The Next Generation of Climate Changemakers


 The Arava Institute’s new NextGen Climate Changemakers are a group of 24 young adults—roughly equal parts Israeli Jews, Israeli Arabs and Palestinians, and DC-area American Jews—participating in a six-month program aimed at exploring transboundary cooperation on climate change and climate justice in the Middle East. Funded with generous support from the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington, this program includes eight virtual meetings, one week-long trip to Israel, and a final trip to Washington, DC.

Participants in the NextGen Climate Changemakers program have been carefully selected for their expertise and commitment to promoting environmental cooperation and sustainability. They represent a cross-section of communities, including professionals, academics, and students, who are passionate about creating positive change in the world. They exchange ideas and best practices and seek solutions to the challenges posed by climate change in the Middle East region while engaging in dialogue and addressing questions of identity, ideology, and coexistence. 

We were thrilled to kick off the program at the end of January over Zoom and in person, and have since had four virtual meetings and one study tour. US participants just arrived back from their trip, where they split their time between the Arava and Eilat region and Area C of the West Bank. The group met experts in climate resiliency, communication, development, biodiversity conservation, marine biology, off-grid energy systems, transboundary environmental cooperation, and more. Participants on the trip also explored personal narratives, an essential part of the Institute’s multi-narrative curriculum.


The Climate Changemakers are applying what they learn in four critical climate resiliency projects: 

  • The first project is a feasibility model for an off-grid clinic in the area of Masafer Yatta, where they are working with local communities and organizations.
  • The second group is working on a climate resiliency plan for the town of Sehfa-Amer with the environmental organization Galilee Society.
  • The third group is planning an off-grid school in the Northern Negev area for unrecognized Bedouin villages with the local community.
  • The fourth group is creating climate communication models for underprivileged communities and municipalities. 

The Changemakers will continue to meet virtually and their program will culminate with a study tour to Washington, DC, this summer.

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