Temple Beth Rishon to host former paratrooper, environmental leader

Temple Beth Rishon to host former paratrooper, environmental leader

Size isn’t all New Jersey and Israel have in common, according to Leon Sokol, co-chairman of the American Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel, the U.S. arm of Israel’s oldest nonprofit organization dedicated to environmental protection.

“Israel is about the size of New Jersey, and it has the same problems we have with regard to preservation of clean air and clean water and preservation of open space,” said Sokol.

On May 18, ASPNI is sponsoring an event at Temple Beth Rishon in Wyckoff featuring Uri Goldflam, director of foreign relations and resource development for the Society for Protection of Nature in Israel. Goldflam will speak about environmental issues facing Israel as well as SPNI’s efforts to establish urban parks, to develop a riverside park in Beersheba, and to establish a bird-watching preserve around the Sea of Galilee. He will also talk about facilities and services the SPNI provides to travelers.

“He’ll explain what’s available for people who want to have an environmentally related vacation in Israel,” said Sokol.

Goldflam, the event’s speaker, has served as a combat platoon sergeant in a paratrooper division of the Israel Defense Forces and has also been a program director and education supervisor for Young Judea/Hadassah. More recently he worked as director of the international school at the Interdisciplinary Center, a private college in Herzliya. His talk will focus on Israel’s natural resources and landscape, according to Harriet Shugarman, co-chair, Temple Beth Rishon T’Green Olam Committee, an environmental group at the synagogue that is helping to promote the event.

“Uri will share information with us on this aspect of Israel, how it is becoming more and more accessible … as well as why it is important that it is preserved and protected,” she said.

ASPNI has sent out invitations to all 88 congregations in the catchment area of UJA Federation of Northern New Jersey, according to Sokol. The event, which will take place from 6 to 8 p.m., is free to the public. Light refreshments will be served. RSVP to Temple Beth Rishon at (201) 891-4466.

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