About us

Meet the founders

David

Elie Wurtman has been actively involved with Jewish and Israel-oriented activism. He serves on the boards of The Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies and Jewish Family and Life. Elie has a BA from both Columbia University and the Jewish Theological Seminary. He served in the Israel Defense Forces from 1991 until 1993 as the deputy commander of the Allenby Bridge. Elie is also the co-founder and president of Back Bay Scientific, a Boston-based research-oriented nutritional supplements development company; he is a principal of 2bVentures, a venture management firm specializing in communications, information technology and start-up management. Elie was a co-founder and the CEO of deltathree.com from 1996-2000. He was also the Vice President of Emerging Technologies for RSL Communications and a co-founder of Ambient Corporation, a data communications company.

David

Jacob Ner-David, Founding Partner. Jacob has been a successful entrepreneur for more than a decade, creating over a billion dollars of shareholder value. Jacob has built and managed four companies to successful exit. Beyond his entrepreneurial career, Jacob also has hands-on investment experience and has served on the boards of, and in an advisory capacity to, a number of venture funds and seed stage incubators. He is the founder and currently the Managing Partner of Jerusalem Capital, a venture fund specializing in technology enabled service companies just getting started in Israel.
Jacob has also maintained an active civic involvement throughout his professional career, founding several non-profit entities. He was a founding board member of Start-Up Jerusalem, which promotes new business directions for the Israeli economy, and in 2004, Jacob led in the creation of Unwire Jerusalem, a free wireless (WiFi) internet access network in downtown Jerusalem, with partners Intel, Cisco, Checkpoint, 012 (ISP provider), and Compumat (outsourced IT solutions service provider). Aside from helping to create RIKMA, Jacob is also a founding board member of Bayit Chadash, is involved in values education in Israel, and served on the board of OneVoice, focused on strengthening democracy in Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
Jacob has served as a volunteer advisor to the Mayor of Jerusalem, and is a lecturer on entrepreneurship and technology at Hebrew University. Jacob is a member of Kol Dor, a global Jewish leadership network, and in 2003 was named a Henry Crown Fellow at the Aspen Institute. Jacob was an Isaacs Scholar of English Literature at Mansfield College, Oxford. He has a B.A. from City College of New York, and a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center.
When not creating new business opportunities and furthering the cause of social justice and religious pluralism, Jacob enjoys spending time with his family, hiking, biking, and long distance running. Jacob lives in Jerusalem with his wife Haviva, and their children Michal, Adin, Meira, Hallel, and Nachum.

David

Rabbi David Lazar immigrated to Israel from Los Angeles, California in 1975. He served in the IDF through Hesder, a type military service that enables combining military service with yeshiva studies, in David's case at 'Kerem B'Yavneh.' In 1980 David was one of the founders of Moshav Gan Or in Netzarim in the Gaza Strip.
David studied for his first and second degree both at the Hebrew University and at the Schechter Institute for Jewish Studies in Jerusalem, and received his rabbinic ordination from Schechter in 1983. He is a graduate of the Jerusalem Fellows program of the Mandel School for Educational Leadership. In the past, David has served as the educational coordinator for Congregation 'Mevakshei Derekh' and the Rabbi of Congregation 'Ya'ar Ramot' in Jerusalem. During this time since the mid 1990s David has also served as the chaplain for the Israel AIDS Task Force. 
In 2000, David, in collaboration with Israeli businessmen Eli Wurtman and Jacob Ner David, founded RIKMA - Spiritual Community Leadership Development. RIKMA is devoted to the cultivation and advancement of professional community leadership in Israel. Since 2003, David has served as the rabbi of Kehilat Tiferet Shalom in Ramat Aviv. He and his wife Sascha have five daughters. Visit Rabbi David Lazar's official blog.

Rikma