Advocacy and/or Policy Subscribe

A selection of initiatives, blogs, resources and communities on Jewcology which focus on advocacy and-or policy.


Blogs

Lessons for Israel from Ghana

SEFWI WIAWSO, Ghana — About six years ago the Ghanaian government brought a delegation of Jews from the Israeli town of Dimona to Accra, Ghana’s capital, to speak about the importance of local agricultural production and consumption. But even though Ghana has a long way to go on its path to becoming a developed nation — becoming part of the so-called “First World” — there's a lot that Israel can learn from Ghana. For example, here in Sefwi Wiawso, a small town in southwestern Ghana near the country’s border with Ivory ...

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On Technology and Faith

I have worked myself up into a state of near-frenzy lately, driven by my concern for the state of the world and its inhabitants. Despite my best efforts to remain calm, it seems to me that Chicken-Little’s call of, “The Sky is Falling” rings truer every day. From widespread environmental destruction to pending economic collapse to illegal and unconstitutional U.S. military aggression, the future of the humanity is looking gloomier on a daily basis, headed, it seems, for a catastrophe of biblical proportions. This is perhaps an appropriate ...

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A Sense of Place

Modern American culture doesn’t have much to say about the importance of place. Of course, we have landmarks: the Statue of Liberty, the Washington Monument, Mount Rushmore, to name a few. But what is important about those places is what is there, or what once happened there. It’s not the place itself that claims us. It’s a combination of monument and memory. As Jews we are more likely to have a real sense of what place means. We’ve been to Israel, a land that has been a part of our history for millennia, and that today ...

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Mayim

Last weekend I was about to board a plane when I decide to buy a magazine in an airport store. As I was glancing through the mountain of options, the cover of a magazine called Fast Company caught my eye. I don’t usually stray from my favorite two or three magazines (especially in the airport where they are so expensive), but the cover of Fast Company had a picture of Matt Damon on the cover that stated “Matt Damon And His Global War For Water.” I was intrigued because although I have heard people say often that the wars of the next century ...

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What is Sustainability?

  In 1983 the Bruntland Commission formally defined sustainable development as, "development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs." Many hard-core environmentalists and deep ecologists reject this definition because it presupposes development as the foundation for sustainability. However, many free-market capitalists think this definition goes too far and encourages unnecessary government oversight of global markets. Given the opposing viewpoints sustainable development can ...

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Where Is Our Revolution? A Call for a North American Sustainable Spring!

Spring is in the air. The youth and working class of Egypt and Tunisia have overthrown their repressive regimes while Syria, Libya, Yemen, Bahrain and other Arab nations are experiencing civil unrest. In Europe, a focus on economic austerity at the expense of the youth and working class has led to clashes in France and Greece. Indigenous peoples of Bolivia, Peru and other South American countries have been working to block mining, drilling and transportation across the Andes and Amazon basin. In these parts of the world, citizens have begun to recognize their ...

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What is Jewish Sustainability – Jewish Agency for Israel Assembly Session

Introduction & celebration Hello, My name is Einat Kramer. I am the founding director of Teva Ivri - an organization promoting Jewish sustainability in Israel. I am here with my friends & colleagues from the environmental movement in Israel that will facilitate the round tables sessions. Together, we are part of a far-reaching movement - the Jewish environmental movement. This movement is spread all over the world and getting bigger every day. This movement is made up of thousands of individuals from all streams of Judaism, ...

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What we learn from our teens

JEI has a teen environmental group that has been making waves (figuratively). Although only in existence for two years, this group of young people has educated others in the Jewish community on important issues such as how to green your synagogue, the dangers of polystyrene and the benefits of using rain barrels and native plants. When the next generation speaks passionately about these issues, people listen and learn. Many thanks, JEI teens!

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Playing Politics With The Environment

Following politics can be frustrating, to say the least. Whoever said that ignorance is bliss may have hit the nail on the head when it comes to ordinary citizens and their choice whether to take an interest in elections and the decisions that our elected leaders make in regards to policy. This is especially true when there is a leader who gains your respect because he/she bucks their party (either Democrat or Republican) and makes a decision based on both the information presented and on that elected officials set of values. It seems to be me, that more often ...

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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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Three (Jewish) Communal Actions with Impact!

Fair Food Network is excited to be partnering with Hazon on the following three calls to action. You can learn more about all of these issues by reading Oran Hesterman’s Fair Food: Growing a Healthy, Sustainable Food System for All. Together, we can move from being conscious consumers to engaged citizens and transform our food system! The first call to action is in your kitchen. Make a commitment to spend an additional $10 per week on food the source of which you can trace and trust. It may be $10 at the farmers’ market where you’ve just had a ...

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Tell the E.P.A.: No more methyl iodide

Cross posted in Environmental Tip of the Week and Foodiscovery I did not write this message; it's just the copied and pasted "email your friends" message from after signing a petition of sorts. Dear Friend, Methyl iodide is a nasty chemical. It is a known neurotoxin and endocrine disruptor, and scientists in labs handle only small amounts using special protective equipment because it is so toxic. But do you know where else it is used? As a pesticide on strawberries and other food crops. The battle against methyl iodide is ...

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PROTECT OUR HEALTH NOW – TELL THE SENATE TO STOP “DIRTY AIR” BILLS FROM PASSING

BACKGROUND: Despite clear scientific evidence of the harm being done to our air, land, and water, by greenhouses gases, Senators and Representatives have introduced a barrage of bills that would roll back the Environmental Protection Agency’s enforcement of Clean Air Act safeguards. The Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011 (H.R. 910/S.482.) would allow polluters to continue to spew unlimited amounts of carbon and other pollution into our air. These safeguards are already saving lives and improving the health of millions of Americans. Congress must not halt ...

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Biodiversity Under Attack

Until a few years ago I would not have classified myself as an environmentalist. Further, my entrance into the world of environmental advocacy was related to my growing interest in energy issues. However, during my journey over the past few years I have come to understand that nothing can be a more obvious sign of our society’s disregard for the natural world than the rate at which we are killing off majestic creatures of creation. I recently read the following headline: “Without Intervention Lions Heading for Extinction.” In 1960, there ...

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The Whole World In G-d’s Hands?

I read an article last week on NPR about a small nation call Kiribati, which is made up of 33 tiny islands, scattered across an area more than twice the size of Alaska. This nation is in danger of being engulfed by the rising Pacific Ocean that surrounds it. The tides have already started to shift, often ruining crops and personal property belonging to residents located fairly far inland. There is no clear evidence that this sea-level rise has anything to do with climate change, however, Kiribati illustrates the hardships that will arise, especially for ...

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COEJL Action Alert: Stop ‘Dirty Air’ Bills From Passing

PROTECT OUR HEALTH – STOP “DIRTY AIR” BILLS FROM PASSING BACKGROUND: Despite clear scientific evidence of greenhouse gases harming our air, land and water and contributing to climate change, some Senators and Representatives are attacking the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to enforce Clean Air Act safeguards. These safeguards are already saving lives and improving the health of millions of Americans and in 2007 were mandated by the Supreme Court as part of the EPA’s responsibility. We must tell Congress not to ...

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Getting Back to My Roots

Despair Like so many of the people I know who are deeply concerned with the rapidly multiplying environmental issues confronting our world, I recently became discouraged by the inability of our government to take meaningful action. This feeling slowly morphed into disgust, which turned into anger, which then changed into fear. I kept thinking, if our leaders cannot even address the big environmental issues that are occasionally covered by the media, such as climate change and alternative energy, then we are in real trouble when it comes to the hundreds of other ...

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Action Alert: Protect our Land and Water

BACKGROUND: The LWCF was established in 1965 to protect America’s Great Outdoors, using royalties paid by oil companies to the government to fund the conservation of natural resources. Yet, since its inception, the Fund has never received sufficient appropriations. Even though there's been more than enough oil revenue for the LWCF at no cost to the American taxpayer, Congress has failed to use that money for its intended purpose (its recent low in appropriated funding was just $138 million, less than one-sixth of what it could be). Over the years the ...

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