Ever wanted to experience hands-on why Israel is a world-leader in conservation and ecology? From visits to solar farms and wildlife preserves to workshops on mud-brick building and sustainable food harvesting, it’s fun and easy to incorporate ecology into your private tour in Israel.
Sustainable Building and Farming
Mud building has become a popular phenomenon in Israel in the last few decades, both for agricultural and domestic buildings. This type of building stays warm in the winter and cool in the summer, and oftentimes incorporates recycled materials in its construction as a structural element. It’s also a really fun and exciting activity for the whole family on your Bat or Bar Mitzvah tour in Israel.
Hadvir Hachadash School
Mud building can be experienced at the Hadvir Hachadash School in Armon HaNatziv in Jerusalem, where there is an outdoor teaching space created in the “earthship” model using recycled tires and mud. This and other types of ecological building can also be seen also at EcoMe, a center for Peace and Sustainability near the ancient city of Jericho and the Dead Sea.
Chava v’Adam Farm
Additionally, the Chava v’Adam Farm, located just outside of Modi’in (halfway between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv) offers workshops in mud building on its fully sustainable eco-farm. They also teach people to raise crops sustainably, design and build ecological compost toilets, and create natural oils and tinctures from the materials around them.
Mud building is also taught as part of sustainability curriculum at Kibbutz Lotan in the South near Eilat. Get ready to roll up your sleeves and get a little dirty, while also learning about permaculture and sustainable food, community waste management, constructed wetlands and renewable energy.
While at Kibbutz Lotan, don’t forget to venture nearby to Israel’s (and the Middle East’s) first solar field, opened by the Arava Power company in 2011 at Kibbutz Ketura. Today nearly 5 megawatts of energy flow from the field to the Israeli power grid. In addition it bears mentioning that most apartments in Israel are equipped with solar powered water heaters, and many commercial buildings in Israel are designed with the sun’s cycle in mind to both keep cool in summer and warm in the winter.
Another interesting and wonderful way to experience ecology on your Bar/Bat Mitzvah tour in Israel is to see the many hundreds of thousands of migratory birds that pause to rest on their journey from Europe down into Africa for the winter, or upon their return to Europe. This takes place from March to May and from October to November each year, and Kibbutz Lotan, as previously mentioned is a nice place to start.
Hula Valley Nature Reserve
Maybe the best place to see these birds however, is the Hula Valley Nature Reserve, boasting a nearly 800 acre (3200 dunam) lake with tons of wildlife in addition to the birds, such as giant carp and water buffaloes. All this is seen via an interesting system of suspended bridge-pathways that lead you directly over the water as a way to get closer to the wildlife.
Jerusalem Bird Observatory
There are interesting classes, presentations and workshops to be seen at the park, as are there at the Jerusalem Bird Observatory (JBO), located just adjacent to Israel’s Parliamentary Building, the Knesset.
Emek HaTzvaim / Gazelle Park
Additionally, in Jerusalem is the locally famous Emek HaTzvaim, or Gazelle Park, which is a seemingly unlikely urban natural space. The space was set aside for the local population of wild gazelles after a long and arduous battle between environmentalists and would-be land developers.
As you can see, there are many exciting opportunities to experience ecology on your tour in Israel, from eco-building to sustainable food production, renewable energy to wildlife. We at Dekel Tours are excited to be able to make these experiences possible for you as part of your custom tour in Israel. We offer all inclusive private tours as well as luxury day tours in Israel. In addition to what’s listed here, if you have a particular ecological topic that interests you, just ask us! We will be happy to arrange it as a part of your tour!