Conservation Subscribe

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


Blogs

Earth Etude for Elul 29: At the Hoh~A Rainforest in the Pacific Northwest

by Thea Iberall Hoh Rainforest on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State The Amazon Rainforest is the most biodiverse region on Earth and provides shelter to three million species of plants and animals. Billions of trees absorb tons of carbon dioxide every year and produce 20% of earth’s oxygen. It’s been called the Lungs of the Earth. But I read something most disturbing. The Amazon rainforest is now emitting about a billion tons of carbon dioxide a year. From its role as a carbon sink, the lungs of the Earth have become a carbon source. ...

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Earth Etude for Elul 22: Healing in Nature and Helping Nature Heal

by Joan Rachlin It has been just over 17 months since my husband suffered a stroke. It wasn’t just our lives that changed that day, though, as March 11, 2020 was also the day that Boston went into lockdown in an effort to stem the spread of Covid-19. We therefore found ourselves living in a bubble within a bubble and rehab services were consequently hard to find. All of the outpatient clinics were closed and home care was limited. In this “timing is everything world,” my husband’s rehab was slowed down because the world had turned upside down. We drove ...

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Earth Etude for Elul 21: Tikkun Olam and Climate Change

by Michael Garry Tikkun olam, which in Hebrew means “repair of the world,” has always been a guiding principle of the Jewish people, one that we teach our children and try to practice in our everyday lives.  In the modern era, tikkun olam means that Jews bear responsibility not only for their own moral, spiritual, and material welfare, but also for the welfare of society at large. It is well known that the welfare of the planet is now threatened by an environmental crisis called climate change, caused by unchecked emissions of carbon dioxide from ...

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Earth Etude for Elul 10: Too Much of a Good Thing, or When All You’ve Ever Wanted is Really Too Much

by Rabbi Judy Kummer When this summer started, we in the Northeast were facing a drought. The levels of water in area lakes seemed to be down by as much as 4 feet, and rivers that should have been tumbling with early spring melt weren’t rushing and gurgling so much as dribbling, the vegetation on their nearby banks a droopy stunted mess. I was skeptical that the seedlings I had nurtured indoors all winter would survive if planted in my garden. And then, as we moved into summer, the rains began to fall. Where we gardeners may have expected an occasional rainfall to ...

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Can the Climate Crisis Bring Israeli and Diaspora Jews Together?

by Dr. Dov Maimon and Ambassador Gideon Behar ~The challenge of climate change may constitute a unique opportunity for joint action, especially among young Jews in Israel and the Diaspora, that would not only benefit the entire world, but also help create a renewed sense of mission for the Jewish people. Jews from across the globe could be mobilized for a task that transcends narrow Jewish interests: that of building an ecologically and socially responsible world, or in traditional Jewish terms: Tikkun Olam. Unlike the issue of human rights that galvanized young ...

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3rd Jewish Climate Action Conference:

"Everything is Connected" by Rabbi Katy Z. Allen The JCAN-MA for the 3rd Jewish Climate Action Conference: Everything is Connected occurred April 25, 2021. Over 550 people attended. The 40 sessions focused on carbon reduction, advocacy, spiritual resilience, soil and agriculture, raised up the voices of youth, and addressed environmental justice. The day-long event was geared toward action solutions and strengthening the national Jewish climate action network. Opportunities are still available for connecting with other climate activists in your ...

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Parshat Tzav: How Meat Consumption Today Differs from The Time of the Mishkan (Sanctuary) in the Wilderness

And that which is left thereof [from the meal-offering] shall Aaron and his sons eat; it shall be eaten without leaven in a holy place; in the tent of meeting they shall eat it. . . . it is most holy as the sin-offering and the guilt-offering.    Leviticus 6:9.10When the Jewish people were in the wilderness before they entered the land of Israel, the consumption of meat was associated with holiness. Every piece of meat consumed came from an animal sacrificed in the Mishkan (Sanctuary), an act meant to bring ...

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Latest Review of My Newest Book, VEGAN REVOLUTION: SAVING OUR WORLD, REVITALIZING JUDAISM

Richard H. Schwartz, Vegan Revolution:  Saving Our World, RevitalizingJudaism.  Brooklyn, NY: Lantern Publishing, 2020. xxxiv +230 pages.$20.00 softcover. This review appeared in the March/April online Quaker Publication, "Peaceable Table." This is now one of the basic books on veganism and Judaism for thegeneral reader.  With the passion of a convert--Schwartz becamevegetarian Jan. 1 1978 at the age of 41 and vegan in 2000--the authorpresents a convincing case for Jewish observance of a plant-baseddiet. Along with the passion, he is always ...

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The latest review of my newest book, “Vegan Revolution: Saving Our World, Revitaliizng Judaism” /this one at the website of the UK Jewish Vegetarian Society

https://www.jvs.org.uk/2020/12/04/book-review-vegan-revolution-saving-our-world-revitalizing-judaism/?fbclid=IwAR1S4hRy6JCVBiHdFjQEMmVAHX0f777MRvIA1xRsMPl7rTy9YJQxp6tu3LM

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A Dialogue Between a Jewish Vegan Activist and a Rabbi

Dialogue Between a Jewish Vegan Activist and a Rabbi It is vital to conduct respectful dialogues within the Jewish community on whether Jews should be vegtarians, or even vegans. I have imagined a dialogue as a means of encouraging readers to conduct such debates with local rabbis, educators, and other Jewish leaders. Scene: A Jewish vegan activist meets his or her rabbi in the latter’s office. Jewish Vegan Activist (JVA): Shalom, Rabbi. Rabbi: Shalom. Good to see you. JVA: Rabbi, I have been meaning to speak to you for some time about an issue, but I ...

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Eighteen Reasons Jews Think They Should Not Be Vegetarians or Vegans (and Why They Are Wrong)

Below are 18 reasons why many of my fellow Jews think they should not be vegetarian or vegan (henceforth veg*an) and my rebuttals to the reasons: 1) The Torah teaches that humans are granted dominion over animals (Genesis 1:26), giving us a warrant to treat animals in any way we wish.Response: Jewish tradition interprets “dominion” as responsible guardianship or stewardship: we are called upon to be co-workers with God in improving the world. Dominion does not mean that people have the right to wantonly exploit animals, and it certainly does not permit us to breed ...

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Interview of me about my newest book, VEGAN REVOLUTION: SAVING THE WORLD, REVITALIZING JUDAISM

Shalom,     An interview of me about my just published book, VEGAN REVOLUTION: SAVING THE WORLD, REVITALIZING JUDAISM on “Vegan Stories Podcast’ can be heard by visiting veganstoriespodcast.com. .   The promotion message by interviewer Jeff Rosenblum is:     I am so proud and honored to share Episode 7 of Vegan Stories Podcast (published this morning) with my guest, Richard H. Schwartz, who I interviewed (remotely from Israel) last Tuesday (the day his new book was published).  I'll let the title, subtitle and, of course, Episode 7 (see link below) speak ...

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My latest book, VEGAN REVOLUTION: SAVING THE WORLD, REVITALIZING JUDAISM, just published

Shalom, I am delighted that my latest book, VEGAN REVOLUTION: SAVING THE WORLD, REVITALIZING JUDAISM, has just been published!! I have started a comprehensive, unprecedented, potentially transformative campaign, in conjunction with the book’s publication, to get vegetarianism and veganism, animal rights, health, environmental sustainability, and related issues solidly onto the Jewish agenda (and other agendas), and to help shift our imperiled planet onto a sustainable path. I would VERY much welcome your involvement in this campaign. This would be very helpful in ...

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Invitation to Zoom event discussing an initiative to renew the ancient New Year for Animals and to transform it into a day devoted to discussing Jewish teachings on compassion to animals and how animals are mistreated today

Shalom, You are cordially invited to attend a Zoom discussion of the historic, potentially transformative initiative to restore the ancient New Year for Animals and to transform it into a day devoted to increasing awareness  of Jewish teachings about compassion to animals and how far current realities are from these teachings. It will also consider how animal-based diets and agriculture seriously violate basic Jewish teachings about preserving human health, treating animals with compassion, protecting the environment, conserving natural resources, helping hungry ...

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Get Used to Wearing Masks.

by Rabbi Dr. Eric Lankin Get Used to Wearing Masks. (courtesy of the United Nations). I am afraid that we will be wearing masks for a long time to come. And it won’t be solely because of a viral pandemic. Soon it may be because of the air quality of our planet. There is a clear scientific consensus on a human-driven warming of the earth, with carbon-based pollution released in the environment as the major contributor. As shown by data from NASA and NOAA, the last few decades have seen a sharp spike in global average temperature, and the increase of carbon-...

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Especially this Mother’s Day, remember Mother Earth.

~Mother’s Day will be different this year for many of us because of the impact of the coronavirus, being in quarantine and social distancing; however, we can still be mindful of how our actions can help prevent climate change even if we are having virtual Mother’s Day dinners and celebrations. Reduce: Reduce your energy needs. Winter is finally over and it’s warmer inside and out. Open your windows and let the fresh air in. If it is really hot, set your thermostat no higher than 78°F (26°C) when you are home and higher when you are away (information from ...

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Earth Etude for Elul 14 –Inner and Outer Climate Change

by Rabbi Robin Damsky A local toad finds a home in the pot of a rooting African violet (yes, the leaf got displaced). ~It’s been a year of change. Not just a move, but a move to a new climate zone and a very new culture. I moved from outside Chicago to Durham, NC, the South. The trees here are glorious – pines everywhere, wisteria in April blooming in the wild, crepe myrtle in vivid fuchsia and pale pastels just now. It’s hot. Average days are in the 90s and one can almost swim in the humidity. A long growing season brought daffodils in February, while I just ...

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Earth Etude for Elul 15 — T’shuvah is an answer.

by Andy Oram ~ At High Holidays we speak intently and repeatedly of T’shuvah (תשובה), by which we mean repentance or returning to God. T'shuvah does mean "return", but it also means "answer." We have to answer both God's and a world that is dying before our eyes. How can we answer? How can we approach the High Holidays with the urgency demanded us of from the modern world? In these times of imminent destruction, we also seek an answer to our plea for deliverance. And when seeking answers, Jews turn back to the riches of Torah. The word t'shuvah derives ...

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Earth Etude for Elul 9 — Elul: A Time to Start Shifting Our Imperiled Planet onto a Sustainable Path

by Richard H Schwartz As the world spirals toward a climate catastrophe, the current Hebrew month of Elul again provides time for heightened introspection, a chance to do t’shuvah (repentance), to improve our lives and our involvements, before the “Days of Awe,” the days of judgment, the “High Holidays” of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.  How should we respond to Elul today? How should we respond to the current reports of dire warnings and other environmental threats to humanity, including: The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, an organis...

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The Dead Sea Revival Project

Vision- Rehabilitation of the historical water flow to the Dead Sea from the Sea of Galilee and the Jordan River. Purpose The Dead Sea Revival Project (DSRP) aims to become a leading NGO for environmental education and activism. We want to stimulate the growth of global support for “saving our water treasures” by exciting the imagination of individuals and groups. About The 'Dead Sea Revival Project has been recognized by CNN/VR, National Geographic, the Israeli mainstream news media in Hebrew and English, the Israeli Knesset’s “Committee for Saving the Dead ...

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