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Jeffrey Levine
Blogger, Entrepreneur, and Philanthropist

Tu b’shvat – Environment Day

With the Jewish date of Tu b’shvat, it is a time to reflect on what Judaism and the Bible have to contribute to this debate.

ESG is definitely the new buzzword in the world. This is a global movement led by businesses, backed by governments, banks, investors, stock exchanges for Companies to embrace ESG. ESG is the acronym for Environment, Social, and Governance.

It is based on the UN SDGs of which the top three challenges are no Poverty, no hunger, and better health.

This is an opportunity for all interfaith communities and initiatives to unite and take action for a better, more caring world.

While the world is focused on the E Environment, climate change, there are many Society, societal aspects to consider. There are many Environmental issues that include strong Social Impact.

While many world readers are punting and pushing Environment, climate change, do to so without solving Society — and the 1st 3 SDGs is misguided — Poverty, Hunger, and good health and wellbeing.

This is the unique opportunity and contribution that Judaism through the lessons of the bible can impart.

Israel since its birth has been at the forefront of ESG long before the world even thought about Environment concerns. From the JNF to Water Tech, Solar, and now Agtech, waste recycling, Israel Innovation has been and is a leader in ESG.

We are now a critical time, for the first time in world history you have all parties united by a common cause — Today you have Gaps, the Wealth gap, the Value Gap, and the Innovation Gap.

So, how can solve these Gaps and make the world a better place?
Firstly, we need to bring faith back into the discussion and unite under the Chesed(kindness) of Avraham.

We need to promote Economic Impact solutions that make sense to investors, companies, and people.

We need to educate both our children the future generations that there is a better way.

We also need to develop Financial Models and Opportunities — Business cases to allow Investors to Invest profitably in 3rd world countries.

This is an ideal opportunity for Tikkun Olam and Interfaith.

I want to highlight a few initiatives. These 3 examples represent:
1. Moral & ethical environment and social teachings
2. Innovation & Education
3. A real example of an Initiative that can make a difference

The Interfaith Center for Sustainable Development

Meet Yonatan Neril who is an interfaith environmental advocate, NGO director, and rabbi. He founded and directs the Interfaith Center for Sustainable Development (ICSD), based in Jerusalem, and has brought the eco Bible. https://www.interfaithsustain.com/

His organisation’s message is :

“We are revealing the connection between religion and ecology and mobilizing faith communities to act.”

The Israel Environment Innovation Centre

An initiative on Moshav Meor Modiin in the center of Israel, will be a physical infrastructure of Green build and village, showing agriculture in action on farmland where both Tour Groups, School groups, and Business can see Environment in action inspired by Tikkun Olam, the Bible, and Social impact. It will be a center of Education, with practical activities and real-life examples of Innovation. This is part of the moshav rebuild projects with a Visitor Centre, 100 room hotel + conference, event halls, shops & restaurants, and an agriculture initiative showcasing a wide range of Innovation + organic Farming attracting both Education & Business Tourism.

Dream Valley

Meet Dr. Nimrod Israely and his Dream Valley Initiative who are meeting the challenge of global farming head-on in a unique Agtech farming and business model. This is his story and dream in his own words.

“Twenty-seven years ago, while I was spraying my orchards nearly daily (mostly at night), I dreamed of the day when there would be better technology with better results than spraying poisons.

It took me over twenty years before Biofeed completed the development of the 6th generation of Freedome, and I realized my dream in practice.

Then, I started dreaming about using the power of the Freedome breaking through technology to help farmers in emerging economies to double their income, bring prosperity and a better future.

It took me five years of design and development before we completed DreamValley’s large-scale POC (Proof of Concept) in Senegal, where we demonstrated for a fifth year in a row how farmers’ income can increase by 50% to 500% in a single season!”.

Dream Valley is making a fundamental improvement in the agriculture change supply chain by creating Agro Businesses enabling smallholder farmers in Africa, Asia, and South America to increase quality and quantity and higher income by exporting these to 1st world countries. Indeed, these initiatives and business models are now attracting interest from Government Programs that recognize the opportunity of fighting poverty and creating Agro-Industry export business.

Dream Valley is making a revolutionary change that smallholder farmers are not a charity case, but with the right combination of know-how, technology, process, and business can achieve very healthy profits for the Farmer, Dream Valley as a Business and investors and partners.

Dream Valley is promoting Investment instead of donations with a clear objective of High Profits + High Impact opening up a ‘blue ocean’ in fresh fruit exports from Asia and Africa.
And all these are done with a clear recognition of Israel Technology and these countries working hand in hand to together create Tikkun Olam + Big Impact + Big Profit and prosperity for all stakeholders. (I am purposely highlighting profits to emphasize that there is a real alternative to donations supporting African farming initiatives and fighting poverty)

About Me

For full disclosure, I am promoting the above initiatives and have also launched the Digital CFO — a new way to look at Data and ESG. www.persofi.com

I am very passionate about this discussion about Environmental and Social Impact. These two go together. We — Man, have exploited both the Environment in pursuit of profit and lifestyle. We have also exploited people and countries. It is time for a rethink.
I encourage you to learn more about ESG, why this is such a big thing, and why this is the biggest global trend in the global business world today. This is being led by Investors, Banks, Stock Exchanges, and you and me. This will filter down to every single business. Companies that do not embrace ESG face existential risks and lose out on opportunities for growth and funding.

I am actively learning, sharing ideas, and setting up initiatives embracing ESG. You are welcome to scroll on my blogs on:

Times of Israel.
Medium https://innovation-esg.medium.com
or my website https://www.persofi.com/

Jeffrey Levine provides CFO, Director, ESG Advisory Services through https://www.persofi.com/ and is a promoter of ideas and trends where Innovation meets ESG

If you would like to learn more or invest or partner with any of these initiatives, please reach out to me at jeffrey@persofi.com

Note – Images – All images are original or sourced with permission.

About the Author
Jeffrey is a Blogger, Entrepreneur, and Philanthropist (we can only dream) living in Jerusalem. He is a young grandfather who has five kids and four grandchildren. Jeffrey provides Financial Services for regulated Financial Companies - CFO, Key Individual, Approved Person through www.persofi.com and is a promoter of ideas and trends where Innovation meets ESG. He is looking to spread the message of Ahavat Yisrael and Jewish Unity through the music and stories through www.souldoctorstories.com and blogging.
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