 1998, and she founded the nonprofit Open Dharma in 2001 to help people discover practice, and fulfill their ways of lighting up with life.


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Patricia Genoud-Feldman


 Has been practicing Buddhist meditation since 1984 (Vipassana and Dzogchen) first in Asia under the guidance of Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche and Sayadaw Upandita and then in the West.
She has completed her teacher training at the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, MA. USA under the guidance of Joseph Goldstein and other senior teachers.
She has been teaching Vipassana meditation since 1997 in Europe, Israel and the US.
Patricia has also studied and trained in Insight Dialogue and the Relational Dharma with Gregory Kramer as well as in MBSR in Worcester, MA, US.

Patricia Genoud will visit Israel as a guest of Tovana in October 2016


Shaila Catherine


Shaila Catherine is the founder of Bodhi Courses, an online Dhamma classroom (bodhicourses.org), and Insight Meditation South Bay, a Buddhist meditation center in Silicon Valley in California (imsb.org).

She has been practicing meditation since 1980, accumulating more than eight years of silent retreat experience, and has taught internationally since 1996. Shaila studied with masters in India, Thailand, and Nepal, and also with the founders of western meditation centers. She completed a one-year intensive meditation retreat with the focus on concentration and jhāna, and authored Focused and Fearless: A Meditator’s Guide to States of Deep Joy, Calm, and Clarity.

Shaila practiced intensively under the direction of Venerable Pa-Auk Sayadaw for nine years, absorbing a precise and rigorous approach to samādhi and vipassanā that continues to inform her teaching. She authored Wisdom Wide and Deep: A Practical Handbook for Mastering Jhāna and Vipassanā to help make these techniques accessible to western practitioners.

Shaila will visit and teach in Israel at April 2016

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Ajahn Amaro


Born in England in 1956, Ven. Amaro Bhikkhu received his BSc. in Psychology and Physiology from the University of London.אג'אן אמארו Spiritual searching led him to Thailand, where he went to Wat Pah Nanachat, a Forest Tradition monastery established for Western disciples of Thai meditation master Ajahn Chah, who ordained him as a bhikkhu in 1979. He returned to England and joined Ajahn Sumedho at the newly established Chithurst Monastery. He resided for many years at Amaravati Buddhist Monastery, making trips to California every year during the 1990s.


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Akincano M. Weber (Switzerland) joined monastic life in 1985 in the Forest Tradition and has practised in Ajahn Chah's and Ajahn Sumedho's meditation monasteries in Thailand and Europe for 20 years. He has studied Pali and scriptural teachings with the scholar monk Bhikkhu Payutto. Since leaving monastic life in 2005 he lives in Cologne from where he teaches Dhamma and meditation internationally. Akincano is also a trained Core Process psychotherapist, holds a degree in Buddhist psychotherapy and is an UKCP-accredited practitioner.

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Joseph Goldstein

joseph goldsteinJoseph Goldstein has been leading insight and lovingkindness meditation retreats worldwide since 1974. He is a cofounder of the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts, where he is one of the organization's guiding teachers. In 1989, together with several other teachers and students of insight meditation, he helped establish the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies.

Joseph first became interested in Buddhism as a Peace Corps volunteer in Thailand in 1965. Since 1967 he has studied and practiced different forms of Buddhist meditation under eminent teachers from India, Burma and Tibet. He is the author of A Heart Full of Peace, One Dharma: The Emerging Western Buddhism, Insight Meditation: The Practice of Freedom, The Experience of Insight, and co-author of Seeking the Heart of Wisdom and Insight Meditation: A Correspondence Course.



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Radha Nicholson

radha nicholsonRadha Nicholson Radha teaches the liberation of the heart and mind through inquiry and insight. She focuses on finding freedom through the non-dual nature of reality. Her teachings offered with wisdom and compassion express her great love for both the Buddha dharma and Advaita traditions.
She has been acknowledged by both Ajahn Buddhadasa, Thailand's great teacher of emptiness and India's much loved Satang teacher Sri H.W.L. Poonja. Her teachers have included Anagarika Munindra, Vimala Thakar and Christopher Titmus with whom she currently teaches meditation retreats. She has been teaching world wide for the last 12 years.

Radha is a registered psychologist and member of the Australian Psychological Society with a private practice in Bangalow in northern New South Wales. Radha is the mother of four children and also has grandchildren.


Shinzen Young



Shinzen Young became fascinated with Asian culture while a teenager in Los Angeles. Later he enrolled in a Ph.D. program in Buddhist Studies at the University of Wisconsin.

Eventually, he went to Asia and did extensive training in each of the three major Buddhist traditions: Vajrayana, Zen and Vipassana. Upon returning to the United States, his academic interests shifted to the burgeoning dialogue between Eastern meditation and Western science.

Shinzen is known for his innovative "interactive, algorithmic approach" to mindfulness, a system specifically designed for use in pain management, recovery support, and as an adjunct to psychotherapy.



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thanissara Thanissara, a practitioner since 1975, was a Theravada nun for 12 years in the tradition of Ajahn Chah and has taught internationally the last 20 years. She is co-founder and director of Dharmagiri Hermitage and Outreach in South Africa and spends time between there and the US.

She has an MA in Mindfulness Psychotherapy Practice from Karuna Institute and Middx University UK and is currently co-facilitator of the Community Dharma Leader at Spirit Rock.


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 Kittisaro from Tennessee USA, was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford before going to Thailand to ordain with Ajahn Chah in 1976. He was a monk for 15 years and during that time helped found Chithurst Monastery and Devon Vihara in the UK. He also taught extensively during this time and was involved in the training of monks. He disrobed in 1991 and since then has taught internationally in the States, Europe, South Africa, and Israel. He has studied and practised Chan and Pure Land for 20 years informed by the Chinese school of Master Hua. Kittisaro has completed two one year long silent self retreats and is currently writing in between continuing his teaching engagements.


Links: www.dharmagiri.org or www.dharmagiri-outreach.org







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Keith Dowman

keith dowman

Keith Dowman is a Buddhist translator and teacher based in Kathmandu, Nepal, where he has lived as a genyen for 25 years. He has been practicing Tibetan Buddhism for more than thirty years.
His important translations from the Tibetan include Calm and Clear, The Divine Madman, Sky Dancer, Masters of Mahamudra, The Flight of the Garuda and The Sacred Life of Tibet.
He teaches Buddhist workshops and meditation retreats worldwide and has gained a reputation for his direct approach to Tibetan Buddhism free of ritual and cultural trappings and jargon. More recently he has been dedicated to leading Dzogchen retreats.

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Jon Kabat-Zinn

Jon Kabat-ZinnJon Kabat-Zinn, PhD, is internationally known for his work as a scientist, writer, and mindfulness meditation teacher engaged in bringing mindfulness practices, especially mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), into the mainstream of medicine and society. He is professor of medicine emeritus at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, where he was founding executive director of the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society, and founder (in 1979) and former director of its world-renowned Stress Reduction Clinic. Prominently featured in the Bill Moyer's PBS special Healing and the Mind in 1993, the clinic and its research has continually demonstrated that most participants in its programs achieve long-lasting improvements in both physical and psychological symptoms, as well as major positive changes in health attitudes and behaviors. More than 200 medical institutions nationwide and abroad now use the clinic's mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) model to teach mindfulness meditation.

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Stephen Batchelor

Stephen BatchelorStephen Batchelor is a contemporary Buddhist teacher and writer, best known for his secular or agnostic approach to Buddhism. Stephen considers Buddhism to be a constantly evolving culture of awakening rather than a religious system based on immutable dogmas and beliefs. In particular, he regards the doctrines of karma and rebirth to be features of ancient Indian civilisation and not intrinsic to what the Buddha taught. Buddhism has survived for the past 2,500 years because of its capacity to reinvent itself in accord with the needs of the different Asian societies with which it has creatively interacted throughout its history. As Buddhism encounters modernity, it enters a vital new phase of its development. Through his writings, translations and teaching, Stephen engages in a critical exploration of Buddhism's role in the modern world, which has earned him both condemnation as a heretic and praise as a reformer.

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Martine Batchelor

Martine Batchelor

MARTINE BATCHELOR was born in France in 1953. She was ordained as a Buddhist nun in Korea in 1975. She studied Zen Buddhism under the guidance of the late Master Kusan at Songgwang Sa monastery until 1984. Her Zen training also took her to nunneries in Taiwan and Japan. From 1981 she served as Kusan Sunim's interpreter and accompanied him on lecture tours throughout the United States and Europe. She translated his book 'The Way of Korean Zen'. Following Master Kusan's death she returned her nun's vows and left Korea.

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Dharma leaders

List of Tovana's Dharma leaders:


Reni Ovadia


reniReni is a Vipassana and Dzogchen practitioner and brings the fruits of her practice to her 35 years of therapeutic work. She is a supervisor for other therapists, a teacher and a facilitator. She is an active member of Tovana and Engaged Dharma communities and the mother of three sons.


Sarit Zer-Aviv


saritSarit has been on the Dharma path for 14 years and has spent periods of time practicing in Asia. She is a dharma facilitator in Tovana, a certified
Vijnana yoga teacher, and a Biosynthesis body psychotherapist. She also teaches children and guides educational teams in the "Language of Mindfulness" – a program that promotes mindful attention skills in schools.


Ron Alon


ronDuring the last 20 years Ron has been studying and practicing different Meditation traditions in Israel and abroad, including the Buddhist Dharma tradition during the last 15 years. Since 2006 he has been the Managing Director of Tovana.

He has been involved extensively with different fields related to dharma, such as Buddhism and psychotherapy and is a certified psychological counselor.


Inbal Halali-Blas


inbal blassInbal is married and has been practicing meditation in Israel and other countries since 2002. She is happy for the privilege of meeting teachers and friends on the path of practice, learning from them and with them and sharing the fruits of the practice.


Muli Glezer


MULI2013Muli has been practicing and studying the Dharma since 2000. He has practiced with teachers in around the world and Israel. He teaches meditation in Tovana and other places. He is involved in management, social action, and writing. Born in 1969, he is married with two daughters and lives in Tel-Aviv .


Dani Roth


  Dani has been practicing meditation since 1999. He researches consciousness and      the body-mind relationship in meditation practice as well as in his profession as a    clinical psychologist. He was born in 1957, he is married and the father of three        daughters..




Elaya Eyal-Mor



Elaya has been practicing insight meditation for 20 years, and she lives and breathes the Dharma. She teaches and facilitates meditation at Tovana as well as other organizations in Israel and in Europe. Elaya is a professional drama therapist and storyteller. Stories, singing and creative expression are central to her way of teaching.


Tomer Bashan

Tomer Bashan

Meditation, movement and bodywork practitioner since 1996.Practiced meditation in several Buddhist traditions in many places. Stydies the body in depth through Shiazu, physiotherapy, dance and soft martial arts. Studied emotional therapy through dance and movement and Hakomi method. Practices and teaches meditation and movement, qi-gong, and other soft martial arts.


Aviv Tatarsky


avivAviv has bee a practitioner of meditation and Asian movement Arts for the last 20 years. He works as a researcher at the "Ir-Amim" organization and is a long-time activist for solidarity between Israelis and Palestinians.


Ze’ev Ben-Asher

Zeev Ben Asher

Executive coach, board member in public companies, meditation practitioner and facilitator of meditation as well as leadership, listening and mindfulness workshops. Holds an MBA, graduate of east-west psychotheray studies, and senior management course at Harvard University. Previously a senior executive in financial companies. His community work involves taeching meditation for the elderly and ex-prisoners in rehabilitation process.


Moran Cohen

Moran Cohen

Meditation practitioner since 1999. Travelled around the world for years, in search for understanding and acceptance of the nature of things. Practiced for long periods in Buddhist monasteries in Thailand and in the last 6 years runs a small center for meditation workshops and treatments, where she teaches a weekly meditation group. Teaches also meditation for a group of inmates in Jerusalem and works as a bodywork professional therapist.


Juditta Ben-David


Psychotherapist and international lecturer in the field of minfulness-based treatment of trauma, MBSE. Meditator and facilitator of mindfulness, vipassana and compassion practice. Started in 1990 at IMS center in the U.S. with Joseph Goldstein, Sharon Salzberg, Larry Rosenberg and Carol Wilson. Since then studied and practiced extensively with teachers in different centers around the worls, from Theravada and Mahayana traditions. Trained as a community dharma leader by Thanissara and Kitissaro, with the support of Shinzen Young and John Kabat-Zinn. Specialized in treating spiritual crises, and taught about grief and loss from the Buddhist perspective. Old time practitioner in Tovana and a Yoga teacher.

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Ilan Luttenberg


Ilan LuttenbergIlan is a teacher and educator by profession. He came across Buddhism while a Philosophy student and since 1996 has been studying and practicing the Buddhist path with numerous teachers from the Theravada and Mahayana traditions. He is a founding member of "Akoda" and "Middle Way", organizations that bring tools and insights from the Buddhist practice into social action for promoting a culture of non-violence, compassion and peace.

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Assaf Sati El-Bar



Assaf has been practicing for 18 years in the Vipassana and Tibetan traditions. He had practiced extensively in Thailand, India and Nepal. He combines vipassana practice with emphasis on developing and cultivating qualities of heart and practical compassion, expressed through being involved in the world. He teaches Philosophy and Buddhism and also works on a PhD thesis aimed at presenting a contemporary educational approach based on the Buddhist path and the socially engaged Buddhism.



Avigail Graetz


AvigailAvigail has been practicing meditation and the Dharma path since 2004. Completed training as an MBSR (Mindfulness) teacher by Bangor University (UK) and "Muda Center" at IDC (Israel). 

She is a playwriter, and teaches cinema, Jewish texts and meditation in various places. She writes a personal column on the NRG website, about Buddhist practice in daily life.Her first novel, A Rabbi's Daughter, was
published in 2012.


Tagrid Moussa

Practices Buddhist meditation since 2001 in the Tich Nhat Hanh tradition and since 2005 with Tovana. Completed 5 years of Holistic Body-Psychotherapy studies at Reidman College for Complementary Medicine. Teaches mondfulness meditation courses for the Israeli-Arab community.


Nurit Tolnai

Nurit Tulnai1Nurit has been studying and practicing meditations for 17 years. Trained to teach mindfulness MBSR by Bangor University, England and teaches courses. She was trained at “The Work” with Byron Katie and teaches that to groups and individuals. 20 years ago was diagnosed with breast cancer. She had founded and led for 15 years “one out of nine” – a women’s organizations for breast cancer patients.

Efrat Gabai

Efrat has been following and practicing the Dharma path since 2008.

efrat gabbai

 She had practiced for long periods in silence, in Israel and other countries. She teaches courses of meditation, mindfulness (MBSR), and Buddhist wisdom. The essence of the path for has a lot to do with gratitude, developing compassion, and connecting with beauty and simplicity.

Trained in Psychology and Integrative Psychotherapy. Supports individuals and groups through development and healing processes. Supports people with chronic and life threatening illnesses.



Guy Saati


guy saatiPractices Vipassana meditation with Tovana in Israel. Also practiced for long periods of time in India and a monastery in Thailand with different traditions. Manager of Tovana sangha house in Tel-Aviv. Active member of Socially Engaged Dharma in Israel. 


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Yahel Avigur

Yahel Avigur Practices and in love with the Dharma since 2003, both in daily life and in long periods of retreat with different teachers. Inquires and practices different possibilities for liberation of the mind through transforming the view of self and the world. Besides Dharma practice and study – involved in the field of education as a teacher and as a trainer for teachers as well as political activity. Lives in a cooperative community in Rehovot, Israel.


Neta Levi

neta leviPractices and studies Vipassana meditation and the Dharma path since 2005 and finds in them deep wisdom and immense beauty. Interested in bridging personal healing and development with wider healing of our society and the environment.

Certified clinical psychologist, student of Hakomi – experiential body-psychotherapy. Works with people through healing and growth processes. Teaches meditation in for inmates in prison and curious about bringing the Dharma to wider communities.


Shai Drori

shai drori

Has been studying and practicing the Buddha Dhamma for 20 years. In that time he had stayed and practiced in Buddhist monasteries in Thailand, Korea, USA and India


Has been studying and practicing the Buddha Dhamma for 20 years. In that time he had stayed and practiced in Buddhist monasteries in Thailand, Korea, USA and India



תמי ברקאי

מנחת דהרמה

מתרגלת ופעילה בתפקידים שונים בעמותת תובנה מאז 2007. במהלך השנים תרגלתי גם בהודו, וחייתי תקופה ארוכה בבית הסנגהה.  מתנדבת בפרוייקט 'מדיטציה אחד על אחד' עם מתמודדים עם סרטן.

מטפלת ברפואה-סינית ובשיאצו, כותבת, מבקשת ומוצאת בתרגול מקלט מלא יופי, חכמה ועדינותtami barkai