Many of today's youth are deeply concerned about climate change and the future of our planet. In Israel, where Arab and Jewish youth often lead separate lives, this shared environmental concern offers a chance to bridge divides and create impactful connections. Enter Environmental Justice Now!, a groundbreaking initiative that unites youth from diverse backgrounds to collaboratively address pressing environmental challenges.
Addressing Gaps in Environmental Awareness
Arab society in Israel faces significant gaps in environmental awareness and infrastructure. Many Arab municipalities lack fundamental systems like regular waste collection and recycling programs. Environmental Justice Now! aims to spotlight these disparities and, over time, narrow the gap between communities.
Through its affiliated youth movement, Hanoar Haoved, Dror Israel is launching the Environmental Justice Now! program. With a membership of over 90,000 across 200 branches in Jewish, Arab, Druze, urban, rural, and olim communities, Hanoar Haoved provides an ideal platform for fostering cooperation and change. This initiative will empower Arab and Jewish youth to raise awareness about climate issues and drive impactful change within their communities.
Empowering Youth for a Sustainable Future
Through the program, teens will raise awareness about climate change and environmental justice. Through conferences and training programs, the Jewish and Arab youth leaders will be empowered to create real, positive change in their communities, and will foster camaraderie and partnership.
A Successful Pilot and Future Expansion
The program's 2022 pilot was a resounding success, engaging 5,000 youth, including 20% Arab-Israelis, in discussions about social and environmental justice. In the coming year, the initiative is set to expand to 10,000 participants, featuring a range of activities:
Leadership conferences and training sessions.
Establishment of an Environmental Sustainability Center in Carmiel.
Collaborative efforts in adopting and cleaning natural sites.
Development of eco-friendly plans and policies.
Educational campaigns and exhibits highlighting climate change.
HaNoar HaOved: Bridging Divides through Unity
Unlike many coexistence programs, HaNoar HaOved brings Jewish and Arab youth together under one organization, emphasizing shared experiences and identities while celebrating cultural diversity. Environmental Justice Now! strengthens a new generation of leaders who are environmentally conscious and committed to building a more inclusive society.
This initiative isn't just about environmental change; it's about fostering unity, trust, and a better future for all. By empowering youth, we're strengthening Israel's democracy, creating a new wave of leaders, and expanding the reach of the peace movement. Together, we're building a more sustainable, just, and united Israel.