Green Zionist Alliance
Established 2001
Status 501(c)(3) nonprofit NGO
Non-governmental organization
A non-governmental organization is a legally constituted organization created by natural or legal persons that operates independently from any government. The term originated from the United Nations , and is normally used to refer to organizations that do not form part of the government and are...

Main Office New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

Slogan The Grassroots Campaign for a Sustainable Israel
Movement Green Zionism
Green Zionism
Green Zionism is a branch of Zionism that is primarily concerned with the environment of Israel. It mostly fuses Israel-specific environmental concerns with support for the existence of Israel and Jewish self-determination...

Fields Sustainability
Sustainability is the capacity to endure. For humans, sustainability is the long-term maintenance of well being, which has environmental, economic, and social dimensions, and encompasses the concept of union, an interdependent relationship and mutual responsible position with all living and non...

, Nature
Nature, in the broadest sense, is equivalent to the natural world, physical world, or material world. "Nature" refers to the phenomena of the physical world, and also to life in general...

, Conservation
Conservation movement
The conservation movement, also known as nature conservation, is a political, environmental and a social movement that seeks to protect natural resources including animal, fungus and plant species as well as their habitat for the future....

, Water
Water conservation
Water conservation refers to reducing the usage of water and recycling of waste water for different purposes such as cleaning, manufacturing, and agricultural irrigation.- Water conservation :Water conservation can be defined as:...

, Energy
Conservation of energy
The nineteenth century law of conservation of energy is a law of physics. It states that the total amount of energy in an isolated system remains constant over time. The total energy is said to be conserved over time...

, Biodiversity
Biodiversity is the degree of variation of life forms within a given ecosystem, biome, or an entire planet. Biodiversity is a measure of the health of ecosystems. Biodiversity is in part a function of climate. In terrestrial habitats, tropical regions are typically rich whereas polar regions...

, Ecology
Ecology is the scientific study of the relations that living organisms have with respect to each other and their natural environment. Variables of interest to ecologists include the composition, distribution, amount , number, and changing states of organisms within and among ecosystems...

, Climate Change
Climate change
Climate change is a significant and lasting change in the statistical distribution of weather patterns over periods ranging from decades to millions of years. It may be a change in average weather conditions or the distribution of events around that average...

, Judaism
Judaism ) is the "religion, philosophy, and way of life" of the Jewish people...

 and Israel
History of Israel
The State of Israel declared independence on May 14, 1948 after almost two millennia of Jewish dispersal and persecution around the Mediterranean. From the late 19th century the Zionist movement worked towards the goal of recreating a homeland for the Jewish people...

Methods Education
Education in its broadest, general sense is the means through which the aims and habits of a group of people lives on from one generation to the next. Generally, it occurs through any experience that has a formative effect on the way one thinks, feels, or acts...

, Advocacy
Advocacy is a political process by an individual or a large group which normally aims to influence public-policy and resource allocation decisions within political, economic, and social systems and institutions; it may be motivated from moral, ethical or faith principles or simply to protect an...

 and Public-Policy Formation
Public policy
Public policy as government action is generally the principled guide to action taken by the administrative or executive branches of the state with regard to a class of issues in a manner consistent with law and institutional customs. In general, the foundation is the pertinent national and...

Website Green Zionist Alliance

The Green Zionist Alliance (GZA) is a New York-based secular and pluralistic Jewish environmental organization
Environmental organization
An environmental organization is an organization that seeks to protect, analyze or monitor the environment against misuse or degradation or lobby for these goals....

 that is a U.S.-registered 501(c)(3) tax-deductible nonprofit charity
Charitable organization
A charitable organization is a type of non-profit organization . It differs from other types of NPOs in that it centers on philanthropic goals A charitable organization is a type of non-profit organization (NPO). It differs from other types of NPOs in that it centers on philanthropic goals A...

. The organization has the following mission:
The Green Zionist Alliance, a North America
North America
North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

-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
Earth is the third planet from the Sun, and the densest and fifth-largest of the eight planets in the Solar System. It is also the largest of the Solar System's four terrestrial planets...

 and the special responsibility of the Jewish people to preserve the ecology
Ecology is the scientific study of the relations that living organisms have with respect to each other and their natural environment. Variables of interest to ecologists include the composition, distribution, amount , number, and changing states of organisms within and among ecosystems...

 of Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

. We work to educate and mobilize people around the world for Israel's environment
Natural environment
The natural environment encompasses all living and non-living things occurring naturally on Earth or some region thereof. It is an environment that encompasses the interaction of all living species....

; to protect Israel's environment and support its environmental movement; to improve environmental practices within the World Zionist Organization
World Zionist Organization
The World Zionist Organization , or WZO, was founded as the Zionist Organization , or ZO, in 1897 at the First Zionist Congress, held from August 29 to August 31 in Basel, Switzerland...

 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
Middle East
The Middle East is a region that encompasses Western Asia and Northern Africa. It is often used as a synonym for Near East, in opposition to Far East...


A grassroots
A grassroots movement is one driven by the politics of a community. The term implies that the creation of the movement and the group supporting it are natural and spontaneous, highlighting the differences between this and a movement that is orchestrated by traditional power structures...

 all-volunteer organization, the Green Zionist Alliance is active throughout the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

 and Israel. The GZA is a member of the American Zionist Movement, and has worked in partnership with Mercaz/Masorti
The Masorti Movement is the name given to Conservative Judaism in Israel and other countries outside Canada and U.S. Masorti means "traditional" in Hebrew...

, Ameinu
Ameinu is an American Jewish Zionist organization. Established in 2004 as the successor to the Labor Zionist Alliance, it is the continuation of Labor Zionist activity in the United States that began with the founding of Poale Zion in 1905....

, Hazon
Hazon is a nonprofit organization, based in New York City, that seeks to create new vision in the Jewish community through outdoor and environmental education...

, the Jewish National Fund
Jewish National Fund
The Jewish National Fund was founded in 1901 to buy and develop land in Ottoman Palestine for Jewish settlement. The JNF is a quasi-governmental, non-profit organisation...

, the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life
Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life
The Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life is a leading Jewish environmental organization in the United States. It was founded in 1993 and is based in New York City.-External links:*...

 and more.


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 current GZA leadership. In 2002 it became the first environmental party
Green politics
Green politics is a political ideology that aims for the creation of an ecologically sustainable society rooted in environmentalism, social liberalism, and grassroots democracy...

 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
Jewish National Fund
The Jewish National Fund was founded in 1901 to buy and develop land in Ottoman Palestine for Jewish settlement. The JNF is a quasi-governmental, non-profit organisation...

 in Israel). Today the GZA representation includes Tal and Dr. Orr Karassin.

In 2006 the GZA incorporated as a 501(c)3 nonprofit.

The GZA advisory board includes Jerusalem Deputy Mayor Naomi Tsur
Naomi Tsur
Naomu Tsur is an Israeli environmentalist, politician and deputy mayor of Jerusalem. Naomi Tsur is responsible for strategic planning, environment, sustainability and historic conservation-Personal life:...

 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
    Afforestation is the establishment of a forest or stand of trees in an area where there was no forest. Reforestation is the reestablishment of forest cover, either naturally or artificially...

  • Building new bicycle
    A bicycle, also known as a bike, pushbike or cycle, is a human-powered, pedal-driven, single-track vehicle, having two wheels attached to a frame, one behind the other. A person who rides a bicycle is called a cyclist, or bicyclist....

     lanes in Israel;
  • Developing an environmental program for villagers in Rwanda
    Rwanda or , officially the Republic of Rwanda , is a country in central and eastern Africa with a population of approximately 11.4 million . Rwanda is located a few degrees south of the Equator, and is bordered by Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo...

  • 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
    Environmental education
    Environmental education refers to organized efforts to teach about how natural environments function and, particularly, how human beings can manage their behavior and ecosystems in order to live sustainably. The term is often used to imply education within the school system, from primary to...

     for new immigrants
    Immigration is the act of foreigners passing or coming into a country for the purpose of permanent residence...

     to Israel;
  • The development of community gardens at immigrant-housing centers;
  • Increased support for in-country carbon-mitigating projects
    Mitigation of global warming
    Climate change mitigation is action to decrease the intensity of radiative forcing in order to reduce the potential effects of global warming. Mitigation is distinguished from adaptation to global warming, which involves acting to tolerate the effects of global warming...

  • Increased support for local
    Local food
    Local food or the local food movement is a "collaborative effort to build more locally based, self-reliant food economies - one in which sustainable food production, processing, distribution, and consumption is integrated to enhance the economic, environmental and social health of a particular...

     organic agriculture
    Organic farming
    Organic farming is the form of agriculture that relies on techniques such as crop rotation, green manure, compost and biological pest control to maintain soil productivity and control pests on a farm...


Activist and Educational Campaigns

The Green Zionist Alliance is actively engaged in several campaigns to both protect and educate about Israel's environment, including:
  • An effort to preserve the unique ecosystem of the Samar sand dunes
    Sands of Samar
    The Sands of Samar , also called the Samar sands or Samar sand dunes, are an expanse of sand dunes in the Arava region of southern Israel. Once encompassing an area of seven square kilometers, agricultural development and sand mining have reduced the sands to 2.3 square kilometers...

     in the Arava Valley
    Araba may refer to one of the following places:*Álava, a province in northern Spain *Arabah, a section of the Great Rift Valley*Arraba, an Arab-Israeli town in Israel*Arrabah, a Palestinian village in the West Bank...

    , protecting it from development;
  • An effort to stop hydrofracking
    Hydraulic fracturing
    Considerable controversy surrounds the current implementation of hydraulic fracturing technology in the United States. Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is the process of utilizing pressurized water, or some other liquid, to fracture rock layers and release petroleum, natural gas, or other...

     of oil shale in Israel's Elah Valley
    Valley of Elah
    The Valley of Elah, "the valley of the oak or terebinth" , best known as the place described in the Bible where the Israelites were encamped when David fought Goliath . It was near Azekah and Socho...

  • An effort to prevent further demolition of the Bedouin
    The Bedouin are a part of a predominantly desert-dwelling Arab ethnic group traditionally divided into tribes or clans, known in Arabic as ..-Etymology:...

     village of Al Arakib
    Al-Araqeeb is a village of the Al-Turi Arab Bedouin tribe in Israel, five miles north of Beersheba, with a population 200–300. The village is regarded as an illegal settlement by the Israeli government, and the Jewish National Fund plans to include the land in a new forestation project...

     in Israel's Negev
    The Negev is a desert and semidesert region of southern Israel. The Arabs, including the native Bedouin population of the region, refer to the desert as al-Naqab. The origin of the word Neghebh is from the Hebrew root denoting 'dry'...

  • Support for a cross-country Jewish environmental-education campaign;
  • A successful effort to increase the public share of profits from Israel's offshore natural-gas
    Natural gas
    Natural gas is a naturally occurring gas mixture consisting primarily of methane, typically with 0–20% higher hydrocarbons . It is found associated with other hydrocarbon fuel, in coal beds, as methane clathrates, and is an important fuel source and a major feedstock for fertilizers.Most natural...

  • An effort to support Israel's forests in the wake of the worst forest fire in the country's history
    Mount Carmel forest fire (2010)
    The Mount Carmel forest fire was a deadly forest fire that started on Mount Carmel in northern Israel, just south of Haifa. The fire began at about 11:00 local time on 2 December 2010, and spread quickly, consuming much of the Mediterranean forest covering the region...

  • And an effort to green the next 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
    The Hebrew term Shabbaton, , may be translated into English to mean sabbatical year. In Israel, when one takes a sabbatical year, one takes the year off in search of other pursuits. It is a rest from work, a hiatus, typically 2 months plus...

    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;
  • And an English-language compilation of educational materials, research papers, academic papers, news articles, videos and books about Israel's environment.

In the News

External links

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