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About us

Our Story

The Good Food Institute Israel (GFI Israel) is a science-based nonprofit, aimed at accelerating groundbreaking alternative protein research and innovation in Israel. We collaborate with partners in the scientific, governmental, and business sectors, in order to build a sustainable, healthy, and just global food system.

GFI Israel was established in 2019 to leverage Israeli innovation and scientific expertise, in order to support the Good Food Institute’s (GFI) global ambitions. As a part of GFI’s family, we work alongside over 100 team members based in the United States, Brazil, India, Europe, and Asia-Pacific, to promote a better global food system.

Our Team

GFI Israel has a team of science, business and policy professionals, all of whom are laser-focused on using food technology to transform our food system away from animal agriculture products and toward cultivated meat, fermented and plant-based alternatives.
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Nir Goldstein | Managing Director

Nir leads The Good Food Institute’s stellar team in Israel. We are focusing our work on groundbreaking innovation and research, working with Israel’s government, universities, companies, startups and investors. We aim to promote Israel’s status as a global leader in alternative protein research, development and manufacturing.

Nir has vast experience in promoting strategic plans in the food and agri fields. Prior to GFI, he worked as a consultant to startups, investors, government agencies, food manufacturers and NGOs at TASC and LEC, focusing on the Agrifood sector. Nir is a Fellow at the Heschel Center for Sustainability and a member of the Israeli Bar, previously worked at the Ministry of Justice and practiced intellectual property law at S. Horowitz. He holds an LLB law degree and an MBA from The Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

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Dr. Tom Ben-Arye | Senior Scientist

Tom is a Senior Scientist at GFI Israel. He conducts cultivated meat lectures, provides scientific counseling to companies, entrepreneurs, researchers and students, and hosts a course on alternative proteins at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv University and Ben-Gurion University.

 

He holds a B.Sc in molecular biochemistry (Summa Cum Laude) from the Technion University, a Masters degree in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology from the Levenberg lab for stem cells and tissue engineering in the Technion University, and a Ph.D. on Bovine Skeletal Muscle Tissue Engineering from the Levenberg lab, where he initiated and led a cultivated meat project which developed with his aid into a cultivated meat company called Aleph Farms and was recently published in Nature Food. Alongside his studies, he volunteered in nonprofit organizations advancing alternative protein technologies.

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Dr. Michal Halpert | Academic Engagement Manager

Michal is GFI Israel’s Academic Engagement Manager, working with Israel’s leading academic institutions, researchers and students, to promote alternative protein research and innovation. Michal holds a B.Sc.in Biochemistry and Food Science, an M.Sc at Biotechnology (Both from the Hebrew University), a Ph.D in Biology (Technion), and a postdoc in the Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology (Hebrew University). 

Michal led innovative projects from academia to industry in the pharma and food sectors. She has experience in the production process development of recombinant proteins from the cloning step to high cell density expression in fermenters, scalable purification procedures, and development of analytical tests.

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Alla Voldman | Strategic Relations

Alla is handling strategic relationships, working with government and strategic partners to maximize funding support towards Alt protein R&D, making Alt protein a national priority and positioning Israel as a leader in this field.

 

Alla brings over 7 years of experience leading large-scale, long term engagements with companies in the US, India & Europe. Specialized in the international retail & consumer goods industry. Prior to joining GFI Alla served as a project director with Goldratt Consulting Ltd. where she led execution of innovative cross-functional programs, with startups, corporates and governments for constructing and executing national plans.
Alla holds a B.Sc. in Chemistry from Tel Aviv University and an M.Sc. in Material Science from the Weizmann Institute of science.

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Aviv Oren | Business Engagement Manager

Aviv is leading the business engagement in Israel, managing the interface with the industry and the activities with start-ups, investors, incubators, and corporates.

Aviv brings over 15 years of international experience in the Pharma and Medtech sectors, growing startups to global success, and taking disruptive innovative technologies to the market. Aviv has vast experience in fundraising, investments, business strategy, G2M plans & partnerships. Prior to joining GFI, Aviv served as a VP of Business Development & Sales at Syqe Medical. Prior to that, he held several commercial management roles at Syneron Candela Medical (NASDAQ: ELOS), where he led the launch of new technologies worldwide. Aviv holds an E.MBA from Tel Aviv University and a B.Sc. in Biotechnology from the State University of New York at Buffalo.

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Or Benjamin | Director of Operations

Or is responsible for operations, human relations and development. Her objective is to make GFI Israel an inspiring, well run and sustainable workplace. 

Or brings both business and non-profit management experience to GFI Israel, starting her career in financial consulting and network security. Prior to joining GFI, Or was responsible for Partnership Development with Ma’ase and managed the Meatless Monday Israel campaign. Or holds an MBA and a B.Sc. in Industrial Engineering from the Tel Aviv University, as well as a B.A. in Life Sciences from the Open University of Israel. She earned a Certificate in Humane Education and is a graduate of KOLOT and MAOZ.

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Hadas Karshai | Marketing Communications Manager

Hadas leads GFI Israel’s marketing and communication efforts, working to build its brand and positioning the organization as the local and global expert in alternative protein.

Prior to joining GFI, Hadas served as a Milken Research Fellow at the Israeli Ministry of Economy, where she was involved in the formulation of Israel’s nascent International Development Policy and in planning several multilateral global health initiatives with international institutions. Previously, Hadas worked as a training development consultant for the public and private sectors.
Hadas holds an M.Sc. in International Development from the London School of Economics and Political Science and a B.A. in Sociology and Arts from Ben Gurion University.

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Media

Billions are invested yearly in the race to produce alternative protein to animal-based products, and Israel, a world leader in the “Foodtech” field, has the potential to lead this race.
“Alternative Protein can be a great growth engine for Israel. The Israeli food industry could enjoy over 11,000 jobs that would earn the country billions of dollars every year. Israel, which exports only 5% of the food it manufactures, could become a global provider of raw materials and advanced production methods.” Nir Goldstein, GFI Israel’s Managing Director
‘We want to bring Israeli innovation in this field to transform the global food system,’ says director of GFI Israel.
The pandemic has caused meat shortages, raising interest and demand for mass-produced meat cultivated under lab-like conditions from animal cells.
“Alternative Protein can be a great growth engine for Israel. The Israeli food industry could enjoy over 11,000 jobs that would earn the country billions of dollars every year. Israel, which exports only 5% of the food it manufactures, could become a global provider of raw materials and advanced production methods.” Nir Goldstein, GFI Israel’s Managing Director

Nir Goldstein

Managing Director

“Israel is the startup nation and has absolutely stellar entrepreneurial and scientific talent. So it’s no surprise that Israel has positioned itself as a global leader in alternative protein research and innovation. We expect scientific and technological breakthroughs in alt protein to continue come from the Israeli academic and food tech ecosystems”

Dr. Tom Ben-Arye

Senior Scientist

About Tom:
He holds a B.Sc in molecular biochemistry (Summa Cum Laude) from the Technion University, a Masters degree in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology from the Levenberg lab for stem cells and tissue engineering in the Technion University, and a Ph.D. on Bovine Skeletal Muscle Tissue Engineering from the Levenberg lab, where he initiated and led a cultivated meat project which developed with his aid into a cultivated meat company called Aleph Farms and was recently published in Nature Food. Alongside his studies, he volunteered in nonprofit organizations advancing alternative protein technologies and plant-based diets. He was a co-founder, board member and scientific advisor to the Modern Agriculture Foundation and volunteered in New Harvest, a research institute dedicated to the field of cellular agriculture.

Tom at GFI Israel:
Tom is a Senior Scientist at GFI Israel. He conducts cultivated meat lectures, provides scientific counseling to companies, entrepreneurs, researchers and students, and hosts a course on alternative proteins at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv University and Ben-Gurion University.

Dr. Michal Halpert

Academic Engagement Manager

About Michal:
Michal brings with her vast knowledge in the academic ecosystem thanks to her experience as a student, a teaching instructor and a lab manager in leading Israeli academic institutions. She holds a B.Sc. in Biochemistry and Food Science as well as a M.Sc in Biotechnology both from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. In addition, she holds a Ph.D in Biology from the Technion, and a postdoc in the Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Prior to joining GFI Israel, Michal led innovative projects from academia to industry both in the pharma sector as well as the food industry. She has a great understanding of the overall production process of recombinant proteins taking into consideration scalability and regulation issues. She developed processes from the cloning step to high cell density expression in fermenters, and established scalable purification procedures as well as development of analytical tests.

Michal at GFI Israel:
Michal is GFI Israel’s Academic Engagement Manager, working with Israel’s leading academic institutions, researchers and students, to promote alternative protein research and innovation.

Alla Voldman

Strategic Relations
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Aviv Oren

Business Engagement Manager

About Aviv:
Aviv brings with him over 15 years of international experience in the Pharma, Biotech, and MedTech sectors, growing start-ups to global success and taking disruptive innovative technologies to the market. Aviv has vast experience in fundraising, investments, business strategy, partnerships, go to market strategies, FDA clearance, and managing international distribution and sales channels. Prior to joining GFI, Aviv served as a VP of Business Development and Sales at Syqe Medical, where he launched the product to the market and led the partnership with Teva Pharmaceuticals and other global players. Prior to that, Aviv held several management roles in commercialization, product management, and global business development at Syneron Candela Medical (NASDAQ: ELOS), where he led new technologies to global success in Europe, the U.S, and China. In 2017 Syneron Candela was acquired by APAX for $400m. Aviv holds an E.MBA from Tel Aviv University and a B.Sc. in Biotechnology from the State University of New York at Buffalo.

Aviv at GFI Israel:
Aviv is leading the business engagement in Israel, managing the interface with the industry and the activities with start-ups, investors, incubators, and corporates.

Or Benjamin

Director of Operations

About Or:
Or brings extensive business and non-profit management experience to GFI Israel. She is skilled in developing strategy, building partnerships, people and project management. Or spent the first part of her career in financial consulting and partnership and sales support for CHeck POint Software Technologies. About 10 years ago, she steered her career to the nonprofit sector, wanting to change the world for the better. Prior to joining GFI, Or was responsible for Partnership Development with Maase Center, a social change organization, and managed the Meatless Monday Israel campaign. Or holds an MBA and a B.Sc. in Industrial Engineering from the Tel Aviv University Tel Aviv, Israel, as well as a B.A. in Life Sciences from the Open University of Israel. She earned a Certificate in Humane Education from the Valparaiso University, Institute of Humane Education Maine, USA and is a graduate of KOLOT and MAOZ.

Or at GFI Israel:
Or is responsible for operations, human relations and development. Her objective is to make GFI Israel an inspiring, well run and sustainable workplace.

Hadas Karshai

Marketing Communications Manager

About Hadas:
With rich experience in project management and developing strategic partnerships, Hadas has frequently worked to bring a variety of stakeholders around a common goal. Prior to joining GFI, Hadas served as a Milken Research Fellow at the Israeli Ministry of Economy, where she was involved in the formulation of Israel’s nascent International Development Policy and in engineering several multilateral global health initiatives with international institutions, aimed at encouraging the Israeli private sector to focus on solutions for developing countries and communities. Previously, Hadas worked as a training development consultant for the public and private sectors, leading large scale projects and communicating their impact within the organization and to external stakeholders.
Hadas holds an M.Sc. in International Development from the London School of Economics and Political Science and a B.A. in Sociology and Arts from Ben Gurion University.

Hadas at GFI Israel:
Hadas leads GFI Israel’s marketing and communication efforts, working to build its brand and positioning the organization as the local and global expert in alternative protein

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