Green Rebels – Bringing Solar Energy to Africa

$12,364   raised
GOAL: $22,000

102

 Donors

Support this cause and make a difference

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All donations to this charitable cause are collected by Jewcer, and donations exceeding the fair-market value of goods/services received are qualified under Section 501(c)(3) as tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.

With Shimon Peres at the Ketura field

We need your help to finish our movie

After more than six years of hard work, we are now finished shooting our impact documentary “Green Rebels” (primarily shot 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 adding music, sound mixing, and working with our celebrity narrator) – to finish our movie, and bring it into the world!  We plan to premiere our documentary globally in March, 2024.

We believe that especially now – with the terrible war in the Middle East, that “Green Rebels” can be an inspiring and positive Israel story – about the great efforts of an Israeli company to help make a better world.

Our story

Can an ambitious American-Israeli guy living in Jerusalem successfully integrate his dual passions for tikkun olam (Hebrew: “healing the world”), and for risky, business chutzpah – to bring solar-generated electricity to millions in Africa? How does he work with his many African partners – and the power brokers of his world, including assorted African ex-dictators – without losing his soul?

“Green Rebels – Bringing Solar Energy to Africa, the Adventures of Kaptain Sunshine
and his Partners” follows the visionary struggles of Yossi Abramowitz, AKA “Kaptain Sunshine,” and his African partners (with his Burundian staff member, Patrick Nzitunga, above), to provide real, on the ground solutions to both global climate change, and to inequality in Africa.

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.

Rwanda Gigawatt Project Drone Gigawatt Project Rwanda Drone

Rwanda Solar Fields

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).

Zambian Bishop Scott Mwanza with Abramowitz

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 Mwanza (who stayed with Abramowitz in his first visit to the Holy Land). Here is a short scene with Bishop Mwanza: https://youtu.be/UJ-HmnfSvKk

Abramowitz with Bono, at the Rwanda solar field

How do Abramowitz and his partners overcome obstacles of government corruption, violence, terrorism, and entrenched energy interests – 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 are his cross-cultural bridges key to their successes?

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 – 90% of homes have no electricity – 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 forests 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.InAfrica copy

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, Abramowitz and his wife’s children include two adopted Ethiopian sons. An additional supporting character will be his 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. With his characteristic optimism, Abramowitz asks our camera, “Can the African continent one day be powered exclusively by renewable energy?”

Help us reach our many audiences around the world, including:

  • Jewish and Christian audiences, young and old, who will respond to the many Jewish 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 early 2024, we will also initiate our impact campaign: we will not only show “Green Rebels” in theaters worldwide and on streaming services like Netflix, but also bring it directly to hundreds of houses of worship, non-profits, corporations, green conferences, universities, and elsewhere. These “impact screening events”, all including 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 events to train community and campus leaders, who will be able to tailor their impact events to their own specific communities and community goals.

“Green Rebels” 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: jerusalemnewyork@gmail.com

And here is a rough cut of our entire Rwanda “chapter”, finished recently:
https://youtu.be/3BmUTlAh8JY

And please read director Harvey Stein’s recent Times of Israel blog post here:
Kaptain Sunshine, Builder of Almost Impossible Bridges
And Yosef Abramowitz’s recent article: Of Marshmallows and Covenant: The Uphill Battle in Africa to be a Renewable Light Unto the Nations


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 Rebels” co-sponsored by Shufu Shufu and Melitz

Support this cause and make a difference

Your donation is tax deductible!

All donations to this charitable cause are collected by Jewcer, and donations exceeding the fair-market value of goods/services received are qualified under Section 501(c)(3) as tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.

More Ways to Learn About this Cause

  • May 5, 2022 9:17 am

    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: shufushufuvideo@gmail.com

    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!

    All best,
    Harvey Stein, director, “Green Rebel”
    Email: harvey33@gmail.com
    WhatsApp: 972-50-212-8132

  • October 21, 2018 9:47 am

    Dear Friends,

    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,
    Harvey Stein
    Director, “Green Rebel”

  • August 8, 2018 7:25 am

    Dear Friends,

    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”

  • February 13, 2018 12:01 pm

    Dear friends,

    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”

2024-01-02
Rich Orloff
2023-12-18
Anonymous donor
"wishing you all the best in completing this project!"
2023-09-13
Ira Rifkin
$36
2023-09-01
Harvey Stein
$50
"Excellent and needed project."
2023-08-30
Anonymous donor
2023-06-28
Anonymous donor
2023-03-18
Montana Billings
$25
"I saw the first trailer back in 2019 and am looking forward to seeing the finished film when it's released in a few short months."
2023-03-10
Anonymous donor
2023-02-23
Anonymous donor
2023-02-09
Jenny Arkles
"A hugely important cause! Keep shining a light to nations most in need !"
2023-01-20
the phogg phoundation for the pursuit of happiness
"solar is the future"
2023-01-20
The Goodspeeds
"Can't wait to see movie! Happy to support!"
2022-11-07
Rabbi Andrea Cohen Kiener
$25
"Let the sun shine!"
2022-10-25
David Arfin and Madeline Chaleff
$1000
"Yossi - a light unto the nations!"
2022-09-26
Haggai Yoel
$50
"Thanks!!!!"
2022-09-23
Alan Kemp
$36
"Claudia Patchen"
2022-08-16
Anonymous donor
2022-08-14
Anonymous donor
$25
2022-07-10
Myron
"love the pose reminds me..."
2022-05-05
Dale Goodson
$25
2022-03-21
David M. Fishman
$36
"Regards from Brian Daves! I ran into him in Bethesda :^)"
2022-01-17
Yehezkel Landau and Joyce Schriebman
$180
2022-01-17
Julie Shumofsky Chivo
$36
2021-12-15
Mark Shepard
$250
"Showing not just lifestyle but how identity gets enmeshed in symbols of auto culture. Knowing the true costs for fuel centered lifestyle can help convince people. Such as Thomas Friedman book "The world is flat." Japan charges a tax based upo"
2021-11-11
Nancy Pomagrin
2021-05-16
Anonymous donor
2021-04-29
Ilan Kirschenbaum
2021-02-17
Zoe Boniface
$150
2021-02-09
John Sekulow
$100
2021-02-01
Rabbi Michael M. Cohen & Alison Hill
$54
"Let the Sunshine......"
2021-01-03
Alan R Kemp
"Good luck"
2020-12-21
Anonymous donor
2020-12-16
Dale Goodson
$10
2020-12-16
Rabbi Diana Miller
2020-12-16
Nigel & Liz
2020-12-15
Anonymous donor
2020-12-11
Ken Toltz
$180
"I'm in!"
2020-11-30
Anonymous donor
$40
2020-11-17
GARDEN, Inc. (Growing Alternative Resource Development and Enterprise Network)
$108
2020-10-09
Anonymous donor
$100
2020-10-08
Ian Mutchnick
"In memory of Janet Stein, זייל"
2020-10-01
Anonymous donor
2020-08-23
Ruth Cummings
$180
2020-08-21
Sandy Edry
$500
"Any chance to have a meal with Yosef and Harvey!"
2020-08-18
GARDEN, Inc.
$100
2020-05-17
Anonymous donor
2020-04-19
Anonymous donor
2019-12-31
Anonymous donor
2019-12-31
Anonymous donor
$175
2019-12-24
Temple Beth-El, Poughkeepsie
2019-12-13
Gary Skulnik
$25
"Way to go! Can't wait for this movie to come out."
2019-11-18
Sue & Elliott Weinstein
$36
2019-08-26
Rosalinda and Ray Baldwin
$180
"Love and success"
2019-08-05
David Bachman
"Best wishes on the documentary, Harvey! Looking very much forward to seeing the finished project."
2019-07-24
Michael and Kate Gardos Reid
$50
"A sustainable future for all people!"
2019-07-13
Anonymous donor
$18
2019-06-29
Anonymous donor
$100
"Claudia would have thought this was a good thing."
2019-06-25
Dale Goodson
$25
"Hey Harvey- best of luck! Dale"
2019-06-13
Anonymous donor
2019-06-10
Joseph Zitt
$18
2019-06-01
Shel Horowitz
$36
"Todah and shukran for this important work. We may be able to arrange a screening in Western Massachusetts when the time comes."
2019-05-30
Lawrence Williams
2019-05-30
Fred Scherlinder Dobb & Minna Scherlinder Morse
$36
"Kol hakavod Yossi, Susan, Harvey, and all!"
2019-05-20
Ellen Baum
$50
2019-05-18
Anonymous donor
2019-05-18
Gigi Pomerantz
"Good luck Harvey!"
2019-05-12
Steve and Nurit Marcus
$36
2019-05-08
Montana Billings
$25
2019-05-01
Anonymous donor
2019-04-04
Anonymous donor
"Keep up the good and important work, Mr. Abramowitz!"
2019-03-25
Merrill Glustrom
$36
2019-02-22
Dr. Edward and Esther Beck
$36
"Good luck"
2019-02-12
Anonymous donor
$5
2018-12-25
Nachshon Carmi
"You are our shine sun Our beautiful shone sun You make us happy when skies are clouded:-)"
2018-12-23
Open Door Authentic Movement Group
$50
"Thanks for bringing safe renewable energy to Africa."
2018-12-08
Anonymous donor
$40
"Great work Harvey !"
2018-12-08
Anonymous donor
2018-12-05
Anonymous donor
$50
"Keep up the great work!"
2018-12-01
Anonymous donor
$100
"Thank you guys! Susan in Texas :)"
2018-11-20
Anonymous donor
2018-11-18
Rabbi Diana Miller
"B'hatzlacha! Sounds like a great project. I look forward to having the group Skype with my congregants, a few of whom have met Harvey."
2018-11-15
Ohad bracha
$100
2018-11-02
GARDEN, Inc.
$180
2018-11-01
Anonymous donor
$18
2018-10-21
Herb Stone
$5
"Good luck!!!"
2018-10-18
Jay Shofet
2018-07-22
Margot R. Becker
$25
"Good luck! This man's work should be publicized--we need this so much! Good luck Harvey and team!"
2018-03-12
michael kleinman
"looking forward to being in Jerusalem and experiencing Israel and all it's miracles"
2018-02-25
Yonatan Neril
$36
"Keep up the good work!"
2018-02-15
Anonymous donor
$10
2018-02-12
David Matlow
$250
"I am looking forward to seeing the film. The work of Captain Sunshine is world changing. It is an inspiring story that needs to be told. Let the Sunshine in!"
2018-02-11
personal
$50
"Tell the good news."
2018-02-11
Anonymous donor
$100
2018-02-10
Anonymous donor
2018-02-08
Jeff Klepper
$25
"Good luck Yosef!"
2018-02-05
Anonymous donor
$100
2018-02-04
Phillipa Friedland
$100
2018-02-03
Pat Delzell
$27
"Hello, Captain Sunshine!!"
2018-02-02
Pamela Wax and Chaim Bronstein
"Mazal tov, Yosef and Susan!"
2018-01-26
Anonymous donor
2018-01-26
Alene Wright
2018-01-26
Bernard Avishai & Sidra Ezrahi
$100

This campaign deals with:

Film & Music | Tikkun Olam & Disaster Relief

Green Rebels – Bringing Solar Energy to Africa

$12,364   raised
GOAL: $22,000

102

 Donors

Campaign organizer profile img
Campaign by
Jerusalem New York Productions
Jerusalem District, Israel

Harvey Stein (director, producer) - his last feature documentary was "A Third Way - Settlers and Palestinians as Neighbors", about the inimitable Rabbi Froman, Ali Abu Awwad, and others. He's incredibly excited to be working with Yossi Abramowitz on this film, telling a story with global significance. *************************************** Vered Post (producer, writer) - she co-produced Stein's last documentary, "A Third Way" and also the impact campaign. She has produced several short documentaries for Israeli TV, which appeared on Kan Network and Channel Two. ******************************************* Kid-Fleury Ineza (Burundi producer) - lives in Bujumbura, Burundi, where he is a member of both ATSA Creative (a production company) and PNUD Burundi (an NGO dedicated to sustainable development in Burundi). Kid-Fleury considers himself a descendant of the Jews who migrated south from Ethiopia many centuries ago. He is very happy to be working on “Green Rebel”, and helping tell the story of green development in Burundi.

  • Signed card
    6 claimed

    A postcard with a still from our movie, signed by Yossi, and mailed from Jerusalem.

  • Fridge Magnet or Decal!
    15 claimed

    Your very own refridgerator magnet with an image from our movie, or large decal with our logo.

  • Sun swirl kippo
    12 claimed

    Yossi's "Sun swirl" yarmulke (kippo). And thanks in movie credits.

  • T-shirt or cap
    10 claimed

    T-shirt with our "Kaptain Sunshine" logo, or baseball-style cap with the same. Also thanks in our credits.

  • Full wardrobe
    11 claimed

    Your choice: a decal or fridge magnet, the sun kippo, and Tshirt or cap. And thanks in our credits.

  • Group Skype with Yossi and Harvey
    4 claimed out of 20 available

    Group Skype with Yossi and Harvey, a Tshirt or cap, and thanks in our credits. Come with your questions and hear about the latest activities of Kaptain Sunshine.

  • Dinner with Yossi and Harvey
    3 claimed out of 20 available

    Available only in Jerusalem or New York City, based on Yossi's availability. Enjoy a wonderful shabbat dinner in Jerusalem, or a restaurant dinner with them in New York City. Also Tshirt or cap. Also thanks in our credits.

  • Tour and dinner at Kibbutz Ketura
    1 claimed out of 10 available

    A small group tour of the solar fields at Kibbutz Ketura in the Negev (Yossi's first solar field), and dinner afterwards. Also Tshirt or cap, and thanks in our credits.

  • Associate Producer
    1 claimed out of 10 available

    Credit as "Associate Producer" in our film. Also includes dinner in Jerusalem or Washington, DC., or tour of solar field and dinner at Kibbutz Ketura, and your choice, Tshirt or cap. And thanks in credits.

  • Sun Angel
    1 claimed out of 5 available

    Credit as "Executive Producer" in movie, dinner with Yossi and Harvey (in Jerusalem, Kibbutz Ketura, or New York City), and your choice Tshirt or cap. And big thanks in credits.

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