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Chanukah Heroes – First Night

THIS FIRST NIGHT OF CHANUKAH is a blessing for the land of Israel. We must always remember that there is but one Earth, precious and fragile. A passage, nearly 2,000 years old, best expresses our thoughts:
When the Holy One, blessed be He, created the first man, he took him and warned him about all the trees of the Garden of Eden, saying: See my works, how I created for you. Beware lest you spoil and destroy My world, for if you will spoil it, there is no one to repair it after you. – Kohellet Rabba 8,28


Chanukah Hero:
Shai Agassi, American-Israeli Green Technology Entrepreneur

President of Israel Shimon Peres and Project Better Place CEO Shai Agassi in Jerusalem.
Photo credit: Israel Hadari

Shai Agassi is the founder of Better Place, a company that develops batteries for electric cars as well as plans the infrastructure for battery exchanges. Though Better Place is global, Agassi is based in Israel and the country has been the site of many “firsts” for the company. The first charging station was opened in Tel Aviv in 2008 and there are currently 21 battery-swap stations throughout the country. Approximately 500 electric cars have been sold so far.

A renewable form of energy, electricity makes for a ‘green’ form of transport that will decrease our dependence on fossil fuels.

Shai Agassi is a Chanukah Hero because:

  • He understands the Jewish and Zionist value of tikkun olam – we are all responsible for working to better our world.
  • He believes that Israel can be a model country leading in environmentally-friendly technology – thus acting as an (electric) light unto the nations.

“Save the Oil”

During the holiday of Chanukah, lessen your environmental impact on the world by limiting the amount of gas you use. Instead of driving, consider “greener” forms of transportation, such as walking when possible or using public transportation. Have a family discussion about ways to cut down your dependence on fossil fuels.

If we all take steps to reduce our negative environmental impact, together we can make a difference.


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