Insights from 2021: Regeneration, Transformation and Clarity

By Tamara Sharon Ross and Rony Erez

As we turn the page on another year and look towards 2022, we have created enormous momentum as an organization. While the problems we are confronting as a society are astounding, we have developed a deep understanding of both the challenges we face and the means to address them. We enter the new year well-positioned to make significant contributions towards a sustainable future in Israel.

Perhaps this is no better encapsulated than with our visibility as an organization, which skyrocketed in 2021. This was due to both internal and external factors. The appointment of Miki Haimovich as chair of our board brought with it no small amount of media coverage. Miki is a magnet for attention, and she has helped us shine a spotlight on our work and vision. To those of you who have been following us for decades know and understand that this is a huge transformation for the Heschel Center. We have created connections and relationships with reporters, who along with the public, are coming to grasp the immense importance of the climate crisis.

Rony Erez, our Co-Executive Director, went to COP 26 in Glasgow and was on television almost every day. My colleagues have published articles and are interviewed for podcasts and other media outlets on a regular basis. It’s not just us; one seemingly cannot turn on the news without hearing about the climate crisis and how our behavior influences it.

This is particularly true in Israel, where our new government has shown a keen desire to engage with us. In 2021, we learned the strength of our capability to access decision-makers and create constructive dialogue with them. For instance, Rony is a member of a Climate Forum organized by Israeli President Herzog. We are invited to participate in Knesset committee meetings on a regular basis. We have strong connections with the Ministry of Environmental Protection and the Ministry of Energy, who see us as a source of knowledge and information.

In 2022, our goal remains the same: to promote sustainable values, planning, and living. That more and more individuals understand the importance of this mission is re-assuring, though the challenge of changing the unsustainable status quo (and its powerful supporters) is daunting. We understand, with the utmost clarity, how all-important our work is. That it will require us to increase our activities and accelerate our plans. The crisis facing the world is acute and tangible, and we must match the pace of the external change with our own internal urgency.

Thank you for your support in 2021, and we look forward to justifying your faith in our efforts in 2022.