Jewish Journal

Cowabunga clean up—in Israel

Posted on Sep. 20, 2007 at 8:00 pm

Billabong catalog

Billabong catalog

Surf's up in Israel! More and more Israelis are taking to the water in wetsuits and board shorts to catch those gnarly waves. And as the sport grows in popularity, so does the need to keep Israel's water clean and safe.

Billabong, one of the most recognizable names in surfing gear, has joined forces with Zalul, an environmental organization dedicated to cleaning up Israel's seas and rivers.

The Australian company that has been riding the wave of success since 1973 has designed a rad catalog with Billabong beach items that are now being sold in surf shops all over Israel. Window displays are emblazoned with the catalog's slogan, "In the end it will be clear," playing on the name Zalul, which translates as "clear" in Hebrew. The surf-friendly items include a folding bag that turns into a beach mat, an inflatable pillow, a straw hat and a beer/cold drinks holder. In Israel, you can drink alcohol at the beach -- far out! All the proceeds from those items will go to Zalul to help tidy up the surf. How awesome is that?

Zalul, of course, is stoked about the partnership. "Co-operations like these are of utmost importance to Zalul, as they help raise the issue of sea protection amongst the public and in particular surfers and beachgoers who are most effected by sea pollution," the group said in a statement announcing the project. "We want to encourage this public to act and make a difference."

Zalul has been making a totally awesome difference on Israel's beaches and rivers since 1999. Its work in preserving the coral reef in the Gulf of Eilat, stopping a waste-treatment facility from dumping sludge into the Mediterranean Sea and removing harmful fish cages from the Red Sea is off the Richter.

Sagit Rogenstein is a project coordinator at Zalul and a mondo activist. Raised in our own San Fernando Valley, she moved to Israel in 1997 and has been involved in the Israeli environmental movement right from the get go. "I followed the Zionist dream and moved to Israel to contribute what I can to make a change in this world," she said.

Rogenstein is already amped for the next project with Israel's favorite surfing retailer. They're designing a Zalul info tag that will be attached to Billabong's winter line. What will it say? Save the environment, dude! Well, not exactly in those words, but something like that.

-- Dikla Kadosh, Contributing Writer

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