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The love of the land of Israel has been a part of the Jewish culture and religion for hundreds of years. Labor Zionists emphasized the importance of working with the land and preserving it as part of the movement to develop a state. This month we celebrate the Jewish connection to the land of Israel. It is also an opportunity to highlight how Israeli pioneers built a land of milk and honey from what was once a desert and malarial swamps, and how Israelis today cope with living in an arid region, with limited natural resources and difficult environmental challenges.
- Israel returns Sinai to Egypt, April 1982.
- Maccabi Tel Aviv basketball team wins European championship for the first time, April 7, 1977.
- Tel Aviv founded, April 11, 1909.
- Eichmann Trial Begins, April 11, 1961.
- The U.S.-Israel Free Trade Agreement is signed, April 22, 1985.
Other Holidays and Anniversaries
- Arbor Day
- John Muir Day, April 21
- Earth Day, April 22
- Holy Week (Christian Good Friday, Easter)
- Discuss the shortage of water and Israel’s responses such as the development of desalination technologies.
- Highlight Israel’s prominent use and development of solar energy.
- Write about green technologies that were developed in Israel.
- Invite Shaul Agassi or use his TED speech to introduce A Better Place and its innovative replacement battery technology for electric cars.
- Create an exhibit on Israel’s innovative drip irrigation system.
- Hold a Passover seder and discuss the relationship of the Exodus story to the land of Israel.
- Talk about Israeli pioneers, turning swamps into a modern nation.
- Discuss Israeli development work in the Third World to help African nations and others to make better use of the land.
- Introduce Labor Zionism and the ideology of early pioneers who believed working the land was vital to the creation of a Jewish state.
- Compare the pioneering work of John Muir and Israeli naturalists.
- Invite someone from Israel’s Green Party to speak.
- Create an exhibit about Israel’s nature reserves and parks.
- Highlight the work of the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies, especially joint projects between U.S. researchers and the Institute.
- Have an Israel festival to celebrate Israel’s independence and highlight Israel’s environmental programs.
- Highlight the importance Israel places on trees and the fact that Israel is the only country that had more trees at the end of the 20th century than the beginning.
- Discuss Israeli programs to help countries combat desertification.
- Invite a speaker to talk about Israeli-Palestinian and Israeli-Jordanian environmental cooperation.
Israel Environment Month Video