Key Staff

ISEF New York Key Staff

Dmitry (Dima) Shimelfarb
Executive Director

Dima joined ISEF in November 2017. Previously he was Executive Director of the JPF Foundation and served as Vice President of Israel and Global Philanthropy for the Jewish Agency for Israel. Over a decade of experience with Jewish communities around the world informs his work as an ambassador and advocate for Israel.  After completing his service in the Israel Defense Forces, Dima served as a Jewish Agency emissary for informal Jewish education in Moscow, Russia.  Upon his return to Israel, Dima was appointed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to serve as spokesman and press secretary for the Likud Party.  As the first non-native Hebrew speaker to hold this position, Dima worked to break the glass ceiling on behalf of new immigrants to Israel.

Dmitry holds an M.B.A. in Public Policy Leadership from the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) in Herzliya, Israel, and a Master’s in Negotiation and Conflict Resolution from Columbia University.

Nancy Wellins
Director, Communications and Grants

Nancy has worked with ISEF since 1992, including service as acting executive director (2015-2017). Previously she was Bureau Chief for Israel’s Consul-General in New York; Head of English Publications, International Center for Peace in the Middle East; and Correspondent and Acting Editor-in-Chief, English News Department, Israel Government Press Office. She also had a professional singing career with the New Israel Opera and the Israel National Choir. She holds a B.A. in Religious Studies from Yale University.



Lerone Edalati
Associate Director, Donor Relations

Lerone began working with ISEF in March 2019.  She holds a bachelor’s from New York University in Middle Eastern & Islamic Studies, and a Master’s in Middle Eastern Studies from The Graduate Center, City University of New York. She is currently a Broome & Allen Fellow at the American Sephardi Federation and has been active in the Jewish community in various contexts. Lerone joined ISEF from the Jewish Agency for Israel, where she served as Project Manager. She is passionate about making the world a better place.