Member since 2010

David Krantz

Featured Causes: Green Zionist Alliance, Jewcology


David's Blog Subscribe

Earth Etude for Elul 15: Counting to the Next Shmita Year

by David Krantz Among our more under-appreciated traits, we Jews are counters. We count for a prayer quorum, we count the omer, we count the days of the months to know when our holidays are. We might know the days of the week by their names – Sunday, Monday — but in Hebrew they are Yom Rishon, the First Day, and Yom Sheni, the second day. And before borrowing their current names from the Babylonian calendar, the Jewish months were numbered. What ...


Using the New Jewcology

Welcome to the new Jewcology!   Using the site is pretty simple. Click on login  — but your password from the old site won't work, so the first time you use the new site, click on "lost password" to set a new password: To create a new blog post, click on "Blogs" and then "Create new post." You can add a featured image:   You can tag your blog post with keywords and phrases to help people find it easier...


Green Your Conference

Conferences offer the opportunity to meet new people, exchange ideas and learn about new developments in your fields. They also tend to be very wasteful of natural resources — but they don’t have to be. The following tips would help to green conferences of all sizes — even ones as large as the World Zionist Congress and the Jewish Federations’ General Assembly. Click here to continue reading this article.


GZA Fights Fracking Deregulation in Israel

The Israeli government’s Ministry of Energy and Water is trying to exempt oil-shale frackers from regulations, which might give oil companies free reign to drill throughout the Elah Valley. But the Green Zionist Alliance has joined with others to lead an effort to stop the exemptions and stop fracking in one of the last few open spaces left between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. NOW IN ENGLISH: The 36-page translation of the KKL-JNF ...


Trees, Bikes and Nature on Yom Ha’atzmaut

NEW YORK (April 26, 2012) — Falafel fests, movie nights, dance parties — Americans celebrate Yom Ha’atzmaut in many ways. But what do Israelis do on Independence Day? They head outdoors. Last year so many people jammed into the country’s de-facto national-park system, run by KKL-JNF, that parks were closed because they reached capacity. So, how many people was that, you ask? About one in every five Israelis — ...


Breaking Free from the Fossil-Fuel Pharaoh

The photovoltaic solar-panel array at Kibbutz Ketura is the first and currently only of its kind in Israel. (Photo by David Krantz) KIBBUTZ KETURA, Israel — During the first ever Passover we left Egypt and slavery, celebrating our freedom in the wilderness. It’s easy to forget that back then this stretch of the Arava Valley, a half-hour up the road from the hotels of Eilat, wasn’t part of the biblical ...


Photo Slide Show of Samar Sand Dunes

SAMAR SAND DUNES, Israel — A barbed-wire fence runs along the edge of the dunes here, but it's not to protect them — it's to keep people from accidentally walking across the country's border with Jordan. Not that Samar hasn't needed the protection — the government was poised to raze the dunes and turn them into concrete for hotels and sidewalks. But barbed wire would not have been strong enough to hold back ...


Bittersweet Victory: Most of Samar Saved

SAMAR SAND DUNES, Israel (Feb. 5, 2012) — Nestled in the Arava Valley, in between Israel’s Eilat Mountains and the Edomite Mountains of Jordan, a tragedy and a victory sit side by side. Part of Samar — a square-mile patch of sand dunes home to scores of animals, some near extinction — has been stripped of its sand in order to make concrete. But next to the wasteland, a victory: More than two-thirds of Samar has been saved, due ...


LAST CHANCE TO SAVE SAMAR

UPDATE: Late tonight (1 a.m. Thursday Israel time Dec. 29), the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel, Green Course, Arava residents and the public will meet at the Samar sand dunes! Free buses leave from Tel Aviv's Central Train Station at 1 a.m. (early morning Thursday Israel time Dec. 29), next to Sixt Rental Car. Buses are scheduled to return to Tel Aviv tomorrow, Thursday, Dec. 29 at 3 p.m. Israel's ...


Maccabees Redux: Oil-Fracking Fight in Israel

NEW YORK (Dec. 22, 2011) — We need another Chanukah miracle. On Chanukah we recall the victory of the few over the many and the weak over the powerful. We celebrate the miracle of the oil and of the reassertion of control over our historic homeland, the present-day land of Israel. But, as history repeats itself, this Chanukah, the role of the Greek Assyrians and local Hellenized is being played by telecommunications-giant IDT ...


Bikes, Trees and Gardens: Greening Israel Since 2001

NEW YORK (Dec. 16, 2011) — Saving wilderness, fighting fracking, protecting Israel’s 99 percent from the world's 1 percent — what a decade it’s been! This month marks the end of the 10th anniversary of the Green Zionist Alliance. Back before Israel’s Tent Cities and Occupy Wall Street, the Green Zionist Alliance began 2011 by becoming part of a successful effort to change the equation of what percentage of ...


Samar Gets Temporary Reprieve — Let’s Make it Permanent!

Israel's Samar sand dunes — and the unique animal species that live there — may be destroyed, unless we act now. (Photo courtesy of Taal Goldman of the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies) NEW YORK (Nov. 14, 2011) — We are being heard: The Samar sand dunes have been granted a temporary reprieve from destruction! Although the bulldozers were scheduled to start mining the dunes weeks ago, work has been ...


Almost Out of Time: Act Now to Save Samar

Israel's Samar sand dunes — and the unique animal species that live there — may be destroyed, unless we act now. (Photo courtesy of Taal Goldman of the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies) NEW YORK (Oct. 12, 2011) — The bulldozers and dump trucks are getting ready. Without intervention, they will begin carting away one of Israel’s unique ecosystems, the Samar sand dunes, home to species that ...


GZA Leads KKL-JNF Effort Against Fracking in Israel

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. The report and its recommendations, which were ...


The Israeli Summer: Tent Cities, Bombs, Boycotts and Herzl’s Dream

NEW YORK (Aug. 22, 2011) — If you thought Theodor Herzl’s dream was fulfilled with the establishment of the modern state of Israel in 1948, think again. Thousands are camping out in Israel’s cities, demanding social change. Thousands more around the world, angered by the Palestinians’ situation, seek to boycott Israel. Meanwhile, Egypt, Israel and Gaza volley bombs and rockets in escalating attacks and counterattacks. Which ...


Lessons for Israel from Ghana

SEFWI WIAWSO, Ghana — About six years ago the Ghanaian government brought a delegation of Jews from the Israeli town of Dimona to Accra, Ghana’s capital, to speak about the importance of local agricultural production and consumption. But even though Ghana has a long way to go on its path to becoming a developed nation — becoming part of the so-called “First World” — there's a lot that Israel can learn from ...


The Story of Us: Growing Community and Inspiring Action

As Jewish environmental leaders, what drives us to do the work we do? Is it a single transformative experience? Or a longer build-up over months or years? Some of us grew up with an attachment to nature. For others of us, meeting someone whose father died from pesticide exposure, or participating in the first Earth Day back in 1970, or, more recently, watching Al Gore in the film “An Inconvenient Truth,” was a call to action. Or for some of ...


Saving Samar: Together We Can Protect the Last of Israel’s Sahara

Israel's Samar sand dunes — and the unique animal species that live there — may be destroyed. (Photos courtesy of Taal Goldman of the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies) NEW YORK (May 26, 2011) — Picture a desert and you'll probably envision rolling hills of sand like those traversed by the nomadic caravans of the Sahara. Yet, even though the majority of Israel is desert, almost none of it is ...


Israel: The New Saudi Arabia?

NEW YORK (May 1, 2011) — Together with large natural-gas reserves recently found off Israel’s Mediterranean coast, a new technology that may yield billions of barrels of oil in Israel may make the nation a global energy powerhouse. "Israel could attain energy independence," Dr. Yuval Bartov, chief technology officer and chief geologist at Israel Energy Initiatives — one of the companies pursuing oil in Israel ...


Trees without Bulldozers: Environmental Justice for the Bedouin

NEW YORK (March 17, 2011) — When David Ben-Gurion envisioned making the desert bloom, bulldozing Bedouin villages to make way for new groves of trees is not exactly what he had in mind. But, in the name of environmentalism, that is exactly what Keren Kayemet L’Yisrael / Jewish National Fund did recently, bulldozing the village of al-Araqib for the 21st time since last July as part of its $600-million Blueprint Negev project. It gets ...