Technology and Tikkun Olam: In health and medicine, Israel paves the way

A new app — LifeCompass — records incidents and alerts nearby medics and guides them to the scene. (Provided)

Decades have passed since Israelis invented a modernized drip irrigation to maximize limited water supply and make desert bloom, yet Israeli curiosity, drive and ingenuity toward excellence continues to thrive. Israelis are determined to lead in solving some of the most pressing humanitarian challenges. Working on the precepts of tikkun olam, Israel persists at the… Read More

Here’s the Buzz! Bee population has been on steady decline for past decade

(Photo credit: ©iStockphoto.com/Ale-ks)

The taste of apples and honey at Rosh Hashanah may make the holiday a little bit sweeter, but a few not-so-sweet trends are endangering some of the world’s most efficient and important pollinators. The bee population has been declining steadily since 2006, when the concept of Colony Collapse Disorder surfaced. CCD occurs when a colony’s… Read More

Apples All-Around From rootstock to Rosh Hashanah

(Photo credit: ©iStockphoto.com/olga_gl)

Jews around the world will bite into succulent apples dipped in honey in the upcoming week, but while Rosh Hashanah only lasts two nights, growing a bountiful apple orchard can take years. Rabbi Susan Grossman, from Beth Shalom Congregation, explained there are several reasons that Jews eat apples on Rosh Hashanah. Aside from the fruit’s… Read More

Shmitah: A Chance to Step Back Agricultural sabbatical year gives Pearlstone and others valuable downtime

Greg Strella, farm director at the Pearlstone Center, stands with cover crops Pearlstone planted to replenish its soil during its shmitah year, which Strella says has been a “rich experience.” (Marc Shapiro)

The Torah mandates that there be a sabbatical year in the seventh year of the seven-year agricultural cycle for Israel. The land is given a rest and agricultural activities — from planting to pruning — are forbidden under Jewish law. In the United States, this shmitah year takes on similar implications, but its message goes… Read More

New Haggadahs Hit Market

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Canadian Haggadah Canadienne Five years ago, an American rabbi and a Quebec separatist sat together in Ottawa and related their convoluted, multi-lingual Seder experiences. Wouldn’t it be great, they thought, to have a single haggadah that could serve all of their needs? From that moment, Rabbi Adam Scheier, senior rabbi of Congregation Shaar Hashomayim, and… Read More

Passover Means Vacation for Some Instead of turning their homes upside down, some opt for luxury getaways

Cantor Diane Becker Krasnick leads Passover and Chanukah 
services on Royal Caribbean cruises.

With each Passover comes the craziness of cleaning one’s life of chametz: Cars, offices, homes and kitchens must be rid of leavened foods before the holiday. While some resort to deep cleaning and finding someone to buy the chametz, others opt for an easier, yet pricey option: Passover destination travel. For years, travel agencies have… Read More