Masorti Olami and MERCAZ Olami
Tu BiShvat Celebration!

Tzvika in Budapest
Pictured: Father and Son Planting a Tree in Spain
In This Special Issue
Judaism and the Environment CD Debuts at RA Convention
Tu BiShvat in Spain
Tu BiShvat in Prague
Tu BiShvat in Brazil
Follow-up Links
Shalom Chaverim,

In honor of Tu BiShvat I write you with good news from around the Masorti world. Please enjoy some highlights of the holiday and a check-in on Masorti Olami.


Tzvi Graetz

Masorti Sponsored "Judaism and the Environment CD" Debuts at the 2009 Rabbinical Assembly Convention in Jerusalem

The World Council of Conservative / Masorti Judaism--Masorti Olami and MERCAZ Olami has produced a compact disc on Judaism and the Environment which was distributed to all of the rabbis in attendance at the 2009 RA Convention in Jerusalem.

The disc will be released at a later date to our Masorti communities around the world.

RA Environ Disc
Pictured: Rabbi Tzvi Graetz Sharing the CD at the RA Convention in Jerusalem

The purpose of the disc is to present the Masorti position on the importance of environmental conservation and activism. It serves as an educational resource for introducing communities and individuals to the issues and offers suggestions for becoming more ecologically aware and eco-friendly.

Project coordinators, Ehud and Tanya Zion Waldoks, consulted with notable environmental experts, including some who have a connection to the Masorti movement. In addition, rabbis, educators and community leaders from the Masorti/Conservative movement around the world developed material on the subject that was put onto the CD.

JNF CD Cover

A portion of the disc also includes educational material from the JNF on environmental topics. The disc was released after Tu BiShvat in order to present materials looking at the specific environmental issues Israel faces and how the country is striving to deal with the myriad problems.

The disc itself was designed around two themes: time and space. An introductory section stresses the interconnectedness of life on our planet.

Time is sacred to Judaism. The yearly cycle and the life cycle are integral components of Jewish ritual practice, and those events either already stress or can stress environmental aspects. The main question this section will attempt to answer is: How do we integrate environmental consciousness into our lives at significant moments?

The second theme, space, focuses on our social-spiritual-physical home: personal, communal, local, and global. Here you will find ways to green your synagogue, green building guides and other material which focuses on the space we live in on this planet. The main question here is: How do we affect the space we live in, for better or worse?

While certainly an educational resource, the disc aims to be more than merely informative. It will be a tool for the Masorti communities around the world to use to bring environmentally friendly action and consciousness into their homes, communal spaces, and synagogues.

If you are interested in obtaining a copy of the disc please be in touch with Masorti Olami!
Tu BiShvat in Spain

On Sunday, February 8th, the Comunidad Judia de Alicante Centro (Jewish Community of Alicante Centro) in Spain celebrated Tu BiShvat together.

The event was well prepared and the result was great. Local newspapers and authorities were present and published in several newspapers were explanations of the traditions and celebrations of Tu BiShvat.

Alicante TuBishvat
Pictured: The Local Masorti Community of Alicante, Spain

The Palmgarden of Alicante is already a special area where three years ago a big tree was planted in commemoration of the Shoah. This year six other trees were planted to honor the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust and a plaque was inaugurated with an inscription.

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Pictured: Children Planting One of Six Trees

Unfortunately due too heavy winds and harsh weather, the planned Tu BiShvat seder and picnic was held inside the synagogue. There were so many people in attendance, we all barely fit inside!

Alicante TuBishvat2
Pictured: Tu BiShvat Seder

Overall the experience was enjoyed by all, including the several children who helped with the tree planting.
Tu BiShvat in Prague

Celebrating took place in the Masorti Community of Prague. Below are photos from the Tu BiShvat seder.

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Prague TuBishvat2

Prague TuBishvat
Tu BiShvat Planting in Brazil

Tu BShvat Brazil

On February 15th, the community of Comunidade Shalom in Sao Paulo, Brazil took a post-Tu BiShvat day-trip to the Paiol Maria Nature Park Reserve. Together, children and adults took part in many activities dedicated to nature, including ecological walks with meditation, study groups, music sessions and tree planting.
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