We need your help to finish our movie
After more than six years of hard work, we are now finished shooting our feature impact documentary “Green Rebel” (primarily in Israel, Rwanda, and Burundi). You can now help us raise the funding we need for the many weeks of editing and other post-production (like securing and adding music, sound mixing, making animation and titles) required to finish our movie! We plan to premiere our movie globally in June, 2023.
Can an ambitious Israeli-American guy living in Jerusalem bring solar generated electricity to millions in neighboring Africa?
“Green Rebel – the Adventures of Kaptain Sunshine” follows the visionary struggles of Yossi Abramowitz, AKA “Kaptain Sunshine,” and his African partners, to provide real, on the ground solutions to both global climate change, and to inequality in Africa. In the Jewish tradition, it’s called tikkun olam (“healing the world”).
Yossi and his family immigrated to Israel from Boston in 2006, and soon after, Arava Power, his first Israeli solar energy company, inked the first deal to sell solar-generated electricity to Israel’s electric grid. His vision? For Israel to be a “sustainable Light unto the Nations.” Kaptain Sunshine had arrived.
A few years later, his company finished the first commercial scale solar field in sub-Saharan Africa (in Rwanda) – it now supplies 6% of the nation’s energy needs. Touchingly, it is situated in Agahozo Youth Village (which benefits from the sale of electricity), where several hundred orphans of Rwanda’s own genocidal war have studied and lived (see the rough cut of our Rwanda “chapter” at bottom of this page – we were thrilled to travel there to shoot for an amazing week, in February, 2020).
Abramowitz’s African partners include Patrick Nzitunga, his Burundian staff member (who lives much of the year in Israel, with his Israeli wife); and Zambian Bishop Scott Mwanzaa (who stayed with Abramowitz in his first visit to the Holy Land).
How does Abramowitz overcome obstacles of government corruption, violence, terrorism, and entrenched energy interests be overcome by Abramowitz – to help bring green electricity to more of Africa’s 600 million people without electricity, and to replace the highly polluting gas and coal electric plants planned by the greedy multinational petro interests? How does he continue to build cultural and personal bridges to help seal deals (often building bonds with African spiritual/religious leaders – Christian or Muslim)?
We shot for several weeks throughout Burundi (in a village without electricity, above) – documenting Abramowitz’s many years of struggle to finally complete his second African solar field there.
Our story paints a painful but needed picture of the “energy poverty” in many African countries – where in Burundi and other nations, most schools and health clinics have no electricity. Most homes don’t either – so all cooking and lighting comes from burning wood or charcoal in the home. Such “indoor air pollution” in Burundi causes more than 10,000 deaths (mostly children) every year. And there may be no trees left in Burundi by 2040, because of the huge numbers of trees cut down yearly. Abramowitz’s work, and our movie, can be a powerful model for a major way to fight climate change globally.
Golda Meir visited five African countries, in 1958, and she later wrote: “Independence had come to us, as it was coming to Africa, not served up on a silver platter, but after years of struggle.” And Abramowitz regularly quotes Ben Gurion, “The largest source of energy in our world, a source so unused by man – is the sun.” He sees himself on their path, a progressive win-win Zionism.
At home in Israel, Yossi and his wife’s children include two adopted Ethiopian sons. An additional supporting character will be Yossi’s wife, Rabbi Susan Silverman – “Green Rebel” director Stein documented her well-known struggle for women to be able to pray at the Western Wall).
Africa boasts 11 out of the 20 fastest-growing economies on the planet, has 700 million cell phones, and its billion-plus population will double by 2050. Our story asks: can Abramowitz be that on target “impact businessman” whose business chutzpah helps make a better world? Can he successfully work with the power brokers of his world – including assorted African ex-dictators – without losing his soul?
Help us reach our many audiences around the world
Abramowitz himself has written, in his characteristic positive tone, of the “silver lining of the COVID pandemic” – and how the similar crisis of climate change can have a silver lining. We plan for “Green Rebel” to reach audiences throughout the world, including:
- Jewish and Christian audiences, young and old, who will respond to the many Jewish/Israeli aspects of Abramowitz’s activities and thinking, and the positive story of an incredibly innovative Israeli company
- Audiences interested in dramatic, intimate stories about addressing climate change and the development of green energy systems – especially a deep, human story from the underdeveloped world – a world that North Americans know very little about.
- Audiences specifically interested in Africa – this includes African-Americans, an underserved community.
Our ultimate goal – a powerful impact film
In June, 2023, we will also initiate our impact campaign: we will not only show “Green Rebel” in theaters worldwide and on streaming services like Netflix, but also bring it directly to hundreds of schools and universities, houses of worship, non-profits, corporations, green conferences, and elsewhere. These “impact screenings” – most followed with discussions – are designed to educate and inspire about Jewish social change and fighting the climate crisis. We are also creating an engaging Discussion Guide, adaptable for anything from a single event, to an in-depth workshop of several sessions. It will be a tool to use our impact screenings to train community and campus leaders, who will be able to tailor their impact events to their own specific communities and community goals.
“Green Rebel” invites maximum participation and partnerships
Please contact us with any questions (including possibly becoming an investor, or if you or your organization are interested in hosting a future impact screening event), email us at: email@example.com
And here is a rough cut of our Rwanda “chapter”, finished recently:
And please read director Harvey Stein’s recent Times of Israel blog post here:
After the Pandemic, Will We Choose Tikkun Olam?
It takes a village to make an indie film! It takes a global village to turn the course on climate change. Thanks for adding your energy to our pot!
“Green Rebel” co-sponsored by Shufu Shufu and Melitz
Dear Friends and Supporters,
We hope all is well with you and yours wherever you are in the world, in these challenging times.
This is a brief update on our feature impact documentary “Green Rebel”, about the work of the amazing solar energy visionary, Yossi Abramowitz (my neighbor and friend here in Jerusalem).
Thank you so much for your previous support of our long path on “Green Rebel”! – since we started following Yossi’s activities in 2018, we are now almost finished filming.
Here is a short scene we have just finished, shot at Rwanda’s Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village (an educational village where orphans of Rwanda’s own genocide study): https://youtu.be/W9qILAN_EG8
Abramowitz built his first African solar field at Agahozo-Shalom, which was founded by Anne Heyman – a Jewish friend of Abramowitz’s. Heyman decided the curriculum there would have a “tikkun olam” unit in it – I was amazed when I heard Rwandan students talking to my camera about tikkun olam!
In this short scene above, you can see how the students are inspired by tikkun olam, and still affected by the magic of the solar field there.
We are dangerously close to finally finishing “Green Rebel” – our team is now doing final videoing in Burundi (where Yosef’s second African field has been completed) – and interviewing, among others, several local Burundians who consider themselves Jewish (this will be a little side story in the movie) – they are even trying to create the first synagogue in Burundi at this time.
We plan to finish editing all our scenes into our Final Cut, and premiering our movie, in Fall, 2022.
Would you consider throwing a little more energy into our pot, to help us reach our crowdfunding goal, and stay on track with our timeline? Any amount can be contributed here (tax-deductible in the U.S.): https://www.jewcer.org/project/kaptainsunshine/
You are also welcome to share the above link with anyone who might be interested in our story.
You or anyone else can also invest in us finishing our movie (shares are $2500).
For info on investing, or any other questions (we will start looking for synagogue or other communities to host “impact screening/discussion events” when we finish – where we will screen the movie, then I will participate in a discussion with the audience), please email us: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you again for your continued interest on “Green Rebel” If we haven’t met yet, I hope to meet you one day soon, when we screen our movie in your neighborhood!
From Jerusalem, Happy Israeli Independence Day! May peace and green energy radiate through the world!
Harvey Stein, director, “Green Rebel”
A quick update on this cool Fall day in Jerusalem…
We are excited to be slowly but steadily making progress with “Green Rebel,” our documentary project about the amazing solar energy visionary, Yossi Abramowitz.
Your contributions have enabled us to continue to shoot Yossi’s activities in Jerusalem. Now we are at a critical phase – Yossi’s company, Gigawatt Global, is about to hopefully seal their deal with the government of Burundi, for Gigawatt’s second African field.
We hope to accompany Yossi on his upcoming trip to Burundi, to celebrate breaking ground there for their solar field.
Burundi is one of the poorest African countries: less than 3% of Burundians have electricity to light their homes, instead using kerosene and wood for light and heat. The indoor air pollution caused by these, kills over 10,000 Burundians yearly, 93% of them children under the age of five.
If Gigawatt can successfully bring solar generated electricity, it will benefit the entire Burundian society. Our movie will help us document Yossi’s visionary efforts to contribute to “tikkun olam”, healing the world.
It takes a village to make an indie movie – would you be willing to help us spread the word? If you can, think of 2 or 3 friends or colleagues who might appreciate our project, and call or email them with the link to our Jewcer page: http://www.jewcer.org/project/KaptainSunshine
Thanks so much for your help. We hope to finish “Green Rebel” in about 12 months – and then bring it not only to theaters around the world, but to present “impact screenings” in synagogues, NGO’s, government agencies, and environmental conferences – in Israel, North America, and elsewhere. Our movie can itself be a contribution to inspiring and educating people about the possibilities of green energy at this tough time globally.
All best from Jerusalem,
Director, “Green Rebel”
We haven’t written an update in awhile. We are slowly making progress on our documentary “Green Rebel”. It’s looking like Yossi Abramowitz’s company, Gigawatt Global, will soon seal a deal for a large solar field in Burundi (one of the poorest nations in Africa).
We are totally excited about this development, and yes, we will be traveling there with Yossi, to video the groundbreaking in Burundi, when it happens.
Yosef’s company is also doing several projects – shhh! – involving Palestinian communities. These are very delicate publicity-wise, and show how Abramowitz is such a master at providing clean power to needy communities, in spite of incredibly complex political situations.
It takes a village to make an indie movie – now that you have added your energy to our pot, would you be willing to help us spread the word? If you can, think of 2 or 3 friends or colleagues who might appreciate our project, and call or email them with our link to our Jewcer page: http://www.jewcer.org/project/KaptainSunshine
You can also follow us on our new FB page for “Green Rebel”, here: https://www.facebook.com/kaptsunshine
Thanks for your help, and all best from a warm, summery Jerusalem. Best,
Harvey Stein, director of “Green Rebel – the Adventures of Kaptain Sunshine”
Thanks so much for your recent contribution to our “Green Rebel” project, about the amazing work of Yossi Abramowitz.
Yossi will be at AIPAC in Washington, D.C. in early March, so if you happen to be there, you are welcome to go up to Yossi and say hi!
It takes a village to make an indie movie – now that you have added your energy to our pot, would you be willing to help us spread the word? If you can, think of 2 or 3 friends or colleagues who might appreciate our project, and call or email them with our link to our Jewcer page (www.jewcer.org/project/KaptainSunshine)
Thanks again, and all best from a rainy Jerusalem. Best,
Harvey Stein, director of “Green Rebel – the Adventures of Kaptain Sunshine”