Even before Teva Ivri became an official non-profit organization, its founding members visualized the concept and began to bring together Jewish environmental professionals in Israel.
Teva Ivri evolved from Da'at Hamakom, a Jewish environmental network initiated at the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel (SPNI) in Jerusalem. Initial support for the project was provided by The Blumenthal Family Foundation of Des Moines, Iowa and the Rashi Foundation through the Jewish Funders Network's matching grant program. The project's original goal was to create a network of environmental activists and educators, enabling them to connect with others working in the field and share ideas while reducing duplication of efforts. A landmark conference in Jerusalem brought hundreds of people together to launch the network.
In 2009, members of the network sought to expand the scope of its vision and activities. Understanding the need for a new organization whose primary purpose is to turn the environmental and social values rooted in the Jewish tradition into the foundational building blocks of Israeli culture and society, they founded Teva Ivri. From the beginning, Teva Ivri sought to reach Israelis who have historically not identified with the environmental movement (the religious sector in Israel), as well as organizations involved in pluralism and environmentalism and government institutions.
Teva Ivri was established through a generous grant from the Fund for Support of Jewish Institutions Outside of Norway. Teva Ivri also received generous core support from the Common Sense Fund, whose great faith in our work enabled us to establish programs for cross-sector Jewish environmental leadership training. The enthusiasm and invaluable assistance of former MK and Teva Ivri President HaRav Michael Melchior, a leading figure in the fields of Judaism, environment, and education, helped Teva Ivri gain footing in the public sphere. The vision and connections of our talented board and steering committee were also critical.
With the expansion of our programs, Teva Ivri has been privileged to receive the invaluable support and guidance of the Green Environment Fund.
Today, Teva Ivri is an influential organization in the environmental field in Israel. This is largely due to our commitment to operating within strategic partnerships with leading organizations in the fields of environment, Judaism, and education and with a variety of governmental institutions.