Conservation Subscribe

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


Blogs

Unwanted Old Things

(reposted from Rabbi Nina Beth Cardin's blog: http://blog.bjen.org/, dated February 22, 2012) When my son moved to NYC last summer, he took the furniture from his DC-sized area apartment to his Manhattan-sized apartment. And - unfortunately - discovered that it didn't all fit. So, like the native New Yorker he is, he put the excess furniture out on the curb. Three hours later, it was gone. I had earlier seen a man on the street stop, set his briefcase down beside my son's flotsam (or more properly, jetsam), call someone to describe his find to, all ...

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Take an online, college-accredited course on Judaism and the environment!

Introducing an online, college-accredited course on Judaism and the environment! The course, ‘A Jewish Perspective on Environmental Sustainability,’ relates to contemporary environmental issues from the lens of Jewish teachings. The units covered include the Garden of Eden and a stewardship paradigm; Jewish sources on agriculture and globalized food production today; and the Torah’s injunction not to waste in regards to food and energy waste in modern society. The course is being offered by the New York-based Theological Research ...

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Are We There Yet?

(reposted from Rabbi Nina Beth Cardin's blog: http://blog.bjen.org/ dated February 1, 2012) "We used to teach technology as a subject. [Today,] it's no longer the 'something' that we teach; it's the platform on which we deliver information." Shaindle Braunstein-Cohen on iPads in Jewish Day Schools, by Rabbi Jason Miller (quoted from eJewish Philanthropy) This is true with so many fundamental tasks of life: walking, reading, writing ... The techniques that we once labored so hard to master ultimately become merely platforms ...

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Bittersweet Victory: Most of Samar Saved

SAMAR SAND DUNES, Israel (Feb. 5, 2012) — Nestled in the Arava Valley, in between Israel’s Eilat Mountains and the Edomite Mountains of Jordan, a tragedy and a victory sit side by side. Part of Samar — a square-mile patch of sand dunes home to scores of animals, some near extinction — has been stripped of its sand in order to make concrete. But next to the wasteland, a victory: More than two-thirds of Samar has been saved, due to the efforts of the Green Zionist Alliance and its partner organizations in Israel. On a recent day here the ...

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Those Who Plant in Joy – Tu b’Shvat and the Social Justice Protests

A.The Israeli media has recently been occupied with the six-month anniversary of the past summer’s social justice protests, in which scores of young activists (me included) declared themselves the “New Israelis.” “We are the New Israelis,” we called from the stages and street marches, “and we have a dream – to live in this land, to build our homes here, to raise our children here, and to weave our life story out of it.” This is how we “New Israelis” feel – a new generation not locked into stereo...

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Celebrating Tu B’shvat… By Living Up in a Tree?

Jewish camp directors spend week aloft in a redwood “tree-sit” In preparation for Tu B’shvat, my husband and I lived this past week 150 feet up in the air into an ancient and endangered redwood tree in northern California. We cooked, slept and made Shabbat in the over-200-year-old trees as part of an environmental protection action, called “tree-sitting”, to keep the trees from being cut down. Our grove included 50 redwoods connected by ziplines; these trees would have been cut down three years ago were it not for the continual presence of ...

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Israeli Winery Conserves Water (CJN October 2011)

This "Sustainable Jew" article appeared inthe Canadian Jewish News on October 6, 2011 I recently had the opportunity to spend a few hours with Alex Haruni, the owner of the Dalton Winery. While in Toronto, Alex was promoting the sales of the kosher wines Dalton produces in the Upper Galilee. While we were talking, Alex was monitoring the progress of his grape harvest back in Israel. What I found interesting is how the Dalton Winery produces its million bottles of wine in a sustainable manner. One of the important factors required to reduce the ...

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Seniors and Environmental Issues (CJN August 2011)

This "Sustainable Jew" article appeared in the Canadian Jewish News on August 11, 2011 The Canadian Association of Retired Persons (CARP) is a national, non-partisan, non-profit organization committed to a ‘New Vision of Aging for Canada’ promoting social change that will bring financial security, equitable access to health care and freedom from discrimination. Their mandate is to promote and protect the interests, rights and quality of life for Canadians as they age. At the June 2011 IdeaCity conference I had the opportunity to meet and ...

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Take Care Reproducing Documents (CJN May 2011)

This "Sustainable Jew" column originally appeared in the Canadian Jewish News May 12, 2011 We are now in “sphirat ha-omer,” the count-up to Shavuot—the time of the giving of our Torah. Our study and transmission of our Written and Oral Laws ("Torah Shebichtav" and "Torah Sheba'al Peh," respectively) has benefitted from technological advancement. We are known as the “People of the Book”—five books of Moses, 24 books of Tanakh, countless written commentaries—but many are beginning to find ...

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Energy Conservation in Israel (CJN March 2011)

This "Sustainable Jew" column originally appeared in the Canadian Jewish News March 17, 2011 I was recently in Israel to represent the company I am currently on contract with, and to speak at a renewable energy conference in Eilat, co sponsored by the UJA Federation of Toronto. As part of a delegation, put together by Canada's National Research Council, I wanted to understand the current Israeli state of mind with respect to energy conservation and advances in renewable energy. At the same time I was tasked to determine if there was an opportunity ...

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Synagogues Reduce Energy Costs (CJN February 2011)

This article originally appeared in the Canadian Jewish News on February 17, 2011 What role should a synagogue play in helping its members live a more sustainable existence? Should a synagogue lead by example or just respond to the requirements of their boards and their members. Are we dealing with a business decision or a spiritual imperative? Rabbi Voss-Altman of Temple B’nai Tikvah in Calgary was one of the first in the Canadian Reform movement to dedicate one of his Shabbat talks to putting a green spin on Parshat Noach. His talk focused on the ...

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What does it mean to be a “Sustainable Jew” (CJN Sept 2010)

This column was originally published in the Canadian Jewish News - September 22, 2010 Have you ever thought of Sukkot as a holiday which celebrates the Sustainable Jew In ancient Israel, Sukkot had a major agricultural focus. The celebration was a thanksgiving for the fruit harvest and the blessings of nature in the year that had passed. Today, Sukkot is a Jewish Festival where we step out of the comfort of our own homes, and enter temporary dwellings where we are exposed to the vagaries of the weather while performing the mitzvah of “Leshev Bsukah&rdqu...

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Feb 6: COEJL’s declaration signing ceremony

The Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life (COEJL) invites you to the official signing ceremony of the “Jewish Environmental and Energy Imperative” declaration, part of its Jewish Energy Covenant Campaign. Two days before the Jewish celebration of Tu B’shvat, the New Year for trees, leaders of the Jewish community will set the community-wide goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 14% by 2014. Who: On behalf of a broad spectrum of national Jewish leaders, Rabbi Steve Gutow, president and CEO, Jewish Council for Public ...

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Seeds

  • January 10, 2012
  • Member since 2011

(reposted from Rabbi Nina Beth Cardin's blog: http://blog.bjen.org/ dated January 6, 2012) In Genesis 1, on the sixth day, God creates man and woman after having created all the rest of Planet Earth. In a gracious effort to provide some guidance, some instruction to these bewildered, befuddled neophytes on how this novelty of life could possibly work, God says, "Look around. All this grandeur is there for you." 28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and ...

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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 ...

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LAST CHANCE TO SAVE SAMAR

UPDATE: Late tonight (1 a.m. Thursday Israel time Dec. 29), the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel, Green Course, Arava residents and the public will meet at the Samar sand dunes! Free buses leave from Tel Aviv's Central Train Station at 1 a.m. (early morning Thursday Israel time Dec. 29), next to Sixt Rental Car. Buses are scheduled to return to Tel Aviv tomorrow, Thursday, Dec. 29 at 3 p.m. Israel's Samar sand dunes — and the unique animal species that live there — may be destroyed, unless we act now. ...

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Bikes, Trees and Gardens: Greening Israel Since 2001

NEW YORK (Dec. 16, 2011) — Saving wilderness, fighting fracking, protecting Israel’s 99 percent from the world's 1 percent — what a decade it’s been! This month marks the end of the 10th anniversary of the Green Zionist Alliance. Back before Israel’s Tent Cities and Occupy Wall Street, the Green Zionist Alliance began 2011 by becoming part of a successful effort to change the equation of what percentage of natural-resource profits goes to companies and what percentage goes to the Israeli public, who collectively own the ...

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The Everyday Greening of Teshuvah

Dear Friends, I’d like to open a kettle of worms. To reveal the concealed. Though quite honestly, I’m feeling a little guilty about sharing it. I’d like to dig into the anguish and sometimes near crushing feelings that writing about tremendous mountains of electronic waste stir up (see my past blog here). Living in America in the new millennium, I’m aware that even the most “virtuous” of green paths cannot escape deep impacts and repercussions. After all, the problems are so large, and my everyday life is intimately ...

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Greening Hanukkah

Hanukkah is a time where we celebrate the renewal of the eternal flame and rededication of the Temple. It is a great time to rededicate ourselves to the goal of preserving God’s creation, conserving energy and helping the environment. Here are a few things you can do leading up to, and during, the holiday to rededicate yourself to making the world more eco-friendly. Leading up to the holiday: · Buy gifts with a low carbon footprint—local stores that sell vintage, locally made or locally grown products are a great place to find ...

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The Little That Holds A Lot

How do I share about the hidden dangers of electronic waste? I find it hard to stare directly at this information. I’d like to start with a meditation from Reb Nachman of Breslov- his images from a hunchback beggar that depict a little that holds a lot. First, silence- the little that holds a lot. Next, let’s remember the life giving land- filled with fruit trees that become dwarfed by the bounty of fruit- the little that holds a lot. And only now do I turn to Reb Nachman’s nightmarish image of the mountain of excrement and waste- produced by one ...

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