Back as a bored Hebrew school kid in suburban Chicago, I passed the time by staring at the map of Israel that hung on every classroom wall in my synagogue. Although I’d never traveled there, I knew the shape and topography of the country remarkably well — the ironically shrimp-shaped swath of brown, ringed by three pools of blue: the Mediterranean Sea to the West, the Red Sea to the South and the Dead Sea to the East.
So imagine my surprise when, on my first trip to Israel two years ago, I eagerly visited the Dead Sea to find out that it’s gone — or at least shrinking at an unprecedented rate, along with the rest of Israel’s water supply. I felt cheated. All I wanted to do was float about in those intensely salty waters I’d read about my entire life. Instead, my pilgrimage merely introduced me to “Israel’s chronic water problem.”
Luckily, water specialist (er, Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition model), Bar Refaeli, is on the case. According to the blog, Green Prophet:
The [Israeli] Water Authority has recruited [Refaeli] to help educate the public about Israel’s water crisis. [She] will participate in an ad campaign to increase awareness and encourage water conservation practices.
Local actress, Renana Raz, participated in a similar public service announcement, with the catchphrase “Israel is drying out.” You can watch the Hebrew-language clip here (oh, if I had only paid more attention in Hebrew school.)
I can only hope that these efforts prove more effective than PETA’s campaign to use a nude Alicia Silverstone to convince people to be vegetarian.