Since its inception, CHAI has been fortunate to count many exceptional individuals among its Advisory Board members, including Congressman Tom and Mrs. Annette Lantos, Nobel Laureate Isaac Bashevis Singer, author and animal activist Cleveland Amory, former Chief Rabbi of Ireland and Advisor to Israel’s Ministry of Religious Affairs, Rabbi David Rosen, and Professor and author Richard Schwartz. CHAI is immensely grateful to all those who have contributed to its work and its ability to help animals.
Our key directors, advisors and staff members include:
Nina Natelson, Director, founded the organization in 1984 after witnessing animal suffering while visiting relatives in Israel. After completing a selective government management training program, Nina worked for the Inspector General’s office in two government agencies, conducting effectiveness and efficiency audits of each agency’s programs. She performed the first procurement audit, which resulted in $10 million annual savings to the government and changed the way the government procures certain supplies. She also won a sex discrimination lawsuit against the first agency where she worked, which resulted in women and minorities being hired, trained and promoted nationwide in her office. Then she volunteered full-time for organizations promoting animal protection and rights and subsequently founded CHAI.
Murry J. Cohen M.D., Board Member, a retired psychiatrist, has been an advocate for animals for more than three decades. He chaired two of CHAI’s conferences in Israel – one on medical research without the use of animals and another on preventing violence in society through humane education. Dr. Cohen was one of the first physicians to speak out against the use of animals in experiments and to publish well-documented critiques of specific experiments, particularly in his field of specialty, addiction research. He has spoken at conferences, to deans of medical schools, before Congress, and on TV and radio. His op eds, articles and letters to the editor on a wide range of topics have appeared in newspapers, magazines and journals around the world.
Steve R. Kaufman M.D., Board Member, is an Associate Professor, Department of Ophthalmology, Case Western Reserve School of Medicine. He is also Chair of the Christian Vegetarian Association and co-Chair of the Medical Research Modernization Committee. He authored Guided by the Faith of Christ: Seeking to Stop Violence and Scapegoating, which presents the Judeo-Christian tradition as a path to peaceful co-existence between humans and the rest of creation. Dr. Kaufman’s articles on animal experimentation and animal protection have been published in the medical and non-medical literature.
Rae Sikora, Board Member, created CHAI’s educational materials and led humane education seminars in Israel on behalf of CHAI. Rae has been a spokesperson for animals, the environment and human rights for over 30 years. She co-founded the Institute for Humane Education (IHE), VegFund and Plant Peace Daily and co-created the first Master’s degree program in Humane Education at a U.S. university. Schools and non-profits around the world use her humane education methods and materials. Rae holds degrees in Cultural Anthropology and Environmental Education from the University of Wisconsin.
Hyam Tannous was a senior supervisor for the Ministry of Education for two decades, overseeing and training 400 school counselors. She chaired the Committee for Non Violence for all Jewish and Arab schools in the north of Israel. She has also helped organize an Arab initiative to demonstrate solidarity with Holocaust sufferers and promote reconciliation. Ms. Tannous is the co-author of Care-full Listening and Conversations, Creating Dialogue between Members of Conflicting Multi-cultural Groups. As a member of Women Wage Peace, she continues to promote peace and security in the Middle East.
Chaim Lahav, Ph.D., educational consultant to Hakol Chai, was previously the National Director of the At Risk Youth Department, National Youth Division, Ministry of Education for nearly two decades. He was also a lecturer on prevention and treatment of at risk youth problems at Beit Berl Academic College and at Ashkelon Academic College. He has served on numerous boards and committees, including the National Committee of the National Program for Children and Youth at Risk in Israel and the association for the development of social educational services for youth at risk and their families in Israel (Ashalim).
Muna Shaheen, DVM, is Director of Hakol Chai’s education program for Arab schools and a lecturer on animal and environmental issues on behalf of Hakol Chai. Dr. Shaheen was the first Arab woman to graduate from Israel’s Koret School of Veterinary Medicine and has worked as a veterinarian in Israel and abroad, including in Australia and the U.S. She also organized and led seminars to promote understanding and peace between Jews and Arabs, including for women and for youth, and led leadership seminars for youth.