By Daniel Horowitz--UJA Federation has long had a reputation for its vision and innovation, and for initiating unique, groundbreaking projects. This reputation has been strengthened by the impressive accomplishments of its ongoing 23-year partnership with the city of Eilat and the region of Eilot.
One of the key components of UJA Federation’s strategic plan in Eilat and Eilot includes an investment in harnessing the region’s vast natural assets – land and sun – to one day transforming the area into a global leader in renewable energy, development and technology.
Based on this February’s fourth international UJA Federation sponsored Renewable Energy Conference in Eilat, which attracted more than 3,000 participants, UJA Federation’s investment in the region is garnering impressive dividends. The conference is among the worlds’ leading stages for presenting technological innovation, business opportunities, policies and implementation in the renewable energy field.
“I am blown away by how far this region has come in becoming a major player in the field of renewable energy, going from only 300 Conference delegates three years ago, to 3,000 today,” said Richard Summers, UJA Federation’s representative in the Eilat/Eilot Region. “UJA set out to create a sustainable change in the region by creating new industry and employment opportunities. No one would have believed five years ago that today, business, scientific and policy professionals are looking to Eilat/Eilot to determine the future direction for energy production and management.”
“UJA Federation of Greater Toronto has supported the region in a variety of education, welfare and development projects over the past 20 years,” said Evan Cooperman, a member of UJA Federation’s Israel and Overseas Committee. “UJA Federation prides itself in taking carefully considered risks by funding initiatives where government and businesses have yet to jump on board. Our goal is to act as a catalyst to help high potential ideas gain the momentum needed to attract the best partners.”
With an eye always turned to the future, prior to the Renewable Energy Conference, the first International Youth Conference and Competition was held in which 25 young people from 14 countries competed for prizes by creating a viable business plan for renewable energy startup companies.
”Our leadership has always held a profound belief in the tremendous future of Eilat and Eilot since the beginning of our partnership over twenty years ago,” said Ted Sokolsky, President & CEO, UJA Federation of Greater Toronto, and a proud participant at the February conference. “They knew that great potential existed in Israel’s most remote region and as such was a metaphor for the great potential of the country as a whole. As part of that belief in recent years, one of the key components to our strategy in Eilat and Eilot was to invest in renewable energy in the region, in its infancy, over four years ago. To hear, firsthand, from so many key players on a global stage, about how that investment is changing the face of the region, helping it become a global leader in renewable energy development and technology, is incredibly satisfying. The dream is quickly becoming a reality.”