Meet the people who find a way.

OUR PEOPLE

We are proud of the experienced and dedicated professionals, board members, and volunteer advisors spearheading our work across the globe. From our headquarters in Israel to our offices around the world, meet our team below.

Headquarters

Yotam Polizer

CEO

Naama Gorodischer

Global Chief Humanitarian & Resilience Officer (CHRO)

Shlomit Tron

Global Chief Transformation Officer (CTO)

Irina Kegeles

Global Chief Finance Officer (CFO)

Tamar Kosky Lazarus

Global Chief Development & Communications Officer (CDCO)

Michal Strahilevitz

Senior Director of Regions and Resilience

Anat Herrmann Aharoni

Regional Director

Laura Di Castro

Regional Director

Michal Bar

Director of Emergency Programming & Operations

Karmit Berlinsky

Emergency Operations Officer

Anna Bondar

Senior Programs Officer

Yarden Zornberg

Emergency Programs Manager

Idan Markovich

Emergency Programs Officer

Valerio Carafa

Emergency Officer

Joe Serkin

Safety and Security Manager

Dr. Bella Kovner

Head of Technical Unit

Yahel Shemesh

Head of Protection Sector

Orit Rubin

Protection Coordinator

Avital Furlager

Protection Coordinator

Mai Leshem

Protection & Emergency Coordinator

Selda Edris

WASH Coordinator

Sita Cacioppe

Head of Health Sector

Dr. Ahmad Abu Al- Halaweh

Health Sector Coordinator and Project Officer

Eitan Goldberg

MEAL & CWC Coordinator

Amalia Martinez

Organizational Learning Senior Officer

Molly Bernstein

Innovation, Information, and Impact Coordinator

Maia Brandstadter

Programs Officer, Africa & the Pacific

Juliana Peña

Senior Programs Officer, the Americas

Anna Menzies Hecht

Development Director

Dr. Sam Kaplan

Head of Institutional Funding

Hannah Sharron

Development Officer

Ethan Schwartz

Media & Communications Manager

Shachar May

Press Officer

Zoë Edelman

Digital Communications & Content Officer

Kym Donnelly

Human Resources Manager

Tanya Amiel

Human Resources Manager

Adi Levi

Administration Manager

Vanda Golani

Director of Finance

Chava Mugrabi

Accounting Officer

Efim Gordon

Finance Officer

Ksenia Guz

Senior Finance Officer

Lior Komorovsky

Procurement and Compliance Manager

Heads of Country Offices

Karina Garcia

Colombia

Nicole King

Dominica

Joost van de Lest

Guatemala

Gayle Deighton

Kenya

Natavan Imanova

Moldova

Alex Musili

South Sudan

Delphine Mugisha

Uganda

Kristina Mitchell

Vanuatu

IsraAID U.S.

James Cohen

Chief Development Officer, IsraAID U.S.

Rachael Sonntag-Bloom

Resource Development Director, IsraAID U.S.

Alissa Rozansky

Office Administrator, IsraAID U.S.

Global Board

Meira Aboulafia

Chairperson

Mully Dor

Board Member and Founder

Edward Rettig

Board Member

IsraAID U.S. Board

Sherry Weinman

Chairperson of U.S. Board

Sheldon Weisel

Emeritus Treasurer & Former Chair

Orit Atzmon

Board Member

Jonathan Barsade

Board Member

Eric “Rick” L. Bernthal

Board Member

Harvey Brown

Board Member

Andrea Lee-Zucker

Board Member

Rick Matros

Board Member

Deborah Rudy

Board Member

Kurt Schwartz

Board Member

Eta Somekh

Board Member

Brad Somer

Board Member

Hagit Ze’ev

Board Member

IsraAID Germany Board

Deirdre Berger

Board Member

Maria Boettche

Board Member

Aron Schuster

Board Member

IsraAID U.S. Advisory Council

Elizabeth Ashbourne

IsraAID U.S. Advisory Council Member

Shulamith Bahat

IsraAID U.S. Advisory Council Member

Danielle Foreman

IsraAID U.S. Advisory Council Member

Gidi Grinstein

IsraAID U.S. Advisory Council Member

Yossi Jayinski

IsraAID U.S. Advisory Council Member

Doron Krakow

IsraAID U.S. Advisory Council Member

Pastor Becky Keenan

IsraAID U.S. Advisory Council Member

Adam Taylor

IsraAID U.S. Advisory Council Member

Becky Kleiner

IsraAID U.S. Advisory Council Member

Erik Ludwig

IsraAID U.S. Advisory Council Member

Adrienne Matros

IsraAID U.S. Advisory Council Member

Gregory Milne

IsraAID U.S. Advisory Council Member

Colin Price

IsraAID U.S. Advisory Council Member

Jonathan Quarles

IsraAID U.S. Advisory Council Member

Amy Rosenblatt Lui

IsraAID U.S. Advisory Council Member

Eric Savitz

IsraAID U.S. Advisory Council Member

Erin Schrode

IsraAID U.S. Advisory Council Member

Larry Tobin

IsraAID U.S. Advisory Council Member

Rabbi Josh Weinberg

IsraAID U.S. Advisory Council Member

Ron Zamir

IsraAID U.S. Advisory Council Member

Yotam Polizer

CEO

Yotam Polizer is the global CEO of IsraAID – overseeing IsraAID’s global operations, strategy and partnerships. Following the September 2015 refugee crisis in Europe, he led IsraAID’s humanitarian mission in Lesbos, Greece, to support Syrian refugees on the island and also established IsraAID Germany, which provides long-term support for Yazidi and Syrian refugees in Germany. Over the course of nine years at IsraAID, Yotam has also built and led programs in Japan after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, in the Philippines after Typhoon Haiyan, in Sierra Leone during the 2014 Ebola crisis, and in Nepal following the 2015 earthquake.

Naama Gorodischer

Global Chief Humanitarian & Resilience Officer (CHRO)

Naama holds an MA (Honors) in Community Development Studies and a BA (Honors) in Sociology and Anthropology. Naama has over 16 years of experience in humanitarian aid and community development in over 20 countries, with special expertise in emergency response management, forced migration, education, and youth at risk.  Starting as a young practitioner, opening missions in 16 countries, Naama swiftly moved up in the ranks to become Chief Humanitarian and Resilience Programming Officer at IsraAID. In her spare time, Naama engages with the refugee community in Israel, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and environmental initiatives.

Shlomit Tron

Global Chief Transformation Officer (CTO)

Shlomit Tron is the Global Chief Transformation Officer (CTO), with over fifteen years’ experience in Human Resource Management in both the business and non-profit sectors. Shlomit spent more than 13 years in the hi-tech and online industries, managing HR in global companies. She holds an MSc. in Organizational Behavior and has vast experience in change management, mentoring leaders and corporate governance. Shlomit was born and raised in Jerusalem but is now proud to live in Tel Aviv with her husband, three children and a cat.

Irina Kegeles

Global Chief Finance Officer (CFO)

Irina has over ten years’ experience in financial management and control and compliance in the non-profit and financial advisory sectors. She moved to Israel from Moscow in 2013, where she worked at a ‘Big Four” accounting firm, specializing in financial advisory, mergers and acquisitions. Upon arrival to Israel, she focused on NGO financial management, working in international non-profits responding to the global refugee crisis. Irina holds a master’s degree in Financial and Strategic Management and lives in Tel Aviv with her husband and two sons.

Tamar Kosky Lazarus

Global Chief Development & Communications Officer (CDCO)

Tamar’s team at IsraAID focuses on documenting and sharing IsraAID’s work with communities globally. Tamar has participated in IsraAID missions in Colombia, Nepal, Kenya, Uganda, Greece and The Bahamas. Tamar has over ten years’ experience in fundraising and communications in Israel’s not-for-profit sector. Tamar moved to Israel from London in 2010, where she worked in local government. Tamar has a master’s degrees in Middle Eastern Politics and Local Government Management and Policy. She lives in Modiin, with her partner and 3 kids.

Michal Strahilevitz

Senior Director of Regions and Resilience

Over the years, Michal has focused on supporting vulnerable communities, particularly those affected by disasters and conflicts, and has led a wide range of projects in areas including livelihoods, women’s empowerment, community development and resilience, DRR, and capacity building. At IsraAID, Michal oversees and directs the organization’s operations in the Americas. Michal holds a BBA in Business Administration (ESGCI-Paris), MA in International Development Studies (University of Amsterdam) and an MSt in Human Rights Law (Oxford University).

Anat Herrmann Aharoni

Regional Director

Anat Hermann Aharoni, Africa and the Pacific Region Director at IsraAID HQ, holds extensive experience in managing humanitarian projects across the globe. She spent many years working in Asia, Africa, and the Americas with Médecins Sans Frontières and with the French Red Cross, first as a Project Manager and then as a Country Director.

Anat specializes in managing medical aid operations and working in areas affected by conflict and epidemics. She holds an MSc in Violence, Conflict and Development from the School of African and Oriental Studies, University of London, and is currently studying Public Health (MPH) at the Hebrew University.

Laura Di Castro

Regional Director

Before joining IsraAID, Laura has worked for the Italian Development Agency, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), and at the Food and Agriculture Organization for the UN (FAO) in Rome. She has experience as a social entrepreneur, co-founding and leading educational programs for youth at risk in Guatemala, under ExpresARTE Iniciativa, an association promoting social change through arts. Laura holds an MA in International Development from the Sciences Po, Paris. Born and raised in Italy, today Laura is based in Tel Aviv with her husband.

Michal Bar

Director of Emergency Programming & Operations

Born and raised in Israel, Michal has over 15 years of experience working in the public sector, including the IDF, the state attorney’s office, the Knesset, and civil society organizations. A member of the Israel Bar association, she holds a Master’s in International Development (Glocal Program) from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Michal joined IsraAID in 2017 as the Head of Emergency Response Mission to Dominica. Over the past two years, Michal has been leading the Emergency Programming and Operations department at IsraAID; Michal believes that there is a spark of opportunity in every crisis and that there is a rare momentum to contribute to the affected community’s resilience. Michal, a mother to Noga, divides her time between disaster-affected areas around the world and Tel Aviv, the city she loves to call home.

Karmit Berlinsky

Emergency Operations Officer

Before joining IsraAID, Karmit worked for many years in hi-tech, mainly in project and product management. After a year of exploring new cultures and volunteering all over the world, Karmit decided to leave the private sector and use her skills and experience in an organization dealing with disaster response. Karmit joined NATAN’s Operations and Logistics Team in 2018, and later joined IsraAID in 2019 when deployed to the Bahamas following Hurricane Dorian. In 2020, she became the Emergency Operations Officer in HQ.

Anna Bondar

Senior Programs Officer

Anna is originally from Kyiv, Ukraine, and joined IsraAID during the process of moving to Israel. She worked at the JDC for 11 years, starting her career in the humanitarian world as a PR & Missions Manager. Anna then worked as a Jewish Renewal Coordinator with 10 organizations in Central & Western Ukraine. She later became the director of JCC Halom in Kyiv, which she and her team built from scratch.

Yarden Zornberg

Emergency Programs Manager

Yarden joined IsraAID from Israel Initiative where he served as the FoodTech Innovation Director. He is the Founding Director of Project Ten, an international development organization that has found and operated centers in seven countries working in the fields of Health, Agriculture and Education. Yarden previously directed the Acharai Labagrut project, a country-wide program for youth at risk, facilitating joint activities for Palestinian and Jewish children. Yarden holds an Executive MBA from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, focusing on venture capital, and an MA in Clinical Social Work. Yarden lives in Jerusalem with Yael and their three boys.

Idan Markovich

Emergency Programs Officer

Idan holds a Master’s Degree in International Development from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Before joining IsraAID, Idan worked at the North America Division of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, engaging in policy analysis relating to US-Israel relations. Idan also worked at Israel’s Permanent Mission to the UN in New York, working as part of the team representing Israel at the Human Rights Committee of the General Assembly. Idan is passionate about anything relating to international and humanitarian affairs and is now helping shape IsraAID’s emergency humanitarian responses to emergencies around the world.

Valerio Carafa

Emergency Officer

Valerio holds three master’s degrees in Political Sciences, Diplomatic Studies, and Public Health. Before joining IsraAID, Valerio worked for the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean, an international organization founded by a group of Mediterranean national parliaments, including Israel, within the Inter-Parliamentary Union IPU, Geneva. He speaks Italian, English, French, and Spanish. Valerio volunteers at the Italian Relief Corps and is a member of Rotary Club Napoli Parthenope. He loves riding his motorbike, kitesurfing, and sailing. Valerio comes from Napoli, Italy and although he feels like a world citizen, he cannot live without pasta and pizza.

Joe Serkin

Safety and Security Manager

Joe Serkin is an experienced law enforcement and first response professional. He is a  former New York City police officer and Israeli National Police detective and has most recently worked as a product marketing manager for tech startups with a focus on products for the security industry. Joe holds an MA in Goverment with a specialization in counter-terrorism and homeland security from the IDC in Herzliya. A New York City transplant, Joe lives in Modiin with his wife and children.

Dr. Bella Kovner

Head of Technical Unit

Bella is an international Child Protection and Counter Trafficking specialist. Prior to joining IsraAID, she spent 15 years working for World Education and Terre des Hommes in Nepal, China, Albania, Uganda and Cambodia, addressing gender inequality and combating unsafe migration, trafficking in human beings and exploitative child labor. As Head of Technical Unit, Bella supports the strategic development of IsraAID’s sectors and technical capacity. Bella holds an MA in Sustainable Development from Brandeis University and a PhD from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Yahel Shemesh

Head of Protection Sector

Yahel has degrees in social work from Ben Gurion University and Tel Aviv University, and extensive experience working with youth at-risk in Israel, specializing in providing psychotherapy for child survivors of violence and sexual abuse. She first started at IsraAID as part of the emergency response team deployed to Nepal following the 2015 earthquake, subsequently working in South Sudan as a child protection consultant. In her role at IsraAID, Yahel oversees the sector’s strategy, training programs, and content development, and supervises protection programs.

Orit Rubin

Protection Coordinator

Orit is a Psychotherapist and a Psychodrama Therapist (MA), with many years of experience working in therapy and community work with women, children, and families. Orit began her work with IsraAID in Chad, Serbia, and Liberia. Orit is a Gender-Based Violence (GBV) expert and has been a big part of developing IsraAID’s GBV program in South Sudan. She also accompanyies programs in Kenya, Uganda and Greece. Orit has spent many years leading the Psychosocial Support sector of the funding group of “ASSAF” – Aid Organization for Refugees in Israel.

Avital Furlager

Protection Coordinator

Avital is a psychotherapist and dance and movement therapist specializing in trauma work with children, adults and families. She serves as the Protection Coordinator at IsraAID, and teaches at the University of Haifa, Wingate Institute, and Shiluv Psychotherapy Center. Avital began her work with the refugee community as a mental health clinician at the International FACES refugee clinic in Chicago, IL. With IsraAID, Avital has created and supported implementation of psychosocial programming in Kenya, Greece, and several other countries.

Mai Leshem

Protection & Emergency Coordinator

Mai is a social worker with a Master’s degree in Child Development. She has extensive experience working with asylum seekers and migrant workers and has a background in emergency operations with the Israel Defence Force.  Mai lives in Hod Hasharon, and is a painter, goldsmith and vegan!

Selda Edris

WASH Coordinator

Selda holds a BSc in Water Industries Engineering and an MSc in Environmental Engineering. Her master’s research focused on the improvement of treated wastewater quality for irrigation in rural areas of Punjab, India, spending time in India researching water quality. Selda volunteered as a water engineer in Uganda, and as a group leader in Tanzania constructing a water system in schools. She has experience in water filtration systems in Amiad Water Systems, as Industrial Wastewater Coordinator in the Ministry of Environmental Protection, and as a teaching assistant in sustainable technology at Tel Aviv University.

Sita Cacioppe

Head of Health Sector

Sita joined IsraAID in 2020 after completing her MBA in Healthcare Innovation at the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) in Israel. She began her career as a Registered Nurse in Australia spending ten years working in Sydney, Perth, and London before moving into the humanitarian sector. Following this move, she spent 9 years with an international medical NGO working around the world including Africa, the Middle East, Ukraine, and Haiti. Sita is passionate about ongoing learning and development within the healthcare sector.

Dr. Ahmad Abu Al- Halaweh

Health Sector Coordinator and Project Officer

Ahmad is a Public Health specialist, with experience in Healthcare Systems Management. He served as Chief of Community Programs and Diabetes at the Augusta Victoria Hospital in Jerusalem for more than 20 years. In 2005, Ahmad co-founded the Diabetes Palestine Association. He is the focal point for the coordination of cooperation, training, humanitarian assistance, and research with international organizations. In addition,  Ahmad serves as the regional representative for STEP (Science Training Encouraging Peace) to support Palestinian students to further their higher education in Israeli Universities.

Eitan Goldberg

MEAL & CWC Coordinator

Eitan holds a BA in International Studies and an MA in Political Science, as well as professional certificates in Program Evaluation and Group Facilitation. Eitan worked at Shatil -The New Israel Fund, where he primarily provided consulting, facilitated training, and developed written materials on program evaluation for NGOs engaged in social-change work. He also worked at Search for Common Ground on the evaluation of people-to-people programs targeting Jewish and Arab citizens of Israel. Eitan lives in Jerusalem with his wife and two daughters.

Amalia Martinez

Organizational Learning Senior Officer

Amalia holds a BA in Business Administration from the University of Buenos Aires and a MA in International Development (Glocal) with a specialization in Gender Studies from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Before joining IsraAID, Amalia worked as an executive in the Public Sector for over 10 years, promoting capacity building in favor of facilitating the implementation of public policies, specializing in economic and organizational strengthening. She has led technological modernization projects, international negotiations for investment projects, including strategic technology transfer for government agencies, and special funding programs for academic and research activities and institutions. Amalia lives with her partner and their dog Marti.

Molly Bernstein

Innovation, Information, and Impact Coordinator

Molly Bernstein began working with IsraAID as the Head of Mission in Lesvos, Greece and later joined the IsraAID HQ team as Development & Communications Manager. Molly holds BAs in Arabic Studies and Government & Politics, an MA in Contemporary Middle Eastern History, and is currently working on her PhD with research focusing on Middle Eastern history. In 2015 she returned to Israel, after living in Philadelphia, and worked as an editor and contributor at the Haaretz newspaper and at an Arab-Jewish NGO. Molly has lived in a smattering of strange places, learning Arabic and Persian along the way.

Maia Brandstadter

Programs Officer, Africa & the Pacific

Maia has a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Buenos Aires in Psychology and a Master’s degree from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in International Development (Glocal), specializing in Gender and Development. She has extensive experience working in educational and therapeutic programs with at-risk youth, as well as with children and teenagers with psychosocial issues, in Argentina and in Australia. She has volunteered with ARDC promoting access to higher education for refugees in Tel Aviv, and she was the Country Director of a humanitarian aid organization in Israel. She joined IsraAID first as an intern, later working with the Protection team developing a Mental Health and Psychosocial Support online program, before becoming the Programs Officer for Africa & the Pacific.

Juliana Peña

Senior Programs Officer, the Americas

Juliana holds a bachelor’s degree in Social and Cultural Anthropology and a master’s in Conflict Studies. She started her career in humanitarian response and international development working with SGBV survivors and community leaders in Colombia. She joined IsraAID in 2017 as Country Director in Sierra Leone, working both in SGBV and SRHR (Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights). In 2019, Juliana returned to Colombia, one of her home countries, to lead the emergency response to the migrant crisis, and is now based in HQ.

Anna Menzies Hecht

Development Director

Anna joined IsraAID with many years of experience as a marketing and fundraising professional for NGOs and not-for-profits in both Australia and Israel.  Over the past two decades, Anna has worked in a number of fields, including supporting Australian youth at risk, Israelis from the social and geographical periphery, scholarships for students to study in Israel, as well as Jewish enrichment programs and the arts. Anna grew up in Sydney, Australia, and moved to Israel with her husband in 2009 after a two-year stint in the UK. She lives in Herzliya with her husband and their three children.

Dr. Sam Kaplan

Head of Institutional Funding

Sam joins IsraAID after four years of working at the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) where he was responsible for all international fundraising and partnerships. Prior to ACRI, Sam acquired fundraising and donor relations experience, first at a leading UK charity, and more recently at an Israeli NGO that promotes human rights in relation to planning.
Sam is a cultural anthropologist with a strong background in Middle East history and citizenship studies. Upon completion of his Ph.D. at the University of Chicago, Sam taught and conducted research at Tel Aviv University and Ben-Gurion University.

Hannah Sharron

Development Officer

Hannah joined IsraAID in 2021 following a Master’s degree in Government, Diplomacy and Strategy at IDC Herzliya, where she developed an interest in humanitarian aid. She is now working on her MA thesis, and also holds a BA in English Literature from the University of Birmingham, UK. Prior to joining IsraAID, Hannah worked for non-profits in Israel, the UK, and the US. Her experiences have instilled in her a lasting enthusiasm not only for grantmaking but also for sustainable, community-led solutions to complex issues.

Ethan Schwartz

Media & Communications Manager

Ethan joined IsraAID in 2018 after working as a Digital Campaigns & Press Officer for Yachad, as a freelance journalist for publications focusing on international finance, markets, and philanthropy, and as the English Web Editor of a London-based magazine. He led media work on the ground during the 2019 Cyclone Idai emergency response in Mozambique. Ethan studied Religion, Philosophy and Ethics at King’s College London. Born in New York and brought up in London via Harare, Zimbabwe, Ethan moved to Tel Aviv in 2017.

Shachar May

Press Officer

Shachar comes to IsraAID after several years as an editor at the newspaper Haaretz and will be responsible for IsraAID’s global media relations and press coverage. After growing up in New Jersey, Shachar moved to Tel Aviv. She is currently completing an MA in Art History focused on race and photojournalism. Shachar speaks conversational Italian, alongside Hebrew & English.

Zoë Edelman

Digital Communications & Content Officer

Originally from Scotland, Zoe moved to Israel in 2018. Before joining IsraAID, she worked at BINA: The Jewish Movement for Social Change. Zoe is committed to working in the non-profit sector, previously working for the British Red Cross and her youth movement, and volunteering for Raleigh International on a community WASH project in Nicaragua. Zoe is passionate about sustainability and achieved a BA in Environment and Business at the University of Leeds.

Kym Donnelly

Human Resources Manager

Kym is an HR professional with over 10 years’ experience in general human resources, with a passion for training and development. Kym is originally from Johannesburg, South Africa, where she studied Industrial Psychology. She has worked in Human Resources in South Africa, Israel and the UK, and across manufacturing, banking, retail and call centers, taking care of Human Resources and Training. She’s passionate about people, learning and development. Kym lives in Givatayim with her husband.

Tanya Amiel

Human Resources Manager

As HR Manager, Tanya works with the Americas region, supporting the Education and Medical sectors, and serving as the main contact on the team for Emotional Support. Before joining IsraAID, Tanya already had 7 years experience working in HR. She is passionate about people, their wellbeing, and diverse working environments. Tanya has a degree from Bar Ilan University, majoring in Human Resource Management. After years in the business sector, Tanya wanted to bring her heart to the workplace, as well as her mind.

Adi Levi

Administration Manager

Before joining IsraAID, Adi worked for 4 years as a Project Director in Israel Experience (a subsidiary of the Jewish Agency). Adi has a BA in International Relations, Spanish and Latin American Studies from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Adi spends her spare time on outdoor adventures as she enjoys scuba diving, wall climbing, whitewater rafting and other extreme sports. One of Adi’s biggest feats was in Tanzania, when she climbed the Kilimanjaro mountain’s highest peak – Uhuru – at 5,895 meters (19,341 feet).

Vanda Golani

Director of Finance

Vanda has 20 years of experience in Finance, previously working at the global accounting firm PwC in the area of Mergers and Acquisitions, and held various finance managerial roles at Amdocs, one of Israel’s largest high-tech companies.  Vanda is a Chartered Accountant and holds a BSc in Business Administration.

Originally from Slovakia, Vanda lives in Hod Hasharon with her husband, their four children and two dogs. In her free time, she loves to freedive, swim, read science-fiction, hike, and spend time with family and friends.

Chava Mugrabi

Accounting Officer

Chava is the Accounting Officer at IsraAID and a certified bookkeeper with over five years of administrative experience in the Israeli education system. Chava was born and raised in Israel. Following a military career as an HR officer, she went on to study Leadership and Educational Management at Bar-Ilan University, working in the informal and special education system for several years. In 2019, Chava made a career change and studied bookkeeping at Mishlav college, graduating with excellence. Chava lives in Modiin with her husband and three kids.

Efim Gordon

Finance Officer

Efim joined IsraAID with experience working in the financial sector, most recently working as a leading economist in the Russian Ministry of Education. Whilst obtaining his Honors Bachelors of Economics, he worked as a translator in the field of professional communications. He is fond of sports, especially football and running, and loves to cook and travel.

Ksenia Guz

Senior Finance Officer

After graduating from Moscow State University, Ksenia joined the Israeli Ministry of Tourism as a Finance and Administrative Manager. Her journey between that role and her current role at IsraAID included two years in Brazil. Ksenia now lives in Ramat Gan with her husband, two sons, and their cat. She loves spending time with her family, traveling, reading, and learning new handicrafts.

Lior Komorovsky

Procurement and Compliance Manager

Lior has over four years of experience in Procurement and Data Analysis. Recently he worked in Israel’s Municipality Sector. Before that, Lior worked for global Hi-Tech companies in various IT Roles, running IT operations across regions. Lior holds a BA in Business Management and is a certified internal auditor. Lior enjoys theater, chess, early morning jogging, good humor and reading books – he even wrote one himself. Lior lives in Bat-Hefer with his wife, four kids, and their little lovely dog.

Karina Garcia

Colombia

Karina is a Clinical Psychology specialist with a Master’s Degree in Social Development. Karina has extensive experience in local capacity development in communities, more specifically in education, leadership, mental health, community empowerment, and sustainable development. Karina joined IsraAID as an Area Manager with more than 10 years of working for national and international NGOs.  Karina enjoys spending time with her partner and her two children, including camping and discovering new places.

Nicole King

Dominica

Nicole holds a bachelor’s degree in International Business and International Relations and a Master’s degree in Gender and Equity Policies. Additionally, she has studied in International Cooperation and International Migrations. Her area of expertise is Livelihoods and Economic Inclusion, mainly focused on refugees and migrants in Latin America. She has worked in the promotion of economic empowerment and self-reliance with vulnerable populations, including SGBV survivors. Before joining IsraAID, she worked for HIAS, developing and implementing the Livelihoods programs in Ecuador and Peru, and supporting the assessments for operations in Guyana. She loves dogs so much, that she owns 5 and is passionate about sustainability.

Joost van de Lest

Guatemala

A Dutch citizen, Joost has been active in the development and humanitarian sector for almost 30 years, both in HQs and in various missions. Joost has worked primarily as coordinator or Country Director, in Africa (Kenya, Somalia, Mozambique), Asia (Afghanistan, Indonesia and Philippines), Eastern Europe (Kosovo, Moldova), and Latin America/Caribbean (Colombia, Nicaragua and English speaking Caribbean). He has worked with HelpAge International, People in Need, and spent almost 25 years working at Oxfam.  He joined IsraAID after serving for two years as Country Director in the Philippines with People in Need.

Gayle Deighton

Kenya

Gayle is a humanitarian and development professional with experience leading, managing, and advising, small and large-scale multi-country programs at executive and senior leadership levels. Among her previous positions, Gayle worked as a Country Director for Hope for the Children Australia in Ethiopia, and as an Organisational Development and Programme Advisor and Director for the Australian Dept. of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Gayle holds a B.A. in International Relations from The University of Queensland, Australia, and an M.A. in International Relations from Deakin University, Australia.

Natavan Imanova

Moldova

Natavan first joined IsraAID as Head of Mission in Albania before joining our team in Moldova. Nata is an economist and a qualified accountant, with over 20 years of experience in managing humanitarian and development operations in various parts of the world. Nata has experience working in a number of large humanitarian organizations, most recently People in Need, Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN, and Translators without Borders.

 

 

Alex Musili

South Sudan

For the last 15 years, Alex has been working in the field of Advocacy, Development, Conflict Transformation, and Peace Building, first in Somalia, and then in South Sudan and Kenya. Before joining IsraAID, Alex worked for World Vision Sudan, as a Multi-Sector Consortium Program Manager.

Alex’s background includes a B.A. in Social Science from Egerton University, an M.A. in Conflict Resolution and Peace Building from Kampala International University. He is currently working on his Ph.D. in Human Development, researching the topic of Intimate Partner Violence against Women at the University of South Africa.

Delphine Mugisha

Uganda

Delphine is a social scientist with extensive experience in the humanitarian and development nexus, particularly in the areas of Gender-based Violence, Child Protection, Sexual and Reproductive Health, and Capacity Development. Delphine previously worked in Uganda with CARE International, Actionaid International, Raising Voices, and Development Network of Indigenous Voluntary Associations (DENIVA). Delphine holds an MSc in Public Health Leadership, an MSc in Development Management, and a BA in Social Sciences.

Kristina Mitchell

Vanuatu

Kristina holds a BA in International Development Studies and an MSc in Public Health. She has 15 years of experience providing technical and managerial support for development projects and humanitarian response, including grant management of multiple stakeholder portfolio, overseeing project financial compliance, development of program designs, concepts and grant proposals and M&E systems in Asia and the South Pacific.

James Cohen

Chief Development Officer, IsraAID U.S.

James joined IsraAID US from Jewish Family & Children’s Service Boston, where he served as Chief Philanthropy Officer. He previously spent eight years at Keshet, the leading national organization working for LGBTQ equality in Jewish life in the United States. James holds the Certified Fund Raising Executive certification and is a Senior Fellow of the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies. He serves on the Board of Directors of Second Nurture, an organization that promotes community-based foster care and adoption, and as the Co President of the Community Hevra Kadisha of Greater Boston. He lives in Newton, Massachusetts, with his husband and is the proud parent of two young men. 

Rachael Sonntag-Bloom

Resource Development Director, IsraAID U.S.

Based in Los Angeles. Rachael brings over a decade of experience working in the nonprofit sector at a variety of communal, medical and philanthropic organizations. Prior to joining IsraAID, Rachael was the Director of Development at Jewish World Watch and the former Director of Membership & Development at Sinai Temple. She also served as a consultant for a local humanitarian aid start-up Save the Syrian Children, which provides medical supplies to Syrian hospitals to treat victims of war.

Alissa Rozansky

Office Administrator, IsraAID U.S.

Alissa is IsraAID U.S.’s office administrator, based in the Bay Area.

Meira Aboulafia

Chairperson

Meira has been active in the world of non-profits for over 30 years. For 15 years, she served as the Coordinator for Special Projects and Events at the JDC-Brookdale Institute, as well as the Manager of their Middle East program, meant to enhance the quality of healthcare systems in the entire region. She co-chaired the Israeli NGO Aid Without Borders from 2000-2002, and has spent the last 10 years fighting for human rights in Israel and the Palestinian territories. In 2015, she won the Times of Israel Humanitarian Award in recognition of her leadership at IsraAID. From 2006-2018, in parallel with her activities at IsraAID, Meira served as CEO and Chairperson of The Israeli Friends of the Tibetan People. She is a member of the International Women’s Forum (IWF) and an active partner in promoting the status of women in Israel and around the world.

Mully Dor

Board Member and Founder

Mully has over 35 years of experience in business management, economics and social sustainable development, and the public and health sector. Born and raised in Israel, he has served as Deputy Mayor of the Ramat-Gan Municipality, Deputy CEO of the Hevrat Ovdim Cooperative, Lecturer and Project Director of the Afro-Asian Institute, Chair of IMC – The Israel Management Center, Chair of Rabin First in Labor (R.A.), and Internal Controller at Clalit Health Services HQ. Today, alongside his role with IsraAID, Mully chairs AJEEC-NISPED and the Beit Zvi School of the Performing Arts. He is additionally Chair of the Board of Directors at the Israel Academic College. In his capacity as founder and board member, Mully has directly assisted in IsraAID’s projects in Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Haiti after the 2010 earthquake, and Japan after the 2012 tsunami.

Edward Rettig

Board Member

Born in the United States, Ed immigrated to Israel in 1972. He holds a law degree from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and received a Wexner Graduate Fellowship to study at the Hebrew Union College where he received rabbinical ordination. Ed also holds a doctorate in Modern Jewish History from the Hebrew Union College. Ed served as an attorney in the Israel Ministry of Police and on the boards of IsraAID, the Israeli Coalition for International Assistance, and human rights associations in Israel.

Sherry Weinman

Chairperson of U.S. Board

Sherry has been a volunteer leader in the Los Angeles Jewish community for 30 years. As chairperson of the board, Sherry has supervised the start-up of the first U.S. office for IsraAID in Palo Alto, California. Sherry came to IsraAID through her association with AJC, one of IsraAID’s primary American organizational supporters. As a communications professional, Sherry was an executive producer, creator and writer of television news and information programs in Los Angeles and the U.S. for more than 25 years.

Sheldon Weisel

Emeritus Treasurer & Former Chair

Sheldon has been practicing law in Washington, D.C. for 40 years. During this time, Sheldon represented developers, lenders, investors and others in a broad range of transactions. He has extensive experience in many different real estate sectors including multifamily, retail, office and hotels. He has been recognized by Chambers and the Washington Legal Times as one of the leading real estate lawyers in Washington, DC. Mr. Weisel has a BA and JD from UCLA.

Orit Atzmon

Board Member

Orit Atzmon is a clinical psychologist based in Palo Alto, CA.

Jonathan Barsade

Board Member

Jonathan has thirty years of experience as an entrepreneur and an attorney. He is now using those skills to help entrepreneurs create and build their new businesses, and in the world of not-for-profit organizations. Mr. Barsade was the Founder and CEO of EXACTOR INC, the next-generation provider of a fully automated, end-to-end compliance solution for secure, safe, and accurate sales tax record keeping and filing.

Eric “Rick” L. Bernthal

Board Member

Eric is a former Managing Partner of Latham & Watkins, Washington D.C. and former chair of the Humane Society of the United States. He has served on the board of the South Florida Wildlife Center, Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter, Better Homes Foundation, and the Legal Aid Society of Washington D.C. Eric and his wife have three children and have fostered 25 children. They live in the Washington D.C. area.

Harvey Brown

Board Member

Harvey Brown is a CPA and consultant based in New York and the former CEO of Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP.

Andrea Lee-Zucker

Board Member

Andrea is a mother of three children, based in the DC area. She is the DC City Ambassador of NEXUS, a global network of young investors and innovators dedicated to bridging communities of wealth and social entrepreneurship. Andrea is also a writer, activist, social entrepreneur, and manager of Antigravity Ventures, an impact fund at The InterTech Group, Inc.

Rick Matros

Board Member

Rick Matros is President and Chief Executive Officer of Sabra Health Care REIT.

Deborah Rudy

Board Member

Deborah is a community activist based in Austin, Texas. She currently chairs Austin’s pro-Israel political network. Her passion is promoting a strong US-Israel relationship, and has been heavily involved in AIPAC leadership positions. Prior to life in Austin, the Rudys lived in Chicago, where Deborah was president of the Stone Jewish Community Center, served on the Board of Directors/Executive Committee of Chicago JCCs, and the board of NCJW, South Cook. She chaired PADS (Public Action to Deliver Shelter) at Temple Anshe Sholom.

Kurt Schwartz

Board Member

Kurt has serves as the Director of the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, which operates the State Emergency Operations Center, coordinates the state’s response to disasters, and ensures the state’s preparedness to withstand, respond to, and recover from all types of emergencies and disasters. Mr. Schwartz served in the state’s Executive Office of Public Safety and Security as the state’s Undersecretary for Homeland Security and Governor’s Homeland Security Advisor from 2010 to 2015, and as the Undersecretary for Law Enforcement from 2007 to 2010.

Eta Somekh

Board Member

Eta enjoyed a career as an artist working in metal. Nowadays, she serves on the board of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a national organization headquartered in Washington D.C, as well as the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.

She also heads the Somekh Family Foundation. Eta has two children and lives with her husband Sass in Palo Alto, CA.

Brad Somer

Board Member

Brad is the President and a senior partner at the West Cancer Center and Research Institute, a nationally renowned cancer center in the mid-south United States. He has served on the boards of the Community Oncology Alliance, the UT/West Institute for Cancer Research, and other organizations related to cancer. Dr. Somer has been President of the Jewish day school in Memphis, has been Vice President of his synagogue and has served on the boards of the JCC and Memphis Jewish Federation in the past.

Hagit Ze’ev

Board Member

Hagit is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with an extensive background in Transpersonal Psychology, Humanistic Existential Psychology, Internal Family Systems, and Mindfulness. Hagit has deployed with IsraAID to Greece and Germany as part of IsraAID’s response to the Middle Eastern refugee crisis, and shared her expertise by leading mindfulness workshops for IsraAID staff from the refugee community. She is the owner of Neshima Healing, focused on self-discovery.

Deirdre Berger

Board Member

Deirdre Berger is a member of the IsraAID Germany board

Maria Boettche

Board Member

Maria Boettche is a member of the IsraAID Germany board

Aron Schuster

Board Member

Aron Schuster is a member of the IsraAID Germany board

Elizabeth Ashbourne

IsraAID U.S. Advisory Council Member

As Executive Director of PQMD, Elizabeth (EJ) Ashbourne is responsible for furthering PQMD’s commitment to championing and advancing standards in medical supply and service donations. EJ was previously the Managing Partner for EJA Consulting, a small private firm specializing in strategic planning, fundraising, and all aspects of non-profit turn-around. Prior to that, EJ spent 17 years at the World Bank in a number of senior level positions, where she spent many years working to engage the private sector in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

Shulamith Bahat

IsraAID U.S. Advisory Council Member

Shulamith Bahat is CEO of The Museum of the Jewish People at Beit Hatfutsot of America, a program and institutional platform of the Israel-based Museum of the Jewish People, partnering with foundations, museums, JCCs, synagogues, cultivating engaged leadership and overseeing development. Shulamith was previously Associate Executive Director of AJC, where she served for 31 years. She was elected as one of the Forward 50 leaders in Jewish life, as the highest ranking woman and Israeli in American Jewish organizations.

Danielle Foreman

IsraAID U.S. Advisory Council Member

Danielle Foreman is Director of Programs at the Koret Foundation, working closely with the staff and board to advance the Foundation’s grantmaking priorities. She also collaborates with the CEO and the director of finance on Foundation operations and planning. Since 2015, Danielle has also independently consulted with high net worth individuals who want to leverage their new wealth to impact the community. She and her husband live in San Francisco with their twin sons, Zachary and Noah. Danielle enjoys downhill skiing, almost anything outdoors, travel, photography, and art.

Gidi Grinstein

IsraAID U.S. Advisory Council Member

Gidi Grinstein is the founder of the Reut Institute, Israel’s leading non-governmental research, strategy and leadership group, and President of American Friends of the Reut Institute.

Yossi Jayinski

IsraAID U.S. Advisory Council Member

Yossi Jayinski has more than 25 years of public accounting experience serving a variety of industries, including not for profit and financial services. He has performed audits of private and public companies, as well as various IPOs, and has served as an adviser for U.S. and international businesses. He has worked with various functional areas such as risk management, operations, finance, accounting and compliance. Other areas of concentration include internal audit co-sourcing/outsourcing, control assessment, project definition, scope and planning, project management, and resource planning.

Doron Krakow

IsraAID U.S. Advisory Council Member

Doron Krakow is President and CEO of the JCC Association of North America. Doron has more than two decades working in national and international Jewish organizations, with a strong background in fundraising, youth movement work and Israel engagement.

Pastor Becky Keenan

IsraAID U.S. Advisory Council Member

Pastor Becky Keenan is the president and founder of One With Israel. Pastor Keenan is an active member of AIPAC’s National Council and serves as a commissioner of the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission appointed by Governor Gregg Abbot in April 2016. She also serves as a member of the Governing Board for the Latino Coalition for Israel.

Adam Taylor

IsraAID U.S. Advisory Council Member

For over three decades, Adam Taylor has been guiding intellectual property companies, organizations and individuals to manage and extract value from their copyrights, trademarks and patents. For the last twenty-one years, Adam has served as the President/CEO of APM Music, the world’s leading production music company, which since its founding in 1983 has been providing top quality score, themes, background music and songs for hundreds of thousands of TV shows, movies, commercials, videogames, web videos, corporate films and much more. Covering every style from the latest in authentic urban-contemporary and hard-hitting rock alternative music to extraordinary collections of classical recordings and archival recordings going back to the earliest days of the 20th century, APM’s music has helped create the soundtrack of popular culture. 

  

Prior to running APM Music, Adam served as co-founder and President of Taylor/Fox Enterprises, where he partnered with doctors, scientists and inventors to market and deliver their unique, patent-protected inventions to consumers. Before that, as co-founding partner of Goldman/Taylor Entertainment, he developed numerous properties including the primetime television series Confessions of Crime for Lifetime Network, and the PBS series Joseph Campbell – Mythos hosted by Academy Award® winner Susan Sarandon in partnership with the Joseph Campbell Foundation. 

 

Adam began his career at Caswell-Massey, the oldest chemists and perfumers in the U.S. established in 1752, where he served a ten-year post as President/CEO. 

  

Adam serves on the Advisory Board of the Creative Community for Peace and is Chairman of the Council of Advisors for the Zelikow School for Jewish Non-Profit Management. 

Becky Kleiner

IsraAID U.S. Advisory Council Member

Becky is an interior designer and a passionate community leader. Originally from Venezuela, she lives in Palo Alto, CA, with her husband Micky and their three children.

Erik Ludwig

IsraAID U.S. Advisory Council Member

Erik Ludwig, Ph.D., serves as the President and CEO of the Jewish Federation of Orange County. His executive experience spans the Jewish nonprofit field for the past 20 years and has focused on developing Jewish startups and spearheading innovation within traditional institutions. Prior to his role at the Federation, Erik had a seven-year tenure as Director of the Zelikow School of Jewish Nonprofit Management at HUC-JIR/Los Angeles and as Chief Operating Officer at Upstart Bay Area before that. Ludwig earned his Ph.D. in Education, Culture, and Society from the University of Utah in 2018. Erik’s research interests include race in education, caring teacher-student relationships, and the effect of school structure on academic achievement. Ludwig received his M.A. from Humboldt State University and his B.S. from the University of Utah.

Adrienne Matros

IsraAID U.S. Advisory Council Member

Adrienne Matros is a Clinical Psychologist with over 30 years’ experience in the health care industry. Adrienne currently serves on five non-profit boards, including: Children’s Hospital Orange County (CHOC), Merage JCC, JCCA, Aleh-Negev (Israel) and TLC (Tilly’s Life Center). For ten years, she has been planning and coordinating teen trips to numerous countries working with NGOs and indigenous people to assist in creating self sustaining communities. Adrienne resides with her family in Orange County, California.

Gregory Milne

IsraAID U.S. Advisory Council Member

Gregory Milne is the chief impact and foreign policy officer at the Clinton Foundation. In this role, he oversees the Foundation’s efforts on programmatic impact and evaluation, metrics, and information sharing; he also helps guide international strategy and plays a central role in shaping and executing President Clinton’s foreign policy vision for the Foundation. Previously, he served as the deputy chief of staff and director of policy to President Clinton and chief executive office of the Clinton Foundation’s Haiti program. He is also an adjunct professor at Fordham Law School.

Colin Price

IsraAID U.S. Advisory Council Member

Prof. Colin Price is a Professor in the Department of Geosciences at Tel Aviv University, and the Head of the Porters School of Environmental Studies. He is a world-renowned atmospheric physicist, specializing in the earth’s weather and climate, with a focus on thunderstorms, climate change and natural hazards. He has published more than 130 scientific papers, and has a team of 10 graduate students and researchers working under his guidance on various scientific research projects.

Jonathan Quarles

IsraAID U.S. Advisory Council Member

Jonathan Quarles has had a longstanding passion for building businesses and creating change. As a serial entrepreneur, he started his first business as the top-selling paperboy in his neighborhood at the age of 8. Thirty years later, Jonathan has created and developed more than 10 businesses, ranging from a custom T-Shirt operation to a creative printing company. He is an avid angel investor, focusing on fast-growing, disruptive companies with a social impact component.

Amy Rosenblatt Lui

IsraAID U.S. Advisory Council Member

Amy Rosenblatt Lui is a Philanthropic Advisor with over 30 years of strategic foundation and development experience. Currently she is Executive Director of three Family Foundations – the Beverly Foundation, the Fingerhut Family Foundation and the Ronald Fingerhut Family Foundation. Amy is active as a volunteer in the community and she lives in Minnetonka with her husband and teenage son.

Eric Savitz

IsraAID U.S. Advisory Council Member

Eric Savitz is senior director of corporate communications at Roku Inc. He was previously a partner in the San Francisco office of Brunswick Group, a London-based corporate communications firm. Eric’s work includes IPO, M&A and activism defense projects; litigation, cyber breach and crisis communications; media relations, media training and writing assignments. Eric spent 29 years as a reporter, columnist, blogger and editor, focused on investing, technology and Silicon Valley. A resident of Palo Alto, and a member of the board of Congregation Etz Chayim, he and his wife Robyn Stanton have three children.

Erin Schrode

IsraAID U.S. Advisory Council Member

Erin Schrode is a citizen activist, social entrepreneur and storyteller. Since co-founding Turning Green in 2005, she has developed eco education and action platforms to inspire, educate, and mobilize millions of students and the global public. A passionate writer and orator, Erin was on air with ABC News for the election season, speaks internationally, and consults with corporations, governments and organizations – including IKEA, the US State Department, Apple, The Coca-Cola Company, Nestlé, Unilever, Chipotle, United Nations and more. She writes for Cosmopolitan Magazine, Refinery29 and Fusion, among others.

Larry Tobin

IsraAID U.S. Advisory Council Member

Larry Tobin is the Director of The Shapiro Foundation, a Boston-based foundation particularly focused on the plight of refugees across the globe. The Shapiro Foundation spearheaded local-resettlement efforts in the US & Canada, worked to alleviate the suffering of refugees and asylum-seekers in Greece & Israel, and have invested significantly to ensure that every individuals’ journey is a safe one. Beyond their work with refugees, they also invest heavily in public health, education & basic human rights in The US, Israel, Rwanda, Liberia, Greece and Canada.

Rabbi Josh Weinberg

IsraAID U.S. Advisory Council Member

Rabbi Josh Weinberg serves as the Vice President of the URJ for Israel and Reform Zionism and is the Executive Director of ARZA, the Association of Reform Zionists of America. He was ordained from the HUC-JIR Israeli Rabbinic Program in Jerusalem, and is currently living in New York. Josh previously served as the Director of the Israel program for the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College and as a faculty member of NFTY-EIE High School in Israel teaching Jewish History.

Ron Zamir

IsraAID U.S. Advisory Council Member

Ron Zamir has been the CEO of AllenComm since 2003. Under his leadership AllenComm has grown to be one of the largest instructional design firms in the U.S. and is ranked at the top of their field in areas of instructional design, gamification and learning management for the corporate education market. Ron serves on the Board and is Vice President of the Utah Jewish Federation, is a member of the AIPAC National Council and Chairman of The Utah Israel Economic Council.