The Cuckoos


Meet the Team:

Yael Lavie-Ephrath

Yael Lavie-Ephrath, 49, lover of nature by heart, nature conservationist by mission and by vocation, with the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel. I was introduced to the world of birdwatching through my son, which was a hobbyist birdwatcher as a young child. For myself, birdwatching opened a door to understanding richness and diversity hidden from me beforehand, and was my introduction to the world of nature protection. I derive hope and comfort from watching bird migration, a phenomenon that gives me the feeling that nature’s clock goes on ticking when everything seems to go awry. I am looking forward to a wonderful race, diverse observations, and all migrators arriving safely at their destination.

Jeremy Ben-Shalom

Jeremy Ben-Shalom (45), Energy and Infrastructure program officer at The Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel. Jeremy holds over 10 years of experience in sustainable development in Israel and sub Sharan Africa. In his job as Energy and Infrastructure program officer Jeremy preforms a wealth of tasks including among the promotion of national schemes for renewable energies – solar and wind and representing the Israeli environmental movement at the National Infrastructure planning committee.

Danielle Oren

Danielle Oren, GIS Operator at the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel (SPNI). I grew up in the beautiful mountainous landscape of the Galilee and currently live in Jerusalem. I have always loved nature and long-distance hiking trips. My path in the SPNI began as a trail marker. During this time, I was lucky to spend many hours outdoor, getting to know the beauty of nature from up close. I believe in the educational value of hiking and try to do my best to preserve nature and wildlife in Israel. Happy to participate in the COTF for the first time!

Asaf Ben Levy

Asaf Ben Levy, legal adviser at the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel, CEO at “Yarok Balev” NGO and team leader at the salamander conservation project in Haifa. Fond of traveling and hiking, and believes in protecting nature through deep and direct knowledge of it.

Noam Weiss

Noam Weiss from Beer Ora in Israel works for the SPNI and is the director of the IBRCE in Eilat. Noam is a birdwatcher since he was 10 years old and he is very passionate about his work and hobby. He already took part three times in the Champions of the Flyway race and, together with the Palestinian Sunbirders, a joint Israeli Palestinian team, came back with the highest score in 2014. Noam loves birds and his main goal is to protect them and make sure they will have a save journey on their migration. Hence, the IBRCE is not just a place for people to enjoy watching birds or to collect data for research but first it is a sanctuary for migratory and local birds to refill their energy reserves. Noam and the whole IBRCE team, armed with state of the art Zeiss optics, are constantly working on enhancing the site for the birds. Another big challenge Noam is facing every day is the negative impact humans can have on birds by destroying their habitats, hunting them or building wind parks in their main migration route. Hence, Noam is guiding groups to create awareness and he is fighting against negative human impacts directly. Racing for a good cause, to protect birds from illegal hunting just combines his passions for birdwatching and bird conservation.