greenXchange Reimagines Green Building in Israel.
(photo credit: DENNIS ZINN KKL-JNF)
The 7th greenXchange seminar, which took place this year in Israel from September 6-12, was the catalyst for the generation of ideas and exciting partnerships between 24 talented and highly motivated young professionals from Israel and Germany. Organizers declared this year’s event as the most successful to date.
greenXchange is a program founded by KKL-JNF and JNF-KKL Germany to serve as a platform to promote cooperation between young Israeli and German professionals on their way to becoming future leaders in the field of environmental sustainability and protection. To get accepted to the program the candidates must either be studying for their masters or doctorates, or already working as professionals in their respective fields. Half the participants are from Israel while the other half are from Germany.
The location of the annual seminar alternates between the two countries. Each candidate is committed to attend two consecutive seminars over two years (once in each country).
The program consists of lectures and tours related to environmentalism throughout the designated country. This year, the seminar included a visit to the Knesset where the participants met Knesset member and environmental activist Yael Cohen Paran. They also toured places such as the town of Maale Adumim on the outskirts of the Judean Desert, areas along the seam line between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, and the Dead Sea and Ein Gedi. Each site visit was accompanied by an explanation of environmental issues and solutions regarding sewage, water supply and water conservation.
Regarding the seminar and tours themselves, greenXchange coordinator Liri Eitan-Drai said that the seminar participants played a pivotal role in deciding the program agenda and organizing the events.
“A big change that took place this year - the participants wanted to contribute some of their own expertise to Israel in general, and to their host KKL-JNF in particular. Anat Gold of the KKL-JNF Planning Department welcomed the idea and asked them to produce suggestions for two new building projects in northern Israel that are currently in the design phase. She told the participants that, if accepted, there is a good possibility that some of their proposals would be incorporated into the plans.”
One of the building projects concerned is the planned center for young leadership at the KKL-JNF Field and Forest Center in Tzippori, and the other is the Visitor’s Center at the Hula Lake Park which will be entirely rebuilt.
The group enthusiastically took on the challenge. Members were divided into six groups of four, each group comprising of 2 Germans and 2 Israelis.
Participants toured both facilities and were presented with in-depth explanations of the role of the planned structures and future expectations.
Their proposals were presented on the last day of the seminar to a panel comprised of KKL-JNF Northern Region Landscape Architect Mor Din, Noa Tal of the KKL-JNF Planning Division, KKL-JNF Education Officer at Hula Lake Park Inbar Rubin, Upper Galilee and Golan Heights Regional Director Aviram Tzuk, and KKL-JNF emissary to Germany Dr. Schaul Horev, who was the founder of greenXchange.
Read more about the greenXchange seminar and see photos