Who We Are
Lada’at – Choose Well is the leading organization in Jerusalem promoting healthy sexuality and sexual and reproductive health, working to ensure that all individuals have full access to information and are supported in making the right choices for themselves. Through educational programming, counseling, support during times of crisis, outreach, advocacy and accessible information, Lada’at is able to provide essential knowledge and facilitate positive discourse on healthy sexual behavior and sexual and reproductive health in Israel, with a particular focus on Jerusalem and its environs.
We at Lada’at focus on four principles of healthy sexuality:
- Freedom of choice regarding relationships and sexuality without societal/cultural pressure
- Full access to accurate and reliable information regarding sexual and reproductive health, including contraception and sexually transmitted diseases
- Freedom of expression in respect to sexual and relationship choices without fear of intimidation, humiliation or violation of personal safety
- Consent as a foundation for conscious and healthy sexual behavior based on mutual respect
Lada’at’s activities are organized around a model of concentric circles – the individual (counseling), the group (educational programming), the community (building community and outreach), the general public (access to information) and the system (advocacy for policy change and raising public awareness) – wherein changes that occur in each circle influence the others. Through our work, each year we help hundreds of thousands of teens and adults develop healthy sexual behavior, protect their sexual health and make informed decisions.
- Education is the first step in raising awareness to the importance of the principles of healthy sexuality and safeguarding one’s sexual and reproductive health. We facilitate a range of workshops, providing reliable information and facilitating open discussion with teens, education professionals and parents in schools and other educational frameworks, including schools for youth-at-risk. Through our programming, we reach some 6,500 teens each year, as well as approximately 300 education professionals and parents.
- Our counseling center in Hebrew and Arabic offers discreet one-on-one counseling, in-person or via phone or chat, on subjects such as contraception, unplanned pregnancy and STIs. Our hotline responds to urgent questions in the event of emergency and our mobile counseling unit reaches those in need of extra help in accessing our services in places such as the women’s shelter, the community center serving asylum seekers and meeting places for at-risk youth. Each year we help some 1,300 people, free of charge.
- Providing wide-reaching access to information in Hebrew and Arabic to the general public: Our Instagram, Facebook and Tiktok presence in Hebrew and Arabic engages thousands of users per month via appealingly designed and relevant content. In addition, our website in Hebrew and Arabic draws some 300,000 users per year with the most comprehensive information in the country – and the only local source in Arabic.
- Our community outreach department offers lectures and workshops to a wide variety of groups not served by our educational programming, such as parents of young children, gap-year participants, university students and healthcare workers, and to train a group of young activists to serve as ambassadors for healthy sexuality.
- We advocate for policy change in collaboration with other organizations, contributing our knowledge from the field in Knesset committee panels and work with decision makers, and use media as a tool for social change. We promote human rights such as access to contraception and abortions, laws such as subsidizing abortion procedures (2014) and abolishing mandatory pre-procedure committee approval (pending), and the improvement of women’s health services in East Jerusalem.
Dina Shalev, Executive Director and Head of Advocacy
Dina holds a BA in psychology from Ben Gurion University and a MSW from Hebrew University. Dina worked as the crisis intervention manager at the Crisis Center for Children in Be’er Sheva and completed a course in couples’ counseling and support at the Yahel Center for the promotion of healthy sexuality in the religious community. She joined Lada’at as a volunteer in 2013 and served as counseling center coordinator from 2014–2018. Dina was appointed to the position of executive director in 2018.
Noa Marchini, Head of the Education Department
Noa is a graduate of the Nissan Native Acting Studio, holds a BA in sociology and communication from Hebrew University, and is certified in group facilitation. Her professional experience includes organizational development, leading organizational processes and facilitating group experiences. Noa joined Lada’at in 2018 as an educational workshop facilitator and was promoted to head the education department in 2021.
Choresh El Ami, Head of the Counseling Center
Choresh holds a BA in philosophy, Jewish thought and the humanities from Shalem College, and is currently studying public policy in graduate school at Tel Aviv University. Choresh has extensive professional experience in promoting social causes, working with young people, especially young women, content creation and project management. She joined Lada’at in 2017 as a workshop facilitator and began to head the Counseling Center in August 2021.
Bayan Rajaby, Head of the Arabic Department
Bayan is a student of social work at Hebrew University, currently specializing in work with families-at-risk and victims of domestic violence in East Jerusalem (where she is a resident of the Silwan neighborhood). As part of the Elbaschir Program for Excellence, Bayan volunteered with children and teen girls-at-risk, and recently started an initiative aimed at encouraging East Jerusalemite girls to strive for higher education. She joined Lada’at in July 2021 as the founding head of the Arabic department. She trains and manages a team of Arabic-speaking volunteers and facilitators, runs the Arabic-language Counseling Center, coordinates activity on social media and facilitates educational workshops.
Tamara Itzhak, Head of Community and Outreach
Tamara is a feminist LQBTQ+ activist and has held a number of positions in the field of education. Certified in group facilitation, Tamara ran the Shavim program for LGBTQ+ youth in Jerusalem. She joined Lada’at as a workshop facilitator two years ago and began her current role in November 2021.
Maya Barshishat, Head of Lada’at Online
Maya is a third-year law and social work student at Hebrew University. She co-founded LOTEM, a non-institutional, nationwide platform for organizing feminist NVDA (Non-Violent Direct Action) and civil disobedience, and is one of the organizers of SlutWalk Jerusalem. Maya served as spokesperson and social media manager in both organizations. She joined Lada’at in November 2021 to lead and grow our digital activity.