About Us 2018-03-21T22:00:26+00:00

Our Story

It started in a Tel Aviv coffee shop.

Tamar Pross, now the founder of Citizen Café, was sitting with a friend from England, who was studying Hebrew in a traditional ulpan. Totally frustrated with being treated like a fourth grader, and unable to properly assimilate, Tamar’s friend wasn’t experiencing Hebrew. She was simply trying to learn it from a textbook filled with tables and lists.

This light-bulb moment inspired Tamar and Efrat Chen, one of the top Hebrew teachers in Israel, to launch Citizen Café in 2015. While the brand has evolved over time, the mission remains the same: to help non-native speakers immerse themselves in the language, culture and lifestyle of modern-day Tel Aviv.

Since then, Citizen Café has attracted a tight-knit, ever-growing community, including a diverse group of teachers, advisers and partners, all working toward creating an environment in which learning Hebrew is fun, effortless and directly connected to the dynamic lifestyles of internationals in Tel Aviv.

Our Team

tamar

Tamar Pross

Founder

Tamar is an Israeli-Australian entrepreneur, certified enneagram coach, a documentary film producer, and avid soy hafuch drinker. When she’s not working hard to improve Israel’s global image, you’ll find Tamar riding her bike along Rothschild Boulevard, or striking up conversation in one of the three languages she can fluently speak.

tamar

Efrat Chen

Director of Hebrew

From teaching Hebrew as a foreign language at the Touro College in Israel, to becoming Citizen Café’s Director of Hebrew, Efrat never backs down from a challenge (even hiking Kilimanjaro!). While teaching Hebrew brings her joy, the “joy of cooking” does not.

tamar

Adi Barel

COO

Adi was the Director of Economic Development at Tel Aviv Global. Over the past few years, she worked for Israel’s central government, playing a key role in the Prime Minister’s initiative to increase the number of international students in Israel, focusing on Tech and Innovation. Adi loves travel, fashion, vintage shopping and good food.

tamar

Hilla Bakshi

Operations Manager

Hilla came from the tech industry, where she also spent some time (the best time!) in the Bay Area (San Francisco). She considers herself to be the walking Google of everything Tel Aviv, which makes her a perfect fit for the vibe and spirit of Citizen Café. She’s also a Hebrew maniac, irritatingly fixing errors of lame Israelis on Facebook.

tamar

Tamara Raynor-Cote

Community Manager

Tamara is originally from Alberta, Canada, but she’s proud to call Tel Aviv home today. She studied Acting and Education for her first degree and Foreign Literature for her second. So, basically, Tamara’s a nerd and usually has a book on hand. She loves meeting new people, her cat Lev, and running on the beach.

tamar

Chen Shapira

Hebrew Teacher

While Chen loves teaching Hebrew, he also has a second true passion: theater, where he used to work as a producer, artistic director and director of theater shows across Israel. He earned his BA in Theater and MA in Education in Haifa, but secretly loves London.

tamar

Mickey Yonas

Hebrew Teacher

Teaching Hebrew is only one of Mickey’s many talents. She is also an independent theater creator, museum guide, and Candy Crush champion. Mickey is currently working on her Russian and would love to practice with other Russian-speakers, perhaps in exchange for a history-rich tour around Tel Aviv.

tamar

Nimrod Ronen

Hebrew Teacher

Don’t be surprised if Nimrod shows up to class wearing black eye makeup – he is a trained theater actor. When Nimrod isn’t teaching Hebrew at Citizen Café, he works with the autistic and special needs community, merging his two greatest passions: education and drama-therapy.

tamar

Noeet Kedem

Hebrew Teacher

Noeet is truly one-of-kind. (Even her Hebrew name is unique.) Trained in Israel’s renowned school of performing arts Bet Zvi, Noeet is a triple threat: professional actress, children’s voice coach and Hebrew teacher.

tamar

Shay Jibri Ashkenazi

Hebrew Teacher

Born and raised in Tel Aviv, Shay is an actor, director and acting coach who graduated from the performing arts school Beit Zvi. He also has a degree in Education from Kibbutzim College. Shay is an entrepreneur who founded ActinGym, an acting and directing community startup.

tamar

Anat Shaked

Hebrew Teacher

A mother of two girls, Anat has a degree in psychology and practices yoga. She’s also an interior designer who loves styling and decorating spaces. Anat never takes “no” for an answer, and doesn’t mind if you call her “jinjit” (Hebrew for a female with red hair) because, as she says, “That’s part of who I am.”

tamar

Michelle Ohev-Zion

Head of Corporate

Originally from Queens, New York, Michelle came to Tel Aviv for a summer vacation in 2015 – and never left. She has a degree in English from the University at Albany in New York, loves rap music, and insists on listening to music on a decade-old iPod classic.

Live like
a Tel Avivian