Israeli students win major prize…for protesting

November 25, 2019 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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The Nechama Rivlin ז”ל Prize for Sustainability was awarded to the students’ protest movement for climate change in Israel, to the Rabbis’ letter against the use of disposable plastic, to the campaign for clean air in Haifa Bay and to Emek Hazvaim in Jerusalem.

Students with President Rivlin   Photo: Mark Neiman (GPO)

The first Nechama Rivlinז”ל  Prize for Sustainability was awarded yesterday by the Rivlin family at the 4th Israeli Climate Conference which encourages public recognition of climate issues in Israel. Nechama ז”ל did much to advance the awareness of sustainability, particularly through grass-roots activities to strengthen the connection to the land. The prize was awarded by the Environmental Movement to local and national Initiatives which have been outstandingly successful and which are led by environmental organizations and local initiatives at the conference which took place at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art.

The president expressed his thanks for the choice to pay tribute to the memory of Nechama ז”ל through a prize that encourages sustainability and environmental initiatives, saying that it “truly reflects Nechama’s love for people and nature. ‘In the flowerbeds,’ Nechama once wrote, ‘the barriers fall, nature is close, and people who work with us become friends.’” The president spoke about how she taught him, who grew up in the city, to look at nature and to appreciate it, adding “Nechama was one of the first to understand that ecology, sustainability and environmental protection are far more than simply love of nature.”

“Predictions of climate change have turned this issue from something marginal that concerns nature lovers to a serious problem facing leaders around the world. Nechama believed that the key to change lies with each one of us at home and in our communities. Small changes in the way we live our lives is an act of taking responsibility: sorting domestic waste, conscious consumption, reuse to reduce waste. Every small step like this, Nechama believed, is important. It is an act of taking responsibility, and last Thursday, as an act of personal responsibility, the Director-General of Beit HaNasi decided to lead a process to reduce to a minimum the use of disposable plastic at Beit HaNasi.”

Ahead of the UN Climate Conference held last September, the president said, “I signed on behalf of the State of Israel a climate initiative led by the President of Austria. By signing, I once again expressed Israel’s support for important steps to limit emissions of greenhouse gases, and to slow down rising global temperatures. These are steps that appear in the Paris Climate Convention that Israel signed some three years ago. Dealing with climate change requires us to think broadly, to think creatively, to think responsibly.”


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