Fifth Annual Israel Studies Lecture: Alon Tal
On September 26th, we had the pleasure of welcoming Alon Tal, prolific author, thinker and environmental activist in Israel as our guest lecturer for the Fifth Annual Israel Studies Lecture. Prof. Tal also graciously agreed to speak about Israel’s desalination program to students and faculty at the Marine Science Center in Nahant as part of his visit, which was well-received. The Jewish Studies Program is grateful to Northeastern parents Linda Bronfman and Briane Nasimak for recommending Professor Tal and for supporting his day-long visit to Northeastern University.
Linda Bronfman offered the following reflection:
It was a real pleasure sponsoring Professor Alon Tal’s visit to Northeastern. I have long admired Alon’s environmental initiatives, from his early years founding the Israel Union for Environmental Defense, which uses the law to protect Israel’s environment, to the founding of the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies, which brings together students from the Middle East along with their North American and European peers to focus on topics of mutual interest, such as water and the environment. The list of Alon’s achievements is exceedingly long, but it includes the founding of Israel’s Green Movement political party and multiple books, such as his most recent one surprisingly titled, The Land is Full: Addressing Overpopulation in Israel.
Following the unflaggingly energetic Alon throughout the day as he gave talks to supporters of the Arava Institute (early morning), NU students at the Marine Science Center, Nahant (mid-day) and the annual NU Israel Studies lecture (evening), I was most impressed by his unique and dynamic presentations on the state of the environment based on scholarship and engaged activism. I learned alongside the marine science students that Israel has developed groundbreaking methods to desalinate water, and has, for the most part, solved her water scarcity problems. In his lecture “Seeking Environmental Justice in Israel” Alon brought a historical perspective to Israel’s environmental problems and highlighted the need to address the concerns of nonhuman animals inhabiting the land alongside humans.
As an NU parent, I enjoyed taking in Alon’s lecture with my son. As a donor, I was pleased that the NU student body had an opportunity to hear from, and be inspired by, an exceptional scholar and leader reporting from the frontlines in Israel. Knowing that Alon’s visit was a catalyst in bringing together scholars from the Marine Science Center, D’Amore-McKim School of Business, the Middle East Center, the Humanities Center and the Jewish Studies Program, was very gratifying.
Read the rest of the Fall 2018 newsletter here.