Ms. Witte, SIGNAL’s founder, is a graduate of Yale University in East Asian Studies with a focus on China.
After a 20-year entrepreneurial career in Israeli high-tech and international real estate, Ms. Witte decided to merge her commitment to Israel and respect for China with her belief that academia is a natural bridge between peoples and can lead to much-needed solutions in other realms.
The result of that merger is SIGNAL and its unique, creative approach.
Ms. Witte has been president of the Yale University Alumni Association in Israel for over seven years. She lives in Israel with her husband and five children.
Ms. Ador has been with SIGNAL nearly since its inception, having played a major role in every aspect of SIGNAL’s programming and serving as the key contact between SIGNAL colleagues in both China and Israel. Ms. Ador holds an International Executive MBA from Haifa University as well as a B.A. from Haifa University in Economics & East Asian Studies with a focus on China. Upon completing her B.A. studies, she received an honors scholarship and spent one year in China studying Chinese at Beijing Language and Culture University (BLCU).
ISP Coordinator in China
Ms. Guan Yuan graduated from China University of Petroleum with a MA in English Translation and Interpretation in 2013 and more than 9 years of international business and translation experience.
After serving as a SIGNAL intern in translation during 2012, Ms. Guan joined the SIGNAL team as a professional translator in September 2013. Ms. Guan was named ISP (Israel Studies Program) Coordinator in China in March 2014.
Ms. Guan visited Israel in 2013 on an academic exchange program at Ben Gurion University to expand her expertise on Israel.
Head of Research
Yehudah Sunshine has a BA in History and Central Eurasian Studies from Indiana University-Bloomington. Yehudah did his graduate work at the University of Haifa, studying Diplomacy with a focus on International Criminal Accountability. Yehudah spent three and a half years of post-graduate work at the Aish HaTorah College for Jewish Studies. Mr. Sunshine was also a participant in the 2014 International Peace & Security Institutes’ Hague Symposium focusing on Post conflict transitions and International Justice. Yehudah lives in Zichron Ya’akov with his wife and son.
SIGNAL Program Coordinator
After joining SIGNAL team as Program Assistant in 2015, Alisa was made SIGNAL Program Coordinator in September 2016.
Alisa holds an MA in Security and Diplomacy from Tel Aviv University and BA in International Relations and World Economy from National Research University – Higher School of Economics (HSE), Moscow. While pursuing her bachelor’s degree, Alisa received an honours scholarship to study in University College London (UCL), UK and UCES, Argentina. She is fluent in Russian, English, and Spanish.
Kaitlin, raised in the US and in Israel, finished her military service with special honors from the Palmachim base in 2014. She is co-founder of China-Israel Connection, a Columbia University student initiative. She is currently a student of Middle East studies and neuroscience at Columbia University.
Aryeh Tepper is a Fellow at the Center for Israel Studies at Ben Gurion University, where he also teaches. He serves as the Director of Publications for the American Sephardi Federation for whom he edits a magazine, The Sephardi Report, as well as two newsletters, “Sephardi World Weekly” and “Sephardi Ideas Monthly.” From 2014-2017 he was the Academic Director of the Glazer-BGU Israel Studies Seminar for Chinese Students in Israel. His book, Progressive Minds, Conservative Politics: Leo Strauss’ Later Writings on Maimonides, was published by SUNY Press in 2013, and his articles and essays have been published in Hebrew and English in The Weekly Standard, The Tower Magazine, The Jerusalem Post, Commentary, Midnight East, The Jewish Review of Books, Forward, Nomos Journal, The Literary Review, Jewish Ideas Daily, The Madison Review, Akdamot and Makor Rishon.
From 2011-2014 Melissa served as the Political Communication Advisor to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, where she conducted public opinion research and advised him on campaign strategy and messaging leading up to and during the 2013 general election. Before joining Netanyahu’s team she worked as a consultant at Greenberg, Carville, Shrum Issue Management, providing research analysis and strategic advice to clients on major political campaigns in Romania, Ukraine, Hungary and Bulgaria. Melissa has extensive experience managing projects in both public and private sectors, in Israel and internationally. She has an MA in International Affairs from The George Washington University, a BA in International Affairs from the University of California Davis, and is fluent in English, Spanish and Hebrew.
Israel Studies Programs China Liaison
Mr. Royi Shemesh has come on board in a volunteer capacity as SIGNAL’s ISP China liaison.
Mr Shemesh is Founder and CEO of SICHUAN delegations and internships, through which Mr. Shemesh builds customized immersion programs for academic delegations seeking professional experience in China.
Royi Shemesh speaks fluent Chinese and has lived in Chengdu for the past 10 years. He is also serves as regional Head of the Chengdu Israel Chamber of Commerce.