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Tu Bishvat 
Dear Friends, 

Tomorrow we will be celebrating Tu Bishvat. This festival marks the new year for trees since during this time, the earliest blooming trees in the land of Israel wake up from the winter. In Tu Bishvat it is also customary to plant seeds and nurture the ground for the new season. 

This period thus symbolizes the concept of sustainability, both in environmental and societal terms. Tu Bishvat stresses the importance of investing in the future, enabling growth and renewal. We at WIZO are dedicated to our children and youth and we strive to give them the best possible start in life under warm, caring and nurturing conditions in order to build a strong Israeli society. We also work towards sustainability within WIZO and our membership base by focusing on the challenge of how to bring the next generation closer to WIZO's mission and values. 

With warm WIZO regards,  

Janine Gelley
Chairperson, Organization, Tourism and Aviv Division 
World WIZO
Incredible rooftop farm takes over Israel’s oldest mall
The "Green in the City" initiative on the roof of Dizengoff Center in Tel Aviv

Revolutionary Rooftop Farm in the Heart of Tel Aviv

A new initiative called 'Green in the City" aiming at prompting organic and locally produced consumption can be found at one of the most iconic locations in Tel Aviv. On the rooftop of Dizengoff Center, Tel Aviv's central mall complex, an oasis of organic grown vegetables, fruits and herbs floating of beds of water can be found. The idea behind "Green in the City" was to bring the urban population closer to fresh produce and thereby enhance sustainable consumption. The produce is sold at two restaurants in Dizengoff Center and at the mall's farmer's market. Read more... 

Who will Guide, Nourish and Love the Next Generation? 

This question is essential and is asked by countless of Jewish parents living in the diaspora. Rachel Raz, an Israeli woman living in the US describes her story, the challenges she has faced raising her children in the US and how she is actively engaging in the discussion in public Jewish forums. The first few years in the life of a child are crucial in the formation of identity, hereunder Jewish identity. But since many Jewish families live far away from their home communities and families, and both parents are working full time and rely on others to raise their children, then who will teach the children Jewish values and guide them through the identity shaping childhood years?  Read more...

Haredi School Children Learning About Environmental Issues 

Israel's Haredi community lives in densely populated urban areas with limited space for trees and gardens, no access to mainstream media and most ultra-orthodox Israelis have little awareness about environmental issues. Therefore, a Haredi environmental non-profit, Leshomra, was established in 2015 to induce environmental consciousness through practical learning aimed at children. Adults are participating in training programs so they can carry out the program in the local kindergartens and schools. The Haredi community largely sees environmental education and science as a secular field, but Leshomra has managed to tie sustainability to Jewish values and the Torah, adapting environmental education to the Haredi schools. Read more...

Celebrating Tu Bishvat as if Environmental Sustainability Matters

We should use Tu Bishvat as a time to consider how we can effectively respond to the current environmental crisis that threatens our planet. The immediacy is striking when looking at scientific data proving the effects of climate change. In fact, 2016 was the warmest year since 1880 when temperature records were first kept. This is indeed terrifying and the rise in temperature has had major ramifications and effects. Polar ice and glaciers are melting at a speed worse than expected by experts, and there has been a significant increase in the number of heat waves, droughts, wildfires, storms and floods worldwide. Climate change is not only an environmental crisis. It has a multiplying effect for security related issues such as instability, terrorism, war and refugees. We must realize the immediacy. Saving the global environment should become a central concern for civilization today, and Tikun Olam (the healing of the world) should become a major focus for all of Jewish life today. Read more...

Israel to Build the World's Tallest Solar Tower 

Paradoxically, solar energy only supplies a very small percentage of Israel's power needs, despite the sunny weather, and Israel's economy has traditionally been run by fossil fuels due to bureaucratic constraints and a lack of incentives. Israeli companies have developed some of the world's most advanced solar energy equipment, but have mostly taken their equipment abroad due to frustrations with the Israeli government. However, this is all about to change with the plan to build a new solar tower symbolizing the renewable energy ambitions in Israel. The short term goal is to supply 10% of Israel's energy need with renewable sources by 2020, contrasting today's 2.5%. This is the single most significant commitment to CO2 reduction and renewable energy in Israel. Read more...
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Compiled and written by World WIZO Organization, Tourism & Aviv Division
Chairperson: Janine Gelley
Editor: Dina Lewinsky 
Copyright © 2014 World WIZO Organization & Tourism Division, All rights reserved.

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