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


Blogs

Returning to Natural Wisdom, Expanding Our Love (appeared in EJP, 3/3/17)

In the depth of winter, when the stark lines of bare tree branches are etched against a gray sky, it feels like each tree has pulled away from its neighbor, shrinking into itself, saving its energy to survive the cold season. We are also seeing that same reflex toward isolation in our society and country. To continue reading click here.    

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Earth Etude for Elul 3: G-d’s Might, Detroit, and Coming Back to Life

by Moshe Givental ~ Every year on Tisha b’Av we begin a 7-week journey of preparation for Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur. Like most significant experiences in life, for the Jewish Holy Days to have the potential for transformation, they require preparation. So we started a few weeks ago by looking at the broken-ness of our physical, ethical, and spiritual worlds signified by Tisha b’Av, moved towards the hope of a world filled with love 6-days later at Tu b’Av, and are now in the midst of a month of working on Heshbon HaNefesh (our soul accounting), reflecting on ...

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Throw Out the Cookie Jar …. And Save the Planet

As a lifetime Weight Watcher, I have learned a few tricks. The most helpful to me was this one: Banish red light food from your home...and keep healthy food cut up and ready to eat at the front of your refrigerator in plastic see-through containers.  Now what does that have to do with saving the planet?  Well, a whole lot. Fracked gas is not healthy for people or the climate. Neither is nuclear-powered electricity. These are red-light energy products, the healthy alternatives being solar and wind energy. Even knowing this, companies profiting from red light dirty ...

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Restoring Eden: Behar and Bechukotai

The loss of Eden near the beginning of Genesis sets in motion the entire saga of the Torah. In fact, the Torah can be read as one long quest to regain Eden. But what does a restored Eden look like? One of Eden’s characteristics was that none of the animals ate each other, and, more specifically, human beings had no permission to eat any of the other animals. Instead, human beings and all the animals shared the plants for food. This motif of sharing and non-violence between species is used as a signal throughout Tanakh (scripture) to let us know when we are talking ...

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The Jewish Imperative of an Animal-Free Diet

Jeffrey Cohan, the Executive Director of Jewish Veg, is coming to Teaneck, NJ. He will be leading an hour-long, interactive presentation at Congregation Beth Sholom on the significance of Tza'ar Baalei Chayim (the Jewish mandate to prevent animal suffering) in our contemporary world. This event begins at 7 pm and is free and open to the public.

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The Jewish Veg Event of the Decade


Light the Way: Support Pope Francis’ Call for Climate Action

Pope Francis is speaking to world leaders at the UN on September 25 with a simple message for politicians: There is no more time for talk.  Now is the time to act on climate change. In his recent encyclical on climate change, Pope Francis wrote that “…faced as we are with global environmental deterioration. I wish to address every living person on this planet.”   His impassioned message to humanity was drawn from Torah.  He wrote that Genesis 2 teaches us that we are required to respect and protect the dignity of every human being.  And Psalm 148 is a ...

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Yom Kippur at the Lincoln Memorial

YOM KIPPUR Day of Atonement/ At-Onement Lincoln Memorial, Washington, DC September 22-23, 2015 Sundown to Sundown For more information, and to RSVP, please visit the Facebook event page: Yom Kippur 2015 at the Lincoln Memorial   Kol Nidre  6:30pm to 8:30pm Morning Service with Yizkor   10am to 1:30pm Minchah/Neilah  5:00pm to 7:45 pm, concluding with shofar blasts followed by a multi-faith vigil   Yom Kippur is the holiest day in the Jewish calendar, a fast day for seeking both Atonement and At-Onement.  At this moment in history, we humans ...

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Earth Etude for Elul 19 – Movement Building and the Body

by Janna Diamond I invite you to sit up tall. Relax your shoulders. Soften the muscles in your face. Inhale and exhale. Tune in to where you are. Did you know that movement in the body does not repeat itself? Even the most subtle motion. Each gesture is an expression of exactly where you are in space at a given moment. Movement is information. Sensation is knowledge. Every second is a discovery. You are here. The body is our environment. The environment is our body. Let us become fluidly adaptable beings, softening to ourselves and those around us. Generating ...

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Earth Etude for Elul 11 – The Freedom of Dance; the Prayer of Protest

by Maggid David Arfa Shalom Shachna, the son of Holy Angel, the grandson of the Maggid of Mezeritch, learned to dance from the Shpoler Zeide.  For the rest of his life he would share with all who would listen how the Shpoler Zeide was a master of dance and able to achieve Holy Unifications with each step of his foot.  Adapted from Tales of the Hasidim by Martin Buber. “For many of us the march from Selma to Montgomery was about protest and prayer….Even without words, our march was worship.  I felt my legs were praying.”  Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel Some...

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God, Earth, and Earthling: 2 eco-theologies

By Rabbi Arthur Waskow This past Shabbat, in the same mail–delivery to my door,  there arrived both a copy of Rabbi David Seidenberg’s magnum opus Kabbalah & Ecology (published by Cambridge University Press), and the in-print Fall 2015 issue of Tikkun magazine, including an article of mine  on “Prayer as if the Earth Really Matters. ”   My article encodes into liturgy an explicitly unconventional eco-Jewish theology. It joins a series of articles in that issue of Tikkun that are a kind of anthology of eco-theologies in various traditions: ...

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Alon Tal tells why it is important to vote for Green Israel Now!

Last chance to help us make Israel a greener, environmentally healthier land: Until the end of April you can vote online for the upcoming World Zionist Congress. The results determine, among other things, the division of power at the Jewish National Fund’s international board. For the past decade I have sat on the JNF board, largely because of the support and intervention of the Green Zionist Alliance – a wonderful group of young environmentalists who decided to get involved and improve Israel’s environmental performance. This support has allowed me to ...

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My activities in Israel to increase awareness about climate threats and veg diets

Below is the April 24 Jerusalem Post ‘In Jerusalem’ article about my vegetarian/vegan activities in Israel followed by my Times of Israel blog with links to YouTube videos of my talks, interviews, and other veg activities there.   Kol tuv,   Richard   ====   Apocalypse Cow Jerusalem Post article [In Jerusalem section] April 24, 2015 By Gavriel Fiske [Corrections in brackets [ ]] Reducing meat consumption could help avert a global disaster, according to Jewish vegetarian activist Richard Schwartz  Octogenarian vegetarianism activist Richard Schwartz, an Orthodox ...

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Adam Sandler’s New Shanda – Racism Against Native Americans – Is A Reminder For Jewish Justice Activists

by Wendy Kenin @greendoula News broke last week that a dozen Native Americans and a cultural consultant walked off the set of Adam Sandler’s new Netflix film under production because it was misrepresenting Apache culture and spouted derogatory lines about women and indigenous people. I stand with them! It gets personal for us Jews who are activists for social justice when successful Jewish business persons in the entertainment industry perpetuate racism in mainstream society. On the heels of a long term campaign which erupted last year to change the name of the ...

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The Dream and Its Interpretation

Excerpt from "The Dream and Its Interpretation," by A. D. Gordon, translated by Rabbi Katy Z. Allen A. D. Gordon (1856-1922) was an early Zionist and pioneer in the Land of Israel. His words, written 100 years ago in totally different circumstances, resonate today when we read them through the lenses of climate change and environmental degradation.    We dreamed, you and I, my brother and my sister, interpreter it has none, an ancient dream it is, as the days when we went forth from exile, but you forgot it or did not elucidate it for yoursel...

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Eden Village is hiring farm educator apprentices for 2015 growing season!

Eden Village Camp is Hiring!  Submit Your Application About Eden Village Camp: Eden Village Camp aims to be a living model of a thriving, sustainable Jewish community, grounded in social responsibility and inspired Jewish spiritual life. By bringing the wisdom of our tradition to the environmental, social, and personal issues important to today’s young people, we practice a Judaism that is substantive and relevant. Through our Jewish environmental and service-learning curricula, joyful Shabbat observance, pluralistic Jewish expression, and inspiring, diverse staff ...

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Hanukkah 5775 – Night 4 Re-Dedication Meditation

by Rabbi Katy Z. Allen On this fourth night, half way through Hanukkah, we light four candles, continue the “Litany of Harm” and the “Call to Action,” and consider a fourth way to move our lives forward in a way that adds goodness to the world. Hanukkah Night 4: The Litany of Harm: For all those in island nations, where rising sea levels and superstorms threaten their very existence. We stand in witness! For all coastal cities and villages, where storm swells and flooding put lives and homes at risk. We stand in witness! For all those who suffer ...

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Hanukkah 5775 – Night 2 Re-Dedication Meditation

by Rabbi Katy Z. Allen On this second night of Hanukkah, we continue to increase in holiness by lighting two candles and by adding to the “Litany of Harm” and the “Call to Action,” and by adding a new action to our personal list of ways in which to re-dedicate ourselves. (See Night 1 for a full introduction.) Hanukkah Night 2: We continue the Litany of Harm: For all those in island nations, where rising sea levels and superstorms threaten their very existence. We stand in witness! For all coastal cities and villages, where storm swells and flooding ...

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Hanukkah 5775 – Night 1 Re-Dedication Meditation

by Rabbi Katy Z. Allen Why don’t we light eight candles on the first night of Hanukkah, and work our way down to one? Why do we start with one candle and work our way up to eight? So familiar are we with our traditional way of lighting the candles and increasing the light, that imagining doing it the opposite way is almost impossible. Reduce the amount of light each night? No way! Yet, in ancient times this custom seems to have been practiced. In the Talmud, the School of Shammai said, “On the first day eight lights are lit and thereafter they are gradually ...

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Start-Up Moshav: Growing our Demonstration Garden in Berkeley, California