Tantur Faculty and Staff

The faculty and administrative staff of Tantur is a small but dedicated  group of individuals from different national, religious and professional backgrounds.  Together, they work with our facilities and groundskeeping team who make all the work of our institute a possibility. 



Rev. Russell McDougall, CSC, Rector


Rev. Russell McDougall, C.S.C., also known as "Fr. Russ," has been an ordained priest of the Congregation of Holy Cross since 1991. He has been the rector of Tantur since July of 2014.  He holds a masters of divinity from the University of Notre Dame and a licentiate of sacred theology from the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome.  A native of northwest Indiana, he has more than 13 year's ministry experience with the Holy Cross in Kenya and Uganda. Since his arrival in Jerusalem, Fr. Russ has been involved in a wide range of social and religious interests both related and complimentary to his work as rector. 

Robert O Smith Website

Rev. Robert O. Smith, Ph.D., Academic Director, UND Jerusalem Global Gateway


Rev. Robert Smith is Academic Director of the Jerusalem Global Gateway program, a global consortium of University of Notre Dame institutions of which Tantur Ecumenical Institute is part of. His work also includes additional representative tasks associated with the University.  Robert also acts as Special Advisor to Bishop Munib Younan in his role as president of the Lutheran World Federation, and is the co-author of Christians and a Land Called Holy: How We Can Foster Justice, Peace, and Hope, and the author of More Desired than Our Owne Salvation: The Roots of Christian Zionism.   He lives in Jerusalem with his wife, Rev. Carrie Smith, pastor of the English-speaking congregation of the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer in Jerusalem, and their two sons, Caleb and Zion. 


Fr. Brian Daley, S.J. Senior Ecumenical Fellow 



Fr. Brian Daley, S.J., the Catherine F. Huisking Professor of Theology at the University of Notre Dame, recipient of the 2012 Ratzinger Prize for Theology, has been appointed to the newly created position of Senior Ecumenical Fellow of the Tantur Ecumenical Institute. A historical theologian who has authored numerous works, Fr. Daley has been president of the North American Patristic Society, an editor of the scholarly journal Traditio, and also serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Early Christian Studies. Fr. Daley has been a member of the Orthodox-Roman Catholic Consultation in North America since the early 1980s and is at present its Executive Secretary. In the 1960s and 1970s, As Senior Ecumenical Fellow, Fr. Daley will work to develop pre- and post-doctoral fellowship programs for junior and senior scholars, and help to determine the direction of ecumenical theological studies and programs at Tantur. 

Mark Mina

Mark Mina, Director of Operations







Involved in Jerusalem's Catholic, Coptic and Orthodox communities, Mark Mina is a practical example of ecumenical Chrisitanity in the Holy Land!  As Director of Operations, Mark is responsible for day-to-day facilities management, oversees administration of facilities staff, and assists the rector of Tantur with the many challenges that come with administration and upkeep of our large institution, it's buildings and poperty.  Mark brings over a decade of nonprofit financial and administrative management experience to Tantur. He is married with three children, and is active in many Palestinian Christian civic organizations. 

Frederic Masson

Frederic Masson, Program Director 


Frederic Masson is the Program Director, responsible for the oversight of all Tantur and visiting programs. Frederic is from the Alpine Mountains of France.  He has lived for 15 years in the Middle East, spending his time between Syria and Jerusalem.  Frederic is a member of the Syriac Catholic Diocese of Jerusalem, and has completed his theological studies with the intention of becoming ordained clergy.  He brings to his position experience with ecumenism, sustainable tourism and Interreligious dialogue. He is married to Stephanie Saldana,  a poet, university lecturer, and author of The Bread of Angels. Together they live at Tantur with their three children. 


Dan Koski, Marketing & Communications Director, Administrative Support  


Originally from Minnesota, Dan joined Tantur Institute after several years in the region. He is involved in Marketing and Administration responsibilities at Tantur, helping other staff members with various tasks and programs.  He is a graduate of the University of Minnesota Duluth, and has a professional background in Law Enforcement, nonprofit administration and tourism.  Dan is married to Sofia, a Palestinian Christian from Bethlehem district, and is involved with local Orthodox Christian communities. 


Jacqueline Mazoyer, Head Librarian


Jacqueline arrived from France to Tantur and is now Head Librarian for the Tantur Library. Jacqueline comes to Tantur with a multitude of experience having worked for many years at the Catholic Diocesan Library of Rennes in Brittany. Very involved in ecumenism and interfaith dialogue, she is delighted to be at Tantur keeping our library, "the jewel of Tantur," brightly polished! 

Sandy Dides

Sandy Dides, Reservations & Front Desk Manager


A native of Jerusalem, Sandy joined us in September 2014, initially as the executive administrative for the rector as well as the reservations manager for Tantur programs, guests and hosted events. Sandy is the first point of contact for registering & corresponding with CEP programs participants.  Sandy speaks Arabic, English and French with fluency along with basic Hebrew, and has worked in both hotel management and non-governmental organizations. Sandy lives in Jerusalem with her family, and enjoys spending time with her friends and acquaintances.     

Hayley Cohen Website

Brooke Greenburg, Program Assistant


From the West Coast of the United States, Brooke Greenburg is a seminarian at Princeton Theological Seminary, Brooke joins the Tantur community through the summer of 2018 as part of her vocational training, managing day-to-day logistical and administrative tasks for our internal and external programs, as well as program accompaniment.

Karis Aliabouni

Karis Ailabouni, Program Director, UND Jerusalem Global Gateway


Karis Ailabouni is the Program Director for the University of Notre Dame Jerusalem Global Gateway program, which brings undergraduate students to Tantur for a period of study at local institutions.  Karis is a Palestinian American who was born and raised in Chicago. She pursued a Bachelor of Arts in Music, Psychology, and French from Valparaiso University.  Her passion for international travel and cross-cultural issues led her to live and work in different corners of the world, including France, Madagascar, and Israel/Palestine.

Issa Daboub

Issa Daboub, House Manager


Issa Daboub has been with Tantur Institute since 1986, having been the lead front desk staff member until being promoted to House Manager after many years of working with both local and international staff. Issa holds an MA in Education and Human Development from Boston College in the United States, lives in Bethlehem, and is married to his wife Olina, with two children. 

Issa Babish

Issa Babish, Head Chef & Kitchen Manager 

Issa Babish brings 25 years of experience in culinary arts to Tantur's kitchen, being responsible for the overall management of both the menu, meal preparation and supporting staff.  Issa "Abu George" has competed in regional culinary exhibitions and is also responsible for the annual Greek Orthodox Christmas banquet.  A Bethlehem native, he is married with four children. 

Raanan Mallek

Raanan Mallek, M.Ed., Events Coordinator


Raanan Mallek lived in Vancouver, Canada, Honolulu, Hawaii, and San Diego, California before he moved to Israel in 1999.  His professional experience includes teaching, education and nonprofit administration, and event coordination. Raanan is responsible for coordination of events hosted and co-hosted by Tantur Ecumenical Institute. Raanan has a professional and personal passion for interfaith activism and advocacy in the Holy Land, and is involved in a host of organizations and initiatives to that end. 

Jiries Asfour Website

Jiries Asfour, Bookkeeper  


Jiries Asfour is responsible for financial matters concerning to Tantur.  He is a resident of Jerusalemite, and was married in the summer of 2016. 

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The Tantur Family