Our Advisors

Rachel Shaul

Rachel is a senior executive with more than 20 years of experience in driving excellence and high performance in global organizations. She specializes in project and team management, global marketing & communications, and leading sustainable development initiatives in Israel and in Africa as part of the Corporate Social Responsibility and sustainability policies of the organizations she served with.

In her last position she served as the CEO of PresenTense, an NGO focusing on making entrepreneurship opportunities accessible to every sector of Israeli society. PresenTense conducts accelerators and mentorship programs in partnership with Israel’s start-up companies and professionals, empowering diverse communities and bringing them together.

Rachel joined PresenTense after serving for 8 years as Head of Global Marketing and External Affairs at Netafim, a global leader in sustainable precision irrigation solutions for agriculture operating in 110 countries. Prior to joining Netafim, Rachel was a Director in the Global Marketing unit of Comverse Technology, a multi-billion dollar high-tech conglomerate, and held several managerial positions in Israeli start-up companies, including Midbar Tech and Titan 3D Technologies.

Rachel earned her MA in Communications from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and her BA in Science & Technology Studies from Bar-Ilan University. Her thesis on ‘The Use of Agricultural Technology by Women in Gujarat, India’ analyzes the ways the use of new and affordable agricultural technologies impact the lives and income of women farmers.

Rachel serves a management member of IWF (International Women Forum). Her personal passions include photography, traveling, reading, and running.

Dr. Ido Aviani

Ido’s interest in the research and implementation of innovative sustainable agriculture practices began as he was studying for his B.Sc. at the Hebrew University's Faculty of Agriculture. Following the completion of his degree he became an Intern at Enterprise Vineyards in California, working closely with viticulturist Phil Coturi on practices of organic high-end wine grapes production. Upon returning to Israel  he became the vineyard manager for Saslov Winery.

Ido's M.Sc. thesis in Soil Science and Microbial Ecology corroborated the positive effects of organic farming not on crop yields and soil. His Ph.D dissertation on agricultural waste management and recycling led him to create an innovative cost-effective production process for turning anaerobic digestion effluents into a valuable organic liquid fertilizer.

Ido was the coordinator of the European Union ENPI CBC MED project "Protecting Ground Water" at Eco Peace, a NGO specializing in water related projects and managed jointly by Israelis, Jordanians, and Palestinians. Currently, he is the founder Aviani Ltd, a sustainable agriculture consulting company that produces compost tea (a biological soil conditioner for at improving crop yields), and the technical advisor for Wormarvell group - a start-up company turning vermicomposting organic wastes into valuable bio-humus and protein for animal feed. As a lecturer, Ido is the coordinator for sustainable agriculture courses at the Agro-Studies International College in Israel, teaching fruit tree farming. 

Ido co-founded two community environmental projects: a food forest in his hometown of Binyamina, and the rehabilitation and revival of the Taninim coastal river. When he is not working with farmers and students, Ido enjoys cooking, playing his guitar, and traveling with his family.

Dr. Eldad Elron

Eldad is an ecologist specializing in conducting large-scale ecological surveys in preparation for conservation and restoration projects, and is one of Israel’s leading experts on freshwater habitats.

In the past two decades Eldad led and participated in numerous scientific studies and environmental surveys conducted with Israel’s Ministry of Environmental Protection, the Nature and Parks Authority, Drainage and River Authorities, city municipalities, and NGOs specializing in environmental conservation. In previous positions he served as the head of the Environmental Resources group in DHV MED, part of a Netherlands based multinational corporation specializing in environmental projects and consultancy, and as the manager of the Environmental Quality department in Bactochem Laboratories, responsible for monitoring and analyzing water and soils. 

Eldad earned his B.Sc. in Biology and a M.Sc. and Ph.D. in Ecology and Environment from Tel Aviv University. His passions include hiking, soccer, reading, and growing vegetables in his garden.  

Amir Elron

Amir is an urban agroecology expert Amir working with municipalities, communities, schools, universities, and private corporations on the design and implementation of projects that integrate sustainability, agriculture, and education in cities and their close peripheries.

Amir’s projects include hydrophonic projects, community and school gardens, food forests, and rooftops farms.  Courses and workshops Amir teaches include Growing Edible Plants in Urban Landscapes, Constructing Agrotechnical Structures (e.g., elevated plant beds, window-sill farms, hydroponic and aquaponic systems), and Recycled Wood Carpentry.

Previously, Ami managed large-scale information technology software projects. When working for Creo-Scitex (Later Kodak), he moved to Vancouver, a city leading in sustainability policies and initiatives. He took courses on agroecology and urban farming and participated in community projects. After returning to Israel in 2010, he chose to embark on a new professional road and founded Agrocity.

Amir holds a B.Sc. in Biology and Computer Sciences from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and a MBA from Tel-Aviv University.

In memory of Prof. Dov Pasternak

Dov Pasternak was an internationally renowned expert and researcher on irrigation systems, crop optimization in arid and semi-arid climates, and the reclamation and agricultural utilization of degraded lands. His work in developing countries focused on vegetable and fruit tree production in semi-arid regions, the use of saline water for irrigation, and desertification control. 

Dov served as the Principal Scientist for crops and systems diversification at ICRISAT-Niger, Director of the International Program for Arid Land Crops, Head of the Institute for Agriculture & Applied Biology at Ben Gurion University, the Scientific Coordinator of the regional Middle East Cooperative Arid Lands Research Program, the Morocco Vegetables Development project, and the Intensification of Agriculture project in Ethiopia with high value trees crops'.

His extensive international experience included consultations in 24 different countries on agricultural development, initiating and directing of the International Program for Arid Land Crops (IPALAC), and introducing the African Market Garden to eight countries in the Sahel. He served as senior adviser to MASHAV's trilateral Israel-Senegal-Italy TIPA project in Senegal and to the USAID food security and agricultural development program in East and North East Senegal.

Dov led the selection and development of 16 vegetable and fruit tree varieties and participated in co-developing 30 new species of ornamentals for export for the Sahel. He is the owner of five patents, author and co-author of 105 articles and 352 technical reports, author and editor of seven scientific books, and the author of Agricultural Prosperity in Dry Africa – a book aimed at decision makers and leaders of agricultural projects for small farmers.

One of Dov’s great prides is the Farmers of the Future Project in Niger which he initiated, led, and continued to advise to after his return to Israel. The project continues to create new generations of farmers by educating primary school children and their mothers to approach farming as a business.

Dov was a mentor to us since our inception. We miss him and his generous support and advice.