A green meet-up for Tel Aviv’s eco-minded olim

March 31, 2016 04:26

Three speakers shared personal stories behind their ventures, and offered behind-the-scenes tips on starting a green business.

1 minute read.

THE TEL AVIR group meets at Joey’s Bar in Tel Aviv on Tuesday night.

THE TEL AVIR group meets at Joey’s Bar in Tel Aviv on Tuesday night.. (photo credit:DAVID BEER-GABEL)

A Tel Aviv bar. Happy hour.

Environmental experts. Olim in their 20s and 30s.

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It may seem like an odd combination, but all this came together Tuesday for the second meeting of Tel Avir – an English-language group that brings together leaders in Israel’s green industry with members of the Tel Aviv international community for evenings devoted to environmental issues.

The theme for the group’s recent meeting was “Harnessing the Power of Nature.”

Keynoters were Israel Enden – CEO of Wave Electricity Renewable Power Ocean; Lior Magal – who handles international sales and marketing for Israeli start-up Homebiogas; and Chaim Motzen – co-founder of Gigawatt Global that set up the first large solar field in East Africa.

The three speakers shared personal stories behind their ventures, and offered behindthe- scenes tips on starting a green business.

Tel Avir – the name is a Hebrew pun on the words Tel Aviv and air – consists of immigrants Amir Cahn and Teddy Fischer, and returning Israeli-American Shirley Ben-Dak. In 2014 the three friends began meeting informally to discuss environmental issues. Their occasional meetings grew to include 10 people, some working in environmental fields, and others interested in green projects. A few months ago, Cahn “had a hunch” there are other Tel Aviv Anglos interested in these topics. So he started the Tel Avir group on Facebook.

Today it has 278 members, and in February the group held its founding meeting.

Ben-Dak moved back to Israel 10 years ago and today runs international programs for Rehovot’s Weitz Center for Sustainable Development.

She explained more and more people are looking to get involved in Israel’s green industries, and said that Tel Avir’s events allow like-minded individuals to network.

Both Cahn – who works for the Smart Water Networks Forum, and Fischer – project manager for TeleScope (a designer for the Tel Aviv Light Rail) noted that many immigrants, in particular English-speaking olim, work in Israel’s green innovation industry.

If the group continues to grow in popularity, organizers say they may eventually hold a similar event in Hebrew.

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