A Tree’s Homecoming

CityTree is an eco-social business and community for urban ecology and climate resilience.

As an independent organization at the intersection of environment, health and community, we live and demonstrate what we teach.

Founder Tami Zori began her journey into the urban climate resilience space three decades ago, by following the little things that do good to our health and environment. She established CityTree in 2006 in order to share the accumulating know-how with more people, eventually finding herself living her passion within a community. Dr. Alon Eliran has also followed his own personal track of holistic nutrition, urban nature, ecological gardening, foraging, activism and research and joined Tami in 2008, to further create a space for healthy, ecologically-attuned lifestyles and knowledge-sharing.

The Blossoming Tree

CityTree takes part as a node within the life-supportive network called “The Great Turning”. The community members are active in Extinction Rebellion and across the environmental movement. The unique gifts CityTree brings to the arena include direct and accessible living examples of personal-communal-ecological change within an urban environment. Even for those of us active in community gardening, protests or other political activism, gaps still remain between the public and personal spheres. CityTree’s renewed emphasis on the Home and the work in and around it enriches environmental activism and brings it full circle.

At CityTree we live our utopia to the extent possible here and now - a utopia that sends us signs of encouragement with every step we take - from Sir Patrick Geddes to a mantis discovered in the garden.

CityTree conducts ongoing research while practicing the “good life in the city” and distributes tried-and-true knowhow of how to nourish the urban environment as a vital space, abundant with relationships - among and between humans, plants, animals, soil, water and all the elements. CityTree’s accumulated wisdom may prove to be be life-saving during times of crisis, while at other times it simply allows for quality of life: nourishment, food preservation, returning our food waste to the soil, working harmoniously with plants and water, human ecology, interconnectedness, circular economy, and local productivity.

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We Invite You To Join Our Community of Patrons!

CityTree cannot exist without its community - the farmers from whom we buy our food, the teachers from whom we continue to learn over the years, the visitors and residents who come to learn, live and work with us. Our activity is essentially based on the active participation of friends and companions and on multidimensional relationships. Time, resources and money given by friends are crucial to CityTree’s existence.

We believe that the knowledge we distribute is unique, life-saving and necessary. Not everyone who needs it can pay for it. We wish to continue our creation, learning, research, teaching and distribution on different, widely accessible platforms. Moreover, in creation of our platforms provides an educational experience for the apprentices who join us in working retreats. Each and every contribution supports the creation of our knowledge platforms, as well as extends access to those who cannot afford them and supports our students as they learn and build resilience in an endangered world.

Help us reach more people, transform more households and change more mindsets. We invite you to join CityTree’s circle of patrons.

In addition to the satisfaction of patronage, you’ll also receive gifts and valuable knowledge

Our patrons receive special gifts, access to online community spaces and early-birds peeks into the development stages of new, sometimes radical, projects. Those are experimental projects that are not yet ready for exposure for a variety of reasons. This is exactly where our friends who believe in our way come in. With our patrons, we feel comfortable sharing works in progress and requesting feedback, whether for a new manifesto or a revolutionary system for treating humanure in the middle of the city

Join our circle of trusted confidantes with a monthly contribution to CityTree and become a member of the community.

Join the CityTree Patreon page!

Story of The Tree

In 2006, Tami Zori, an artist who used to be a businesswoman living in New York, built the first “CityTree” website in order to spread the knowledge that was already changing her life - about healthy nutrition, releasing ourselves from reliance on corporations, gardening and compost and about living with respect for the elements and the web of Life.

From a virtual blog space, CityTree evolved with time into a physical space for experiencing and practicing a lifestyle based on the cultivation of soil and plants as well as an ecological household in the urban environment. Shortly after Tami moved to Bialik Square, in the heart of Tel Aviv, in 2008, CityTree was already ripe to the foundation of the “Ecological Salon”, together with Alon Eliran, today a Doctor of Environmental Sciences, and already back then, an urban forager, gardener and ecological poet. At this point, the house was often full of people and activities and it’s friends began calling it “The Tree.”

Since then, The Tree moved twice more, unbelievably within the tiny Bialik Square. In 2013, seven friends moved together into CityTree’s current residence, at #7, 25 Bialik St., and refounded life at CityTree as one based around communal living. Since then, an exploration of community became a major theme in CityTree’s work and a growing circle of residents come and go and keep returning, echoing the message: a more beautiful humanity in a more beautiful world is a possible and accessible option. We like to think of CityTree also as a school and even a monastery.

In addition to art and activism in the home and garden, Tami Zori is active in the art and communications arenas. In 2012, together with Tammy Avihail and a devoted group of partners, Tami performed with an artwork titled “Zero.Home” which envisioned “the end of the world as we know it.” In 2018, an extension of the original piece “Zero.Home.Soil” was performed on Muslala’s roof on top of the Clal Building in Jerusalem. Through this performance, she suggested a revolutionary treatment technique of the most avoided material - human waste - using unique soil containers she developed together with the soil artist Daphna Yalon.

Increasing awareness of the severity of the climate crisis in 2018 shocked The Tree’s dwellers. In response, Tami and Alon increased their activism and joined Extinction Rebellion, throwing CityTree into an economic crisis. This is how the “Uncomfortable Noah’s Ark” campaign was born, mobilizing several dozens of people who helped CityTree climb out of the debt. The next crisis came with COVID-19 which birthed the Coming Home online series, which brings us to the present :)

By its essence, The Tree undermines existing economic and social structures and sees its lifestyle as an existential necessity. We refuse to let today’s market rules dictate our range and forms of activity, professional expertise and use “the master's tools” with awareness and caution. Our ideology also contributes to our recurring, at times existential, financial struggles in the current environment. Because our work contributes to the expanding circle of awareness and criticism of the capitalist system in its current form,and focuses on forming the basis for alternatives, we regularly find ourselves struggling to stay afloat.

Our Vision for the World

We envision a world in which our bodies, our homes and the whole Planet, are once again honored and respected by humans as sacred vessels for vital environments where Life thrives fully. We wish people to rediscover their place in the world, guided by the laws of Nature.

We envision a human culture connected to the foundations of Life: a culture that cherishes the soil, respects the water, celebrates the fire and appreciates the air. At these times of insecurity and loss of faith, we hope for days in which the sense of security will stem not from a system of money but out of abundant love, connectedness and health. We envision homes filled with life again and us, humans, returning home - to the direct connection to all that nourishes us - to nature, healthy and enriching food, community, to all that lives around and within us.

Homecoming means returning to caring, to enriching our environment and to harmony with the Planet. Let us return to our role as Strewards of Life on Earth.

Let us return home!

We have described our concept of Home in our <manifest>Home manifesto</manifest>.

We have a detailed vision for the city of Tel Aviv which can be adapted to any locality. In our vision, the whole city is a forest-city. Cities all around the world become green and their inhabitants turn them into spaces abundant with life and productivity.

Tree are the cornerstone of the forest-city. If we honor the trees as sacred partners, it will become easier to bring the rest of the vision into reality around them. Inspired by these ideas, we wrote <trees>the Holy Trees Treaty (in Hebrew)</trees>.