Who We Are

“I’m going to fly to the gas rig with an army of fairies, to replace it with a green island of trees and flowers.”  
Galya, Six-year-old activist

“I’m going to fly to the gas rig with an army of fairies, to replace it with a green island of trees and flowers.” 

Galia, Six-year-old activist 

Our amazing supporters and volunteers are critical to our success. We are parents, teens, scientists, engineers, educators, farmers, and far more. And we’re determined to accomplish what should be a given – a safe environment for ourselves and future generations.

Here’s a glimpse of only a select few of our nationwide volunteers.    

Yoni Sappir
Founder and chairperson
Shlomit Valensi
Head of PR, Treasurer
Dr. Michael E. Adel
IHG Science and Air Teams
Inbal Meron Levy
Head, Social Media & Digital
Moshe Barak
Resource Development, Training
Aviv Levi
Outreach, Public mobilization
Dr. Michal Shatkay
IHG Science and Sea Teams
Roni Neumann
Fossil Free Israel Coordinator
Noam Winer
Head, Renewable Energies Team
Adv. Matan Garfinkel
Legal counsel
Dr. Aviva Elad
Medical advisor
Sheikh Morad Amash
Head of Jisr az Zarqa Council
Tom Bar Ya'acov
Head, Air Monitoring Team
Tal Gonen
Head, Field Activities
Naomi Bar
Youth Activist
Dr. Arik Cheshin
Outreach, Public Mobilization
Michal Ziv
Twitter, Content Development
Dror Bareket
Outreach, Public Mobilization
Gital Friedman Sasson
IT Website Design, Programmer
Victor Ben-Ami
Activist, Ashdod-Ashkelon
Odelia Zadok
Outreach, Public Mobilization
Tomer Hagalili
Outreach, Public Mobilization
Anna Borenstein
English Outreach
Limor Mayraz
Social Media
Inbal Ben Ya'akov
Photography
Ofir Oz
Facebook PPC, Copywriting
Rinat Benari
Outreach, Public Mobilization
Nina Wolinkski
Graphic Design, Instagram
Bilal Hasdia
Outreach, Public Mobilization

Michal Ben-Gal, Adv.

Environmental Planner and Lawyer
Liora Netanel
Research, Outreach
Vera Fried
Accounting
Ori Spier
Human Resources

“If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am only for myself, what am I? And if not now, when?”​

Hillel, the Elder
More of our partners:

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Yoni Sappir

Founder and Chairperson

IHG’s founder and chairperson, Yoni is an entrepreneur, lecturer and experienced director. Formerly – CEO of themarker.com, head of the datacom division of Bezeq, Israel’s largest telecom, VP of Netvision, Israel’s first ISP, and more.  

Yoni’s tireless efforts over the past four years – from strategizing to commissioning expert assessments, litigations, and speaking at numerous forums including Israel’s parliament – have helped make IHG an Israeli household name.

“The journey towards a more just, compassionate and balanced world passes through determined, accurate and uncompromising civic action.”

Shlomit Valensi

Head of PR, Treasurer

A Chinese medicine practitioner and former aeronautics engineer, Shlomit has been active in IHG since its establishment. Formerly head of our public information and education team, she currently serves as treasurer and heads our PR, including handling media requests and preparing outreach materials for decision-makers and the public.

"Born and raised near Haifa's oil refinery, I know many people who have fallen ill, all 'part of the statistics.' We moved to Dor after our children were born. Haifa's air was simply unfit. Dor, near the sea, felt like our Garden of Eden until months later when the phone rang -- Noble Energy wanted our signed consent to pass condensate pipelines through our moshav. "Listen," I said, "I can recognize a bomb when I see it, and you're planning a minefield. There's no way we'll sign."

Dr. Michael E. Adel

Member of IHG's Science Team and Air Team

A physicist by training, Mike is a key contributor to IHG’s science-based activities, including the tracking of emissions inventories, air quality data, and regulatory documents in the oil and gas sector. Mike has authored critical reports highlighting the dangers of Israel’s fossil-fuel industry, and is interviewed frequently on Israel’s English-speaking TV and radio. He is currently focused on developing IHG’s citizen-funded air quality monitoring network.

“I watch with astonishment as we squabble over the spoils of fossil fuels, flashes in the geological pan about to deep fry us in the hot oil of extreme weather events. Israel needs to step up to the plate of climate change mitigation and own its emissions.”

Inbal Miron Levy

Head of social media and digital channels

A Technion-trained architect and veteran medical design usability manager, Inbal is a social and environmental activist in her local community and Israel’s nationwide environmental community. She leads IHG’s social media and digital channels, writing posts and newsletters, designing digital campaigns, and more.

Moshe Barak

Resource development, training

Moshe is a Technion Institute graduate in environmental engineering and hydrology and a computing veteran of many years. He is a key figure at IHG, where he’s served as treasurer and secretary of the association for three years and is currently part of our resource development team. He also assists with our digital and social media platforms and training.

“Those who have experienced cancer up close, in their loved ones, know that it’s impossible to describe its ravages. Fossil fuels are carcinogenic. Period. I’m fighting to help spare many others from falling ill with cancer and other diseases, as well as to fight climate change for our children, grandchildren, and future generations.”

Aviv Levy

Outreach and public mobilization

A software engineer during the week and environmental and political activist on weekends, Aviv cares deeply about Israel’s fragile democracy and environment. He’s our guy on the ground in all protests, events, and actions fighting for clean energy, water, and politics. 

Dr. Michal Shatkay

Member of IHG's Science Team and Sea Team

A graduate of Hebrew University (soil science) and the Weizmann Institute of Science (geochemistry), Michal was part of the R&D team in Canada’s 2015 Nobel-prize winning SNO collaboration. She brings her expertise to IHG’s scientific team, focusing on water chemistry and the ongoing impact of petrochemical effluents on seawater. She has recently been nominated as a substitute member in the inter-ministerial committee issuing discharge permits into the sea and is involved in additional environmental efforts, including tree preservation and reducing plastic waste.  

"I firmly believe that every effort makes a difference in reducing damage to our environment. A cleaner, more sustainable environment is a more just environment. It's a win-win enterprise."

Roni Neumann

Fossil Free Israel Coordinator

Roni is a key IHG strategist and spokesperson who frequently represents our organization in the media. He coordinates our Fossil Free Israel Forum, working to divest Israeli investors from polluting industries.

Noam Winer

Renewable energy researcher

An electrical engineer, Noam has broad experience in Israel’s hightech, including working on power stability for Intel’s CPU Pentium design. He brings his expertise to IHG, where he heads our renewable energy research team and is also a lead figure in our efforts against the OPC-2 gas-fired power plant planned for the population-dense city of Hadera. 

"Fossil fuels are yesterday's technology. The world is transitioning to renewables, with enhanced energy storage options increasingly closing the window on climate-changing fossil fuels. Our mission is to expedite this change."

Adv. Matan Garfinkel

Legal counsel

An environmental and planning and zoning lawyer, Advocate Matan Garfinkel worked at leading law firms for years until opening his practice several years ago.  

As IHG’s legal counsel, Adv. Garfinkel submits court petitions, objections to planning institutions, requests under the Freedom of Information Law, and a variety of appeals to government bodies and public authorities – all to advance IHG’s mission of bringing about safer energy and environmental policies and legislation. In addition, Adv. Garfinkel accompanies IHG’s staff in discussions with the Ministry of Environment and others, providing ongoing legal advice.

Dr. Aviva Elad

Medical advisor

Dr. Elad is a family physician and head of faculty development for family medicine mentors at one of Israel’s HMOs. She and her spouse co-founded the Public Campaign for Healing the Israeli Health Care System. This NGO is dedicated to minimizing preventable medical complications, including fatalities stemming from the country’s excellent but ill-planned, underfunded, and overworked medical system. Dr. Elad has been with IHG since its inception, where she focuses on public health issues related to environmental hazards and finds specialists for specific concerns. 

"Israel's medicine is among the best in the world. However, faulty system-wide planning often results in severe hospital crowding leading to frequent medical errors and vast financial damages. Our country's current petrochemical policies are marked by a similar lack of planning and foresight, with large populations exposed to harmful pollutants. This must change."

Sheikh Morad Amash

Head of Jisr az Zarqa local council

Sheikh Amash heads the Jisr az Zarqa council near the intersection of the Taninim River and the Mediterranean shoreline. He has worked with IHG since its inception, creating an information campaign highlighting the dangers of the nearshore rig, recruiting residents, and joining legal initiatives.  

“This is our home and Garden of Eden on the sea. We will continue to do whatever we can to save lives.”

Tom Bar-Yacov

Head, Air Pollution Monitoring Team

A software engineer, Tom Bar-Yacov heads the SW engineering for IHG’s impending citizen-funded air pollution monitoring network. The network, planned for Israel’s top pollution hotspots, will provide reliable, independent data to monitor and potentially litigate future pollution violations.  

Tal Gonen

Head, Field Activities

A Bible teacher by day, Tal plays a critical role in IHG’s public mobilization efforts, heading our field activities and organizing and speaking at countless protests across the country.

"We realized that those expected to protect us are instead protecting the fossil fuel industry. This is why we're here. We're fighting for our lives and those of our children."

Naomi Bar

Youth activist

Climate change greatly concerns me – it’s clear that if we can’t solve this immediate and existential challenge, our planet will be destroyed, and all other issues currently occupying us will be entirely irrelevant.

I joined the struggle three years ago as a tenth grader after learning about IHG from Tal Gonen, whose activism is truly inspirational. I’ve participated in many demonstrations, had the privilege of being interviewed on the radio, and, together with friends, have organized youth protests attended by thousands.

"The nearshore gas rig may have been built, but there are still numerous ways to protect our environment and related health. We need your help! Like Barak Obama’s powerful quote, 'Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change we seek.'”

Dr. Arik Cheshin

Outreach and public mobilization

Dr. Cheshin is an organizational psychologist researching emotional dynamics within organizations and the Chair of the Human Services Department at Haifa University. At IHG, Arik is active in mobilizing communities to action, providing information regarding demonstrations and other events, and using social media platforms to raise broader awareness of critical sustainability issues.

"If we fail to stand up for issues of key importance to us, others, with opposing views, will do so, often impacting the world in ways that contradict or even critically hurt our interests. Having witnessed and at times even been part of those who stood on the sidelines while others committed the unthinkable, I will no longer stand aside when actions that oppose my values are happening or about to happen."

Michal Ziv

Twitter manager and content development

Michal’s background is in human resources and project management, including serving as the former CEO of Aleh, Israel’s Hemophilia Foundation. Her skillsets contribute significantly to IHG, where she integrates her passion for environmental protection, managing our Twitter account and contributing to other content development.  

Dror Bareket

Outreach and public mobilization, Pardes Hana-Karkur region

A farmer and former manager of Kibbutz Mishmarot’s field crops, Dror holds many IHG hats, including field coordination of the Pardes-Hana Karkur region, managing his regions’ Facebook and WhatsApp forums, and helping organize protests and special events.

Gital Friedman Sassan

IT Website design, programmer

A software and website developer, Gital contributes to developing and maintaining IHG’s Hebrew/English websites.

"I'm motivated by the critical importance of securing clean, healthy air, water, and soil for all living things, as well as the urgency of creating a collective awareness of the climate crisis and its connection to the activities of corporations and individuals. Greater awareness will translate to change."

Victor Ben Ami

Activist, Ashkelon-Ashdod region

A veteran of Israel’s general security services, Victor is the founder and owner of a solar energy company, a social and environmental activist, and a member of the city of Ashkelon’s environment committee. He is a leading IHG figure in the Ashkelon-Ashdod region, working to inform and mobilize residents to create local and national change.

"The Ashkelon-Ashdod region is one of Israel's most polluted, featuring a coal-fired powerplant, oil and gas refineries and pipelines, and the offshore Tamar gas rig. Residents are frequently exposed to toxic fumes and tragically lead the nation in certain cancers. Formerly dedicated to protecting Israel's security, today, I'm determined to do what I can to protect my home, country, and world."

Odelia Zadok

Outreach and public mobilization

A Technion-trained ecological architect, Odelia plays an important role in IHG outreach and public mobilization and has also graced scores of our protests and events with her artwork and magical flute playing!

"I've come to understand that my true role is to learn how-to live-in harmony on Earth, and the learning is deeper when we practice it together. It's a huge gift to be part of this group, working as one to create urgently needed change."

Tomer Hagalili

Outreach and public mobilization

A member of Kibbutz Nachsholim (within easy swimming distance from the recently built Leviathan gas rig), Tomer has been part of IHG since its establishment. He is one of our field activism team founders, and helps organize informational events and demonstrations throughout Israel.

"We've brought our struggle to the center of Israel's public agenda and discourse despite its complexity (our government repeatedly described gas as existential and a national resource that would enrich the country, benefiting residents.) We're determined to continue our activism despite the gas rig's construction and have expanded our goals nationwide, calling for Israel's urgent transition from climate-changing and toxic fossil fuels to renewable energies."

Anna Borenstein

English outreach

A science writer with degrees in biology, English literature and science education, Anna crafts and translates much of our English outreach, including text and videos.

"When the Leviathan gas rig reached our shores, our 10-year-old said she would "never go to a protest again." She had shouted her heart and soul out at numerous protests, including outside Jerusalem's supreme court.
I can't imagine my children living in a world where people have lost faith in their power to bring change. I'm in this for my children and all others. I hope they learn that we can and must make a difference, whether relating to climate justice or other issues we hold dear."

Inbal Ben Ya'acov

Photography

The founder and owner of a card-game platform featuring Israel’s nature and culture, Inbal’s line of work finds her frequently outdoors with a camera by her side. Upon joining IHG, Inbal started taking pictures documenting the Leviathan gas rig’s impact on our landscape. She has captured critical moments, including surfers set against the rig’s mammoth steel frame and rig malfunctions spewing giant fireballs lighting our night sky.

"I grew up by the sea, in Kibbutz Nachsholim, and now live in nearby Kibbutz Ma'ayan Zvi. Both are directly opposite the Leviathan gas rig. This area runs in my veins. As soon as I understood the depths to which corrupt politics and finances can impact our environment -- down to the very air we breathe -- it was impossible to stay on the sidelines."

Ofir Oz

Facebook PPC, copywriting

An award-winning author, Ofir’s creativity has proven pivotal to IHG, where he’s volunteered as a copywriter, content editor, social media manager, and today is in charge of our Facebook PPC.

Rinat Benari

Outreach, public mobilization

A special education teacher and instructor, Rinat helps coordinate IHG’s Pardes Hanna-Karkur region, focusing on outreach and public mobilization.

"Raised on a kibbutz in the Haifa Bay area, where air pollution is common, I grew to accept it as a natural part of life. Years later, a friend invited me to an informational evening about the impending Leviathan gas rig. Learning the details, I realized we must do something! This awareness has since become central to me. I do as much as I can to help."

Nina Wolinksy

Graphic design and Instagram manager

A graphic designer and social media manager, Nina crafted our organization’s name and logo – Shomrei Habayit – and set up all our social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter. She currently serves as our Instagram manager.

"Given that government officials and bodies lack genuine concern for the public's interests; we have no choice but to protect ourselves. Hence our name: Shomrei Habayit – Home Guardians."

Bilal Hasdia

Outreach, public mobilization
בילאל

Bilal is a digital media professional, social activist, and founder of the longstanding community website of his village, Furadies. Married and a father to two daughters, Bilal has been active at IHG from the beginning, disseminating information and mobilizing residents.  

“Born and raised here, my seaside village is an integral part of who I am and what I want to leave to my children. It’s critical to me that it stays safe.”

Michal Ben-Gal, Adv.

Research

מיכל בן גל

Michal is an environmental planner and lawyer who has lived in the seaside village of Michmoret her entire life. A member of IHG’s research team, Michal monitors the procedures and decisions of national and local planning committees influencing Israel’s coastal and marine areas. When needed, she alerts and helps support our legal action team.

Liora Netanel

Environmental planner and lawyer

ליאורה

A molecular geneticist, Liora is part of IHG’s research and outreach teams.  She has studied the dangers of Israel’s fossil fuel facilities indepth and spoken widely, including at organized talks and informal beach settings. 

"From the moment I attended a conference on Israel's petrochemical facilities, I felt obligated to join efforts to minimize the safety, security, and health risks posed. I've met amazing people along the way and find it immensely gratifying that IHG is now a household name. The larger we become, the more we can achieve. And we have no choice but to win this battle."

Vera Fried

Accounting

ורה

A retiree, Vera assists with IHG’s accounting needs. Her decision to volunteer came easy. Having worked in finances for a leading energy company for 31 years, she became increasingly aware of the unusually high morbidity amongst the company’s field employees. 

"The company's hunger for profit – at any price – was insatiable. When the gas rig struggle began, it was clear that I must join the protests and help however I could. I've always volunteered for varied causes and do so even more now that I'm retired. But IHG's goals are particularly close to my heart."

Ori Spier

Logistics

Ori is married, a father of three, and a computer vision algorithm developer with an MSc in electrical engineering. At IHG, Ori assists with logistics, operations, and creative ideas. (But we assume you already knew that from his picture 🙂.)

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