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This article is featured in Jvillage Network's Tu B'Shevat Guide. For more articles, recipes, crafts, and ideas, visit here.
By Paula Maccabee for Hadassah Magazine
Many of us dismiss Tu B’Shevat as a tree-planting holiday for children. And for those of us who live in the northern hemisphere, the holiday often falls during the depths of winter, making the “New Year of the Trees” seem misplaced. But Jewish learning and our natural environment require that we reclaim Tu B’Shevat—which this year begins the evening of January 20—as an important holiday to celebrate our relationship with Creation and take responsibility to protect the web of life on Earth.
By Klara Strube, NoCamels
For at least several decades, an overwhelming majority of climate scientists have agreed that global warming trends are occurring at a faster pace and are primarily driven by greenhouse gases emitted by human activities.
But the issue has become highly politicized, especially in the United States, even as new evidence emerges that urgent action is required. Hurricanes, floods, disease outbreaks are all set to worsen over the next decades if international efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions are not fruitful. At the UN this week, 190 countries agreed to a universal, transparent set of rules on how nations can cut gas emissions but delayed more concrete, impactful decisions.
by Hannah Elovitz for Hazon
Our tradition teaches us to open up the corners of our harvest through pe’ah and to attune ourselves to the needs of land for rest and restoration through shmita. We at Hazon are therefore greatly relieved that the recently passed Farm Bill maintains food assistance access for those in need rather than imposing draconian work requirements and that it preserves programs that incentivize farmers to reduce erosion and increase soil carbon.
By Abigail Klein Leichman for Israel21c
Cheaper, more environmentally friendly rocket-engine technology offers same level of performance and control as toxic ‘legacy’ fuel.
Watching a live event happening half a world away, or chatting with someone in another country, would not be possible without the hundreds of communications satellites orbiting Earth to relay telecommunications signals electromagnetically.
Propelling the largest of those satellites requires costly and highly toxic jet fuel, while launching smaller satellites requires other liquid fuels that could benefit from improvement.
By Abigail Klein Leichman for Israel21c
Israel’s HomeBiogas introduces a commode that feeds directly into its backyard biodigester in a completely sealed ecosystem.
For the millions of people around the world lacking sewage lines or even basic lavatories, the new HomeBiogas Bio-Toilet could provide an answer for waste disposal and energy production all at once.
Flushed with a manual pump using only 1.2 liters of water, the Bio-Toilet does not need to be connected to a water or sewage line and can use graywater.
By Viva Sarah Press, NoCamels
Water could be the source for hydrogen-fueled cars one day in the near future, thanks to continued scientific breakthroughs such as a recent one by Israeli scientists.
Researchers led by Dr. Arik Yochelis and Dr. Iris Visoly-Fisher of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and Prof. Avner Rothschild of the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa, say they have identified a missing mechanism for an environmentally friendly way to split water molecules in order to produce energy without the need for an outside catalyst.
by Jaime Bender for FromtheGrapevine
IsraAid gears up to help survivors following one of the deadliest fires in U.S. history, hoping to 'promote community resilience.'
With almost half a million acres destroyed and 79 deaths reported, the two wildfires raging in California rank among the deadliest in U.S. history.
But beyond the grim statistics, there's hope – in the form of IsraAid, an international relief agency based in Israel, that has just deployed to the two devastated regions to begin and maintain the recovery process for survivors.
by Benyamin Cohen for FromtheGrapevine
Having survived the Chernobyl disaster, Inna Braverman set her sights on reinventing the energy industry.
The guest: Inna Braverman was named one of "10 of the most influential women of the 21st century," alongside Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey. Her story starts in the Ukraine on April 11, 1986. Two weeks after her birth, the nearby Chernobyl Power Plant exploded and sent radioactive material across the landscape. To this day, it remains the biggest nuclear disaster worldwide. Less than 200 miles away, baby Inna had trouble breathing from the pollution and went in respiratory arrest. She was announced clinically dead. Luckily for Inna, her mother is a nurse and rushed to the crib to help. She gave her baby mouth to mouth resuscitation until the ambulance arrived just in time. Inna survived.
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Beth El is raising funds for a new playground?
Beth El is getting a new playground! If you would like to donate towards this very worthy project, simply send your donations to Beth El Hebrew Congregation and notate "Playground." If you donate on line, the playground fund is first on the list!
Wednesdays during the school year
@ 7:00 PM
See calendar for exact dates and subjects
For more information about ALIVE! go to alive-inc.org.
We have a very special service January 18 at 7:30 p.m. in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. and his heroic work.
We will be joined by our talented 5th grade class and singer-songwriter, LEA.
Come for a fast and fun night of trivia, food and comaraderie on Saturday, March 2, 2019, 6:00 pm, at Beth El. Adults and teens (7th grade and up) can play! The cost is $35 per person (includes: dinner and participation), BYOB. Bring cash to buy optional extra chits to help your table become the champion! Separate, supervised Kids Night Out - $10 per child (6th grade and younger; includes casual dinner, movie & games). RSVP: by Monday, February 18, Advance Ticket Sales Only. Register here Questions: Contact Anne Levy, [email protected] Proceeds will go to the Beth El Playground Fund.
Please sign up for Ushering at Beth El for Friday Night Services
This is a great opportunity to see and meet fellow congregants.Please use the link to sign up:
Support During Shutdown
As the frustrating government shutdown drags on, we extend our sympathies during this anxious time for you and your family. While Beth El Hebrew Congregation is not a direct service provider, we can offer temporary dues relief until the shutdown has ended. We hope this resource list can be an asset during this difficult time and pray for an immediate resolution:
What Furloughed Workers Need to Know About Filing for Unemployment Benefits: https://tinyurl.com/yd3v7w29
A Furloughed Federal Employee’s Guide to Filing for Unemployment: https://tinyurl.com/y9qltsjt
U.S. Office of Personnel Management Furlough Guidance: tps://tinyurl.com/y8sg3mum
Alexandria Center for Economic Support: https://tinyurl.com/yd66o7mj
Coordinated Services Fairfax County: https://tinyurl.com/y8f9e4vg
Local Restaurants Offering Free or Discounted Meals and More: https://tinyurl.com/ybmozmt3
There are activities, meetings, services and seminars at Beth El each week, ranging from service opportunities to Jewish learning and education, drawing members and guests from throughout the Washington, D.C. area.