Rabbi Yonatan Neril
Founder and Executive Director
Rabbi Yonatan Neril founded and directs The Interfaith Center for Sustainable Development. Raised in 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.
Yonatan is coauthor of the bestselling book Eco Bible, published by ICSD, which shines new light on how the Hebrew Bible and great religious thinkers have urged human care and stewardship of nature for thousands of years as a central message of spiritual wisdom.
He has spoken internationally on religion and the environment, including at the UN Environment Assembly in Nairobi, the Fez Climate Conscience Summit and the Parliament of World Religions. He co-organized ten interfaith environmental conferences in Jerusalem, New York City, Washington D.C., and Atlanta. He is the lead author of three books on Jewish environmental ethics and also co-authored three reports on faith and ecology courses in theological education. He lives with his wife, Shana and their two children in Jerusalem.
Michael Gribov serves as the deputy director of The Interfaith Center for Sustainable Development, overseeing organizational development, institutional philanthropy, and branding. He came to the environmental movement through a realization that even our individual food choices can impact large-scale global issues.
A seasoned organizational leader, Michael’s career includes financial analysis at Key Bank and Morgan Stanley, and work at institutions of higher education, transnational corporations, and nonprofit organizations. Michael’s family immigrated from Leningrad to Akron, Ohio when he was ten years old. A dual Israeli-American, Michael has lived in Jerusalem, where he ran a parliamentary forum conducting dialogue with the diplomatic corps in the Knesset/Parliament.
In Washington, DC Michael served at the State Department and as a committee staffer in Congress. He studied economics at the University of Cambridge, holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance and Marketing from Miami University of Ohio, and a Master’s Degree in Strategic Planning and International Relations from Georgetown University.
Lisa Cohen is a qualified educator and passionate advocator in the fields of environment, health and co-existence. Raised in Wales, UK, Lisa completed her M.Sc. in Environmental Resource Management, before moving to Israel.
Lisa has 25 years of experience working in environmental non-profit organizations, initiating both educational and physical projects in all community types in Israel, many of which are now government sponsored programs. In 2009, Lisa founded a non-profit organization, entirely voluntary, “BRACHA – Living with and Lowering your Risk of Hereditary Cancer”, where she brought lifesaving advances to the Israeli health system, proactive and current scientific knowledge to thousands of families throughout Israel, the Middle East and Europe, resulting in a decrease in the number of hereditary cancer cases diagnosed.
Lisa was awarded the President of Israel’s Prize in 2015 and then in 2017, The Ministry of Social Services Award, for her contribution to Israeli society. However, for Lisa, her greatest achievement is raising three thriving Israeli children, single-handedly!
Aryeh Ronay is an environmental educator who holds an M.S. in Education from Yeshiva University and B.A.s in English and Philosophy from the University of Florida. He has worked for the past five years in religion, education and sustainability at various institutions including Eden Village, Capital Camps, Ramah of the Rockies, the Neal Klatskin Summer Experience, Bernard & Alice Selevan Religious School, SAR Academy, and Makor Disability Services. Aryeh is thrilled to work at ICSD to help save the planet through spiritual partnerships. He loves hiking, biking, cooking and walking the streets of Jerusalem with his incredible wife, Manya.
Deborah Lee Rose
Volunteer Consulting Editor
Deborah Lee Rose is an award-winning children’s author, science writer and editor whose books, many with environmental themes, are read around the world. They include The People Who Hugged the Trees, Into the A, B, Sea, Ocean Babies, Jimmy the Joey, Beauty and the Beak: How Science, Technology, and a 3D-Printed Beak Rescued a Bald Eagle, Scientists Get Dressed and Astronauts Zoom! She was also a senior science writer for UC Berkeley’s Lawrence Hall of Science.
Deborah most recently edited Eco Bible and Plastic Sea: A Bird’s-eye View. She lives with her husband, Ken, an environmental health scientist, in Silver Spring, MD. (www.deborahleerose.com)
Los Angeles Faith and Ecology Network
Pesach Chananiah is grateful to be involved with ICSD to transform the relationship between faith and ecology in Los Angeles and beyond. In the past, he has worked on a variety of social justice organizing campaigns, from interfaith capacity-building efforts in Las Vegas and Los Angeles to coalescing stakeholders to improve air quality in and around port communities. Pesach has also taught in a wide range of Jewish education contexts, including youth wilderness programs in New York, Beverly Hills, and the Bay Area. Most recently, Pesach completed his PhD in Community, Liberation, and Ecopsychology – and he brings to all of his work his training in tending of soul in and of the world. Additionally, Pesach is a trained yoga teacher and practitioner of mindfulness meditation. He lives in the Miracle Mile area of Los Angeles with his partner Kimeiko Rae and enjoys urban biking and cooking vegetarian meals.
Ethel Mendius is from Chicago, Illinois, and currently lives in Scotland, where she is pursuing a Masters in international development. Ethel is committed to advancing environmental sustainability in her career. She is also passionate about strengthening bonds and inspiring social action within the Jewish community. Since the summer of 2022, she has been contributing ecological content to the ICSD blog.
Harry Cooper was born and raised in Norman, Oklahoma. He has always had an interest and passion for the environment and protecting it. Harry studied Environmental Studies and International Studies at the University of Oklahoma and studied for a semester at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Harry has done work with the Big Brothers Big Sisters Oklahoma branch, and since August 2021, he has worked for the ICSD helping to write numerous blog posts on various religious ecological topics.