Israel at 2050
The Ministry of Environmental Protection in conjunction with an inter-ministerial committee has embarked upon an ambitious process for a low-carbon economy for Israel 2050, in compliance with its obligation to the Paris agreement. Towards this goal, the Ministry has partnered with the Heschel Center and the Israel Democracy Institute to design a multi-sector process that includes various government agencies, as well as the planning authorities, the private sector and various civil society organizations.

The process, officially launched in March, will continue for the next year and aims to mobilize an ambitious political commitment based on the work undertaken by professional groups, who set sector-specific measures and targets in the areas of energy, transportation, industry, and cities. On June 17th, a one-day seminar took place in Jerusalem to allow all work-groups to meet for a final work session and present the work that has been done to all participants. The outputs of the work-groups can be found here*. The resulting road map seeks to create a transformative policy shift and will hopefully be adopted by the Israeli Knesset (parliament) in a binding resolution in 2020.

for more details on the following articles, go to

Cohort 19 Ends with Great Aspirations
At the end of May, the 19th cohort of the Fellows program concluded. This year, most of the participants had significantly less environmental background than in previous cohorts and the program focused on more experiential activities, to create most impactful experiences.

The City as an Energy Producer
Currently, Israeli cities cannot generate their own energy and become independent from the national grid. But what if they could? What if generating renewable energy in peripheral municipalities could become a viable source of income, freeing up funds they could use to support their residents with additional and improved social services? Thanks to the support of the UJA-Federation of New York we launched a field research to create a model for how municipalities can transition from being an energy consumer to a renewable energy producer. More to come, but here’s a description of the project so far.

The Global Movement Extinction Rebellion Starts in Israel
By Dr. Lia Ettinger
XR groups are established in different countries, and in Israel protest began, too. The sense of urgency is not new to anyone who deals with sustainability. But recently the sense of urgency has been greatly amplified by the accumulation of alarming scientific reports showing that the situation is deteriorating even faster than we thought.

Heschel Center’s CEO Speaks at Israel’s UN VNR
Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development, developed and endorsed by the United Nations General Assembly by all its member states, is a comprehensive policy plan combining social, economic and environmental objectives and their interactions with an integrative and strategic perspective. As part of the High Level Political Forum meeting at the “Agenda 2030 – Sustainable Development Goals” held in the United States in New York on July 17, 2019, the State of Israel presented its first inter-ministerial report showing the implementation of its Development Goals (SDGs). That week, the Israeli government approved a government decision that going forward, global sustainable development indices for 2030 will be integrated and embedded into governmental strategic plans, affecting the long-term planning of the State of Israel.

The Annual Conference on Sustainability and Community III
On June 13th, we held our 3rd Annual Conference on Sustainability and Community about the theme of “Local Resilience” in Jerusalem. A strong and stable community, where the connections between its members are strong, and which feels to be a real part of decision making together with the authority, is a basic component of resilience. Continue reading about the conference

Abrahamic Traditions & Environmental Change
On June 23-26, Dr. Jeremy Benstein fom the Heschel Center attended a workshop in Rhodes, Greece entitled “Abrahamic Traditions & Environmental Change.” Current environmental challenges in the Middle East/North Africa (MENA) Region and beyond suggest an urgent need for cross disciplinary debate and understanding of the causes and consequences of environmental change as a prelude to successful mitigation and adaptation.