Our team

Board and Professional Judges 

Alon Tal

Alon Tal is the Founder and Chairman of the Tal Fund. He is presently a professor and chair of the department of public policy at Tel Aviv University.  Tal completed a law degree at Hebrew University and a doctorate in environmental health policy at Harvard University.  He is the founder of several Israeli environmental organizations including Adam Teva V’din (the Israel Union for Environmental Defense),  the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies and is a co-founder and chair of, Tzafuf, the Israel Forum for Population, Environment and Society  as well as This is my Earth (TiME).  Tal served for 12 years on the international board of the Jewish National Fund, for most of the period chairing the committee that oversees forestry policy.  He has won several awards including the Charles Bronfman Prize, as well as a Life Achievement Aware of the Israel Ministry of Environmental Protection (at age 48). Tal has published or edited 11 books and over a hundred academic articles about Israel’s environmental challenges.  He has served as an adjunct faculty member at Michigan State University, the University of Otago, the Sciences Po in Lille, and Stanford University.  For twenty years he has played fiddle and mandolin in the Arava Riders, an Israeli bluegrass band.


Dr. Orr Karassin

Orr Karassin is on the faculty of Israel’s Open University and considered Israel’s leading expert in environmental regulation. She has written books on topics ranging from restoring contaminated lands, enforcement policy and most recently a comprehensive textbook on regulation. Orr served for almost a decade on the international board of the Jewish National Fund, where she chaired the organization’s Sustainable Development Committee. Before that she was the director of Life and Environment, the umbrella organization for Israel environmental groups. Dr. Karassin completed her doctorate at Bar Ilan University and post-doctoral studies at the London School of Economics.

Prof. Noah Efron

Noah Efron is a professor and founding chairperson of the interdisciplinary program on Science, Technology and Society at Bar Ilan University. He completed a doctorate at Tel Aviv University and post-doctoral fellowships at Harvard University and MIT.  Professor Efron has written several books and countless papers on issues involving Israel’s scientific history and scientific regulatory challenges. Professor Efron is the host of the popular radio show “The Promised Podcast” which covers a broad range of Israel’s political and social issues. Professor Efron is a long-time social and political activist, having served on the Tel Aviv City Council as a representative of the Green Movement. He currently serves as a member of the Green Movement Secretariat.


Aliza Stark

Dr. Aliza Stark is a senior lecturer at the Hebrew University faculty of Agriculture and the Environment where she currently researches and teaches. Dr. Stark completed post-doctoral studies at the University of North Carolina after completing a doctorate at the Hebrew University. She has published dozens of publications on issues involving public health, food and nutrition and was recognized by the city of Rehovoth for her pioneering work with the local Ethiopian community. Recently, she has been a lead lecturer in the Hebrew University’s special graduate training programs for students from developing countries

Dr. David Tal

David Tal is an environmental chemist with fifty years of experience in pollution monitoring and environmental analysis.  He completed his Ph.D. at MIT and served in a range of positions, including chief analytical chemist at the Research Triangle Institute, providing analytical services for the air and water program of the U.S. EPA. He has numerous publications on organic chemistry and analytical chemistry methods. He is presently chair of the Palace Chess Club in Modi’in Israel.

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Ms. Robyn Tal

Robyn Tal is deputy chair of the Tal Fund. She has degrees in geography and archaeology from Hebrew University and hydrology and water management from Boston University.  Tal worked as a researcher in drip irrigation development at the Southern Arava Research Station and later was a founding member of the Café Joe coffee chain management team.  She presently serves as the research coordinator for Tel Aviv Based, NGO, Nala, a public health promotion group, overseeing a range of initiatives to address neglected tropical diseases in Ethiopia

Ms. Hadas Tal

Hadas is a doctoral student at Yale University’s program in genetics. She completed her undergraduate degree in Biology at Tel Aviv University.  She has worked in biodiversity analysis at Stanford University and in cancer research at the University of California, San Francisco. Hadas volunteered with youth at risk in Jerusalem and  served in the Intelligence Corps of the IDF.  Previously, she was elected national chair of NOAM, an Israeli youth organization.

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Mr. Bill Slott

Bill Slott is one of Israel’s leading tour guides and educators, with an expertise in natural history. He has introduced thousands of people to the land of Israel and was called “Israel’s most colorful tour guide” by the Jerusalem Post. His regular column in the Times of Israel about the little known geographical treasures of Israel is widely acclaimed. Slott is a member and a former mayor (Mazkir) of Kibbutz Ketura in Israel’s Southern Arava. He has also been, for many years, a senior educator at the Keren Kolot Seminar Center on Ketura. He received a degree in psychology from Cornell University and spent twenty five years as a field crop and dairy farmer. He is a professional cantor and long-time soloist in the Ranot regional choir

Dr. Yonina Rosenthal

Dr. Yonina Rosenthal is a retired senior lecturer from the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology.  She completed her Masters degree at Rutgers University and doctoral studies at the University of North Carolina in education and sociology and has spent time in residence at the Brandeis University’s Women’s Studies Research Center.  In addition to her work as a faculty member at numerous universities, Dr. Rosenthal has worked in a range of social programs, including the American “Head Start” program.

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Dr. Na'ama Teschner


Dr. Na'ama Teschner is a lecturer at the Department of Geography and Environmental Development. She has a Ph.D. from the University of Leeds and completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the Technion faculty of Architecture and Planning. For two years she was a senior researcher at the Knesset’s Information and Research Center. Her research presently focuses on environmental policy in large infrastructure systems: water, energy and agricultural sectors, ports and urban planning.

Ms. Mika Tal

Mika Tal served as a captain in Israel’s military intelligence corps. Subsequently she pursued a career in hi-tech where she joined the start-up “Bold IQ”, eventually serving as the company’s chief of staff. She is presently completing a degree in economics and mathematics at the University of Washington in Seattle. She completed a degree in economics and mathematics at the University of Washington in Seattle and is currently in a graduate program in Public Policy and Computational Analysis at Carnegie Mellon University. 

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The Tal Fund Administration is overseen by a committee comprised of the Board of Trustees along with the Committee of Professional Referees.


Present membership:

  • Chair, Prof. Alon Tal,  Department of Public Policy, Tel Aviv University, founder of the Israel Union for Environmental Defense (Adam Teva v’din), Arava Institute for Environmental Studies, Past member, Board of Directors - KKL/JNF

  • Prof. Noah Efron, on Science, Technology & Society, Bar Ilan University, Member, Host of the “Promised Podcast”, Former Member of Tel Aviv City Council

  • Dr. Orr Karassin, Open University, Senior Lecturer in Law and Environmental Regulation, Past Director, Life and Environment, NGO umbrella group, KKL/ JNF Board of Directors. 

  • Dr. Yonina Rosenthal, Technion University, Emiritus Senior Lecturer

  • Mr. Bill Slott, Tour Guide, Environmental activist.

  • Dr. Aliza Stark, Hebrew University, Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment

  • Dr. David Tal, Environmental Chemist

  • Ms. Robyn Tal, Research coordinator, NALA Foundation, Business executive and hydrologist

  • Ms. Hadas Tal, Yale University Program in Biological and Biomedical Sciences

  • Dr. Na'ama Teschner, Ben Gurion University, Department of Geography and Environmental Development

  • Ms. Mika Tal, University of Washington in Seattle, Past Chief of Staff, Bold IQ

  • Mr. Trevor Lyons, website and communications

The following are the specific authorities vested in the Fund Administration:

  1. Determination of the amount of annual grants offered by the Tal Fund

  2. Oversight of the financial management of the Tal Funds

  3. Approval of grants recommended by the Panel of Professional Referees

  4. Oversight of dispersal of grants by the Tal Fund

  5. Stipulation of the reporting procedures of recipients

  6. Review of implementation reports in consultation with the Advisory Committee

  7. Responsibility for publicizing the Fund's activities

  8. Fundraising on its behalf

  9. Determination of all operational procedures, such as grant-making; communications between the different bodies of the fund, web-site review, coordination with the International Advisory Committee, frequency of meetings, etc.