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Green Israel Summit 4: Green Renewal Shabbat



Green Israel  Summit 4

When: Shabbat Noach, Oct. 8 — 10, 2010

Where: Eden Village Camp, just north of New York City

Who: Young Jewish environmentalists, ages 18-40 *


“I don't think I ever considered myself a Zionist until this weekend!”

— GIS::4 participant


As we read about the Biblical flood and the renewal of the earth on Shabbat Noach, we learned how to renew ourselves and the environment. We celebrated Shabbat Noach with stories, lectures and discussions in a welcoming, pluralistic setting. We explored the Jewish back-to-the-land movement and what Zionism means today. We learned about energy conservation, population growth, suburban sprawl, Negev preservation, and environmentalism during a time of war. We met other young Jewish environmentalists from across North America. Green Israel Summit (GIS) 4 was run by the Green Zionist Alliance and co-sponsored by COEJL: The Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life, the American Zionist Movement and Hazon.



Keynote speaker: Naomi Tsur, deputy mayor of Jerusalem

Naomi Tsur of the Green Zionist AllianceNaomi Tsur is the deputy mayor of Jerusalem, where she heads the city’s environment, urban-planning and historic-conservation committees. This is only her second year in office, but Naomi already has made significant contributions to Jerusalem’s environment by developing a circuit of city bike paths, limiting private-car use in the Old City and initiating a dialogue with Palestinians about how best to handle waste. This past Tu B’Shvat, her efforts led to an additional 10,000 trees being planted in Jerusalem. Before joining city government, Naomi directed the Jerusalem Branch of the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel, and gained approval for the preservation of Gazelle Valley, the first urban nature park in Israel. She also founded the Sustainable Jerusalem Coalition, which successfully campaigned to protect the Jerusalem Hills. Naomi speaks about Israel’s environment around the world, and frequently serves as a representative at worldwide conferences, including the World Summit on Sustainable Development (Johannesburg, 2002), the International Healthy City Conference (Belfast, 2003), and the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (Capetown, 2006). After the Green Israel Summit, Naomi will be presenting Jerusalem's track record at the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP 10) in Nagoya, Japan.



Featured speaker: Sybil Sanchez, director of COEJL: The Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life

Sybil Sanchez of COEJL: The Coalition on the Environment and Jewish LifeSybil Sanchez is the director of COEJL: The Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life, where she focuses on Jewish environmental sustainability, presenting a Jewish voice on environmental policy, and providing resources for environmentalism and Jewish life. Sybil also heads the Jewish Energy Covenant Campaign. A leader for years in advocacy on social-justice issues — including the environment, workers' rights and universal human rights — Sybil has served as executive director of the Jewish Labor Committee and as director of United Nations Affairs at B'nai B'rith International. Sybil completed her master's degree in international affairs at Columbia University. She speaks Hebrew, French and Serbo-Croatian, and she wants to learn Spanish to communicate with her extended Mexican family and share in the preservation of her husband's crypto-Jewish Latino heritage.



GIS::4 presenters, panelists and moderators:


Jonathan Dubinsky is the special programs coordinator for Teva Learning Center. He coordinates the Topsy Turvy Bus, a hands-on educational learning facility that operates on discarded vegetable oil. Last year, Jonathan drove the bus 10,000 miles across the country as part of the Jewish Climate Change Campaign. He also developed a new Teva site, the Henry Kaufman Campground on Long Island, where he leads the creation, design and programming of a hands-on environmental education center and organic farm. Jonathan has worked professionally as a mechanic, an organic farmer, a hazardous-waste manager and a teacher. He studied environmental science at the University of Kansas.
Ami Greener served as the energy specialist and legislative assistant in the American Jewish Committee’s Office of Government and International Affairs in Washington, from 2006 to 2008. Previously, Ami worked as a consultant for the Jewish Funds for Justice in New York, the Society for Protection of Nature in Israel, and the Israeli Electricity Authority. Ami grew up in Jerusalem as the son of American immigrants. He earned his master's in environmental policy from Wageningen University in the Netherlands, where he wrote his thesis about the Israeli electricity sector.
Jessica Haller is the CIO of Hazon and director of the Jewish Climate Change Campaign. Jessica has started a business with a NASA climate scientist and worked on data strategy for Major League Baseball. She has an MPA in environmental science and policy from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs and the Earth Institute and a BS in economics and information management from the Wharton School of Business. Jessica is a LEED Accredited Professional with the U.S. Green Building Council, and a member of The Climate Project, trained and charged by Al Gore to speak publicly on issues of climate change. Her goal is social, political and corporate action toward sustainability.
Ian Hertzmark is a co-founder of Jewish Farm School Cooperative Design. He has degrees in botany and wildlife biology from Colorado State University and has worked as a field biologist, botanist and landscape ecologist for CSU, Colorado Division of Wildlife, the U.S. Geological Survey and the National Park Service. In 2005, Ian moved east as an Adamah fellow and has since served as a faculty member of Adamah and as an educator with the Teva Learning Center. Since 2006, Ian has served as an educator with Jewish Farm School, where he has written and edited learning materials and taught workshops and classes on gardening and Jewish agriculture. He also has worked as a science teacher specializing in experiential education.
David Krantz is the president and chairperson of the board of directors of the Green Zionist Alliance. A founding member of Jewcology.com, David also serves as a member of the Green Hevra's stewardship committee and as a member of the cabinet and the board of directors of the American Zionist Movement. He previously served as a leadership fellow at COEJL: The Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life. David earned his master’s degrees at the University of California, Berkeley, Graduate School of Journalism and at New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, where he studied environmental policy. Liore Milgrom-Elcott is chief of staff at Hazon. Previously, she worked as the project manager at COEJL: The Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life, where she led national campaigns to engage the Jewish community on environmental action. Liore's environmental passions took root and grew as she spent summers camping in the backcountry of America's national parks, leading to degrees in natural resources and environmental economics from Cornell University. Through American Jewish World Service, she spent five months in Kanchipuram, India, teaching women's self-help groups and supporting tsunami relief efforts. Liore also has worked in the Dominican Republic and Mexico on environmental and social-justice projects.
Debra Rich is the farm manager at Eden Village Camp. She has spent three 8-month winter seasons in Antarctica, growing hydroponic vegetables and working in the bakery at McMurdo Station. Debra also has spent three summers in Alaska, growing organic produce, tending flowerbeds, and baking desserts for a private lodge in the middle of Denali National Park. Last fall Debra volunteered as an organic gardener for a cloud-forest reserve in Ecuador. She has a PhD in horticulture, and one of her favorite things to do is stand in the fields at 6 a.m., listening to the sounds of the songbirds singing to the sunrise. Eliav Rodman is the young leadership director of the American Zionist Movement and the New York director of Hagshama, the student department of the World Zionist Organization. Born in Jerusalem, Eliav served as an officer in the Israel Defense Forces and he has worked as an informal Jewish educator in both the United States and Israel. He also serves as the visiting High Holy Day hazzan at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md. Eliav holds a degree in international relations and Middle Eastern studies from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. In his spare time enjoys hiking throughout Israel.
Rabbi David Seidenberg is the founder of NeoHasid. He teaches about Jewish text, music, thought and spirituality in relation to ecology and the environment. David received his rabbinic ordination from Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi and from the Jewish Theological Seminary, where he wrote his doctorate on Kabbalah and eco-theology. David has taught at hundreds of synagogues, communities, retreats and conferences across North America. He has published widely on ecology and Judaism. Yoav Sivan is a New York-based Israeli journalist whose work has appeared in American, Israeli and European publications in Hebrew, English, French and Spanish. In Israel, Yoav worked as a staff member for two members of the Knesset, and he served on the boards of the Jerusalem Open House and The Aguda: Israeli Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Association. This year he was named as one of The Jewish Week's "36 Under 36." Yoav recently completed his master's degree at Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism, where his thesis was on the Jewish environmental movement.
Pesach Stadlin is the director of sustainable design at Eden Village Camp. An educator at the Teva Learning Center, Pesach traveled 10,000 miles as part of the Jewish Climate Change Campaign last year on the Topsy Turvy Bus, a hands-on educational learning facility that operates on discarded vegetable oil. Pesach is a farmer and a certified permaculture designer. Yoni Stadlin founded Eden Village Camp in 2008 with his wife, Vivian Lehrer. He is a long-time educator at the Teva Learning Center and a former director of the 92nd Street Y's science and nature day camp. Yoni also has taught Judaism and environmental justice internationally with the American Jewish World Service, taught environmental science from an educational sailboat on which he lived, co-organized earthquake relief trips to India and Turkey, led Birthright Israel trips and spent months living in redwood trees to save them from being cut down. Yoni holds a master's degree in informal Jewish education from the Jewish Theological Seminary.



GIS::4: Schedule for Friday, Oct. 8, 2010

4:30 p.m. Registration opens
5:50 p.m. Opening address, by David Krantz
6:05 p.m. Candle lighting and Kabbalat Shabbat with a trichitza, led by Rivka Sack, Pesach Stadlin and Casey Yurow
6:45 p.m.
Shabbat dinner
8 p.m. Keynote address: "Turning Green Vision into Political Reality," presented by Naomi Tsur
9:15 p.m. Panel: "Reclaiming and Redefining Zionism: The Dawn and Rebirth of Green Zionism," with Naomi Tsur, Ami Greener and Eliav Rodman; moderated by Yoav Sivan


GIS::4: Schedule for Saturday, Oct. 9, 2010

8:30 a.m.
9:30 a.m.
Choice A: Shacharit with a trichitza, led by Eliav Rodman

Choice B: Yoga, facilitated by Liore Milgrom-Elcott
10:30 a.m.
Torah service, recited by Casey Yurow and Ami Greener
10:55 a.m.
Haftorah, recited by Eliav Rodman
11 a.m. Musaf with a trichitza
12 p.m. Kiddish and lunch
1:15 p.m. Dvar Torah: "Parshat Noach and the Message of Climate Change," presented by Naomi Tsur
2:30 p.m. Panel: "Jewish Food Justice," with Ian Hertzmark, Liore Milgrom-Elcott and Debra Rich; moderated by Jessica Haller
3:45 p.m.
Choice A: Ultimate Frisbee

Choice B: Chill time / Shabbat menucha
4:45 p.m.
Workshop 1: "Jerusalem and Pilgrimage Cities: Joining with World Faiths to Leave a Positive Footprint," with Naomi Tsur and Jessica Haller

Workshop 2: "Food Justice in Israel: Shmita and Yovel," presented by Ian Hertzmark and Rabbi David Seidenberg
6 p.m. Dinner / Seudah Shlishit, with singing of Israeli songs
7:10 p.m. Maariv with a trichitza
7:20 p.m. Havdalah with Pesach Stadlin
8 p.m. "The Jewish Energy Covenant Campaign and How We Can Recharge the World," presented by Sybil Sanchez
9:15 p.m. Campfire with Pesach Stadlin, and s'mores with kosher, vegan marshmallows


GIS::4: Schedule for Sunday, Oct. 10, 2010

8 a.m. Yoga, facilitated by Liore Milgrom-Elcott
8:30 a.m. Breakfast
9:30 a.m.
Panel: "10/10/10: Day of Climate Action," with Naomi Tsur, Sybil Sanchez, Jessica Haller and Jonathan Dubinsky, moderated by Yoav Sivan
10:45 a.m.
Workshop 1: Eden Village Tour, led by Yoni Stadlin, & the Topsy Turvy Bus, presented by Jonathan Dubinsky

Workshop 2: 10/10/10: Gardening at the Eden Village Farm, with Debra Rich
12 p.m. Lunch
1:15 p.m. "Powering the Promised Land: Energy Issues in Israel," presented by Ami Greener
2:30 p.m. 10/10/10: "A Call to Action: Developing a Plan for How We Can Make a Difference," a group strategy session, led by David Krantz
3:25 p.m. GIS::4 Closing circle and conclusion



A limited number of need-based scholarships were available to GZA members to help offset registration and travel costs. Click here for more information.

Alumni of Adamah and the Teva Learning Center were eligible for matching Adva Network scholarships, administered by the GZA.

Recycling your old inkjet printer cartridges, cell phones, laptops, digital cameras and MP3 players at the Green Israel Summit! We collected old inkjet printer cartridges, cell phones, laptops, digital cameras and MP3 players for recycling.

Naming a bunk at Eden Village Camp! We collected suggestions of important environmentalists in Israeli history — and one extraordinary Israeli environmentalist will be chosen to be honored permanently at Eden Village Camp!





What is included?
Programming, meals and shared lodging are included in the registration fee.


Will the food be kosher?
Yes, all food will be kosher. Eden Village Camp is a kosher facility, certified by Natural Food Certifiers' Apple-K Kosher program:
Because meat production is one of the leading contributors of greenhouse gases to our atmosphere, all food at GIS::4 will be vegetarian as well.


What do I need to bring?
To keep costs down, the accommodations are simple: You will need to bring your sleeping bag (or twin-bed sheets and blanket), pillow and towel. Siddurim will be provided, but you can bring your own, and/or guitars, Frisbees and other games if you like. Also, please bring your old inkjet printer cartridges, cell phones, laptops, digital cameras and MP3 players for recycling — and save them from the landfill!


Can you tell me more about the accommodations? Can I stay with a friend? Can I stay with my significant other or spouse?
We will be sleeping in single-sex heated camp bunks. You can request to stay with a friend and we will do our best to accommodate you. Those wishing to stay with a spouse or significant other in more private accommodations should contact us to make arrangements.


Is the event shomer Shabbat?
The Green Israel Summit is designed for people who run the gamut of Shabbat observance. Everyone will be able to observe Shabbat as they like, and no one will need to do anything that would violate Shabbat unless s/he chooses to do so.


What types of religious services will there be?
We will offer at least two types of Shabbat services — traditional and alternative — according to the needs of the participants. What kinds we offer will be determined by the makeup of this year's GIS cohort.

How do I get to Eden Village Camp?
Eden Village Camp is just outside of Cold Spring, N.Y., which easily accessible by train from New York City via MTA Metro North. We will arrange for transportation to and from the train station on Friday for the 3:30 p.m. train from Grand Central Terminal that arrives at Cold Spring Station at 4:40 p.m. and for the 4:10 p.m. train from Grand Central Terminal that arrives at Cold Spring Station at 5:21 p.m. On Sunday we will return people to the train station for the train that leaves Cold Spring at 4:05 p.m. and arrives at Grand Central at 5:27 p.m. Click here for driving directions from Manhattan. If you are driving, or if you need a ride, please let us know so that we can arrange car pools.

What were past Green Israel Summits like?
You can see the schedule for GIS::1 here, GIS::2 here, and GIS::3 here.


How "green" is the Green Israel Summit?
We take every measure we can to try to minimize our carbon footprint. Of course, any gathering of a group of people will still involve carbon production, so we carbon offset the Green Israel Summit through environmental projects in Israel with the Good Energy Initiative, and we encourage you to carbon offset your travel to GIS::4. 


I'm not within the focus age range — can I still attend?
You must be at least 18, but a limited number of spots are available for those who are 41 or older.

Can I volunteer?
Volunteers are welcome. If you'd like to volunteer as part of an exchange for reduced registration fees, please indicate it on the scholarship application. Or if you'd simply like to volunteer, please let us know!

What if something happens and I can't attend?
If you cancel by contacting us before Sept. 22, you can receive a 90% refund. Cancellations between Sept. 22 and Oct. 2 will receive a 50% refund. Cancellations after Oct. 2 are ineligible for a refund, with exceptions possible for medical emergencies, death of a family member or military deployment. No credit or refund is available if you do not show up, or if you leave the Summit early for any reason.

More questions?

Contact us and we'll do the best we can to answer your questions.


GIS::4 co-sponsors:


COEJL: The Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life

Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life

American Zionist  Movement
American Zionist Movement




GIS::4 affiliated programs:


Shabbat Noach Resource Guide


GIS::4 hosts:


Eden Village Camp

Jewish Farm School


GIS::4 scholarship supporters:


Adva Network


MASA Israel


GIS::4 fiscal supporters:


Mercaz/Masorti Olami

GIS::4 promotional supporters:


Jewish Vegetarians of North America



Do you work with an organization that may be interested in co-sponsoring GIS::4? Please let us know — we always are interested in building new partnerships!




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