Earth-Based Jewish Practices Subscribe

A selection of initiatives, blogs, resources and communities on Jewcology which focus on earth-based Jewish practices.


Maccabees Redux: Oil-Fracking Fight in Israel

NEW YORK (Dec. 22, 2011) — We need another Chanukah miracle. On Chanukah we recall the victory of the few over the many and the weak over the powerful. We celebrate the miracle of the oil and of the reassertion of control over our historic homeland, the present-day land of Israel. But, as history repeats itself, this Chanukah, the role of the Greek Assyrians and local Hellenized is being played by telecommunications-giant IDT Corporation, a multinational New York Stock Exchange-listed company that aims to frack for oil across Judea through its ...

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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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Reflections on the Jewcology Leadership Training

One of the major things that struck me during my time at the Jewcology Leadership Training in Public Narrative, that felt powerful and resonant, was the fact that several trainers and participants cried (heck, maybe we all did!) at different points in either listening to others’ stories or telling their own story, and that it felt completely natural and unsurprising. I felt like everyone who attended the training was feeling the catharsis of telling about our frustration and our emotional discomfort with mainstream acceptance of environmental degradation. Many of ...

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Where the Fruit Comes From

It's humid and in the 90s, the sun is high in the summer sky, and it's time for blueberry picking! We picked ours a couple of weeks ago, on an organic farm not too far from our house. I love picking fruits and berries in the summer, but I find blueberries most enjoyable. Maybe it's the way that the abundance of berries just falls into your hands; maybe it's that the bushes are at arms level. Or maybe it's just that it's the first fruit we pick in the season. In the hustle of beginning summer, we have to remind ourselves to pick ...

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The world is sprouting at Camp Sprout Lake

It has been three days of hard work, blisters, and buckets of sweat, but it is almost time to sprout, literally. Next week, the campers of Young Judea Sprout Lake in upstate New York will arrive. For this eight-week summer, I have one goal in mind, to make clear the intimate connection our tradition has with the earth. As staff has slowly trickled in from across Israel, Canada and the United States, I am impressed by the continual excitement when they meet “the Garden Guy”. The desire to dig, plant and labor is ever present. I believe this spirit is ...

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Landscape Architecture in the Image of God

I have questions. Before getting too deep in to the specifics, let me frame my concerns. According to Kabbalah and the axioms of Heschelian thought, the human experience is fundamentally limited. We can never know everything. Most of the time, we are too fragmented to grasp the fullness of God and too self-aggrandizing to pay attention to the intricacies of the universe. Nonetheless, we are all expected to intervene and to act, to live as an image of God (B’Tselem Elokim) without actually being a God. As a landscape architecture graduate student, I am forced ...

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