Olga Savchuk
15 teaching hours, equivalent to 2 ECTS

Olga Savchuk is an invited assistant professor at the Information Management Systems department (Nova University, Portugal). She is now finalizing her PhD research in the intersection of sustainable energy systems and artificial intelligence (MIT Portugal Program). Her background includes a M.Sc. in Energy and Environmental Sciences (University of Groningen, the Netherlands), and a B.Sc. in Environmental Studies and Sustainability (National University ‘Kyiv-Mohyla Academy’, Ukraine), as well as work in energy communities design and implementation at DNV-GL consultancy (the Netherlands). Olga is a Walter Benjamin Fellow (2009-2010).

This course explores the intersection of environmental ideas & solutions and Jewish thought & practice. Modern society faces three major environmental challenges – climate change, social justice, and resource management – which encompass the seventeen Sustainable Development Goals. While some of the SDGs have been relevant and discussed over centuries – e.g. poverty, peace and justice, education quality – a number of issues have become relevant more recently. This poses the challenge of relating Jewish thought and practice to new societal issues, so to motivate activism in new dimensions of Tikkun Olam. In this course, we will explore environmental values through the Jewish lens, we will examine if / how Jewish texts resonate with the three core challenges of modern society, and finally we will discuss possible solutions through Jewish activism.