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10-26-2007 01:34 PM CET | Energy & Environment

Press release from: Zalul

/ PR Agency: steinreich
TEL AVIV, Israel – Benjamin Kahn, Chairman of Zalul, Israel’s leading environmental organization focused on safeguarding the nation’s seas and rivers, was announced as one of 43 honorees from around the world at Time Magazine’s annual TIME Heroes awards celebration and ceremony, to take place October 25th at the Royal Courts of Justice in London. This year’s event corresponds to the magazine’s first “Heroes of the Environment” spread in the publication’s October 18th “Annual Heroes Issue.” Kahn is to be honored at the TIME ceremony and featured in the magazine for his collaboration with Zalul in assuring the quality of Red Sea coral reef and Israeli aquatic life. As a marine biologist passionate about the seas and the life therein, and an activist whose family owns seven giant aquarium parks around the world (including one in Eilat, Israel), Kahn has invested time, effort and financial resources into his projects with Zalul.

This year, Time Magazine chose to focus its “Annual Heroes Issue” on 43 Heroes of the Environment and listed them in four groups: Leaders & Visionaries, Moguls & Entrepreneurs, Scientists & Innovators, and Activists. Benjamin Kahn is featured in the category of Activists. Time Magazine environmental reporter Bryan Walsh writes in his introduction, “We call the men and women on the following pages heroes, but they could just as easily be called speakers for the planet, a planet that is hanging, as one of them put it years ago, in the balance … By their words and their actions, by their votes and even their checkbooks, Time’s environmental heroes have stepped into the silence, and in doing so, have given the earth a voice. It remains for the rest of us to listen—and join them.”

Benjamin Kahn is featured with other world renowned and respected honorees such as: former Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev and Nobel Prize winner and former U.S. Vice President Al Gore in the Leaders & Visionaries category, CEO of General Electric Jeffrey Immelt and CEO of Virgin Richard Branson in the Moguls & Entrepreneurs category, the Toyota Prius Design Team in the Scientists & Innovators category as well as famed photographer Karl Ammann and CEO of Bellona Frederic Hauge in the Activist category that includes Kahn.

In his article, author Tim McGirk details how as a young boy, Kahn enjoyed snorkeling with his father Morris and observing multi-colored fish and coral reef through the clear waters in the gulf of Eilat. Years later, Kahn noted that the same water had turned significantly murky and he was able to conclude through research that this was largely attributable to the building of fish farms in the waters of the gulf, which had produced uneaten food and excrement, causing damage to the reef.

When Zalul was founded in 1999, Kahn began working with the organization to preserve coral reef and aquatic life, lobbying against polluters and fish farms. These efforts proved successful when, after a long, drawn-out battle, a government decision was reached that the fish cages must be removed from the waters by mid 2008. This ruling has international implications for developing countries regarding sea-life preservation. Kahn also worked with Zalul in its campaign to remove pollutants from the waters of the gulf of Eilat, which resulted in the creation of a safety phosphate mechanism in the city’s port and in improvements to Eilat’s sewage system.

“Benjamin Kahn took his interest in marine biology and ecological life and lent his expertise to our campaigns for Israel’s environment,” said Yariv Abramovich, executive director of Zalul, who explained that the word Zalul means “clarity” since the organization is devoted to clearing Israel’s waters. “His work with Zalul reflects a deep level of commitment to keeping Israel’s waters clear, not only for aquatic life, but ultimately, for the quality of human life as well.”

Shira Weiss, Steinreich Communications, 201 498 1600

Zalul was founded in 1999 as a multi-disciplinary organization dedicated to protecting Israel’s seas and rivers. It is comprised of professionals from various fields including academia, environmental specialists, lawyers, public relations experts and lobbyists and is supported by individuals such as the Kahn family. During that time, they have fought vigorously to defend the seas and rivers from industrial and municipal polluters. More than 3,000 Israelis support their work by participating in rallies, letter writing and government outreach activities. For more information please visit

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