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Our Team

 

Rabbi Yonatan Neril

Founder and Executive Director
A native of California, Yonatan completed an M.A. and B.A. 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 three interfaith environmental conferences in Jerusalem in which religious leaders of several faiths spoke.

Yonatan is the lead author and general editor of two publications on Jewish environmental ethics including Uplifting People and Planet: 18 Essential Jewish Teachings on the Environment. Yonatan also co-authored ICSD’s Report on Faith and Ecology Courses in North American Seminaries and a separate Report on Faith and Ecology Teaching in Holy Land Seminaries  and was a Dorot and PresenTense Fellow.  He lives with his wife, Shana and their two children in Jerusalem.

 

Phillipa Friedland

Deputy Director

pfriedland@interfaithsustain.com

Phillipa completed a B.A. in Law and Industrial Sociology at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. It was here, due to the racist policies of the apartheid regime, that her interest in social justice issues emerged and she joined the banned organization ‘Jews for Social Justice’ where she taught History to Black domestic workers.

She is currently completing a Masters degree in Holocaust Studies through the University of Haifa. Phillipa’s affinity for the natural world and appreciation of the environment emerged as result of her childhood spent in rural South Africa, in very close proximity to the Kruger National Park.

Her interest in sustainability and economic development emerged as a result of a trip to Rural Uganda. She has spent the past 23 years living in Vancouver, Canada, where she was the Education Coordinator of the Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre. She currently lives in Raanana, Israel with her daughter and has a son studying in Vancouver.

 

Kendra Thacker

Volunteer

kthacker@interfaithsustain.com

Kendra joined ICSD in September 2017. She is currently enrolled at California State University in Sacramento, studying Anthropology. She came to Jerusalem to volunteer at ICSD as the approach to a more sustainable environment through faith-based thought leadership is admirable. The diversity in Jerusalem has been a growing experience for her.

Her transition to living more sustainably started with the focus on simple tasks around the house that had the effect of reducing my environmental foot print (like not using the dryer as much).

“Once I realized how easy it was to effect my carbon footprint, I started to focus on the benefits a vegan diet – for my health and the environment. I am still in the process of becoming a vegan, it is hard but also very fulfilling.”

 

 

Dominique Lellek

Marketing/ PR

dlellek@interfaithsustain.com

Dominique joined ICSD in July 2017. She grew up on a farm near Dresden (Germany) and has always been close to nature and sustainable living. Dominique holds a degree in International Business Strategy & Marketing from the University of Applied Sciences in Dresden. She lived and studied in the US, France and Russia.

After college she worked as a Consultant in Chicago for four years where she helped many German companies develop and execute successful strategies for their market entry and expansion in North America. She came to Jerusalem with her fiancé to refocus and explore a new culture.

In her free time she enjoys painting, doing yoga and Shuk-shopping to try out new veggie recipes.

 

Leib J. Kaminsky

Fundraising/ Donor Relations

lkaminsky@interfaithsustain.com

Leib works with nonprofit conservation organizations and social justice groups assisting them in building partnerships in the community. He received his BA from the University of Pennsylvania in Environmental Science and Master’s Degree in Environmental Education from the University of Michigan, and has worked with urban youth in the outdoors for more than 25 years.  

Leib spent 18 years with the Student Conservation Association, raising more than $15 million. 

He is on the advisory council for Avodah (a Jewish Social Justice organization that places interns with local poverty groups), and ACE (Arlingtonians for a Clean Environment) and works with the Interfaith Center for Sustainable Development (ICSD).

 

 

Marcos Cohen

Program Manager

mcohen@interfaithsustain.com

Marcos completed a B.A. in architecture and urbanism at the Iberoamericana University in Mexico City, and an M.A. in environmental studies at Tel Aviv University, with a focus on arid lands. He founded and co-directed the Urban Environmental Collective (Colectivo Urbano Ambiental), an international platform of professionals who aim to promote, coordinate, implement and operate environmental systems through urban planning and architecture.

He also founded Global Woods, a company dedicated to the commercialization of certified wood, from Forest Stewardship Council, LEED and Global Relief organizations. Prior to that he worked as a project manager for CAPA Lab, a think tank focused on generating sustainable urban development proposals for the area of the peninsula of Baja California Sur, Mexico. In addition, he taught seminars on urban projects at the Iberoamericana University. He lives with his wife and two children in Jerusalem, and likes studying Torah, exploring ecosystems through trail running, and practicing chi kung. 

 

Henry Mapwesera

Web Programmer

Malawian by nationality, Henry earned a Master of Science in Fisheries  from Junagadh Agricultural University (India) and a Bachelor of Science in Fisheries and Aquatic Science (Honours) from University of Namibia. He also obtained a Diploma in Agriculture and Natural Resources Management from Natural Resources College (Malawi), and a Diploma in Web Programming. He lives in Malawi. He has worked with ICSD since 2013.

 


 

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