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Owner of Green Zionist Alliance: The Grassroots Campaign for a Sustainable Israel

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Tehillat HaYam: A Psalm of the Sea

By the Green Zionist Alliance. Our fate rests with the sea: With every breath We breathe air from the sea. Yet, Listen to the sea: It cries from overfishing — greed and gluttony. It cries from pollution — avarice and wastefulness. It cries from heat — carbon consumption and apathy. Click here to continue reading this poem


My Oh Mayim: Rethinking Water Usage in a Land Flowing with Milk and Honey, but Little Water

By Noam Dolgin. Ushavtem mayim b'sason — draw water in joy — is a classic song danced to by millions of Jews at celebrations worldwide. When we sing and dance about water, we are praying that Israel will have enough for the coming year. Currently, demand for water is high, and Israel's fresh-water resources are quickly drying up. Israeli society is working hard to solve the region's water shortages before they become a ...


Addressing the Myth of Israeli Water Hegemony

Mark Zeitoun's 'Power and Water in the Middle East: The Hidden Politics of the Palestinian-Israeli Water Conflict' Book review by Dr. Alon Tal. Of the five controversies that Israeli and Palestinian negotiators left to be considered in the final status talks, the one revolving around water is, presumably, the most readily resolved. While the right of return and the status of Jerusalem are not given to speedy resolution, the water ...


Building a Hydrological Future

By Dr. Alon Tal. BEER SHEVA (May 22, 2009) — For almost a year now, the Israeli public has been the target of a highly effective public relations campaign by the country's Water Authority. Stark images of desiccated humans cracking like hardened desert soil, along with the more comely admonitions for abbreviated showers from supermodel Bar Refaeli, reinforce existing perceptions that Israel's chronic water scarcity is getting worse....


The Spiritual Roots of the Environmental Crisis

By Rabbi Yonatan Neril. "Human beings believe, in their arrogance, that if they continue developing the world on the basis of an ever-expanding science and technology, they will eventually achieve an environment that will afford everyone unlimited gratification of the senses and a life of untrammeled ease and pleasure. There can be no greater error than this." — Rabbi Eliyahu Dessler. Click here to continue reading this articl...


Heavenly and Earthly Jerusalem: Can Pilgrims Leave a Positive Footprint?

By Naomi Tsur. NAGOYA, Japan — Jerusalem faces unique challenges and opportunities. Conservation of our natural and built heritage is a solemn commitment, but we must also assess and implement the potential for urban revitalization. We need to expand our mass-transit system (the first of its kind in Israel), encourage active transport (biking and walking) and focus on development of the city's strengths, such as cultural and religious ...


Nuclear: Carbon-Free but Radioactive

By Benjamin Kahane. Nuclear energy isn’t quite a fossil fuel, since unlike coal, natural gas and petroleum, nuclear is not powered by fuel that developed over millennia from pressurized dead organisms — but nuclear isn’t renewable, either, since it uses a finite non-renewable fuel source. Nuclear power also presents many environmental problems, such as how to handle its radioactive waste product, and, in extreme circumstances, is ...


Water: Appreciating a Limited Resource

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Red Heifers, Mint Potatoes and the New Wheat: The Future of Food in Israel

By Sarah Friedman. BEIT DAGAN, Israel (Dec. 7, 2012) — By 2050, agricultural yields will have to increase by 50 to 70 percent in the developed world and 100 percent in the developing world to meet the food needs of the 9.3 billion people on the planet, according to Prof. Ada Rafaeli, associate director of Israel's Agricultural Research Organization, the research arm of the Israeli Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. The organiza...


Solar Power: Let the Sun Shine

By Benjamin Kahane. There are two major types of solar power technologies: photovoltaic and solar thermal. Photovoltaic solar power utilizes the photoelectric effect. A semiconductor material absorbs light and the photons in the light beam are routed through the semiconductor and harnessed in the form of direct-current electricity. The semiconductor cells are electrically tied together in what is commonly called a solar module. These modules can be ...


GZA Leads KKL-JNF Effort Against Fracking in Israel

By David Krantz. NEW YORK (Sept. 16, 2011) — Hydraulic fracturing and in-situ retorting for oil in Israel should be banned in Israel pending further research into the environmental effects of the relatively new fossil-fuel extraction techniques, according to a new report issued by Israel’s Keren Kayemet L’Yisrael / Jewish National Fund (KKL-JNF) at the initiation of the Green Zionist Alliance. Click here to continue reading this ...


Green Your Office: The Whole Earth is Full of God’s Glory

By Rabbi Lawrence Troster. Holiness can be created anywhere; it is not confined to the synagogue or home. In Judaism’s holistic approach to life, the exercise of making a livelihood is critical — the presence of God also should be felt in the way we conduct our business. There is a considerable classical and modern literature on Jewish business ethics, and now that area of ethics should include environmentalism. In Jewish environmental ...


Grapes, Goats and Open Spaces: Sustainability in Settling the Land of Israel

By Rabbi Yonatan Neril. At different times in history, Jews have engaged in growing crops, tending fruit trees and shepherding animals in the Land of Israel. These activities were critical to provide food to sustain Jews living in the land. Yet they also may have presented challenges to environmental sustainability in the Land of Israel. Jewish tradition can teach us about sustaining the land over time, both in pre-modern times and today. Click ...


What Would Herzl Do? Zionism and Muslim-Jewish Dialogue

By David Krantz. SARAJEVO (Sept. 1, 2013) — What happens when Jews sit down in the same room with Muslims? We ask lots of questions. The Muslims ask: What is the significance of the kippah? Why can’t you do anything on Shabbat? And what is Zionism? The Jews ask: What does it mean for you to cover your hair? What is the range of opinions in Islam about homosexuality? What would your ideal ...


Environmental Diplomacy and the Middle East

By Rabbi Michael Cohen. KIBBUTZ KETURA (Dec. 26, 2009) — The folk rock musician James Taylor laments in one of his songs, “And in between what might have been and what has come to pass, a misbegotten guess alas and bits of broken glass.” The ongoing tragic saga of the Arab-Israeli conflict can be summed up in this poignant line. This conflict repeats its refrain of violence and dehumanization over and over again. Like a song, ...


Want a New Kyoto Protocol? Japan Doesn’t

By Dr. Orr Karassin. DURBAN, South Africa (Dec. 5, 2011) — Negotiations at the climate talks here are gaining momentum as the senior representatives of the countries who will take the reins arrive. This may constitute a turning point on the road to an agreement to replace the Kyoto Protocol, which is due to expire in a year. Click here to continue reading this article


Will Durban Pick Up Where Cancun Left Off?

By Dr. Orr Karassin. DURBAN, South Africa (Nov. 28, 2011) — Two years ago, negotiations over a new worldwide agreement to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions “rolled over and died” at the United Nations Conference on Climate Change in Copenhagen. Attempts were made to revive them at last year's conference in Cancun. This year's conference, which opened today, must try to “stabilize the patient’s condition.” ...


Energy’s Answer is Blowing in the Wind

By Benjamin Kahane. For hundreds of years, humans have used wind to pump water and grind grain, mostly with small windmills. Large, modern wind turbines are used to generate electricity for individual use and to feed into the electric grid. Wind turbines generally have three blades and, because higher altitudes yield higher wind velocities and lower turbulences, the turbines are mounted on tall towers to capture as much energy as possible. As the ...


Brit HaYam: A Covenant with the Sea

By the Green Zionist Alliance. Just as the majority of all people in the world live near the sea, so too do the majority of Jews. But Jews have a special connection to the sea. Israel, our homeland, has four seas — and they are all in trouble. The Galilee has been so overpumped that the remaining fresh water may become salinated from saltwater springs; about 900 million tons of pollution dumped annually into the Mediterranean has nearly wiped ...


Eco-Chalutzim and Eco-Tourism

By Noam Dolgin. When one thinks of the stereotypical Jewish Long Islander, one does not usually think “environmentalist.” But take 34 Jewish educators from Long Island to Israel — from a diverse array of backgrounds, from 20 years old to it’s-not-polite-to-ask — and you get a group of passionate, caring people who are looking at Israel through an environmental lens and generating amazing questions and solutions. ...