100 Water Heroes: Dr. Elion Schwartz

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Executive Director of the Heschel Center for Environmental Learning and Leadership

Dr. Elion Schwartz is the Executive Director of the Heschel Center for Environmental Learning and Leadership, an organisation that seeks to build “a sustainable future for Israel rooted in environmental health and social justice” (Hyman, 2010). In addition to his work with the Herschel Center, Elion is the Director of Shaharit, “a synergistic mix of thinktank, leadership incubator, and community organizing hub that is nurturing a new social partnership among all of Israel’s communities, building a future rooted in the common good.”

In terms of his work with the Herschel Center, Elion stresses the importance of a collaborative approach to environmental sustainability:

“We bring together Jews and Arabs, religious and secular, Oriental and European Jews, believing that environmentalism should reflect a larger, inclusive vision for the society.”

One of the Heschel Center’s initiatives is the Environmental Fellows Program that seeks to encourage and develop Israel’s next generation of environmental leaders. They have also fostered a network of Israeli schools that are strengthening environmental education and awareness amongst their students.

In addition to these initiatives, Elion works at the Melton Center for Jewish Education at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where he lectures “advanced degree courses in Judaism and environmental education, the interrelationship between Zionism and the environment, environmental policy and ethics” (Hyman, 2010).

Elion is one of our #100WaterHeroes for his contributions to achieving sustainability in Israel through environmental education and social justice.