Since 1926, Hadassah and the Jewish National Fund have partnered together to address the environmental concerns facing Israel. Just as water is a basic element of nature and an essential to human survival, water is key for the land of Israel. The current water crisis in Israel threatens the health of Israel’s citizens, the country’s economic future and the peace process.
Even with the lowest water consumption rates in the world, Israel still consumes over 99 percent of its available resources. Water reserves throughout the Middle East are declining dramatically. The Jewish National Fund’s work in the area of water conservation, reclamation and recycling as well as riverbed restoration is essential to combating this serious problem. Hadassah is working hand-in-hand with the JNF on these water projects because water is the key to survival in the Middle East and also plays an important role in peace negotiations.
As the end of the third and final year for the Hadassah leadership Academy approaches, the 13 local HLA women are actively working to utilize their leadership skills and experience by developing and implementing a project that raises awareness and increases education about the water crisis in Israel.
Mayim L’Chaim – Water for Life focuses on three areas: education, outreach and fund-raising. The Education Committee is developing a student curriculum to educate day school and religious-school students about the water crisis in Israel, its sources, the communal impact, and our contribution to its solution through tikkun olam and tzedakah. The curriculum focuses on two main areas, the problem and the solution, through hands-on activities such as decorating tzedakah boxes, word puzzles and more. Children will learn to define and describe the water crisis in Israel and understand how they can make an impact. The Education committee is planning to present their curriculum at Mini-CAJE, a teacher’s conference on Feb. 18, at a supplementary school after Passover, and at the Jewish Day School around Tu B’Shevat.
The Mayim L’Chaim Outreach Committee is sending speakers to local synagogues to inform people about the water crisis in Israel, also during February. In an effort to raise money and support the Hadassah goal to help JNF build a reservoir in Israel, the fundraising committee is coordinating the sale and distribution of water bottles at the Seattle Jewish Festival at Seattle Center on April 1.
For more information about the Mayim L’Chaim–Water for Life project, contact project co-chairs Carolyn Hathaway (firstname.lastname@example.org or 425-451-3386) or Anne Noris (email@example.com or 425-747-2785).