Better known as the centre for three world religions, Jerusalem is increasingly becoming the focus for environmental activities and innovation. The start of 2008 will see the city hosting the launch of the Forum on Judaism and the Environment, a new initiative to bring together professionals, organisations and activists working in the field of Jewish environmentalism in Israel and beyond.
The Forum is being launched by Ruach HaSviva, the Centre for Judaism and Environment at the Society of the Protection of Nature in Israel (SPNI), at a half-day conference on Monday 28 January in central Jerusalem.
“The project is designed to create bridges between the educators and activists working in the growing field of Jewish Environmentalism,” says Leiba Chaya, director of the SPNI’s environmental education program. Participants will be able to take part in a number of workshops focusing on themes including communities, Jewish environmental education and eco-tourism.
The conference will be the first in a series of events from the Forum to empower Israeli environmental activists with their work, including study sessions, hands-on activities and a database of Jewish sources about the environment. What do Jewish texts and teachers say about our relationship with the natural environment?
How can this ancient religion guide us to respond to the modern environmental crisis? And, most importantly, how can we put these ideas into action? Pertinent questions – and maybe the Forum on Judaism and the Environment can help us to find the answers.
The conference will be held in Hebrew, but English speakers will be taking part in discussions, say the organisers. The day runs from 9am until 2pm at SPNI Jerusalem, The Courtyard, Helena Hamalka St, entrance free. To register your place and find out more information contact: [email protected] or 02-6252357.
Photo: Michael Green.