On Rifman

On Rifman grew up on Kibbutz Revivim in the Negev, where he experienced the ongoing encroachment of the Beduin on state-owned land. During his army service, he was in the elite Sayeret Matkal combat unit and spent two years in the professional army as a commander in Sayeret Matkal. Upon his discharge he helped to establish the Tel Aviv Mechina - pre-army preparatory program with Yaffa Shai Hadad and taught two courses at the Mechina.

At the time that Yoel Zilberman was dealing with the problem of how to protect his father’s land, Rifman was facing the same problem in the Negev. When the two met, they decided to establish HaShomer HaChadash. In addition to the volunteer civil guard activity, Rifman and Zilberman felt that it was essential to create a Leadership Program that would connect young people to the land in a meaningful, practical way.

As such, Rifman has been instrumental in moving the Young Leadership program of HaShomer HaChadash forward. Established in 2010, it is now in its third year and Rifman is the educational director. He oversees all of the program’s educational activities and hopes to groom a cadre of future leaders with a strong Jewish-Israeli identity who will continue on to meaningful army service and dynamic social activism, and serve as role models for their generation.

Rifman holds a BA in Behavioral Sciences, with a focus on political science and history of the Jewish nation, from the Open University. He is a frequent lecturer at high schools and social justice forums and conferences. He lives with his wife and infant son in Ma’ale Hahamisha, outside of Jerusalem.