The Green Apprenticeship Permaculture and Ecological Design Training Course
Join us for a 4 week practical training program in hands-on sustainable engineering, systems design and cooperative living. We’ll be learning about the designing, building and running of sustainable projects, linking together ecological, social, economic and cultural aspects into a unified whole. We’ll develop skills through hands-on work in our environmental education center, organic gardens, and alternative/natural building projects. Students live in the EcoCampus, a prototype low-impact sustainable neighborhood featuring beautiful hand-crafted earth and straw bale domes on Kibbutz Lotan in Israel’s southern Arava, a desert oasis. At the end of the course participants receive an internationally recognized Permaculture Design Certification.
Green Apprenticeship Course Dates:
2 March – 31 March 2020
4 May – 2 June 2020
15 June – 14 July 2020
10 August - 8 September 2020
2 November - 8 December 2020 * NEW 5 WEEK FORMAT! *
- Renewable energy systems
- Grey water and black water systems
- Composting toilets
- Solar cooking
- Earth mix for building projects
- How to test soil for building
- Straw bale construction
- Hands-on building projects using natural and recycled materials
Regenerative Community Development
- Holistic worldview
- Group dynamics
- Reconnecting to nature
- The global economy and the dilemma of growth
- Localization and the economics of happiness
Permaculture & Ecological Design
- Structural engineering for hand built houses
- Passive solar & energy efficient design
- Permaculture ethics and principles
- Design techniques including: zone and sector, input and output analysis POBREDIM
- Needs-based design projects
- Local food production through bio-diverse small scale farming
- Companion planting, natural pest control
- Sheet-mulch, container & square foot gardening
- Composting: theory & practice
- Seed saving: theory & practice
- Transplanting & sowing seeds
- Weekly gardening and harvesting
Who should Attend?
- Looking for something different and unique to do in Israel
- Interested in a study program that includes environmental training and environmental studies
- Looking for a way to complement your university degree program with an internship experience
- Interested in study abroad
- Searching for gap year programs in Israel
- Looking for a kibbutz experience
- Looking for a short-term course as a birthright extension program
- Looking for a summer program in Israel
- Looking for a component for your iTrack /Maslul Ishi MASA program
Then the Green Apprenticeship could be the program you are looking for!
No prior knowledge is required to participate in the course. Because of the emphasis on practical work, and a bottom-up approach to engineering (big word for people who make things work), participants from diverse professional and academic backgrounds have gained valuable and applicable tools and knowledge from the course, whether they come from a background in sustainability or have little or no previous experience. Let’s talk if you’re concerned about being under- or overqualified.
Please note that the language of instruction is English.
Cost of the course including food, accommodation and programming $2500
Residents of Israel: 6900 ILS
A deposit of 1000 NIS is due upon acceptance (deducted from the full amount)
Come together and receive a discount – two or more people that register together receive a 5% discount each.
Grants and Scholarships
Eligible participants may be able to apply for a MASA grant as part of a 4-5 month iTrack/ Maslul Ishi Israel experience.
Top Israel Interns provides a list of organizations that give grants and scholarships for programs in Israel.
New immigrants to Israel can receive a refund of 80% of the course fees as part of the Ministry of Absorption’s professional retraining program.
Live in our Eco-Campus and experience ecological living
Room and board (3 meals a day) for the duration of the program.
- Rooms are equipped with beds, air conditioning, shelves, pillows, linens, and towels.
- Shared accommodation (maximum 3 to a dome).
- Meals are served either in the kosher kibbutz dining room (vegan/vegetarian options with meal or dairy) or we’ll cook vegan/vegetarian (no fish) in our Eco-Campus kitchen.
The Green Apprenticeship Extension Week
Korean Natural Farming and Sinai Desert Experience
The Green Apprenticeship is a 4 week intensive hands-on training course integrating organic agriculture, natural building, alternative technologies, community living & permaculture design. Many students leave hungry for more so we are now offering a unique opportunity to stay for an extra week at the end of the course in order to extend and deepen your knowledge and experience.
The extension week includes a four-day training course in Korean Natural Farming (KNF). KNF is a unique process of cultivating and utilizing indigenous microorganisms through simple, natural, and affordable methods to develop healthy and fertile soil to produce high yields. We believe it is an excellent addition to the permaculture toolbox you will be gaining during the Green Apprenticeship.
The training will be run by KNF expert Sam Bevans. At the end of the training you will receive the Level 1 Korean Natural Farming Certification.
The KNF Level 1 Course will run on Lotan from Tuesday to Friday at the end of each Green Apprenticeship intake.
We will also be spending time during these days working on indivdual projects in the Eco-Park and Campus in order to gain further experience in the hands-on applications you gained during the GA.
On Friday afternoon you will travel to the Israel-Egypt border crossing and head into the breathtaking Sinai desert. You will be staying with our friends and partners at the Habiba Organic Farm on the Red Sea coast at the village of Nuweiba. There you will be meeting and working with members of the Bedouin community in an authentic and personal environment, helping with projects on the farm and utilizing the skills and tools you have gained during the GA course and KNF training. You will be able to experience the rich Bedouin cultural traditions and heritage first-hand. We will also have a day trip to the spectacular Saint Catherine’s Monastery, one of the oldest Christian monasteries in the world and a UNESCO world heritage site.
We will journey back to Israel on Tuesday morning after 4 nights at the Habiba farm.
Cost of the GA Extension Week including KNF certification, food, accommodation and trips is $1060 (does not include border fees).
Meet the Team
The Center for Creative Ecology (CfCE) is a school for hands-on learning based on Mike’s philosophy that everyone is a teacher and everyone can choose to Do instead of just talk. He is one of the first Permaculture Instructors in Israel and has taken the formal Permaculture Design Certification (PDC) outdoors into the garden and the workshop. Together with Mike you’ll be planting food, mixing mud, constructing objects of beauty, maintaining conservation areas, having fun and laughing. As Director of the CfCE he oversees all of the staff’s activities and the content of our programs. Observing and interacting with Mike is a first-hand experience in successful business leadership with a big heart.
Alex teaches the theory of Permaculture Design, environmentally responsive architecture and renewable energy technologies. He mentors our Permaculture students during their course projects continues to support them as they’re building their businesses around the world. In regards to the buildings he’s designed on Kibbutz Lotan he says “We know how the buildings will save energy, that they meet safety standards and how much they cost. We don’t know what they’ll look like because that is in the hands of the people that join us to build them.” In addition to his practical work in researching energy efficient buildings for deserts, he writes about the spiritual connections of religions to caring for the earth.
Before joining Kibbutz Lotan, Mark was an underwater researcher in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. His work in marine ecology has extended to human ecology, a deep concern for protecting the environment, and curiosity into how society needs to evolve. Mark leads in-depth nature tours in the desert, practical technology lessons and sessions in new forms of economics and community organization. Mark is active in Israeli-Palestinian co-existance education and trains our staff which hosts thousands of visitors each year.
Maya is an International Ambassador of Global Ecovillage Network. With all her experience, Maya is now the Global Business Developer for Kibbutz Lotan Center for Creative Ecology to bring associations, governing bodies, academic world, students and businesses from all around the world together to learn sustainable living techniques to care for the earth, its resources, each other, and to open new visions in this field.
Debby brings the joy of her youth in Italy to the desert. She is a Kundalini Yoga teacher and is an engaging group interactions facilitator of the Green Apprenticeship group and the other college groups that work and study on Kibbutz Lotan. She is also the coordinator for our Israeli post-high school “Year of Service” leadership training program. She loves to prepare and enjoy Italian food at our Solar Tea House Restaurant, theme nights and jam sessions.
Rabbi Daniel puts his theology to work as he manages the landscaping of Kibbutz Lotan which is completely dependent on drip irrigation to survive in the desert. He holds certificates in both Permaculture and Spiritual Direction. You’ll get to know him from his lessons in irrigation and horticulture. He is a semi-professional vocalist, so you’ll want to get him singing while fixing water lines.
What our graduates say:
Receive University Credits
Now you can receive college credit for participating in the Green Apprenticeship at Kibbutz Lotan.
Through a partnership with Paul Smith’s College, an accredited private college in upstate New York,
Green Apprenticeship participants may receive 3 semester credits for successfully completing the
Authentic Leadership Presence
When you are able to show up in those situations as your authentic self, communicate in a way that engages and connects with others, and align your intentions with others' perceptions, then you know you are bringing forth your Authentic Leadership Presence.
This online course, led by instructors and coaches from the Berkeley Executive Coaching Institute, takes you on a journey to develop your own Authentic Leadership Presence through instructor-led learning, live streamed lectures and videos, readings to provide inspirations and examples, self-reflection, on-the-job learning activities and shared feedback. Designed as an experiential journey.
Oregon Food Bank
Oregon Food Bank’s garden education programs offer Green Apprenticeship graduates volunteer opportunities that address the root causes of hunger.Learning Gardens: Beginning and experienced gardeners work together to grow nutritious fruits and vegetables and learn new gardening skills during their Dig In! shift* at one of Oregon Food Bank’s Learning Gardens.
Gardeneers , USA , Chicago
We are looking for candidates who can commit from February 19 to December, 2019. This service requirement is full-time and will require you to be available some weekends.
What is Americorps?
It is important to understand, this is not a job with Gardeneers. It is a year-long service opportunity, where individuals (called Americorps Members), will serve alongside Gardeneers’ Garden Educators.
Send a cover letter and resume to Alex Rosen, Program Director, at Alex@gardeneers.org with the header “Americorps Applicant.” No phone calls, please. Application deadline for 2019 Americorps Service is January 5. Position will begin February 19, 2019.
Habiba community is composed of an organic farm, a beach lodge and a learning centre, all complementing each other with one purpose of creating balance in the Bedouin life in Sinai. Through creating an alternative method than the reliability on the traditional tourism based activities on one hand, and to provide the community with financial stability on the other hand. An interdisciplinary approach to raise the community’s social awareness toward the necessity of applying the basic principles of Permaculture, Responsible Tourism and Knowledge Transfer.
For many years, the community has benefited from the commitment of postgraduate and other volunteers from all over the world, who bring their knowledge and workforce into a variety of projects, including: Agriculture, water management, environmental protection, education, or ethnology.
The property is located on one of the most attractive beaches on Sinai and is ideal for all kinds of water sports, and the adjacent desert offers delightful destinations and the opportunity to experience the daily life of the local Bedouins.
Shaul Shaham is a master Permaculture Designer and project director. He is now developing a homestead in Mallorca, Spain and is looking for good workers for agriculture and building renovation work. His website shares his previous work in Israel (an eco-park at a school), projects throughout Turkey and relief volunteering on the Island of Lesbos as part of the ReFGEN (Refugee activism of the Global Ecovillage Network). He worked as the Permaculture Consultant at the Ecological urban restaurant Ek biç Ye İç in Istanbul, Turkey where he constructed the hydroponics indoor farming system and where he taught urban gardening and education for ecological urban life style.
Green Apprenticeship graduates are invited to intern at Aspen TREE (Together Regenerating the Environment through Education) in Aspen, Colorado, USA, founded by Green Apprenticeship graduate Eden Vardy.
Green Apprenticeship graduates have the opportunity to joing the Aspen TREE staff as interns looking to dive into integrated farming (agroforestry, greenhouse gardening in high altitude cold climates, rotational grazing, alley cropping, compost production, market gardening, and more), youth education in nature connection and food, community based farm collaborative initiatives, and farm to community events and activities. The main requirement is a willingness to work hard, keep an open mind, positive outlook, and team based approach. Aspen TREE has reciprocal agreements with several colleges for college credit for participation.
Opportunities in Israel
Post-Graduation Green Apprenticeship Opportunities in our Network
The Green Apprenticeship Graduate Network includes farms, businesses, NGO’s and many creative projects that our students have founded and supported. Many are happy to be able to offer Green Apprenticeship graduates the opportunity to work with them. Each opportunity has it’s own terms and conditions. We’ll introduce you to our worldwide family members and keep in contact with us for more.
The company is part of a multinational solar energy developer group that builds, finances and operates utility-scale photovoltaic solar projects in emerging markets. The company’s co-founders build on their experience as pioneers in implementing utility scale photovoltaic solar systems in Israel (through Arava Power).
This is an internship opportunity for very limited number of students.
Merav Carmi founded the Yesh Meain Farm on her grandparent’s land in Moshav Nahalal together with Adrian Dupont, Yael Freund, Maya Baruch and Dalia Bali following their graduation from the Green Apprenticeship in 2007. They are an education center and community hub which is well loved in the region for the their monthly Sharing Market and courses for young and old. Since 2016 the farm’s mission as Kaima Nahalal is to re-engaging and empowering girls (15-18), identified by the Ministry of Welfare as having dropped out of school. The hands-on organic farming, business learning, and community activities of the farm are led by a multi-generational all-women professional team of social activists, agriculturalists, and pedagogues experiences in working with youth. The program cultivates a sense of personal value and self-confidence while learning business skills as they grow, harvest and sell the farm's organic products. The young women earn a salary and see themselves as fully invested partners in an undertaking of which they can take pride. Green Apprenticeship grad Lior Zrihen is the field manager and farm youth guide.
The Arava Institute is home to five transboundary research and development centers focusing on the areas of key environmental concern — water management, renewable energy and energy conservation, sustainable agriculture, ecology, and sustainable development. The research centers enable critical cross-border exchanges of knowledge and technology by providing young Israeli, Palestinian, Jordanian, and international researchers the opportunity to work together and advance solutions to the region’s pressing environmental issues.
Geva Ben-arie graduated the Green Apprenticeship in 2016 wondering if his grandparent’s neglected farm in Gan Haim could be invigorated using Permaculture design and organic agriculture techniques. The result has been spectacular.
Green Apprenticeship graduates are invited to join in with the work on the farm and gain hands-on experience in all aspects of organic farming, marketing and community engagement.
Contact: Geva Ben-arie https://www.facebook.com/Gevasfarm/
Itay Shornik has turned his grandparent’s farm in Kfar Yehezkel, Israel, into an organic vegetable farm and social education enterprise. The farm is also a social training initiative where Youth, that has dropped out of the formal education system receive training in organic agriculture, earn a fair wage and are guided by a professional team in cooperation with the Department of Social Services and the Education Department of the Gilboa Regional Council.
Israel and Brazil working together to tackle the sustainability of arid areas
Press Meeting in Brazil Gira Mundo
The Kibbutz Lotan Center for Creative Ecology is happy to welcome and be the education venue for The World Tour Israel project “Gira Mundo Israel” in Brazil. Volunteers World Brazil (VWB) is ready to educate 20 teachers from Paraiba State Teaching Network operating in the semi-arid region.
The World Tour Israel project is a State Government educational venture. It aims not only to qualify teachers and students of the state network, but also to evolve the education system though the application of successful experiences. Twenty teachers from Paraíba were selected to submit innovative projects in the areas of Renewable Energies, Sustainable Agriculture, Water and Irrigation Management, and Natural Construction. The schedule calls for teachers to spend a month in August at Kibbutz Lotan. Center fCE will train teachers from Brazil with their flagship four-weeks-long Green Apprenticeship programme, this time specializing in the specific characteristics of Paraíba. The Green Apprenticeship is a hands-on training programme with theoretical lectures and practicals.