Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Kaptain Sunshine, the luckiest guy on the planet

Wearing his signature yellow kippah,
Abramowitz teaches about solar power
in the Agahozo Shalom Youth Village in Rwanda.
Yosef Abramowitz’s list of accomplishments looks like résumés of several high achievers all stapled together.

But no, every larger-than-life item – including three Nobel Peace Prize nominations for his work in freeing Soviet Jews – was really done by this 2006 immigrant from Massachusetts, a celebrated human rights activist, environmentalist, Jewish educator, journalist, solar-power pioneer, investor and entrepreneur all rolled into one.

“No wonder I’m so tired,” he quips in a phone interview with ISRAEL21c during the week CNN was airing Green Pioneers, the network’s tribute to Abramowitz and five other major environmentalists across the globe.

Following three hours of sleep, he was flying to London to meet with partners about spreading solar energy to developing African countries. “I seem to have business meetings wherever Madonna is playing, so I’m also going to my fourth Madonna concert,” reveals the co-founder of Arava Power, the force behind Israel’s first solar-energy field.

“On her previous visit to Israel, she said onstage that Israel is really the energy center of the world, and that was a sign from God that everything would be okay. Madonna is my secret weapon,” he says with a laugh.

Honestly, however, Abramowitz is his own secret weapon. -- Abigail Klein Leichman, Israel21c

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