Call us today

Kibbutz Lotan Logo English

Green Apprenticeship Program

Permaculture and Ecological Design Training Course

For more details please fill in the form or send   

Welcome to the Green Apprenticeship program

Join us for a 4 week practical training program in hands-on sustainable living. We will learn about the design, building and running of various projects.

We will link together ecological, social, economic and cultural aspects into a unified whole. For instance, we will develop skills through hands-on work in our environmental education center, organic gardens, and natural building projects. 

Students will live in the EcoCampus neighborhood featuring beautiful hand-crafted earth and straw bale domes. At the end of the course, participants receive an internationally recognized Permaculture Design Certification (PDC).

Coursework includes:

Alternative Technologies

  • Renewable energy systems
  • Grey water and black water systems
  • Composting toilets
  • Biogas
  • Solar cooking

Natural Building

  • 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 

Sustainable Agriculture

  • 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

Green Apprenticeship Course Dates:

11 November 2024 – 11 December 2024 – English

For more information, please fill the form  or
contact  +972-54989649

Who should Attend?

Are you:

  • 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. We emphasize practical hands on experience. Participants from diverse professional and academic backgrounds have gained applicable tools and knowledge from the course. Whether you come from a background in sustainability or have little or no previous experience, this course can benefit you.

Let’s talk if you’re concerned about being under or overqualified.

Step 2

Scan the first page of your passport / Israeli ID card

(including your picture)
C.V. / resume showing where you have studied, worked etc.

Step 3

Send to l and we will contact you


Cost of the program including tuition, room and full meal plan (including Shabbat and holidays) 3,500 USD.

See below for various options for grants and scholarships for Israelis and non-Israeli residents.

Grants and Scholarships

If the below options for financial assistance do not apply to you, please contact us and we will see what other options might be available.

Israeli Residents grants and scholarships

Early Birds Discount – Register and pay in full one month prior to the course start date and receive 500 NIS discount.

Scholarship for Israeli Residents –  As described at the Hebrew page.

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.

Non-Israeli residents grants and scholarships -

MASA Grant: Eligible participants may be able to apply for a MASA grant as part of a 4-5 month individualized “Maslool” Israel experience.

Paul Smith’s College: 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 program.

Top Israel Interns: TII now provides a list of organizations that give grants and scholarships for programs in Israel.


Live in our famous 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 in our Eco-Campus kitchen.

Meet the Team

Mike Kaplin

Mike Kaplin

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.  Observing and interacting with Mike is a first-hand experience in successful business leadership with a big heart.

טס הבר

Tess Lehrich Haber

Tess has been in the field of environmental education for nearly 20 years, and did her PDC with Talia Schneider way back in 2009. In 2012, Tess completed her Masters in Environmental Studies at the Porter School at Tel Aviv University. She’s had the privilege over the years to work with some leading organizations and businesses in the field and mentored numerous young entrepreneurs through the facilitation of leadership programs and more specifically, developing curriculums for teaching environmental leadership.

Over the years, Tess been active in many grassroots community initiatives, and more recently, Tess has been going deeper into the field of Social Permaculture – the application of permaculture ethics, principles, and design tools in designing for social systems and personal growth- and she is currently working towards her Permaculture Diploma.

Mark Naveh

Mark Naveh

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.

שנייד פיין

Sinead Fine

Sinead is an Irish woman who landed in the desert and has since made it her home. Her background is in holistic therapy and she has a BHSC in Natural Medicine alongside other numerous qualifications. She completed a Permaculture Design Certificate while living in Melbourne and has a deep love and respect for nature and its potential for healing. Sinead has an international online school teaching the esoteric arts, and in her spare time drinks tea, runs after her boys and collects herbs.  

Deborah Dell'ariccia

Deborah Dell'ariccia

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.

Daniel Burstyn

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.



Eco Campus

The Ecological Campus (EcoCampus) is a prototype model for sustainable development and offers residential students daily opportunities to experience living together as a micro community, creating an integral part of the educational experience. The mission of the EcoCampus is to teach and empower residential program participants to live an ecological lifestyle, to maintain a low carbon footprint and to advance environmentally appropriate housing and technologies.

The housing units are created from geodesic dome frames, straw bales and earth plaster. The straw bales and earth plaster together create super insulated structures with thick interior mass for temperature stability. In winter months the buildings are passively heated by sunlight entering the southern windows, where the heat is then stored in the walls and the floors. Night Time ventilation in the spring and fall cools the buildings which remain comfortable all day when the window shades are closed. In the summer the energy efficient domes out-perform all of the conventional buildings in the region by using considerably less electricity for cooling. The neighborhood is Carbon Negative as the solar panels produce more electricity than is needed to run the air conditioners and all the other appliances. Cooking gas is methane, produced by our unique biogas digester from kitchen scraps. All together a wonderful living experience. 

view from Kibbutz Lotan eco campus (bustan)

What people say about us

“I have received a treasure box filled with tools and keys. The time in Lotan made me believe again that one can change on a large scale as long as you 'just do it' and don't get trapped in the fear of making mistakes.”

Merav Carmi
Merav Carmi
Founder Yesh Meain Permaculture Farm, Moshav Nahalal, Israel
“I took this program and it is one of the most memorable experiences of my life! The community is filled with great people and it was a very fun atmosphere to learn. Particularly special if you connect with Tikun Olam. I miss Israel, eat a pita for me.”
Ori Mike Kalmus
Ori Mike Kalmus
Lafayette University. Actor. Los Angeles, USA

For more information, please fill the form  or
contact  +972-54-4989649