One of the great contributions of kibbutz life is the notion of collective struggle and accomplishment. Missing from your otherwise lovely December 10 article, “Solar Panels To Bloom in the Negev as Israel Embarks on a Green Revolution,” was any acknowledgment that the creation of the solar industry in Israel and the leadership of the Arava Power Company specifically has been a collective journey of a world-class team of dreamers and doers.
Besides myself, the co-founders and leadership team of the Arava Power Company include David Rosenblatt, of New Jersey , and Ed Hofland, of Kibbutz Ketura, who officially serve as vice chairman and chairman, respectively, but who each do more than can be captured by this letter. David leads the company’s strategy and successfully negotiated the key strategic deal with Siemens to make the company viable for the long term; Ed has successfully guided the international board of directors, who oversee the management team, led by Jon Cohen, originally from the United Kingdom, and Ira Green, originally from New York, with a staff of 27.
One hundred American, and mostly Jewish, investors gave sustenance to the endeavor during the lean start-up years when few believed we could be successful. Without this collective team effort, and the countless work hours and extensive travel, the idea of solar power for the State of Israel would only remain Ben-Gurion’s dream and not see the light of day.
Because of our leadership team and so many others, the solar revolution is underway in Israel, starting at Kibbutz Ketura.
Yosef I. Abramowitz
Co-Founder and President
Arava Power Company
Kibbutz Ketura, Israel