Prof. Avia Spivak

Avia Spivak is Chairman of The Center for Pension, Insurance and Financial Literacy. Spivak is Professor of Economics in the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, as well as a senior fellow at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute. He served as a Deputy Governor of the Bank of Israel during 2002-2006 and headed the Research Department. He served as Chair of the Economics Department and Dean of The Humanities and Social Sciences Faculty at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, as well as the president of the Israeli Law and Economics Association.

Spivak is one of our prominent researchers in Israel in the field of pensions; he has published many reviews and articles in terms of the reforms carried out in Israel, including suggestions for future changes.

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Prof. Rami Yosef

Rami Yosef is a Full Professor of Finance and Actuarial Science, and the Head of the Insurance and Finance specialty in the Department of Business Administration at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. Until recently he searved as Chair of the Department of Business Administration at the BGU.

Yosef graduated from the University of Haifa in 1999, receiving his PhD in actuarial science and finance. He also has a diploma in actuarial techniques from City University London and a post-graduate certificate in actuarial science from the University of Haifa. His research specialties include finance, actuarial science, and pension insurance.

Yosef is considered an expert in actuarial science and has provided expert opinions on actuarial and financial matters in legal disputes. In addition, he has served as a consultant to the Ministry of Finance, the Bank of Israel, insurance companies, financial entities, pension funds, and law firms.

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​Prof. David Leiser

David Leiser is Full Professor in the Department of Psychology at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. He holds a BSc in Mathematics from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and completed his PhD in Psychology at the University of Geneva. He specializes in Economic Psychology. Prof. Leiser's principal research focus is Financial Literacy, with an emphasis on investigating how lay people understand economic issues and related phenomena. Such studies aim to inform efforts to improve or complement financial literacy and to enhance communication with the public by the authorities and financial institutions for everyone's benefit. Prof. Leiser served as Head of the Psychology Department at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. He is past-President of the Economic Psychology Division of the International Association for Applied Psychology (IAAP) and has headed the International Association for Research in Economic Psychology (IAREP); he also founded the Decision Making and Economic Psychology Center at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (DMEP).

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 Dr. ​Eyal Carmel

Eyal Carmel is a PhD student in the Psychology Department at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. Eyal holds a master’s degree in Social Psychology from BGU; he serves as academic coordinator of The Pensions, Insurance, and Financial Literacy Research Center, responsible for the ongoing activity occurring in the center.

As part of his doctoral dissertation, Eyal is studying how personal traits, such as financial literacy and psychological factors, influence financial capability. For his dissertation, Eyal has been granted a study scholarship from the Ministry of Science and Technology and the Financial Literacy Department in the Ministry of Finance.

Eyal teaches introductory courses in psychology and cognitive psychology. In addition, Eyal gives workshops in financial management for youngsters in the non-profit organization Paamonim


Dr. Ravit Rubinstein-Levi

Rubinstein-Levi is the academic manager of the Pensions, Insurance, and Financial Literacy Research Center. She has a Ph.D. degree in finance from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. Her dissertation presented an aggregation model aimed to improve the pension income of disadvantaged employees and reduce government spending on support payments to retirees as well as a way to improve the employees' pension savings decision-making. Dr. Rubinstein-Levi's research focuses on the macroeconomic and microeconomic implications of post-retirement income and the decision-making behavior of individuals regarding pension savings. She teaches various courses in finance for undergraduate and graduate students.

​Affiliates of the Center:

Dr. Zvika Afik

Zvika’s current research interests include credit risk, financial derivatives, risk management and hedging. Prior to joining BGU Zvika has gained diverse experience in the technology industry, mainly in electro-optics and software, including: business management (VP Marketing, Managing Director, CEO, and middle management positions); business development, team building and leadership in Israel and North America; technology project management, system engineering, hands-on engineering, and consulting. Zvika teaches a variety of courses in finance at the MBA program. These include: Options and Futures, Financial Engineering, Risk Management, and Investment Committee courses. Zvika holds a BSc and an MSc in Electrical Engineering from the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology (1979) and Tel Aviv University (1989), an MBA (Executive Program) from Concordia University in Montreal (1996), and a PhD in Finance from Tel Aviv University (2009).

Prof. Ilanit Gavious

Prof. Ilanit Gavious is an Associate Professor of Accounting and Finance at the Guilford Glazer Faculty of Business and Management, Ben-Gurion University. She serves as the Head of innovation, entrepreneurship and high-tech management specialties in the MBA program at Ben Gurion University. She is also a Certified Public Accountant (1996).

Her professional occupations include academic research, advising and providing expert opinions, teaching, academic management of instructional programs, membership in academic committees as well as a variety of other academic activities. Her research interests are focused on three core issues:(1) Firm valuation and the valuation of intangibles (e.g., human capital); (2) Earnings management and accounting frauds in various settings (e.g., prior to bankruptcy and reorganization plans; in tax reporting versus financial reporting); (3) The evolution of financial disclosure and accounting recognition in firms’ financial statements. Her work has been published in leading academic journals of finance and accounting. Recently, she won the Toronto Prize for Research Excellence (2011). In addition, she was appointed by the Minister of Finance to serve as a member of the plenum of the Israel Securities Authority

In the past, Dr. Gavious served as Senior Accountant in a Big-4 accounting firm (Deloitte & Touche) and in a leading commercial bank in Israel (Bank Hapoalim). As a Lieutenant in the Israeli army, she held an academic position as an economist in the Ministry of Defense.

Dr. Gavious has a B.A. degree from The Hebrew University in Jerusalem in Economics (cum laude) and Accounting (1991) and Master's (cum laude) (2002) and PhD degrees (2005) in Finance both from Ben-Gurion University. For her post-doc, she was a visiting scholar at Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto, Canada.


Prof. Tuvia Horev

Prof. Tuvia Horev's career is characterized by a combination of senior positions in management and national-policy planning in the healthcare system, and academic and research activities. He served for 12 years as the Head of the Insurance-Sector as well as a senior advisor to the General Manager of an HMO. Later he served as Deputy-Director General for Health Economics and Insurance in the Ministry of Health (MOH) and then as a Senior Deputy Director General for Strategic and Economic Planning at the MOH. Since 2014 Horev is an Associate Professor in the Department of Health Systems Management at the Guilford Glazer Faculty of Business & Management, and the Faculty of Health sciences, in Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. He teaches core courses such as the ‘Israel’s Healthcare System’ and ‘Health Systems’-Policy'. His interests include health system reforms, health insurance, long-term care insurance, and workforce planning in health services.

Prof. Haim Kedar-Levy

Dr. Kedar-Levy serves as consultant for financial institutions, as committee member of the Israeli Council for Higher Education, adjunct lecturer at the Hebrew University and Ono Academic College. In the past he served as Board member and member of the investment committee of a large retirement fund, as consultant to the Israeli Chief Scientist, and Director of the Honors MBA Program at BGU, among other business and academic activities.

His Ph.D. dissertation studied stability properties of the stock market, commonly known as “bubbles”. His research agenda involves the theoretical and empirical study of financial bubbles, and financial market anomalies. Being involved with high-technology management between 1987 and 2002 as analyst, CEO, and Director, some of his research and teaching interests concerned entrepreneurship in high-tech, and primarily with respect to risk appetite of entrepreneurs.

His articles are published in high-ranked journals, and presented in prestigious conferences of the Econometric Society, the Society for Financial Studies, the Strategic Management Society, and FMA. He serves as referee for the American Economic Review, the Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, the Journal of Economics and Business, the Journal of International Money and Finance, among others

Dr. Yair Kochav

Yair Kochav holds a Ph.D. from the Department of Economics at the Ben-Gurion University of The Negev. Yair has an MA in Economics in a direct route for excellence and a B.Sc. in economics and business administration, both from the Ben-Gurion University.

As part of his doctoral dissertation, Yair investigated the possible emergance of a “Dutch disease” due to the high-tech sector in Israel, and looked for possible solution unsing pension savings as a government-backed risk insurance. Yair also studied the relationship between the composition of education in the labor force and macro-economic growth.

Yair has worked in the Finance Ministry in several positions and served as a director of the local government debt. In recent years, Yair holds a senior position in a leading insurance company that manages pension and provident funds


Dr. Yarron Lahav

Dr. Yarron Lahav is a finance lecturer in the Department of Business Administration at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. His research is mainly based on behavioral and experimental finance, expectations formation, and decision making. In addition, Yaron also specializes in transfer prices. Yaron has a PhD in Economics from Emory University in the USA and a B.Sc.(Agr.) in Agricultural Economics and Management from the Faculty of Agriculture at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Yaron teaches and has taught various Finance courses in Israel and overseas, including Basics of Finance, Corporate Finance, Behavioral Finance, and Public Finance. He has been a visiting lecturer at several universities around the US, including the University of Michigan, Brandeis University, and the American University. Yaron worked as a senior consultant at Deloitte Tax LLP in its central offices in Washington DC, in Deloitte Brightman, Zohar, Almagor in Tel Aviv, as well as consultant to the Urban Institute, an American research institute. Prior to that Yaron worked as financial officer at Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd. and as an economist in an agricultural technological startup company

Dr. Tomer Shushi

Dr. Tomer Shushi is a lecturer in the Department of Business Administration, Guilford Glazer Faculty of Business and Management, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva, Israel. Tomer's research focuses on risk management and risk measurement, actuarial science, uncertainty, and finance. In his research, Tomer investigates and develops quantitative models for financial and actuarial risks, systemic risks that allow analyzing systems of mutually dependent risks, and extreme events. He also investigates loss distributions and their characteristics, optimal portfolio allocation and modern portfolio theory. Tomer has a B.A degree in the multidisciplinary program in Economics and Computer Science from Bar-Ilan University, Israel (2011) which he finished with honors. He received his M.A. degree in Statistics (2015) with Dean award for academic excellence and a Ph.D. (2016) both from the University of Haifa, Israel

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Dr. Rita Troitsky

Rita Troitsky is a doctor of Economics and a faculty member in the Shamoon College of Industrial Engineering. Rita completed her PhD at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. Her dissertation subject was “Government Intervention in Pension Saving”, where she examined the financial traits of those receiving pensions in general and those who continue working after retirement age, in particular. In addition, her study included a theoretical analysis of optimal ways of intervention on the issue of pension savings, investigating the capabilities of various interventions affecting the standard of living of retirees. Her studies include an examination of the implications of a pension extension order on the life of retirees in Israel.

Rita’s current study focuses on behavior analysis of the over-55 population, based on the SHARE survey data, in order to characterize the needs and characteristics of the population approaching retirement age

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Dr. Aviad​ Tur-Sinai

Dr. Aviad Tur-Sinai is a researcher in economics who specializes in the study of healthcare systems, welfare economics and public policy, labor economics, and the elder population. Dr. Tur-Sinai completed doctoral studies at Tel Aviv University and then did post-doctoral research at the Israel Gerontological Data Center (the Paul Baerwald School of Social Work and Social Welfare, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem), an additional post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Rochester Medical Center School of Nursing in New York, and a research fellowship at the University of Hohenheim in Stuttgart, Germany.​

Dr. Tur-Sinai has focused his research on two main fields in recent years. The first is public policy relating to health economics. The second concerns economic reference to the elder population, in which he dealt with a wide variety of aspects such as the structure of employment in advanced age and governmental and public responsibility relating to early retirement from the labor force.

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​Graduate Students:
​Rinat Benita
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Michal Levy

Michal Levy is a graduate student in social psychology at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and about to obtain her BA in Psychology and Economics from Ben Gurion University.
Michal's MA thesis focuses on highlighting the importance of starting to save towards pension for retirement age at an early stage, in view of the significant effect of compound interest on savings, and the impact of this understanding on the willingness to save for pension among young people.

Shenhav Malul​

Shenhav Malul is a graduate student in the Business Administration Department of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. Shenhav studied business administration and accounting at Ono's ultra-Orthodox campus and received an accountant's license. At the end of her studies she worked as an accountant at BDO, one of the leading accounting firms in Israel, and later served as an internal and external auditor of local authorities and companies​.

She received her master's degree in Finance and Insurance from Ben-Gurion University, and received her high honors. In 2016, she founded a company for accounting and business consulting, and left in 2018 to focus on her doctoral research. Her research is an empirical study of the effects of the transition to an actuarial valuation of the liability for severance pay in companies.

Throughout her career, Shenhav has been engaged in volunteer activities aimed at promoting higher education in Haredi society. She is currently a volunteer in a start-up company, whose goal is to create a full array of higher education and employment services suited to the Haredi population, and works with other bodies such as the Ministry for Social Equality.

Sarit Menahem

Sarit Menahem is a PhD student in the Department of Economics at Ben-Gurion University of The Negev. Sarit holds a master’s degree in Agricultural Economics from Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Her MA thesis explored the geographic proximity dependence of rural incomes on standard of living in urban centers. In addition to her being a member of The Pensions, Insurance, and Financial Literacy Research Center, she is a researcher at the Shoresh Institution, which deals with social-economics research, teaching economics and business administration students in the financial field.

As part of her doctoral dissertation, Sarit researches the influence of irrational factors on choosing provident funds, especially from financial media.

Sarit has a rich background in economic journalism – for seven years Sarit worked at The Marker as the deputy editor of the capital market. Her work focused mostly on the capital market and the pension system.

Roy Mimran

Roy Mimran is a PhD student in the Department of Business Administration at Ben-Gurion University of The Negev. He is a graduate of Tel Aviv University in Mathematics and Computer Science (B.Sc.) and has an Executive MBA, with specialization in finance from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where he graduated summa cum laude.

Roy’s doctoral dissertation deals with finance and pension. His dissertation is on the lengthening life expectancy and its impact on the pension system, including suggested solutions. Roy researches its impact on the social security system in Israel and its actuarial balance.

Roy chairs the Saving for Retirement Forum – a non-profit organization, which he founded in order to protect the rights of people saving for retirement in Israel. The NPO works with legislators and decision-makers in order to enhance people saving and promotes informational activities designed to increase awareness of the importance of proper savings and their rights. Roy has published several columns about pensions in the national and economic newspapers

Sarit Saban

Sarit Saban is a PhD student in the Psychology Department at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. Sarit holds a master’s degree in Child Clinical Psychology from the Academic College of Tel Aviv–Yaffo, and completaed a BA in psychology and education with distinction at the Tel Aviv University.

Sarit has vast therapeutic experience, which includes hospitalization and clinical experiences using cognitive-behavioral and dynamic approaches.

Sarit’s research combines clinical and economic psychology in order to recognize the relationship between unadjusted financial behaviors and personality profiles

Sharona Tasdok-Rosenbluth

Sharona Tsadok-Rosenbluth (CPA) is a PhD student in the Department of Health Systems Management at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. Sharona holds a bachelor's and master's degree (with honors) in management of health systems at Ben-Gurion University. Sharona conducted her CPA studies at Bar-Ilan University.

Sharona's doctoral dissertation deals with finance and insurance in the field of Long-Term Care. Her research topic is Models for financing long-term care insurance: analysis of current and expected financing challenges in Israel and policy recommendations at the national level. Sharona teaches the courses of Accounting and Financial Reporting at the Department of Health Systems Management, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.

Sharona has over 15 years of experience in financial and operational management, especially in the high-tech environment. In October 2004, Sharona joined Dalet IL as the company's Financial Manager thus supporting the company's ongoing growth

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