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 Bridger

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

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Natalie Ulitsa, Ph.D.

Natalie Ulitsa is a postdoctoral research fellow in the School of Social Work, Faculty of Social Sciences at Bar-Ilan University. She received her Ph.D. from the Paul Baerwald School of Social Work and Social Welfare at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and completed postdoctoral studies in the Department of Community Mental Health,  University of Haifa. She is interested in the psycho-social and cultural aspects of dementia and dementia care, and a context-informed view of old age. She also teaches courses at the Department of Social Work, Hadassa Academic College in Jerusalem.


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.

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Smadar Freiber

Smadar Freiber is a proud social worker who loves older people and believes that old age is a period of beauty and power in addition to losses and challenges.


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.