Whether it was located in our first offices on Yavneh Street, or later in the “Green Building” on Nahalat Binyamin Street, with several other environmental organizations (Life and Environment, the Tel Aviv branch of the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel, EcoPeace-Friends of
the Earth Middle East, Transportation Today and Tomorrow), the Heschel Center has always, first and foremost, been a home. That is to say, it is a physical place to be visited, a place in which to meet new people and ideas, but it is also much more than that.
Before the Internet age, the Heschel Center’s library was a “nerve center” and a source of knowledge and inspiration for hundreds of people, activists and students who wanted to participate in the most up-to-date discourse on environment and society. We still have a library, but now there is less need for actual books and printed journals, so the virtual library on the Heschel Center’s website now serves as a portal for new knowledge, theoretical and practical materials, and as a connection between what is happening in the world and the Israeli public, who more than ever before are looking for inspiration, and for useful perspectives for promoting a sustainable society.
Above all, thousands of people across the country relate to the Heschel Center as a conceptual and social home, and a place in which to be inspired, and given the necessary tools for developing new initiatives. “Heschel” has become a concept (some would say “brand”) that represents depth of thought, systems thinking, broad sustainability and reflective activism.
Around this organizational message we have built a network of graduates and activists who are connected to each other in friendly relationships and joint activity in mutual support.
Over the years, the Heschel Center has become a hotbed for initiatives and other projects that have grown out of close proximity to the center.
A partial list includes:
Others have received significant assistance, both in knowledge and tools, and in administrative infrastructure, including the granting of an organizational “roof” that enabled funding. These include Shula Keshet and the struggle against the new Central Bus Station in South Tel Aviv,
Tami Zori and Etz Ba’ir (a practical sustainability education center), Yotam Avizohar and Israel for Bikes, and more.