Yonatan Neril directs The Interfaith Center for Sustainable Development and its branches Jewish Eco Seminars and Eco Israel Tours. A native of California, he completed an MA and BA from Stanford University with a focus on global environmental issues, and received rabbinical ordination in Israel. He has spoken internationally on religion and the environment, and organized two interfaith environmental conferences in Jerusalem in which religious leaders of several faiths spoke. He is the lead author and general editor of two publications on Jewish environmental ethics. He lives with his wife, Shana, and son, Shacharya, in Jerusalem.
Gidon Melmed has close to a decade of experience in management and strategic development of projects, focusing on sustainable development in the Holy Land. In 2011, he completed the Gevim Program for mediation, fulfilling a long-time passion of deepening his practical knowledge and skills in mediation and conflict resolution. Gidon has contributed to several business start-up projects, most recently leading business development for www.excelingo.com. Gidon acquired his MBA from Swinburne University of Technology (2006) and B.Sc. in Life Sciences, minoring in Jewish Thought and East Asian studies, from Hebrew University (2003), combining these studies with yeshiva Torah learning programs. He and his wife Hadas live in Jerusalem with their two children.
Board of Advisers
Mohammed Dajani Daoudi, is a professor of political science and international relations; founding director, American Studies Institute, Al-Quds University; founding director of the Wasatia Moderate Islamic Movement in Palestine. He is a Jerusalem-born scholar and peace activist with two doctorate degress (University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC, 1981; University of Texas, Austin, Texas, 1984). He is chairman, Board of Directors, House of Water and Environment; member Board of Directors, YMCA-West Jerusalem; Founding Director, Jerusalem Studies and Research Institute.
Rabbi Rosen received a papal Knighthood in 2005 for his contribution to Jewish-Catholic reconciliation and in 2010 he was made a CBE (Commander of the British Empire) by H.M. Queen Elizabeth II for his work promoting interfaith understanding and cooperation.
Most Rev. Bishop Shomali was born in Beit Sahour (Palestine) in 1950. He earned a B.A. in philosophy and Theology and was subsequently ordained as a priest in Jerusalem in 1972. He earned a Doctor of Divinity degree, and served as professor of liturgy, vice-rector and dean of studies at the Faculty of Philosophy and Theology of the Major Seminary of Jerusalem. In 2005 he became Rector of the same seminary. In 2009, he became Chancellor of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem. In 2010 he was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI as auxiliary bishop to the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem.
Dr. Joan Lurie
Dr. Lurie is a physicist and business development consultant living in New York City and dealing with applications of satellite imagery and technology transfer. She is the Principal Scientist for Verdant Enterprises (www.VerdEnt.net). Her current interests include using satellite imagery to study the environment and the assessment of sustainable development projects. At the United Nations she represents an accredited Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), International Council of Jewish Women, and is a member of the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development where her work emphasizes the relationship between women’s rights and sustainability.
Dr. Kagan has been an innovator and entrepreneur for eighteen years. He has co-founded six high-tech companies, holds a doctorate in chemistry from Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and is an inventor with twelve registered patents. He founded Jewish Climate Initiative, and has developed and widely taught holistic Judaism, integrating a mind/body/soul approach to spirituality. He is the author of “The Holistic Haggadah.”
The Interfaith Declaration on Climate Change (IDCC) uses the Internet to create a collaborative, innovative and global community for discussion and action on climate change. They work to foster local, national, and international conversations to create a unified voice that will guide and influence people, institutions, and governments on how to best address the issues of climate change and sustainability. IDCC is collaborating with the Interfaith Center for Sustainable Development on a joint project, the United Planet Faith and Science Initiative.