Lab Members

KaseyKasey Barr

Kasey is a PhD candidate in the Political Science department of the Hebrew University. Her broad area of interest is in Conflict Studies with a particular focus on the role of religious leaders in framing conflict and negotiations over sacred spaces.

Kasey completed her MA in Government at the Lauder School of Government, Diplomacy and Strategy at IDC Herzliya.  Her thesis dealt with the issue of global religious persecution and the influence of ideational factors on the religious economies model of persecution. She completed her BA in Government at Campbell University. She currently works at IDC Herzliya as a teaching assistant and works on the editorial staff of the journal of Political Psychology.

OriOri Barzel

Ori is a PhD candidate in the Political Science department at the Hebrew University, focusing on the effect of moral and conventional images on decision making.

Ori completed his undergraduate and graduate degrees in the Lauder School of Government, Diplomacy and Strategy, IDC Herzliya. His MA thesis focused on using a Decision Board aided simulation as a tool for national security and foreign policy planning and making.

Ori’s fields of interest are political psychology, decision making, strategy, and the Middle East.

Haggai Elkayam

Haggai Elkayam

Haggai is a PhD candidate in the Political Science department at the Hebrew University, focusing on political image of candidates and parties. Haggai finished his M.A. in social psychology in the Hebrew University in 2012, where he researched organizational psychology.

Haggai is a political operative in local and national politics, and is a board member in “Hitorerut Yerushalaim” (“Awakening in Jerusalem”), a Jerusalem based municipal party, and in the Israeli Roleplaying Society, where he is in charge of a national initiative to use games for education.

Haggai is the recipient of the 2014 Glick Award for work on Israeli democracy, the 2016 and 2017 Levi Eshkol grants, and the 2016 Eilat award.

ShaniShani Fachter

Shani is a PhD candidate in the Political Science department at the Hebrew University, focusing on the effect of moral and exposure to violence on political activism.

Shani completed her undergraduate degree in the University of Haifa and her graduate degree in the department of political science in Tel-Aviv University. Her M.A thesis focused on the separation between threat perceptions, national and personal, as a stimulator for political participation during intractable conflicts.

Shani’s research interests are the influence of morality on political behavior, ideology and political participation, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Shani is the recipient of the 2016 Davis Grant.

Hai Miara

Hai is an M.A student at the Federman school of Public Policy. He holds an LL.B and B.A in law and economics from the Hebrew university.

Hai is currently a teaching assistant for Prof. Momi Dahan in the course economics and public policy, and is an intern in the the prime minister’s office for policy planning. He is a member in the Israeli Bar Association since May 2011.

Hai’s research focuses on the regulation of religion. His academic fields of interest are public policy analysis, religion and state and how the connection between them affects individuals and public finance.

photo_winterJonathan Winter

Jonathan is an MA student at the department of Political Science in the Hebrew University, from which he holds a BA in Political Science and Interdisciplinary Studies. His main interest is Political Psychology and his research focuses on political rhetoric and its effects on political behavior. Jonathan has received the Annenberg foundation scholarship for American Studies as well as a scholarship from the German-Israeli Foundation for Scientific Research and Development.


GiladGilad Be’ery

Gilad is a graduate student in The Federmann School of Public Policy and Governance at Hebrew University. He completed his BA in the PPE (Philosophy, Political science and Economics) program at the same institution. Gilad also has extensive experience in advanced Jewish studies. He is currently working as a research assistant at the Israeli Democracy Institute.

Gilad likes combinations – humanities and the social sciences, traditional jewish learning and academic research, theoretical and applied knowledge. One example of such combination is Gilad’s MA thesis research. In this project Gilad is working to trace the mechanism(s) that build the empirical relationship between religion and attitudes toward the welfare state and redistributive measures. For that he employs experimental priming methods, building on intimate familiarity with religious language.

Michael FreedmanMichael Freedman

Michael is a PhD candidate in political science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His primary research examines the political behavior and influence of religious leaders in Israel, using automated text analysis of religious sermons, survey experiments, as well as in-depth fieldwork and interviews. His work has been supported by the MIT Center for International Studies, the Association for the Study of the Middle East and Africa, and the Israel Institute.

Michael received his B.A. in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics (PPE) at Hebrew University, and an M.A. in political science at Hebrew University.

Michael is the lab’s first alumni! You can contact him at

NaamaNaama Shoham

Naama is a graduate student in the Federmann School of Public Policy and Governance at the Hebrew University. She completed her Bacehlor’s degree in Occupational Therapy (BOT) at the Hebrew University with honors.

Naama is focused on municipal activity, working in a consulting company helping Israeli localities building work plans, and volunteering in management positions at the Jerusalem-based municipal party, “Hitorerut Yerushalaim” (“Awakening in Jerusalem”).

Naama’s fields of interest are the influence of corruption on citizens and public officials in the municipal fields, and on the connections between religiosity and corruption.