Community Organizing and Policymaking Subscribe

A selection of initiatives, blogs, resources and communities on Jewcology which focus on community organizing and policymaking.


Blogs

May I Have Your Vote for Green Israel?

Because people voted for the Green Israel slate in past elections, there have been major improvements in how the JNF does business. It has adopted significantly better policies on forestry, stream restoration, and soil reclamation. JNF is taking the lead on green infrastructure and has established a program to prioritize quality of life improvements in Arab communities that have long been neglected by the JNF. The JNF has power, and we can leverage that power by voting.

Read More


Green Israel Parlor Meeting with Yossi Abramowitz

Every Jew can vote in the World Zionist Congress elections.  Cast your vote for a Green Israel. Find out why your vote matters. Hear about green activism in Israel and how you can make a difference from Captain Sunshine, Yossi Abramowitz.  Yossi is the solar entrepreneur who built the largest solar field in Israel and is bringing Israeli solar technology to Africa. RSVP to receive location information.

Read More


I Am a candidate to Be a Delegate for the Green Israel Slate at the World Zionist Congress

Jews are properly concerned about the well-being of Israel and wish her to be secure and prosperous, but what about security, wealth, and comfort of another kind -- the quality of Israel's air, water, and ecosystems?  What about the physical condition of the eternal holy Land? What about climate change that, according to the Israeli Union for Environmental Defense (Adam Teva v’Din), may result in an average temperature increase of up to 6 degrees Celsius, a drop in average precipitation of 20-30 percent, severe storms when rain occurs, increased desertification, and an ...

Read More


“Farm the Land Grow the Spirit Summer 2015”

flgs_2015  This ia a free opportunity for young adults 19-29 to come together in an interfaith setting for Jews, Christians and Muslims to live, farm and study together from June 1st - July 23rd 2015 at the Stony Point Conference Center in Stony Point, NY, with time for mentoring and vocational discernment. It is a Multifaith, Peace, Justice and Earthcare program. We seek students who are grounded in their religious tradition, serious about spriiuality and the state of the planet, and open to learnig and living in an intentional community setting. This is our 6th ...

Read More


Reject Keystone XL

Dec. 2, 2014   Thirteen Jewish organizations, under the umbrella of the Green Hevra, have issued the following joint statement today publicly calling on the U.S. government to reject the Keystone XL pipeline:   It has become abundantly clear that we are consuming far too many fossil fuels. In this Sabbatical/Shmita year, when the Torah calls for deeper gentleness toward the Earth, we are especially conscious of the dangers to the Earth from the drilling, transporting and burning of tar-sands oil. The resources that would be devoted to the Keystone XL ...

Read More


Religious Environmentalists

This month I want to highlight the various groups that continue to do amazing work throughout the various faith communities.  Coming together as Jewish environmentalists to collaborate and share ideas is crucial, but I am also a strong believer in working with other faith communities, especially when it comes to advocacy.  The following are several groups I think do fantastic work and can be excellent partners and/or resources in connection with environmental learning and activism: GreenFaith  (http://greenfaith.org/):  GreenFaith has an amazing fellowship program ...

Read More


Sukkot of Shmita Resources and Events

SUKKOT AND SHMITA RESOURCES AND EVENTS for 2014-15 contributed by all the organizations and initiatives on “the Map” http://jewcology.org/map-of-initiatives/ Here’s a quick bit of Sukkot Torah to start us off: “The four species of the lulav represent the four types of ecosystems in the land of Israel: desert (date palm), hills (myrtle), river corridors (willow), and sh’feilah, the lowlands (etrog). Each species has to be fresh, with the very tips intact – they can’t be dried out, because they hold the water of last year’s rain. Together, they make a ...

Read More


A Green Opportunity to Share Love with Israel – Steven’s Garden


Earth Etude for Elul 26- We Will be the Change We Want to See

  We will be the change we want to see   I am squatting I am wringing laundry with my hands I am picking chunks of dirt from the soles of my feet   I am learning to smell the open sewer when I breathe in and out   I am walking I am jostling in a vikram, in a small car that must have the air conditioning switched to off in order to make it up the Himalayan Mountain where love calls   I am exhausted I am exhilarated I am joyful   I am fretting as we weave ourselves up the steep slope and you can ...

Read More


Earth Etude for Elul 22- “Yeah, I Think We Should Kill Them All”

By Alexander Volfson I wasn't sure visiting Yad Vashem, Israel's official Holocaust memorial, would leave an impression on me; after all, I had heard it all before. Not only that I had absorbed the notion that all of humanity's reckless violent ways were behind us. Genocide, alas, is so common that it has its own major in college, which, unfortunately, does not fall under archaeology. Remarkably, this practice continues to this day. The typical story arc of the Holocaust goes like this: those awful Germans wanted to murder all the Jews and almost got away with it. ...

Read More


Earth Etude for Elul 21- What Does Atoning and Returning to God Mean?

by Rabbi Judy Weiss   Ps. 27:1 "The Lord is my light and my rescue. Whom should I fear?" For an entire month before Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, we focus on atoning and returning to God. But what exactly, in real life terms, does atoning and returning to God mean? We plan our path to return by adding Psalm 27 to our daily prayers. This psalm repeatedly affirms hope in God. It ends with: Ps 27:14 "Let your heart be firm and bold, and hope for the Lord." As Robert Alter comments, the Psalm opens and closes with the same sentiment "It begins by affirming trust in God ...

Read More


Earth Etude for Elul 17- Meditation on Elul

by Richard H. Schwartz   Elul is here. It represents a chance for heightened introspection, an opportunity to do teshuva and improve our lives, before the “Days of Awe,” the days of judgment, the “High holidays” of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. The shofar is blown every morning (except on Shabbat) in synagogues during the month of Elul to awaken us from slumber, to remind us to consider where we are in our lives and to urge us to make positive changes.   How should we respond to Elul today? How should we respond when we hear reports almost ...

Read More


Earth Etude for Elul 16- The Compost Bin in Our Hearts

by Rabbi Katy Z. Allen   My compost bins are so much more than just a place where compost happens. The area beside the three wire and wood bins is place where I often feel my father’s spirit – he was raised on a farm, and though he became a professional, gardening was in his blood, and he spent much of his spare time in his garden and his orchard.   Yet, it is not just the reminders of my father or the sense of his hovering spirit that gives meaning to my compost bins. They are symbolic of so much – which may be more the truer reason that I think ...

Read More


Earth Etude 15- Looking at the Whole Picture

By Susie Davidson   As a writaholic, I am also a readaholic. As we move forward in our chosen missions toward creating communities that feed, nurture and sustain (while protecting) all the inhabitants of the earth, I believe that it is also incumbent upon us to remain informed about the news of the day and the topics that affect underlying societal infrastructures.   Certainly, some of these infrastructures seem entrenched to the point of impermeability, none more so than the economic systems that govern world relations and, therefore, virtually every facet of ...

Read More


The Book of Yonah and the People’s Climate March

A month from now, on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, Jews all over the world will read the book of Yonah in synagogue.  The book is an appropriate selection for the day when the Torah instructs us to “afflict your souls and don’t do any labor…because on that day he will atone for you, cleansing you; of all your offenses before the Lord you will be cleansed.” (Vayikra 16:29-30)  In contrast to Vayikra (the Book of Leviticus), which describes an elaborate ritual to cleanse the sanctuary of metaphysical impurity, the book of Yonah explores the sometimes tortuous ...

Read More


Earth Etude for Elul 10- Topsy Turvy Bus

by Rabbi Margaret Frisch Klein   The world seems a little topsy turvy these days. A plane missing. 223 girls kidnapped in Nigeria. 3 teen agers kidnapped and murdered in Israel. A plane shot out of the sky. Israel in Gaza. Rockets in Israel. Too many children killed in the streets of Chicago. Too many deaths. When does it stop?   In the Fox River Valley, Illinois, after a punishing winter of epic proportions, it is nice to be outside. Six congregations, part of the nascent Prairie Jewish Coalition, sponsored the Topsy Turvy bus.   What is a ...

Read More


Earth Etude for Elul 7- Rosh Hashanah Shemittah Seder 5775

Created by Rabbi Nina Beth Cardin, to be shared, celebrated, and enjoyed Click here for a downloadable version to print out and use at your Rosh HaShanah dinner.   Ever since the first breath of creation, time has unfolded in cycles of seven. Six days reach their crescendo in the seventh day, Shabbat - the Sabbath, the day of rest. Six years reach their crescendo in the seventh year, Shemittah - the sabbatical, the year of renewal. Seven cycles of seven years reach their crescendo in the Jubilee year, the ultimate enactment of re-creation.   All ...

Read More


Can we see all Earth as our Holy Temple of today?

There are two crises in the world today that call especially for Jewish responses: One because it involves the future of a state that calls itself “Jewish,” and of its supporters in America -- their spiritual, intellectual, ethical, and physical futures – at a moment when the relationship between Jews and our Abrahamic cousins of Palestine is filled with violence that threatens to kill more people, breed more hatred, and poison the bloodstream of Judaism and Jewish culture; The other because it calls on Judaism as –- probably uniquely ...

Read More


Dead Young Men: Mississippi, Israel, Palestine

I spent several days last week in Mississippi, -- Mourning the murders of three young men 50 years ago; Celebrating a Mississippi that today is very different; Facing the truth that Earth and human communities –-- especially, still, those of color and of poverty –- are being deeply wounded by the Carbon Pharaohs’ exploitation and oppression; Talking/ working toward a future of joyful community in which Mother Earth and her human children can live in peace with each other in the embrace of One Breath. ...

Read More


Moving Forward with “Move Our Money/ Protect Our Planet”

More than 100 Rabbis, Cantors, and other Jewish spiritual leaders have signed the Rabbinic Call to Move Our Money/Protect Our Planet. (Providentially, not planned by us, the initials spell “MOM/POP.”).! There are now four initiatives we want to take toward giving additional reality to this Call: 1) Sabbatical/ Shmita Year In Leviticus 25, the Torah calls for the human community to let the Earth rest from organized agriculture every seventh year -- a Sabbatical Year called Shabbat shabbaton or Shmita ("Release" or "Non-attac...

Read More