|Legal status||501(c)(3) nonprofit NGO|
|Headquarters||New York City|
|Methods||Education, Advocacy and Public-Policy Formation|
|Fields||Sustainability, Nature, Conservation, Water, Energy, Biodiversity, Ecology, Climate Change, Judaism and Israel|
|Slogan||The Grassroots Campaign for a Sustainable Israel|
The Green Zionist Alliance (GZA) is a New York-based secular and pluralistic Jewish environmental organization that is a U.S.-registered 501(c)(3) tax-deductible nonprofit charity. A grassroots all-volunteer organization, the Green Zionist Alliance is active throughout the United States, Canada and Israel. The GZA is a member of the American Zionist Movement, and has worked in partnership with Mercaz/Masorti (the Conservative Movement), Ameinu, Hazon, the Jewish National Fund, the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life (COEJL) and more.
The organization has the following mission:
The Green Zionist Alliance, a North America-based 501(c)3 nonprofit, offers a place for all people — regardless of political or religious affiliation — who care about humanity's responsibility to preserve the Earth and the special responsibility of the Jewish people to preserve the ecology of Israel. We work to educate and mobilize people around the world for Israel's environment; to protect Israel's environment and support its environmental movement; to improve environmental practices within the World Zionist Organization and its constituent agencies; and to inspire people to work for positive change. By focusing on the environment while working from a pluralistic and multicultural base, the Green Zionist Alliance seeks to bridge the differences between and within religions and people — helping to build a peaceful and sustainable future for Israel and the Middle East.
The Green Zionist Alliance was founded in 2001 by Dr. Alon Tal, Dr. Eilon Schwartz and Rabbi Michael Cohen, along with a large team of other volunteers, including Adam Werbach, Dr. Devra Davis and current GZA leadership. In 2002 it became the first environmental party at the World Zionist Congress, where it has had elected representation since. Through this process, the organization succeeded in the appointment of environmental leaders, including Tal and Schwartz, to the board of the Keren Kayemet L'Yisrael (KKL / Jewish National Fund in Israel). Today the GZA representation includes Tal and Dr. Orr Karassin.
In 2006 the GZA incorporated as a 501(c)3 nonprofit.
The Green Zionist Alliance has had many prominent Jewish leaders serve on its slate for the World Zionist Congress, including Rabbi Arthur Waskow, Dr. Susannah Heschel, Nigel Savage and Dr. Richard Schwartz.
The GZA advisory board includes Jerusalem Deputy Mayor Naomi Tsur and Dr. Daniel Orenstein, a faculty member at the Technion Israel Institute of Technology and the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies.
Since its founding, the Green Zionist Alliance has been a key factor in the greening of Israeli policy, both internally and in its interactions with other countries. The GZA's accomplishments include:
- Quadrupling funding for afforestation;
- Building new bicycle lanes in Israel;
- Developing an environmental program for villagers in Rwanda;
- Saving the unique ecosystem of the Samar sand dunes in the Arava Valley from destruction;
- A successful effort to increase the public share of profits from Israel's offshore natural-gas fields;
- The installation of rooftop energy-generating solar panels and indoor energy-efficient lighting;
- The planned transition of vehicles in the fleets of quasi-governmental organizations, such as Jewish National Fund, to high fuel-efficiency and alternative-fuel models;
- The inclusion of environmental education for new immigrants to Israel;
- The development of community gardens at immigrant-housing centers;
- Increased support for in-country carbon-mitigating projects;
- Increased support for local organic agriculture.
Activist and Educational Campaigns
The Green Zionist Alliance is actively engaged in several campaigns to both protect and educate about Israel's environment, including:
- A successful effort to stop hydrofracking of oil shale in Israel's Elah Valley;
- An effort to prevent further demolition of the Bedouin village of Al Arakib in Israel's Negev region;
- Publication of the Jewish Energy Guide, a 50-article resource on energy issues from a Jewish perspective produced in partnership with the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life;
- Development of an Ethic of the Seas in partnership with the National Religious Coalition on Creation Care;
- Support for a cross-country Jewish environmental-education campaign;
- An effort to support Israel's forests in the wake of the worst forest fire in the country's history;
- An effort to improve the Farm Bill from an environmental and social-justice perspective;
- An effort to develop an interconnected network of individuals, organizations and communities working to create a healthier and more sustainable world rooted in the values of the Shmita cycle;
- Partnering with 160 other groups, including primary organizers the Sierra Club, 350.org and the Hip Hop Caucus, on the "Forward on Climate" initiative;
- Partnering with musician Natalie Merchant, actor Mark Ruffalo and more than 200 other groups — including MoveOn, Friends of the Earth and the Indigenous Environmental Network — in the Food & Water Watch-organized New Yorkers Against Fracking coalition;
- Partnering with 14 other Jewish organizations — including Hazon, COEJL and the Religious Action Center — in founding the Green Hevra, a network of Jewish-environmental organizations;
- Endorsing a Jewish community-wide transition from fossil fuels to clean, renewable energy;
- And an effort to green the General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America.
The Green Zionist Alliance runs programs including:
- GZA Bikkurim Volunteers, a program that places volunteers with environmental organizations in Israel for free;
- An internship program;
- A job board;
- The Green Israel Summit (GIS), an environmental Shabbaton for young leaders;
- GZA Community Partners, a program for congregations, JCCs and other community organizations wishing to connect with and show support for Israel's environment;
- An events calendar that lists events of interest to Jews around the world;
- An English-language compilation of educational materials, research papers, academic papers, news articles, videos and books about Israel's environment;
- Taglit-Birthright Israel green trips to Israel;
- Eco-trips to Israel for families and professionals;
- And student chapters, including "Yovel: The Green Zionist Alliance at NYU."
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- "Green Zionist Alliance Nonprofit Profile". GreatNonprofits.
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- "GZA Co-Founders". Green Zionist Alliance.
- "MERCAZ-GZA Partnership Provide Strong Environmental Voice on KKL Board". Mercaz USA. Summer 2007.
- Kessler, E.J. (Nov 25, 2005). "Zionist Election Has High Stakes, Strange Pairings". The Forward.
- Mobius (Jan 14, 2006). "http://jewschool.com/2006/01/14/9899/elect-your-reps-for-the-35th-world-zionist-congress/". JewSchool.
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- "Advisory Board". Green Zionist Alliance.
- Krantz, David (5 Feb 2012). "Bittersweet Victory: Most of Samar Saved". Jewcology.
- Krantz, David (4 Feb 2011). "Power to the People? Energy Battle in Israel Pits Firms vs. Public Interest". Jewcology.
- Bronner, Ethan (30 March 2011). "Israel: Doubling Tax on Energy". The New York Times.
- Zion Waldoks, Ehud (18 June 2010). "WZO to boost environmental practices". The Jerusalem Post.
- Krantz, David (1 May 2011). "Israel: The New Saudi Arabia?". Jewcology.
- Herman, Arthur (27 Jan 2013). "Fracking means a new Middle East: Fracking to upend oil game". New York Post.
- Herman, Arthur (1 March 2014). "Will Israel Be the Next Energy Superpower?". Commentary.
- Laylin, Tafline (5 March 2013). "Saudi Turns to Solar, Israel Stuck on Shale". Green Prophet.
- Krantz, David (17 March 2011). "Trees without Bulldozers: Environmental Justice for the Bedouin". Jewcology.
- "Jewish Energy Guide". Green Zionist Alliance.
- Krantz, David (19 Dec 2012). "Tikkun HaYam: Saving the Sea". Green Zionist Alliance.
- Krantz, David (11 Feb 2011). "Topsy-Turvy World: Environmental Campaign Relaunched". Jewcology.
- Krantz, David (6 Dec 2010). "After the fire: It's time to help — and heal". Jewcology.
- "Jewish Platform for a Just Farm Bill". Hazon.
- "Shmita Network". Hazon.
- "#ForwardOnClimate Rally Partner Organizations". Sierra Club.
- Seidenberg, David (21 Feb 2013). "Battling Climate Change, the Jewish Way". The Forward.
- "Members". New Yorkers Against Fracking.
- Oster, Marcy (19 April 2012). "Coalition of U.S. Jewish environmental groups gets major funding". Jewish Telegraphic Agency.
- Seidenberg, David; Sanchez, Sybil (4 April 2013). "Jews should back clean energy, not dirty future". Jewish News of Greater Phoenix.
- Krantz, David (15 Nov 2010). "Turning the General Assembly into a Green Assembly". Jewcology.
- "Programs". Green Zionist Alliance.
- "Taglit-Birthright Israel: Israel Experts — Green Israel Tour, Led by Hechalutz & the Green Zionist Alliance". GreenZionism.org.
- "Carbon-Neutral Eco-Trips to Israel". GreenZionism.org.
- "Yovel: The Green Zionist Alliance @ NYU". New York University.
- Jerusalem Post: How many Zionists does it take to change a light bulb?
- Jerusalem Post: WZO to boost environmental practices
- The Jewish Daily Forward: Enter the Green Zionists
- J. Weekly: Eco-Israel retreat reaches out to 'green' Jews
- Tikkun Magazine: The Green Zionist Alliance: The Acorn That Acted Like a Tree
- Jewish Telegraphic Agency: Green suffuses Zionist congress
- The Jewish Daily Forward: Keeping the Land of Milk and Honey Pollution-free
- Jewish Telegraphic Agency: Environmental slate tries to prove it's easy to be both green and Zionist
- The Jewish Daily Forward: A Green Cure for Zionism's Blues
- Jerusalem Post: Greens represented at Zionist Congress
- Jerusalem Post: The greening of Zionism