A Tree Grows in Florida as Sim Shalom Online Synagogue Plants the Seeds of Wisdom

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The seeds of universal wisdom are planted in Florida as Sim Shalom broadcasts its Jewish Universalist services from Lake Worth, Florida.

Tu B'Shevat tree planted on JUtv last year

The wisdom of Jewish Sages teaches people of all walks of life to respect and honor the planet and about our responsibility of stewardship to G-d’s creation.

Sim Shalom Online Synagogue and Rabbi Steve Blane held a virtual Tu B’Shevat seder in anticipation of the holiday that begins at sundown on Tuesday night, January 30th. And the tree planted by the Blane family in honor of Tu B'Shevat last year is thriving even in post hurricane Florida.

Tu B’Shevat is a little known Jewish holiday whose ancient roots are taking hold in today’s world. Tu B’Shevat is a celebration of trees and by extension the environment. Trees have always held a special place in Judaism. They were one of the first things G-d created and destruction of fruit trees is forbidden in the Torah even in times of war. There is the symbolic Tree of Life that resides in most Jewish houses of worship.

True to form the Jewish Sages anticipated a time when our focus would need to turn to the care and maintenance of Mother Earth. The wisdom of Jewish Sages teaches people of all walks of life to respect and honor the planet and about our responsibility of stewardship to G-d’s creation. Jewish Universalism is a nondenomination- focused Jewish movement that purports that the wisdom of Judaism can inform current issues and problems faced today by all humankind.

In addition Sim Shalom subscribes to the Meatless Monday Campaign which is a global endeavor. One aspect of the initiative is to reduce farming of animals which requires the utilization of intense resources.


Sim Shalom is an interactive online Jewish Universalist synagogue which is liberal in thought and traditional in liturgy. Created in 2009 by Rabbi Steven Blane on Manhattan's Upper West Side, Sim Shalom offers a means of connecting the unconnected. Rabbi Blane leads accessible and short Shabbat services every Friday night using a virtual interface and additionally Sim Shalom provides online education programs, Jazz concerts, conversion and life-cycle ceremonies along with weeknight services at 7:00PM EST led by Rabbis and students of this online community.

Rabbi Blane is also the founder and director of the Jewish Spiritual Leader's Institute,
http://www.jsli.net, the online professional rabbinical program and Union of Jewish Universalist Communities, an organization of Jewish Universalist Rabbis and communities.

Sim Shalom, a non profit 501 © (3) tax-exempt organization, nurtures a Jewish connection through its mission of innovative services, creative education and dynamic outreach to the global community. For more information visit the website or call 201-338-0165.

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Rabbi Steven Blane
Sim Shalom
+1 201-338-0165
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Rabbi Steven Blane
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Sim Shalom
since: 11/2009
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