The lab


Liat Ayalon

Liat Ayalon, PhD, is a researcher in the School of Social Work, at Bar Ilan University, Israel. Prof. Ayalon coordinates an international EU funded Ph.D. program on the topic of ageism ( She is also the Israeli PI of the EU funded MascAge program to study ageing masculinities in literature and cinema. For the past four years, Prof. Ayalon has led an international research network on the topic of ageism, funded through COST (Cooperation in Science and Technology; COST IS1402, She consults both national and international organizations concerning the development and evaluation of programs and services for older adults.



Sigal Bridge

Sigal is an administrative coordinator in the EuroAgeism project, working with Prof. Liat Ayalon. She has a Bachelor degree in Social Work and is an MBA student, specializing in Organizational Behavior, at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Postdoctorate students

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Senjouti Roy, Ph.D.

Senjooti has been interested in aging studies for over a decade. She worked in an old age home as a student social worker in India and undertook research on self-perceptions of older adults in urban India for her master’s degree. Subsequently, she pursued a doctoral degree in social gerontology at Miami University, United States. For her dissertation she conducted an ethnographic study of health beliefs and behaviors of older adults in the Indian Himalayas. As part of her postdoctoral work with Prof. Ayalon, she has undertaken research on ageism, long-distance caregiving, and the intersection of culture and technology in the portrayal of age and gender stereotypes in media. She is currently exploring ageism in the context of climate change.


Omer Aloni, Ph.D.

Omer Aloni is a Doctor of Law (since May 2019). He is a postdoctoral fellow under the supervision of Prof. Liat Ayalon, Bar-Ilan University, Israel. Their research focuses on comparative analysis of public health policies and age-based mechanisms facing the challenge of COVID-19.

Omer wrote his Ph.D. dissertation on the evolution of international environmental law under the supervision of Dr. David Schorr at Tel-Aviv University Buchmann Faculty of Law. After submitting his dissertation, he was invited to the University of Potsdam Law Faculty (starting October 2018), as a postdoctoral researcher. Under the auspices of the Joint Exchange Program of both universities (TAU and UP), Omer collaborated with Prof. Andreas Zimmermann (UP Law Faculty) and was sponsored by the Joint Program.

Between summer 2016 and spring 2018, he was a visiting scholar at the Rachel Carson Center for Environmental and Society, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich, as he is a recipient of the Minerva Fellowship, funded by the German Federal Government. In 2017, he also collaborated at The Max Planck Institute for European Legal History (Goethe-Universität Frankfurt), sponsored by Dialogue Scholarship.

The European Society for Environmental History has chosen his dissertation as the best dissertation in the field for 2018 and 2019, and awarded him the Tallinn Prize. In 2021, Cambridge University Press will publish his work as a book in its International and Comparative Law series.


Shlomit Lir, Ph.D.

Dr Shlomit Lir is a fellow researcher at Bar Ilan University and a postdoc researcher at Azrieli Center for Israel Studies at Ben–Gurion University of the Negev, specializing in gender, knowledge and technology.

Dr Lir is an academic advisor at the Ministry of Science and Technology. She is an accomplished writer who writes on issues concerning social justice, inclusion, diversity and women rights. Among the books she edited are the anthologies “In Visible Ink”(Pardes, 2015) and “To My Sister, Mizrahi, Feminist Politics” (Babel, 2007).

As a social activist Dr Lir has managed the Woman for Presidency campaign (2009), which promoted the election of a woman for the Israeli presidency. She is the initiator and CEO of Women Activists Online, a hub initiative designed to promote women leadership by the use of social media. Throughout the last couple of years, she organized and led important academic, social and cultural events–among them the group exhibitions ” Corona Times” portraying photographs of women from Beer-Sheva during the corona’s quarantin , and “Women Raising the Status” representing the potential to overcome mechanisms that mute women’s voices, and to strengthen the place of women in the public discourse through writing online.

Dr Shlomit Aharoni Lir can be contacted at:

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Sarit Okun, Ph.D.

A postdoctoral fellow at Prof. Liat Ayalon,’s research group at Bar-Ilan University, Israel. Joined the ‘Impact Center for the Study of Ageism and Old Age’ in an attempt to examine the contribution of digital media in alleviating the phenomenon of ageism.


Sarit wrote her M.A. and Ph.D. dissertations under the supervision of Prof. Galit Nimrod at the department of communication studies at Ben-Gurion University (BGU) of the Negev, Israel. Her M.A. thesis examined the characteristics of the online Ultra-Orthodox communities while Her Ph.D. thesis examined whether and how online spirituality contributes to wellbeing in later life.


During her stay at BGU, Sarit participated in a program for outstanding students of the Kreitman’s school of Advanced Graduate Studies, during which she received the ACT student bursaries, annually awarded to students that intersect ageing, communication and technologies as part of their thesis projects.

Ph.D. students


Laura Allen

Laura Allen is a doctoral student within the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions ITN EuroAgeism program in the Faculty of Social Sciences at Bar-Ilan University in Israel. Her project is on the spread of ageism in the social network within the long-term care setting. She was previously a U.S. Fulbright scholar in the Netherlands researching quality of life and safety from the administrator’s perspective within the long-term care setting. She has a Bachelor of Science in healthcare administration and a certification in long-term care administration from Western Kentucky University.


Seyoung Kim

Seyoung Kim is an Early-Stage Researcher and a Ph.D. student within the framework of the EU Horizon 2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie network on EuroAgeism at Bar-Ilan University, Israel. She is working on the project called “Ageism, longevity and the sustainability of social security,” investigating the potential effects of longer working lives on the social insurance sustainability and on the employment of young workers. Prior to joining the EuroAgeism project, she earned a M.Sc. in Evidence-Based Social Intervention from the Department of Social Policy and Intervention at the University of Oxford. Her Master’s thesis examined the association between employment and mental health in older adults in South Korea (mark of distinction).She received two Bachelor’s degrees – one in Business Administration from Seoul Women’s University in South Korea and the other in Business with a major in Finance from Indiana University in the United States (with honors). She also gained practical experience in managing the government’s employment program for older people at the Korea Older Worker Development Institute. Her current research interests include labor force participation of older people, ageism at work, and evidence-based policy making.


Hanna Köttl

Hanna Köttl is a PhD student within the ITN EuroAgeism at the Faculty of Social Sciences at Bar Ilan University. She attained her Bachelor’s degree in Occupational Therapy at the University of Applied Sciences in Vienna (2014) and graduated from Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (2017) completing the European Master of Science in Occupational Therapy. Moreover, she has received clinical and research experience as an occupational therapist in acute mental health, neurology and geriatrics at Psychiatric University Hospital Zurich and Seespital Horgen. Her research interests include mental health and well-being in older age, psychosocial interventions and everyday technology use in older adults with and without cognitive impairments.


Wanyu Xi (Betty)

Wanyu Xi (Betty) currently is a PhD student at the Bar-Ilan University, Israel. Her research topic is about “Reducing self-stigma to increase accessibility to technology”. She received her Master’s Degree, MA in Management and International MBA with a full scholarship. Her previous research was focused on consumer psychology and behavior in IT-mediated environments, eg human-computer interaction. She also had one-year industrial experience in an IT start-up as a global marketing researcher.


Rachel Marzbach

Rachel Merzabch is a Ph.D. student under the supervision of Prof. Liat Ayalon. Her research is focused on the experience of opening adoption documents in midlife and old age. The research examines the reasons for searching biological roots and information about the birth parents in midlife and older age. Rachel is a social worker, who earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in social work from Bar Ilan University (with high distinction). She has worked as a social worker in the welfare department of Bet Shemesh, in Alei Siach organization and as a supervisor in the Ministry of Social Affairs and Social Services, in Israel.

Master level students

Noa Stollman

Noa works as a social worker with older adults for more than 20 years. She is a municipal social worker with an appointment for legal interventions for the protection of older adults. She serves as the director of the unit for the care of older adults and their families in Jerusalem. Her thesis addresses financial conflicts in the older person’s family, as evident in social workers’ legal proceedings. The research method is qualitative and includes examining the proceedings submitted to the court as part of the procedure for appointing a guardian. 

Inbar Wertheimer shina 

Inbar works as a social worker in a sheltered housing organization for adults with borderline intellectual functioning. Based on my work experience, came the idea to write a thesis on the experience of this population in light of their aging process and changing care needs.