International Scientific Committee

Shalva’s International Academic Committee ensures that our know-how is growing and that our programs are evolving.  Stepping forward from leading universities and hospitals, this board of field-experts solidifies Shalva’s place as the international standard-bearer for special needs services.

Get to know this incredible team:

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 MALKA MARGALIT, PhD – Chairman 

Prof. Malka Margalit, PhD (London University) is an educational and rehabilitation-psychologist. She is the Vice President of Development for the International Academy of Research in Learning Disabilities and serves on the Coordinating Committee of the International Society on Early Intervention. She has written three books and has published more than 100 articles in international journals.  She has received the Enoch Award in recognition of her accomplishments.

Over the years Prof. Margalit has held in many prestigious positions:

  • Chairperson of the: Israeli council of Psychologists, International Council of Psychologists’ Committee on Disability and Rehabilitation, Shalem Foundation Research Committee, National Committee of Special Education Law (‘The Margalit Committee’)
  • Dean of the Tel Aviv University’s Constantiner School of Education and Sneurson Psycho-Educational Center
  • Representative of the Israeli Psychologists Organization to the National Health Committee
  • Vice Chairperson of the International Association of Special Education

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Arie Rimmerman, PhD, DSW (Adelphi University) is an internationally acclaimed researcher, published author and policy maker in the areas of social work and disability. At the University of Haifa he founded and serves as head of the Social Welfare and Health Sciences Department as well as the dean of the University’s School of Social Work. Additionally, Prof. Rimmerman maintains a post at the Newhouse School of Public Communication at Syracuse University. In the past he has served as advisor to Minister of Labor and Welfare in Israel, and has been commissioned to join and public policy committees around the world

Prof. Rimmerman has accrued numerous awards and citations for his academic contributions:

  • Lehman Award (1987)
  • William Trump Award (1998)
  • American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (1999)
  • Burton Blatt Leadership Award (2006)

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Prof. Michael Guralnick, Phd is an eminent authority in the areas of early development intervention. He is the professor of Psychology and Pediatrics at the University of Washington and is the director of the Center on Human Development and Disability (CHDD), one of the largest interdisciplinary research and training centers in the United States.  He has published eight books and more than 130 articles and is the editor of the journal Infants & Young Children. In 1994, Dr. Guralnick received Distinguished Research Award from “The ARC”.

In the past, Dr. Guralnick has served as:

  • President of the Association of University Centers on Disabilities, the Council for Exceptional Children’s Division for Early Childhood, and the Academy on Mental Retardation.
  • Chair of the Mental Retardation & Developmental Disabilities Research Center

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Melvyn I. Semmel is a sought after lecturer and operations advisor. Mr. Semmel is the Research Professor Emeritus at the Community Organization & Research Institute, and the a Professor Emeritus of Special Education and former Associate Dean for Research in the Graduate School of Education. Formerly, he has held the following positions:

  • Director of the Special Education Research Laboratory at the University of California in Santa Barbara
  • Director of the Center for Innovation in Teaching the Handicapped
  • Professor of Special Education at Indiana University.
  • Senior faculty member of the Joint Education and Psychology Program, Coordinator of Training Programs in Mental Retardation, and Research Scientist in the Center for Research on Language & Language Behavior at the University of Michigan.

Prof. Semmel maintains professional relationships with the following organizations:

  • American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD)
  • American Psychological Association
  • American Psychological Society
  • Institute for Neuropsychology
  • New England Medical Center
  • Center for Innovation in Teaching the Handicapped.

Prof. Semmel has published more than 200 articles, lectured in over 50 universities and presented at scores of professional meetings and conferences.

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Prof. Jake Burack, PhD (Yale), is the Founder and Director of the McGill University Youth Study Team and professor in the Department of Educational and Counseling Psychology. Prof. Burack’s primary area of research and published work revolves around the cognition among persons with developmental disabilities and is the research coordinator at the Center for Neurodevelopmental Research at Hopital Riviere des Prairies. Prof. Burak is a leading member of the Canadian Autism Training Faculty and is on the editorial boards of The Journal of Autism & Developmental Disorders, Development & Psychopathology and The Journal of Intellectual Disability Research

In the past, Prof. Burack was the co-chair of the Scientific Program Committee at the 2006 world congress on Down syndrome and was a founded the editorial board of The Journal of Cognition & Development.



Professor Adam Stablholz, DMD, is a world leader in the field of dentistry with forty years of clinical practice, teaching, research, administration and international diplomacy. Among many prestigious accolades, he is the Dean Emeritus of Hadassah Medical Center’s Department of Endodontics, of Hebrew University’s School of Dental Medicine and President Emeritus of the Alpha Omega Dental Society, one of the largest in the world. He has now brought his decades of wisdom and leadership to Shalva as Chairman of our OHEV oral health program, propelling the program into the future.

Aside from his many published writings:

  • 2012 Outstanding Achievement Award by theAlpha Omega International Dental Fraternity.
  • Former President and Chairman of the International Federation of Endodontic  Associations (IFEA)
  • Chairman of the Scientific Council of the Israel Dental Association
  • Chairman of the Department of Endodontics and Director of the Center for Advanced Dental Education

We take great pride in Shalva’s International Academic Committee. This exceptional circle of scholars has united to dedicate their expertise in the name of guaranteeing Shalva’s position as leader of the disability service provision and inclusion.