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What is the Green Apprenticeship?

What is Sustainable Israel?

התמחות ירוקה - בעברית

The Green Apprenticeship (GA) trains participants to understand and create sustainable solutions for the issues facing the modern world. Our core program incorporates the following subjects, taught through both theoretical and practical instruction:

  • Sustainable agriculture & local food production
  • Permaculture  & Ecological design techniques
  • Green building
  • Sustainable technologies – composting toilets, grey and black water purification systems, solar ovens, geodesic domes, renewable energy
  • Group dynamics and processes
  • Environmental ethics & lifestyle

Practical work includes: 

  • Organic gardening – growing vegetables from scratch
  • Natural and alternative building with mud, straw bales, tires, and trash
  • Composting – with food scraps and with the help of worms (vermiculture)
  • Permaculture design projects – ecological design from the garden and home to the workplace
  • Care of EcoCampus neighborhood – maintenance and development
  • Countless opportunities for individual or group eco-projects

Click here for a course summary.

Click here to see how program graduates have integrated their experience into their lives and businesses

In all our programs, practical skills are developed through hands-on work in our environmental education center, organic garden, and alternative/natural building projects, and complemented by classroom sessions in such topics as ecological design, permaculture, gardening theory, and community building. Visit our You Tube channel to find out more.

Participants are also interwoven into the daily life of our kibbutz, an intentional cooperative community based on the principles of liberal, egalitarian Judaism. Click here to read more about the kibbutz.

Students also have the opportunity to live what they learn on a day-to-day basis by staying in the GA EcoCampus – a prototype neighborhood for sustainable living. Click here for more information.

Additionally, participants come from all over the world to be with like-minded individuals and create life-long connections. They leave the course brimming with information, motivation, confidence and support, and become part of the larger community of those who value ecological living.

Click here to see a sample schedule of a typical week during the course.

Upon successful completion of the course work, participants will receivea Permaculture Design Course Certificate according to International Permaculture standards. The Green Apprenticeship is inspired by the Ecovillage DesignEducation Curriculum developed in cooperation with Gaia Education.

Graduates of the Green Apprenticeship integrate the skills they learn into Masters and PhD degrees in ecological subjects and as formal and informal educators. Other professional endeavors include: establishing and directing environmental NGO’s, creating a permaculture education farm, entrepreneurial efforts in the organic food industry and landscape architecture, becoming experts in natural building and carpentry, doing agricultural work in farms all over the world, and much more.
Green Apprenticeship alumni also take the knowledge they learn outside the ecological community, as the information helps develop a way of approaching systems in any field.

Read what past participants have said about the Green Apprenticeship course.

Click here for information on program dates, fees, and how to apply.

Sustainable Israel

Sustainable Israel develops professional skills through an intensive theoretical and applied fellowship in sustainable development.  This unique fellowship builds innovative capacities that participants will take with them as a “tool kit” for sustainable development.  Participants study permaculture design and sustainable development, ecological agriculture and architecture, Ecovillage design, natural building, renewable energies including solar and biogas, rainwater collection, community building, group dynamics and much more. 

Participants approach sustainability through a modern Jewish perspective and develop a living and relevant expression of Jewish environmental ethics.  The fellowship includes meetings with policy makers in the Arava Valley, tours of neighboring Kibbutzim and Jerusalem, service learning in Be’er Sheva, hiking in the Southern Arava and snorkeling in Eilat.  Upon completion, fellows receive internationally recognized Permaculture Design Certification. 

As part of the course, participants live in and help build the EcoCampus.  Additionally, fellows experience countless opportunities to engage in community life at Kibbutz Lotan, including Friday night dinner with the Lotan community and opportunities to volunteer in various Kibbutz work branches including the cow dairy, date plantations, organic gardens, landscaping and more. 

During Sustainable Israel, fellows receive internationally recognized Permaculture Design Certification.  Graduates of Sustainable Israel integrate the skills they learn into academic degrees from Bachelors to Ph.D. studies, and many formal and alternative career paths.  Professional endeavors include: establishing and acquiring leadership positions in environmental NGOs, developing permaculture sites, entrepreneurial efforts in the field of sustainability, organic farming, landscape design, architecture, natural and green building and more.  To learn more about what possibilities are available upon completion, have a look at our alumni page. 

Coursework Includes:

Agro Ecology:

  • Botanical Plant Families
  • Companion Planting
  • Sheet Mulch & Square Foot Gardening
  • Composting: Theory & Practice
  • Seed Saving: Theory & Practice
  • Transplanting & Sowing Seeds
  • Weekly Gardening and Harvesting

Permaculture & Ecological Design:

  • Structural Engineering for Hand Built Houses
  • Passive Solar Design
  • Ethics and Principles
  • Design Techniques including: Zone and Sector, Input and Output Analysis, and POBREDIM Engineering Methodology
  • Needs-based Design Projects

Nature and Green Building

  • Classic Mud Mixing and Bricks
  • How to Test Soil for Building
  • Straw Bale Construction
  • Grey Water Systems
  • Renewable Energy Systems
  • Building Projects with Guided Instruction

Ecovillage Design Education

  • Concept of Kibbutz
  • Holistic Worldview
  • Global Economy and the Dilemma of Growth
  • Shifting to a Sustainable Economy

 Eco Judaism, Zionism and the State of Israel

  • Hebrew studies
  • Time line of the Jewish, Zionist, Israeli History – Are they all the same?
  • Topics in Eco Judaism
  • Jewish Peoplehood

Sustainable Israel is a holistic program designed to educate fellows from many diverse professional and academic backgrounds from all over the world.  Sustainable Israel is a professional design course designed for those with little or no relevant experience in sustainability, to Ph.Ds looking to diversity their skills and capacities.

Sustainable Israel course dates and scholarships can be found here.


Contact Lotan Center for Creative Ecology

Leah Zigmond
Tel: +972 8 6356811; +972 8 6356935; +972 54 9799024
Toll free (while in Israel): 1800 2000 75

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