Biodiversity Subscribe

A selection of initiatives, blogs, resources and communities on Jewcology which focus on biodiversity.


Blogs

Al Chet – Confession for the Earth

by Rabbi Katy Z. Allen   Eternal God, You created earth and heavens with mercy, and blew the breath of life into animals and humans. We were created amidst a world of wholeness, a world called "very good," pure and beautiful, but now your many works are being erased by us from the book of life. Not by our righteousness do we plead our prayers before You, Holy One of All, for we have sinned, we have despoiled, we have destroyed. And so we confess together our collective sins, and ask for forgiveness: For the sin which we have committed before You intenti...

Read More


Why Jewcology Matters

It feels good to be back blogging on Jewcology after a 6 month hiatus.  During this period, my wife gave birth to a baby boy and we moved from NYC to Maryland.  Although it has been a very hectic time, as those with children or nieces/nephews know, the birth of a child changes one's perspective on the world.   I have been involved with Jewcology since its inception and think it serves a very important purpose.  I am thrilled that a new group of individuals has become involved, breathing a new sense of energy into the movement, including the launching of the redesigned ...

Read More


Living with Change

Earth Etude for Elul 6 by Rabbi Howard Cohen   The end of the human race will be that it will eventually die of civilisation.  Ralph Waldo Emerson   With the approach of the season of Teshuvah it is once again time to reflect on our relationship with the earth.  In the past I would have asked myself questions such as ‘did I waste natural resources’; or ‘did I pour unreasonable amounts of carbon into the atmospher’; or ‘did I speak out against corporate environmental abuse’.  These questions are important but I believe that there is ...

Read More


Giving Yourself an Autumn Break

by Andrew Oram This time of year always seems a hurricane of activity: coming back from vacation to reams of email, or starting school, or dealing with all the pent-up housework that went blissfully ignored during the easy summer months. Traditionally, Jews see this time of year very differently. Like typical Americans, this period is for them both an ending and a beginning: a recognition of the waning of life and an invigorating harbinger of new possibilities. But in place of the chaotic hurricane that starts for us after Labor Day, many Jews launch a period of ...

Read More


Jewish literary theorist coins ‘cli fi’ genre term for climate change awareness

Danny Bloom grew up in western Masschusetts in the 1950s, studied Jewish ideas under Rabbi Samuel Dresner, was bar-mitvahed in 1962 under the cantorial direction of Cantor Morty Shames and then started travelling. France, Israel, Greece, Italy, Alaska and Japan. Now he's 65 and working on what he calls a very Jewish project, Jewish because it comes out of ideas and values about having a vision and being a dreamer that he picked up on his way to becoming a bald, goateed senior citizen. Bloom lives in Asia now working as a public relations writer and ...

Read More


Print books, even ebooks, are dead; but movies can still work their magic

by Danny Bloom, CLI FI CENTRAL blogger http://pcillu101.blogspot.com danbloom@gmail.com bubbie.zadie@gmail.comLOS ANGELES -- With films like "Noah" and "Into the Storm" and "Snowpiercer" -- and"Interstellar" coming in the late fall -- Hollywood has seen thehandwriting on the wall and embraced climate themes in fulltechnicolor. Call the movies ''cli fi'' or disaster thrillers,whatever. There's more to come in the film world.But while Hollywood and studio marketing people (and online socialmedia reporters covering new film releases) have welcomed ''cli fi'' intothe ...

Read More


Uplifting People and Planet

Exciting news! Just in time for Tu b’Shevat, Canfei Nesharim and Jewcology are proud to announce the launch of a new ebook exploring traditional Jewish teachings on the environment, Uplifting People and Planet: Eighteen Essential Jewish Lessons on the Environment, edited by Rabbi Yonatan Neril and Evonne Marzouk. This ebook is the most comprehensive study in English of how Jewish traditional sources teach us to protect our natural resources and preserve the environment. From food to trees, energy to water, wealth to biodiversity, the book studies eighteen ...

Read More


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, ...

Read More


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 ...

Read More


New Year of Jewish Learning on the Environment Materials Released!

The eighteenth topic in the Year of Jewish Learning on the Environment, The Glory in Creation: Valuing Biodiversity! We live in an amazingly diverse world, with approximately 8.3 million unique species described by scientists, and likely twice that number that have not yet been discovered. Jewish sources teach that G-d has joy in the diversity and continuity of creation, and that G-d sees a purpose in each of these species. This biodiversity is an expression of G-d’s glory, a testament to the extraordinary creativity of our Creator. ...

Read More


Shabbat Noach is Coming!

In celebration of Parshat Noach this coming Shabbat, Jewcology is proud to share a wealth of resources on the topic of Noach. Please enjoy and share these resources from many of our partners and participants so we can all benefit from the lessons of Parshat Noach. Explore all of our Parshat Noach resources Here's a sampling: Countering Destruction - Lessons from Noah Although the flood and the life of Noah occurred thousands of years ago, the story of Noah offers important lessons about how our actions affect the world. The Torah teaches that ten generat...

Read More


Simply Awesome

I usually use this monthly blog as an outlet to voice my opinions about policies related to environmental issues. However, this week I read a really cool article that I wanted to share. The short article (produced below along with a link) illustrates how amazing nature can be and the importance of protecting and preserving as many species of living organisms as possible. Although I have never viewed a Gouldian finch, and it is quite likely I never will, there is no question that the world would be worse off if these birds were somehow wiped out. Now, there is ...

Read More


Day 38 of the Omer

On this third day of the sixth week of the Omer we focus on Tiferet in Y'sod, Harmony in Bonding. Biomes are large geographical areas of the world, each with distinctive plants and animals that are adapted to the particular climate and geography of the area. Forest biomes include tropical forests, temperate forests, and boreal forests, also known as the taiga. I love these words: boreal, taiga. Boreal - of or pertaining to the north. Taiga, from the Russian. Both words carry a sense of mystery as I think of those vast cold wildernesses that ...

Read More


Trees, Bikes and Nature on Yom Ha’atzmaut

NEW YORK (April 26, 2012) — Falafel fests, movie nights, dance parties — Americans celebrate Yom Ha’atzmaut in many ways. But what do Israelis do on Independence Day? They head outdoors. Last year so many people jammed into the country’s de-facto national-park system, run by KKL-JNF, that parks were closed because they reached capacity. So, how many people was that, you ask? About one in every five Israelis — more than 1.5 million people — which is also about the same number of trees that have been planted in Israel since ...

Read More


Support the Shaar Hagai Kennels & the Canaan Dogs

This week I was alerted to an issue that resonated deeply with me. I was asked to sign a petition in support of the Shaar Hagai Kennels, who are facing eviction by the Israel Government Lands Authority. Tied up in this legal battle is the fate of the Canaan dog, a breed of dog most closely related to the dogs depicted in the bible. After reading of how the kennel owner moved to the desolate location 42 years ago as a Zionist seeking to settle the land and breed these dogs, my interest was piqued. Why was the Land Authority threating to evict them, and to what ...

Read More


Seeds Of Peace: Botanical Gardens To Connect Jews And Arabs

  • March 4, 2012
  • Member since 2011

Seeds Of Peace: Botanical Gardens To Connect Jews And Arabs By Hanna Szekeres The Botanical Gardens in Jerusalem, Israel is a 30-acre oasis where you can see, smell and even taste over 10,000 species of flowers from around the world. But the educational department of the gardens also focuses on another type of seed: “the seeds of peace.” Five years ago the department started a project called “Coexistence” that brings together nine- to 11-year-olds from the city’s Jewish and Muslim schools and teaches them about the production ...

Read More


Photo Slide Show of Samar Sand Dunes

SAMAR SAND DUNES, Israel — A barbed-wire fence runs along the edge of the dunes here, but it's not to protect them — it's to keep people from accidentally walking across the country's border with Jordan. Not that Samar hasn't needed the protection — the government was poised to raze the dunes and turn them into concrete for hotels and sidewalks. But barbed wire would not have been strong enough to hold back bulldozers. No, the bulldozers were stopped by something far more powerful: You. Thanks to the efforts of the ...

Read More


The Voices of the Whales and the Trees: Lessons for TU B’SHEVAT

It was not a typical Shabbat afternoon that August of 2001. We were sitting on the shore of Windfall Island, on the edge of Tebenkof Bay in Southwest Alaska, watching the Humpback whales feed in Chatham Strait. As we watched, they moved across our view from north to south, diving and surfacing as they fed. They moved behind a small island and as they came back into view two whales suddenly threw themselves into the air at the same time. Then others followed as we shouted in delight. It was a fitting climax to a wonderful and inspiring experience. The “we” ...

Read More


Meet GZA Co-Founder Dr. Alon Tal in New York and California

The acute deterioration in Israel's environmental condition is only part of the social agenda that brought one million Israelis to demonstrations this past summer. Are we seeing a change in the Israeli political map and the public's ecological awareness? What policies are needed to address the steady damage to Israel's open spaces, biodiversity loss and the disappearing Dead Sea? Green Zionist Alliance Co-Founder and Green Movement Co-Chair Dr. Alon Tal, recognized by Haaretz as Israel's leading environmentalist, will present a ...

Read More


Here are three things to do for Shabbat Noach!

Here are three very simple things you can do for Shabbat Noach to honor God's covenant with all life: 1) Learn and teach the rainbow blessing: "Barukh atah Adonai Eloheinu melekh ha`olam ZOKHER ET HABRIT -- Blessed be You, Hashem...who remembers the covenant!" And -- you can remember that the first covenant in the Torah wasn't just for humanity. It was a convenant with all animals and with the land itself. 2) Say a prayer for the all living things. You can find a prayer based on the rainbow covenant and P'ri Eitz Hadar (the first Tu ...

Read More