Talia Vekshtein is Lissan’s CEO. Lissan (Arabic for language or tongue) is a nonprofit organization that promotes gender and social equality in Jerusalem through language education. Lissan’s flagship program, Medabrot Ivrit, offers practical Hebrew classes for East Jerusalemite women to provide them with greater access to rights, resources, and opportunities. Through practical and accessible Hebrew classes for women, pedagogical and cultural sensitivity training for teachers, and joint programming for Israeli and Palestinian volunteers, Lissan aims to bridge the gap between East and West Jerusalem and strengthen East Jerusalemite women. Lissan’s long-term vision is for East Jerusalemite women to have ultimate agency in their personal and professional lives, and for the city of Jerusalem – both East and West – to become a more just and equal space for all of its residents.
Talia’s relationship with Lissan started three years ago as a volunteer teacher in Lissan’s Medabrot Ivrit (Women Speaking Hebrew) program, a continued with her role as COO, and now CEO. She holds a B.A. in General and Comparative Literature and was part of the “Amirim Honors Program in the Humanities” at the Hebrew University. She is currently working towards an MFA in Documentary Cinema at Tel Aviv University.