Green Zionism may be a way to integrate the old movement into new global village.
With the 36th World Zionism Congress about to get under way, a somewhat new movement known as the Green Zionist Alliance (GZA) – whose exec director we interviewed – is hoping to inject environmental or ‘green’ concepts into the world Jewish settlement body that is celebrating the 150th anniversary of the birth of modern Zionism’s founder Theodore Herzl this year.
The Congress, which will meet June 15th in Jerusalem, will have a number of important issues to reslve; and members of GZA hope to introduce a number of environmental issues, that are vitally important for the future of the Jewish People in their national homeland.
Some of these “green” issues include the construction of wetlands to protect and sustain wildlife; the decentralization of ‘grey water’ reclamation facilities to conserve scarce water resources; the construction of vertical farms, rooftop gardens; and the creation of the concept of “urban farming” to enable urban dwellers to have the opportunity to grow their own produce in gardens and balconies; and on lands not presently being used for other purposes.
The GZA also plans to introduce resolutions to save energy by encouraging the use of energy efficient lighting in homes and offices; the use of cars running on electricity and other energy saving fuels; and by projects to help reduce the effects of climate change to the Middle East.
Projects to help the environment also refers to the human environment, according to ideas originally espoused by Theodore Herzl himself at the first World Zionest Congress in Basel Switzerland, over a century ago. These ideas include improving education and absorption of various immigrant groups in to Israeli society, like absorption center projects run by the Jewish Agency.
These ideas are not only good for new immigrants, but for “vatikim” or “old timers” as well. The idea for introducing these various “green issues” into Israeli society is to generate interest in people, especially younger people between ages 18 and 30 years of age, of which around 25% of the total delegate makeup of the Congress will be composed of.
Since these younger delegates will be the future leaders of tomorrow, it is very important to get them “on board” for integrating these green concepts into the mindset of Israeli society. Those interested in getting involved with the concepts and goals of Green Zionism, can readily do so by visiting the GZA NGO’s website and becoming involved in their various programs.