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Pre-K students at the CDC created safari gear that included hats and binoculars to explore the areas around the JCC.

VOTE NOW — J Camp KC and the Child Development Center at The J were both nominated for Macaroni Kid’s Gold Daisy Awards! Macaroni Kid JoCo is a free weekly enewsletter, online calendar and website focused on kids’ activities, family fun events, parenting resources and information relevant to families in all of Johnson County. Right now, their readers and fans are voting for their favorite businesses, venues and community services throughout the metro area. Both the CDC at The J and J Camp have been nominated for best preschool, best daycare and best camp. Voting ends at 8 a.m. on Feb. 20, with winners being announced on Feb. 22. Vote for the CDC or JCamp (or both) by visiting https://form.jotform.com/80295152540149 or go to Facebook and search Macaroni Kid JoCo.

WIN A TRIP TO ISRAEL — Tu b’Shevat may have been last week, but you can still get into the spirit, and possibly win a trip to Israel by planting a tree in Israel through JNF. When I was a child, we planted trees in Israel through our religious school every year. The twist this year is if you plant a tree with JNF between now and Feb. 15, you will automatically be entered into a sweepstakes for a chance to win the grand prize of two roundtrip tickets to Israel on EL AL Israel Airlines including two free nights at the Carlton Tel Aviv and a JNF day tour for two people. Ten runners-up will receive a JNF E-Z Tree™ account good for 10 free trees!

Eligible individuals can enter anytime during the entry period by making a donation to purchase a tree ($18 each) by calling 800-542-8733 or by downloading the PDF on the website (jnf.org, click on Tu Bishevat Sweepstakes) and follow instructions. The more trees you purchase, the more chances you have to win! In addition, people can enter without purchase — once again see jnf.org. Mail-in entries must be postmarked by Feb. 15. Limit of one entry per mailing envelope. For total sweepstake rules, see website.

CHRISTIANS ALSO PLANT TREES IN BIBLICAL HEARTLAND (JNS) — For Tu b’Shevat, the Jewish new year for trees, more than 100 Christian Zionists raised over $10,000 to plant dozens of trees in Israel’s biblical heartland. The fundraising campaign — which was spearheaded by Rabbi Tuly Weisz, founder and CEO of Israel365 — organized the planting of olive trees in the Jewish community of Bat Ayin in Gush Etzion and in the Jewish section of Hebron.

“Our Christian tree donors are not only looking to help fulfill biblical prophecy, but to strengthen the Jewish presence throughout the land of Israel,” said Weisz.

“The orchards we planted in Bat Ayin are stopping the Palestinian land grab and fortifying the Jewish communities in Gush Etzion. The trees we planted at Maharat HaMachpela (the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron) strengthen our roots in a place that Bible believers hold so dear,” he added. Known as the “Jewish Arbor Day,” Tu b’Shevat generally falls in late January or early February and is celebrated as an ecological awareness day on which trees are planted.

The Christian donors were able to watch the tree planting through a broadcast on Facebook Live by Weisz, who read aloud the donors’ names and blessed them during the ceremony.

“Tears welled up in my eyes and I bowed my head down in prayer,” said Beth Madras, a Christian Zionist from New York, regarding hearing her name read on the Facebook broadcast. “I love Israel and Jerusalem with all my heart, and I pray for the people every day. … I will be sure to do this year after year after year.”