February 16, 2009 Good Energy Flies Between Israel and America

February 17th, 2009

Ida Singelenberg
Program Director, US
(202) 833-0025

Karin Kloosterman
Communications Liaison
(850) 249-1563


February 16, 2009

Good Energy Flies Between Israel and America

Project Interchange Hosts U.S. Energy Leaders

At Dawn of New Energy Era In America

TEL AVIV. The Obama administration has committed to supporting renewable energy sources and to mitigate domestic and international climate initiatives. At the dawn of Obama’s new presidency, influential energy leaders from America visit Israel to expand their worldviews to learn about the country’s unique technological opportunities.

Among the American guests in Israel now are top energy officials from the U.S. Government, the business world and the not-for-profit sector. While in Israel, the guests will meet similar leaders to share information, such as how to take action towards a post-fossil fuel economy.

Hosted by Project Interchange, an Institute of the American Jewish Committee, the hand-picked group of 11 American specialists, include Adam Zellner, the Former Director of Policy of New Jersey; Gregory Fox, the Director of Business Development at Constellation Energy; Geoffrey Brown, the Legislative Director of Pew Charitable Trusts; Seth Portner, the energy representative from the office of the Governor of Colorado, as well as Tamra Spielvogel, the national Energy Director from the National Conference of State Legislators, and several more.

A Look-See At High-Priority Field

“Timed to coincide with the Eilat Energy Conference, this special Project Interchange seminar gives our guests an opportunity to interface with those attending the conference on possibilities for future collaboration,” says Ida Singelenberg, the U.S. program director for Project Interchange. “This group is coming for a look-see at Israel at the dawn of a new U.S. administration that has established energy and sustainability as a high priority. Some are already attracted to the clean technology opportunities in Israel; this seminar might take their involvement to another level.”

The 6-day visit of these policy makers, business leaders, and NGO directors will take advantage of one of the most important energy events of the year, the Eilat-Eilot International Renewable Energy Conference, from February 17-19. During the conference, a $20 million U.S.-Israeli Energy Cooperation Act, passed two years ago by the U.S. Congress, will be launched, and U.S. guest Zellner, is expected to deliver a talk to Israel and nations around the world, eager to save the environment and cut dependence on foreign oil.

Known for its advances in solar energy, wind, and creative renewable energy technologies, an Israeli company BrightSource is now building the world’s largest solar energy project in California; Israeli companies such as Ormat are already working in America to create clean energy from geothermal sources, with more cooperation in store.

Making America A Better Place

In Israel, the visitors will meet with a number of policy makers, and business entrepreneurs, as well as tour the new Environmental Education Park at Kibbutz Lotan, and learn about the Dead Sea–Red Sea Peace Canal, at the Dead Sea. Project Interchange will also introduce the American guests to representatives from Better Place, the electric car initiative, now signed on in the States of California and Hawaii.

Project Interchange brings an average of 24 delegations of “influentials” to Israel annually from around the world. Muslim leaders from France came to a seminar in Israel in December, meeting Israeli President Shimon Peres and the President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas. In November, women executives from the U.S. construction business enjoyed a weeklong seminar. Before that, European environment leaders were in Israel. Each group of guests enjoy tailor-made seminars, adapted to their interests and expertise.

“As with all of our seminars,” says Singelenberg, “our goal is to educate people about Israel in all of its complexities. For this group in particular we want them to see developments in energy, meet with business people and open a dialogue on best practices.”

For more about Project Interchange and how it is connecting leaders worldwide, to Israel, please visit: