THE GREEN NETWORK
The Green Network is an organization dealing with Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). We strive for environmental and social change, and advocates Education for Sustainable Development in all the societies in Israel.
The Green Network evolved out of a collaboration between the Heschel Center for Sustainability and the CRB Karev Program. We believe in empowering local actors “from the ground up”. Our goal is to provide inspiration, motivation, vision, knowledge and tools to enable educators and community workers to act in the places where they live and work, towards a sustainable way of life.
In the past two years the Green Network has put a substantial emphasis on the subject of climate changes and the climate crisis, teaching and lecturing it to educators, students and officials all around the country.
The Green Network is also a part of “Life and Environment” – the Environmental Organizations Forum of Israel.
We believe that children and youth, growing up in the 21st century, will need to find alternatives for growing food, for energy production and for transportation. They will also need to protect water sources and halt the process of deforestation. They will need to guard democracy, unravel the bonds between big money and government, allow people to earn a decent living and create a social network that protects “The Common goods”, providing them with health and justice.
These challenges require that we realign education towards sustainability and create a new pedagogy that will provide todays youth with a deeper understanding of environmental issues, a sense of belonging and the ability to inspire change.
We have a vision of a world grounded on the values of Sustainability, a society that is characterized by a sense of connection to one another and to the natural world around us. We seek a culture based on an ethic of care and responsibility. We believe these values will sustain our generation and our children in future generations.
he Green Network’s staff is of about 50 professionals, training educators in hundreds of schools and pre-schools across the country every year. We work in all sectors of the Israeli society – Arabs and Jews, religious and secular, in cities and in peripheral areas. We see in multicultural diversity a key element of the Green Networks’ purpose: to nourish pluralism, respect and care for other people and the planet in the Israeli conflict-ridden social context.
In the past 23 years the Green Network has trained thousands of teachers and principals in different programs, and has incorporated innovative and creative teaching methods.
"Sustainability is a democratic and optimistic perspective, that places human dignity and liberty at the center, based on a deep understanding that we are all a part of the fabric of life that nurtures and sustains all living creatures upon the earth.
"Sustainability is rediscovering the value of things we depend upon: The clean air, the fresh water, the silence of the desert and the diversity of the Mediterranean landscape, a neighborhood where children can play safely outside or a community where the elders can find a helping hand".
Over the years The Green Network has accumulated a substantial amount of practical and theoretical experience. The Green Network provides teacher-training and educational materials, spreading methodologies and models for implementing Education for Sustainable Development. This enables us to influence and contribute to educators and communities anywhere in Israel – and even around the world. In order to connect educational theory with innovative teaching methods we use a host of hands-on programs and projects, for example:
A National Program for Education for Sustainability: An intensive whole-school teacher training program initiated by the Governmental Ministries of Environmental Protection and Education. The program is passed to about 80 school-staff groups every year, qualifies thousands of educators in ESD and reaches tens of thousand children. The purpose being to give educators a deep knowledge of ESD and means to pass on to their students.
Teaching about Climate Changes: The Green Network develops special educational programs that focus on Climate Changes, mitigation and adaptation. For instance, a program for schools that have solar panels installed on their roof, or a special educational program for the Tel-Aviv-Jaffa municipality, that follows the city's strategic plan for dealing with climate changes. We have also initiated and organized the first conference in Israel dedicated to Emotional and Psychological Responses to Climate Changes, co-hosted by The Ruppin Academic Center.
“Re-driving the wheel”: A special program for high school students, dealing with the challenges of energy, fuels and transportation in the era of climate change and the demand for renewable energy. This program is sponsored by the Alternative Fuels Administration inside the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office. This year this program has reached about 150 classrooms and the demand for next year is growing.
Working with special societies: The Green Network has programs and workshops in Mixed Cities where Arabs and Jews live side by side, in Arab and Bedouine villages, in the ultra-orthodox Jewish community and with immigrants from Ethiopia. All these groups present a unique social and educational challenge. Through ESD we create a dialogue and bring a sense of common purpose.