Efforts are underway to extend Jerusalem by over twelve miles beyond the current city perimeter, and to construct more than 20,000 residential units , as well as areas zoned for business. The land in question, the West Jerusalem Hills, is heavily forested Jewish National Fund and Hadassah land, which was intended for conservation. The hills are covered with as yet unexcavated agricultural terraces and ruins developed by Jews in the first and second temple periods.
Knowing that alternative growth plans are possible, the SPNI-coordinated Coalition for the Preservation of the Jerusalem Hills submitted over 16,000 objections from city residents and various environmental and public health organizations. As a result, the city planning commission has agreed to evaluate the matter further.
Now that the issue is back in the evaluation stage, SPNI with the help of professional city planners, architects, lawyers, and the public must outline and prove to the Jerusalem Planning Commission that development can occur within the current city limits and help bolster the city’s economy. This advocacy effort is labor-intensive and extremely expensive. SPNI is committed to protecting these hills at all costs so that generations to come can enjoy the natural beauty of the mountains that surround Jerusalem.
For more information about the Jerusalem Hills, please visit
Volunteer and Touring Opportunities
SPNI-Jerusalem also offers the following:
Eco Zionist Experience
Choose a one-day or half-day trip in the Jerusalem area, including hiking, Jewish learning, and volunteering with Israelis.
Celebrate Shabbat in a field school with breathtaking scenery and nature trails. Participate in engaging classes and discussions about Judaism and the Environment. Learn about ways in which you can affect change in the local ecosystem.
Etz Hayim’s one- and two-day seminars provide the opportunity to delve into specific topics of interest. With each topic, seminar participants learn about environmental issues in Israel, explore traditional and contemporary Jewish sources about nature and the environment, and develop strategies for local environmental action.
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