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A selection of initiatives, blogs, resources and communities on Jewcology intended for use in engaging adults.


Blogs

A Tu B’Shvat Seder to Heal the Wounded Earth

The New Year – for Rebirthing Trees: [This version of the Haggadah for Tu B’Shvat has been greatly adapted by Rabbi Arthur Waskow of The Shalom Center from a Haggadah shaped by Ellen Bernstein, as published in Trees, Earth, and Torah: A Tu B’Shvat Anthology (Jewish Publ. Soc., 1999, ed. by Elon, Hyman, & Waskow). Bernstein wrote introductory remarks to sections of that Haggadah, many of which have been included or adapted for this one. They are indicated in the text by the initials “EB.” * The desire for such a Haggadah grew from ...

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Environmental Tip of the Week: Apology and this week’s tip: Dumpster Adventures

http://environmentaltip.blogspot.com/2013/12/apology-and-this-weeks-tip-dumpster.html I'm not blogging much lately due to certain matters going on in my life. Sorry, I know this is supposed to be a weekly post but life happens.... Anyway, here's this week's tip. This applies if you live in a place where there's a central dumpster where people dump their garbage: When you take out the garbage, keep your eyes open for things that might not really be garbage but perhaps someone was just trying to get rid of the item without it occurring to them that maybe someone else could ...

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Transformative Judaism and our Planetary Crisis

Since human action has endangered the web of life on earth, human action can heal it. And the religious and spiritual communities of our planet have the wisdoms and the tools to do the healing. Judaism is especially relevant because, unlike most world religions, we preserve the teachings of an indigenous people in the biblical tradition –- the spiritual wisdom of shepherds and farmers. And yet as a world people, we can now apply the earthiness of our origins to the Whole Earth. That does not mean simply repeating the ancient practices. For instance, ...

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The Sacred Green Menorah: Deeper Meanings of Hanukkah & Earth

On Shabbat Hanukkah (this year, Nov. 29-30), we read an extraordinary passage from the Prophet Zechariah. Speaking during the Babylonian Captivity, he envisions the future Great Menorah, taking its sacred place in a rebuilt Holy Temple. Zechariah, in visionary, prophetic style, goes beyond the Torah’s description of the original Menorah (literally, a Light-bearer). That Menorah was planned as part of the portable Shrine, the Mishkan, in the Wilderness. First Zechariah describes the Menorah of the future that he sees: “All of gold, with a bowl on ...

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Transformative Judaism and our Planetary Crisis

Since human action has endangered the web of life on earth, human action can heal it. And the religious and spiritual communities of our planet have the wisdoms and the tools to do the healing. Judaism is especially relevant because, unlike most world religions, we preserve the teachings of an indigenous people in the biblical tradition –- the spiritual wisdom of shepherds and farmers. And yet as a world people, we can now apply the earthiness of our origins to the Whole Earth. That does not mean simply repeating the ancient practices. For instance, ...

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The Meaning of This Hour: Confronting the Coming Cataclysm of Global Climate Change

In March 1938, Abraham Joshua Heschel delivered a speech to a conference of Quakers in Frankfort (it was later expanded and published in 1943) called The Meaning of this Hour. Heschel had been living in Berlin for some years, acquiring his Ph.D. and a liberal rabbinic ordination (he had already gotten a traditional ordination when he was a teenager in Warsaw). During his years there, he was a witness to rise of Nazism even while he taught and began to publish his work. In 1938, it was clear to many people that war in Europe was coming. In the very month that ...

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“Keep the Tar Sands where they are; Climate change has gone too far!”

Configure Those words were chanted by more than 200 people in a vigorous protest I took part in on Aug 12, 2013, at the State Department in Washington, DC, against the Tar Sands Pipeline. The action was organized by CREDO Action, the Rain Forest Action Network , and The Other 98%. The Shalom Center and Interfaith Moral Action on Climate (IMAC) endorsed the protest, and our readiness to risk arrest. We ranged in age from 18 to 79 – students, grandparents, clergy, former Obama volunteers, ...

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The Age of Climate Dithering Must Come to an End

There is a new genre fiction called “Climate Change Fiction” that has become increasingly popular. The major theme of these works is what the world will be like after the effects of climate change has taken effect. One of my favorite Science fiction authors, Kim Stanley Robinson, has utilized this theme in several of his books, the latest being, 2312 which won the 2012 Nebula award for best science fiction novel and has been nominated for the Hugo award for best science fiction novel of 2013. 2313 mostly takes place off Earth among colonies on ...

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Earth Etude for Elul 2 – Elul Writing Project

by Molly Bajgot We’re nearing a time when the Earth will not provide as bountifully as it has in the past. In exchange for a loss of resources, I believe the Earth is pleading for us humans to return to ourselves, our deep souls, so we recognize a bounty that lives within us. Could this lead to the feeling of fertility in the human spirit, we may extend the times of plenty. Answering this call is not easy. We cannot stop deadlines so we may each have the time return to ourselves as a form of resiliency. It’s a necessary evil to take this time. We may ...

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Shmita Today: From Farm to Hypertech

Our society is more and more deeply concerned that intrusive human action toward the Earth is turning into a weapon endangering Humanity itself as well as the earthy web of life. Is this danger new, or is it an extension of a long-felt weakness arising from a strength too far? Torah warns against overworking the earth, as well as overworking ourselves and each other. It provides that not only every seventh day but every seventh year is to be a time to pause from working. The seventh year is to be Shabbat Shabbaton, Restfulness to the exponential power of Restfulne...

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Do Animals Go to Heaven? Reflecting on Our Relationship to Non-Human Life

Do All Dogs Go to Heaven? When we ask such a question or “Do animals have souls?” what are we are really saying? We are revealing a deeper existential and theological question about how human beings relate to other living creatures. No one can know the actual reality of the afterlife, but what we believe about it says something about what we believe about life. Our ideas about animal “souls” is, therefore, really about whether humans are unique among living creatures and determining the spiritual distance or ontological gap between humans and ...

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Beyond the Letter of the Law: Jewish Ethical Investing in the Light of Climate Change

Responding to a Dangerous Impasse on Climate Change Climate change resulting from the use of fossil fuels poses a well-documented, grave threat to humanity and the ecosystems that support life. But in the United States, a real national response to climate change has been stymied by political inaction, cultural inertia, and the concerted effort of fossil fuel companies, which have funded propaganda and disinformation in opposition to limits on greenhouse gas emissions. Increasingly, environmental organizations have resorted to various actions meant to break ...

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Seeking Venues for Jewish Environmental Speaking Tour

I am planning a Jewish environmental speaking trip for next month (December) and seek help in finding Jewish institutions or groups that are interested in my speaking at their institution in New Jersey, New York City, Los Angeles, and San Francisco areas. I founded and direct the Jerusalem-based Interfaith Center for Sustainable Development (ICSD), which accesses the collective wisdom of the world’s religions to promote co-existence, peace, and sustainability through education and activism. ICSD’s Jewish Eco Seminars branch works within the Jewish ...

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New Year of Jewish Learning on the Environment Materials Released!

The Twelfth topic in the Year of Jewish Learning on the Environment, Genesis and Human Stewardship of the Earth, has just been released! In the first chapter of Genesis, twice in three verses, G-d speaks of humans ruling over other living beings. In the second instance, after creating Adam and Eve, G-d blesses them, saying "Be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the sky, and over every living thing that moves upon the earth." What does it mean for humans to subdue the ...

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Jewish Farm School Launches College Accredited Experiential Learning

The Jewish Farm School and Hebrew College are partnering to offer you a weeklong, intensive course exploring the intersection of Judaism, agriculture and contemporary food justice. In this week-long, service learning experience, participants will explore the relationship between Judaism, agriculture and contemporary food justice issues. This unique seminar will include farm work, text study and meetings with activists, community leaders, and business people. On the farm, you will gain hands-on experience in sustainable agriculture techniques such as planting, ...

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Reduce Workplace Waste

Whether you own your own business or work for someone else, it is a good practice to be mindful of your energy use and use of office supplies during your work day. There are many simple practices that will allow you to use less energy and produce less waste. This pays off by helping the environment and lowering costs as well. Shut down your computer. According to a recent study by the Harvard Green Campus Initiative, computersare responsible for about 40% of the energy consumed by office equipment in the United States. One desktop computer left in full ...

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Year of Jewish Learning on the Environment

Core teachings on 18 topics linking Torah and the environment were released between Tu b'Shevat 5772 and Tu b'Shevat 5773 as part of Jewcology's Year of Jewish Learning on the Environment, in partnership with Canfei Nesharim and a host of other organizations who shared materials across the Jewish community. The materials were shared at least 145 times on the web, in at least 99 social media postings, and reached over 51,000 people during the course of the year, as part of a Year of Jewish Learning on the Environment. The materials comprise the most comprehensive set of ...

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Saving Samar: Together We Can Protect the Last of Israel’s Sahara

Israel's Samar sand dunes — and the unique animal species that live there — may be destroyed. (Photos courtesy of Taal Goldman of the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies) NEW YORK (May 26, 2011) — Picture a desert and you'll probably envision rolling hills of sand like those traversed by the nomadic caravans of the Sahara. Yet, even though the majority of Israel is desert, almost none of it is like the Sahara except for a small section near the southern tip of Israel in the Arava Valley: the Samar sand dunes. ...

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Deadlines Approaching for Leadership Training!

Join us for a new leadership training which will empower you to engage your community in Jewish-environmental learning and action. Spaces are filling up: register today! Scholarship deadline extended to MONDAY, MAY 23. Registration deadline: Friday, May 27! The seminar will take place on Thursday, June 2 at the Teva Seminar on Jewish Environmental Education in Cold Spring, NY. Participating in the Teva Seminar?Sign up for the Jewcology training! If you are not attending the seminar,you can still join us just for the day and take advantage of this excellent ...

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Jewish Farm School Intensive! Natural Building and Herbal Medicine

These four-day hands-on workshops will take place simultaneously with the Jewish Farm School on the Farm at Eden Village. Come learn and work with the earth's medicine and nature's building materials. Enjoy the beuaty of Eden Village's 250 acres in the Hudson Valley. Food will be mostly organic, vegetarian and cooked by our fabulous chefs. Monday, June 13th - Thursday, June 16th Start and end time at 12pm 25% discount is you mention Jewcology Please register here Pick a track! Natural Building with ...

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