September updates – 2020

We are living through a historic moment, one that requires a drastic change. As the economic and health situation spirals out of control, cracks in the system are being exposed. There is a thirst from the public for innovative solutions – a sustainable economy, a fierce climate movement, regenerative democracy, and more.

And so, the Heschel Center is taking its ideas to “the street”, but not just the “streets.” The change in the air signals that now is the time to give a big push towards a serious revolution. We are pushing and pulling people towards the sustainability revolution by expanding our circles of engagement, reaching people’s hearts and minds, and providing solutions for an economic restart and the mending of social differences. To that end, we launched a new web series that frames the issues but also provides solutions and hope, a new website (the English website is coming soon!), new courses online, public webinars, and more.

We at the Heschel Center feel that the ideas we have preached, taught and developed for many years are finally getting people’s attention: universal basic income, community generated renewable energy, community regeneration, sustainable food systems, and more. Now is the time for the Heschel Center to “go out to the streets”. Now is the time to make sure our message is reaching the largest possible audience.

Our new web series includes five 8-minute videos that describe the issues and seven short, 90-second videos that describe possible solutions, featuring famous Israeli actors. These videos were made with a very talented director and an incredible screenwriter who spent hundreds of hours with our staff to really get inside their heads and produce something that “speaks our language”.

Since the web-series was launched we have had an unprecedented social media engagement and we hope to keep building on this momentum in the coming year.

Click here and learn why society has not adequately addressed the climate crisis.

Change begins here

During the last year we have been working on tools and platforms that have assisted us to change our organizational structure from within in order to narrow the gap between our core values and our vision for the future of our society.

With the assistance of staff member, Yoav Egozi, the Director of the Heschel Fellows Program, we began conducting our discussions and decision-making processes using Sociocracy methodologies and used innovative management practices that a integrate Holacrocy approach.

The decision to appoint Rony Erez and Tamara Sharon Ross to the Co-Director position reflected a new organizational management philosophy that the Heschel Center staff is committed to fully integrating. This mindset is designed to promote shared responsibility throughout the team: inspiring mutual trust, empathy and partnership.

We will continue to update on the transition and invite you to ask questions.

The 3.5%

In a book published by the Harvard academics Erica Chenoweth and Maria G. Stephan based on research they conducted using hundreds of examples of civil resistances, the two argue that non-violent movements are more successful than violent ones. Their research also found that it only takes 3.5% (sometimes less) of the population to be actively involved in a movement in order for it to be successful.

We find hope in both of these findings, which is of acute relevance for the situation here in Israel. It further demonstrates the importance of a civil, non-violent movement and its potential success to influence government policy. When one gets overwhelmed by the enormity of the challenges we face, convincing 3.5% of the population to actively push for change seems within reach.

One of our videos discusses this 3.5% – click and watch!