We are proud to be have experienced and dedicated professionals leading our efforts around the world.

  • Shachar Zahavi

    Founding Director

    Shachar is an experienced aid worker, manager, and fundraiser who has spent the last 18 years raising awareness and responding to international humanitarian causes.

    Shachar's first exposure to humanitarian emergencies was the Rwanda genocide in 1994. He began a campaign and collected rice and other emergency relief items, built a team and began sending humanitarian assistance to help victims. Shortly after that, he joined ‘Latet’, established their international humanitarian department, and began spearheading humanitarian relief operations in disaster and war-torn areas of over 16 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Realizing the enormous potential Israel has to contribute to the field of international humanitarian assistance, Shachar founded IsraAID: The Israel Forum for International Humanitarian Aid in 2001. A decade later, Shachar operates as the face of IsraAID, dealing with all aspects of the organization’s work, from fundraising to project planning. Finally, Shachar is also a lecturer on humanitarian causes in Israel and around the world.

  • Navonel Glick (Voni)

    Program Director

    Voni is an Israeli/Canadian citizen with more than 8 years’ experience in disaster response, international development, and non-profit management.

    Born in Israel to Canadian parents, most of Voni’s early life was spent in France. After receiving an International Baccalaureat in 2004, he joined McGill University in Canada and majored in Biology. Upon hearing about a volunteer program in Nepal, he decided to go for what was supposed to be a semester sabbatical. However, 4 months turned into 4 years, and Voni became the Administration & Logistics Manager of a Community Development program in Nepal. In addition, he also was a key part of the executive planning team, and served as a Project Coordinator. Since joining IsraAID in 2011, Voni’s positions at IsraAID have included Administrator, Kenya Country Director, Haiti Program Manager, and finally his current post of Program Director, which he has held since January 2013. Voni’s responsibilities today include the coordination of all IsraAID’s global initiatives, as well as the organization and development of its administrative, grant-writing, and financial departments. In addition, Voni also heads the emergency response team, and as such has led missions in Kenya, Haiti, the Philippines, Iraq, Sierra Leone, and the United States. Voni lives in Tel Aviv.

  • Ophelie Namiech

    South Sudan Country Director

    Originally from France, Ophelie has worked and studied in the fields of international peace-building and development in several countries over the past 8 years.

    She obtained her Master of International Law from Amsterdam Law School and her Master in International Affairs from the School of International Public Affairs of Columbia University in New York. She has worked as a political adviser on Africa and Middle East Affairs at the United Nations both in Geneva and New York. Her main area of expertise is peace-building and development, with a particular interest in enhancing the role of Israel in international development and nation-building especially in Africa. Today, Ophelie is IsraAID’s South Sudan Country Director. As such, she is in charge of designing, implementing and monitoring the organization’s development programs on the ground. Ophelie currently divides her time between the two countries she is the most passionate about: South Sudan and Israel.

  • Yotam Polizer

    Asia Regional Director

    Born and raised in a small village in Northern Israel, Yotam has been a social activist from a young age, and today boasts more than 10 years of experience in humanitarian projects around the world.

    Yotam began his social activism working with juvenile delinquents in a rehabilitation center. His achievements include launching a ground-breaking program to pair Israeli army volunteers with special-needs children, as well as a youth leadership and community development project in Bedouin villages of Israel’s Negev desert.In 2007, Yotam joined the Tevel B’Tzedek’s development project in Nepal, where he spent three and a half years as a Project Coordinator. During this time, he was also employed by the Israeli Embassy as Consular Assistant. As the Asia Regonal Director, Yotam oversees all IsraAID’s programs in Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, and the Philippines.

  • Galit Cohen

    South Sudan Health Program Manager

    Galit Cohen is an Israeli citizen living in South Africa with over twelve years of experience as a professional in the international development and humanitarian aid arena. Her expertise is sustainable development and public health (specifically HIV/AIDS).

    Born and raised in Haifa, Israel, Galit moved to South Africa in January 2002. There she joined Afrika Tikkun a Jewish led non-profit based in Johannesburg and developed social and health related projects in the townships surrounding the city. In 2007 Galit went back to Israel to complete her Master’s degree in Public Health, specializing in disaster and emergency management. During this time she also worked in the Rashi Foundation as a Project Developer for people with disabilities. Between 2011 and 2013 Galit was a Health Program Manager for the Donald Woods Foundation, working mainly in deep rural hospitals in South Africa's Eastern Cape Province. In May 2013 Galit (together with Andre Bezuidenhout) initiated the Blue Crane Foundation, an organization aiming to train and mentor community-based organizations from the rural and semi-urban areas of South Africa. Galit has lead and been a part of IsraAID emergency teams in disaster areas such as: Haiti (2010), Oklahoma, USA (2013) and the Philippines (2013). Today, as IsraAID's South Sudan Health Program Manager, she is in charge of all of the organization's health-related efforts in the country.

  • Keith Goldstein

    Voices of Tohoku Storytelling Researcher

    Keith is a sociologist and avid language learner who investigates social movements and educational programs around the world.

    Keith Goldstein was born and raised in the USA. Besides English, he is proficient in Hebrew, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Dutch, and speaks several other languages. Keith obtained his BA in Philosophy, his first MA in Education, second MA in Society and Politics in Israel, and he is currently expecting his PhD in Sociology and Anthropology with a thesis on youth subcultures. His research utilizes multidisciplinary techniques ranging from narrative to statistical analyses. As the statistician for the NCJW Research Institute for Innovation, Keith conducts studies on early childhood to university education, immigration studies, and various other topics. Keith has served as a teacher and coordinator for NGOs that serve refugees, a high school teacher for the JET Programme in Japan, a Spanish teacher on the Peace Boat, and held a variety of positions around the world. Currently, Keith is leading the IsraAID (JISP) Japan storytelling research in coordination with Global Giving.

  • Yael Eshel

    Haiti Country Director

    Yael is a dual Israeli-British development worker specializing in gender and refugee assistance both in Israel and abroad.

    Yael was born in the UK, immigrating to Israel at an early age and growing up in the southern Negev region where she served as youth instructor for the Bedouin population during her army service. Over the past few years Yael has gained experience working in the thematic areas of gender and refugee assistance both in Ethiopia and Israel. She holds an undergraduate degree in Art History from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and an MSc degree in Gender Studies from the London School of Economics. In Ethiopia she worked with UN Women Ethiopia Country Office and Positive Community Impact (PCI), an American NGO dedicated to promoting sustainable development initiatives. In Israel Yael worked as the Relocation Project Coordinator at the Africa Refugee Development Center (ARDC) in Tel Aviv. Today, Yael is IsraAID’s Country Director for Haiti, developing and promoting projects in the areas of gender and youth empowerment as well as agricultural livelihood training.

  • Naama Gorodischer

    Kenya Country Director

    Naama is a native Israeli with Chilean citizenship who has spent the better part of the last 6 years dedicated to improving education in Israel and Africa.

    She obtained her undergraduate degree in Sociology, Anthropology and Education and her Masters in Community Development Studies – Glocal, both from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Prior to her studies Naama worked in Uganda, where she founded a school and community center in Kampala. Dubbed ‘Little Light’, the center operates a clinic, a women's group, nutrition classes, and an after-school program. Naama has extensive experience in the field of education, specifically with youth at risk and victimized populations both in the formal and the non-formal education system and in out-of-home care programs. Today, as IsraAID’s Kenya Country Director, Naama spends her time between Tel Aviv and Kenya, where she manages all of the organization’s humanitarian and development programs.

  • Adva Vilchinski

    Philippines Country Director

    Adva Vilchinski is an Israeli citizen with more than 8 years of experience in the non-profit sector, specializing in the areas of peace building, community building and women empowerment.

    Adva was born in Israel in the city of Tel Aviv, and since her early childhood was involved in human rights movements, community building activities, and advocacy that aimed to prevent violence against women. Later on, she also joined in many peace building initiatives in the Middle East. She obtained her Masters in Politics and Governmental studies from Ben Gurion University in the Negev, and was rewarded by the Ministry of Tourism for her Master Thesis, which investigates the touristic aspects in political conflicts. As a student, Adva was the Social Involvement director and was one of the first active supporters of the establishment of the Africa Center in Ben Gurion University. Today Adva is IsraAID’s Country Director for the Philippines, developing and promoting projects in the areas of Mental Health and Psycho-Social Support (MHPSS), livelihood, and the reconstruction of education and health facilities after Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan).

  • Tammy Bar-On

    Philippines MHPSS Professional Advisor

    Tammy Bar-On, PhD, is a registered art therapist and teaches in the Graduate School of Creative Arts Therapies at Haifa University.

    She helped create the Art Therapy Division program and was its Head from 2008-2013. In the summer of 2013, Tammy was the head trainer in an expressive arts psycho-social support project in Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya where, together with a group of graduates from The Graduate School of Creative Arts, she taught expressive arts psycho-social support to a group of refugees. The project was a joint effort of IsraAID and Haifa University. At present she is the Professional Advisor of the IsraAID Mental Health and Psycho-Social Support (MHPSS) training in Ormoc, the Philippines, in the aftermath of the Yolanda typhoon. She participated in the training of a Philippine core group which is now conducting further trainings, together with therapists from Israel. She is a proud mother and grandmother.

  • Eyaid Ahmed


    Eyaid is an accountant, tax consultant and government certified financial consultant with over 10 years of experience working in the non-profit sector.

    He holds a BA in economics and MBA in Business Management from Ben Gurion University (BGU), and is currently finishing an MBA in Law from Bar-Ilan University. Eyaid heads an accounting office in Beer Sheva, and has been teaching tax and accounting at Sapir college for 10 years. Since 2009, he has also been lecturing for the BGU Management School's MBA program. Highly involved in the research sector, Eyaid’s research proposal recently won an Excellence Award from the Israeli Center for Third Sector Research in Israel. He is also about to start his PhD studies at the School of Management, where he is hoping to focus on "Employment in the Arab sector in Israel".