The Jewish Ecological Coalition (JECO) is a not-for-profit organisation founded in Melbourne, Australia in July 2003. We maintain a public fund that is endorsed as a Deductible Gift Recipient on the Register of Environmental Organisations. 


Eytan Lenko | President

Eytan Lenko has a successful business and entrepreneurship background and is a long running advocate for strong action on climate change. He was a founder of Outware Mobile, one of Australia’s fastest growing tech companies. He is the Chair of Beyond Zero Emissions, an Australian-based, internationally recognised climate and energy solutions think tank that brings engineers and scientists together to research and plan for Australia’s transition to zero emissions across each sector of the economy. Eytan is a co-founder of the Jewish Climate Network initiative, a board director of the Australian Environmental Grantmakers Network and the Climate Mobilization, a US based organisation that is working for America to move into a WW2-scale mobilisation on climate action. Eytan was a madrich in Australian Jewish youth movements and attended Shnat way back in 1994.

Meirav Ambar | Board Member

Meirav is an experienced executive, board member and entrepreneur in the FMCG and Retail industries. Born and raised in Israel, Meirav moved to Melbourne 7 years ago with her husband and two kids, Tom (8) and Shye (6). Over the past 15 years Meirav has built, launched and scaled consumer brands and retail businesses. Starting her career at Procter and Gamble, Meirav was responsible for P&G new brand launches in several key markets, after which she co-founded Yolo; a leading Stationery retail chain with over 30 B&M stores in Israel and Europe. Meirav is currently a partner and CEO at Trendtrade International, a retail brand firm that works with some of the leading retailers in Australia and New Zealand, and develops brand programs that focus on innovative sustainable products. As part of her work, Meirav helps retailers transition into sustainable solutions, for example launching a global-first sustainable stationery brand in fast-retail.

Ricky Pearl | Treasurer

Ricky has always been motivated to protect the community. He has been an active member of the Community Security Group (CSG) for nearly two decades and served as the CEO of CSG in Melbourne for 5 years. Ricky was responsible for ensuring that the community was safe from external threats, and holds no prejudice as to where those threats may come from. Ricky feels a strong parental duty to ensure his children grow up in a world that is hospitable rather than hostile.

Debbie Lenko | Secretary

Debbie Lenko MBBS BMedSci FRACP is a Paediatrician and a firm believer that climate change is a health emergency. She has been involved with Doctors for the Environment (DEA), who understand that human health is dependent on the health of our planet and work to protect health through the care of our environment. She has worked across a range of settings completing most of her training at The Royal Children’s Hospital. In 2018 she spent a year working in Darwin and visiting remote communities of the Northern Territory. She has years of experience engaging with people across all ethnic and socioeconomic groups. Debbie also has 3 young children and is passionate about ensuring Jewish continuity. As a parent and health professional she feels compelled to ensure healthy, stable environments exist for present and future generations.

Marc Light | Vice-President

Marc started his role as Principal of The King David School in 2014. He was previously Assistant Principal – Curriculum at Bialik College where he worked for the past 4 years and prior to that spent 5 years at Mount Scopus Memorial College. Marc holds a Bachelor of Laws/Arts as well as a Graduate Diploma in Education from the University of Melbourne. Having attended The King David School in his primary schooling, Marc is the first alumnus to become Principal of a Jewish School in Melbourne, and is well known throughout the Jewish community. With proven experience in culture setting, change management and strategic goal setting, Marc has been an active member of the Senior Management Team across the K-12 continuum of Melbourne’s top performing Jewish Schools. Marc and his wife Emma have three children, Daniel, Layla and Raphy.

Margalit Levin| Board Member

Margalit is an Australian diplomat with over 10 years’ experience serving in Australia and abroad (Berlin, Tel Aviv) and most recently was Australia’s deputy Ambassador to Sweden, Finland and Latvia.

She brings a wealth of international and domestic climate policy expertise having been a climate negotiator in Australia’s delegation to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and to the OECD, the Foreign Ministry’s lead on Australia’s climate security agenda, and working with emerging technology sectors related to the green transition.

Having experienced the strength and benefits of community engagement (youth movements, shnat and beyond), Margalit is energised by the Australian Jewish community’s potential to accelerate strong climate action.

Annette Herschtal | Board Member

Annette has almost three decade’s experience working in environment and social change organisations. For seventeen years, she worked at CERES Environment Park in East Brunswick. She is currently Manager of the new Social Sector Wellbeing and Resilience Hub, an online resource to strengthen the mental health and wellbeing of staff and volunteers in not for profits, charities and social enterprises.

“As Jews in Australia many of us are thriving, yet we are never too far from our memory of surviving. This puts us in a unique position of understanding the threat and being able to use our thriving to respond.”

Anna Solomon | Board Member

Coming soon!


Joel Lazar | CEO

Joel is a powerful storyteller, voracious inquirer, thoughtful collaborator, strategic decision-maker and passionate mentor. Joel’s skills and experience are diverse, spanning commercial law, educational program design, Jewish youth leadership, facilitation and scriptwriting.

Joel’s passion for Judaism runs deep. He was born and raised in the Melbourne Jewish community and has held various leadership positions in Jewish youth movements and synagogues. Joel’s commitment to social justice in a Jewish context culminated in him receiving the Ron Castan Young Humanitarian Award in 2019. Above all, Joel firmly believes that the Australian Jewish community has a key role to play in addressing the impacts of climate change that are now unfolding, while also enjoying the social and economic benefits now flowing to those who are taking swift and effective action.

Elinor Hasenfratz | Strategic Engagement

Elinor is a dynamic and incisive communicator with extensive background in both formal and informal education, including expertise across a range of specialist teaching areas. She is the former president of the Youth Environment Council of South Australia.

Jordy Kornfeld | Communications

Jordana is a deeply curious and creative communicator, using her background in art therapy, group facilitation and design to empower people and create connection within communities of all sizes.

She has spent years doing this within youth leadership, disability, mental health, clinical and non-clinical spaces, assisting people in exploring, learning and being creatively active on an individual and collective level. Jordana utilised these experiences to co-found CAYA Art Space, a social enterprise providing art-based wellbeing services to various communities and individuals around Melbourne.

Dina Bloom | Programs Manager (NSW)

Dina is our first Sydney team member. She spent the first 10 years of her career as a lawyer, then almost out of nowhere had a light bulb moment. Words around climate in articles and headlines that had never meant much, were suddenly holding her attention.

Motivated to be part of the solution she went back to university to study Sustainability and Climate Policy then joined the team at Canva working to develop and implement their sustainability strategy.

As an active and engaged member of the Sydney Jewish community, Dina is excited to be bringing her worlds together through the JCN and helping the community realize the impactful role we all play in creating a safe future for the next generation.

Ashley Densham | Programs Manager (VIC)

Ash is an engaging communicator and practised community builder, with over 10 years of experience in the facilitation and education space. Holding degrees in environmental science and botany, Ash is passionate about climate solutions and gets way too excited about emerging clean technologies.

He believes that the Jewish tradition is a toolkit for living a better life as more resilient, giving and connected people. He can also make a mean cup of coffee!

Mitch Burnie | Head of NSW

Mitch is an experienced and passionate community developer, innovator and educator. He has been applying his trade in community leadership for the past 10 years around the world at different environmental grassroots organisations. He is particularly passionate about the intersection of environmentalism, Jewish wisdom and community.He is excited to bring the amazing work of the JCN to Sydney and to be a trusted resource to help the Jewish community become leaders in the greatest challenge of our time.