Thoughts about the 20th Cohort of the Heschel Fellows Program

The Heschel Fellowship Program, the most comprehensive leadership program in the environmental movement, has launched its 20th cohort with 24 Fellows this January. The program aims to create a cadre of highly motivated, talented, and engaging change-makers that understand the essence of the Sustainability vision.

Neti Zait, the Heschel Fellowship Director says: “ After 20 years of investment we see the results, not just in the change that we see within the participants, but also in Israeli society: the current cohort is much more driven and ready to take action.” She adds: “This is a year of transformation – I feel it more than ever, that there is a huge opportunity to put sustainability in the highest priority.

“This year in the program, we’re asking difficult questions,” says Dr. Lia Ettinger, one of the Heschel Center’s longest-serving educators. “How is it that in a world of such rich abundance there are still children that do not receive the care they deserve? It happens for the same reasons that make it difficult for us to cope with the climate crisis. How do we focus humanity’s unbelievable capabilities and creativity in a direction that not just creates profit, but brings social-environmental value?”

The program is set to continue until July 2021 after which the 24 Fellows will join the network of 350 Heschel Fellows alumni in their efforts to promote the vision of Sustainability.

Quotes from the 20th Cohort: 

‘’What brought me to the program was the desire to get to know and collaborate with a diverse group of people who share the same passion towards the climate change issue and want to be a part of the community that takes action. The program is very interesting; fascinating teachers and enriching materials. Both the group and the staff are terrific. The dynamic in the group is excellent, and we already began establishing warm friendships and connections between us.’’
Efrat Beredjik, an architect and partner at the “Schocken Architects” firm.

‘I came to the program with an urge and desire to make an impact and address the problems of climate change and the global warming issues. The program is, first of all, a source of optimism for me. I am surrounded by simply wonderful, talented people, both the staff and the other Fellows. We are imbued with motivation, driven by the vision to change the world, each one in his own field. It is true that quite a few times we hear pessimistic and difficult things, but it is necessary knowledge so we can better understand the situation. I believe that the change ambassadors are us, we will be the ones to correct and change the world for the better.”

Alon Issachar, scriptwriter and independent director at the Digital Department of Kan 11, Israel’s Public Broadcasting Network.