Earth-Based Jewish Practices Subscribe

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


Blogs

A Fictional Dialogue on Shavuot Night About Vegetarianism

Richard Schwartz For many years Danny Shapiro looked forward to staying up all night at his synagogue with his friends on the first night of Shavuot, hearing talks about and discussing Torah teachings. This year he especially anticipated this annual commemoration of the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai, because Rabbi Greenberg would be meeting with Danny and other college students for an hour at 3 AM to answer any questions on Judaism that they brought up. Danny had recently become a vegetarian and had done a lot of background reading on Jewish ...

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Earth Day Quotes and Lehitraot for Now

I have very much enjoyed blogging for Jewcology over the past two years, however, due to the upcoming bar exam in July, I will be taking a hiatus from my monthly post. It has been an honor and truly thrilling for me to take part and witness Jewcology develop and blossom from a seedling of an idea among a group of innovative Jews coming together for a week in Israel, into a thriving community. In honor of Earth Day, I want to post a series of quotes from individuals who have inspired the environmental movement in the United States and beyond. We abuse ...

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Darkness Upon the Face of the Deep

Darkness upon the Face of the Deep –חשך על פני תהום Rabbi Ed Rosenthal “In the Beginning God created the heavens and the earth. And the earth was null and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God hovered on the surface of the water.” (Gen.1:1-2). While we are taught that God is omnipresent and there is no place where the Divine presence does not dwell; there are few places that evoke a spiritual experience or a connection with the Divine more surely than the surface of water. ...

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New Year of Jewish Learning on the Environment Materials Released!

The thirteenth topic in the Year of Jewish Learning on the Environment, We are How We Eat: A Jewish Approach to Food and Sustainability released! Rebbe Nachman of Breslov identifies the desire for food and drink as the central desire of the human being, and the one from which other desires emanate. In Rabbi Tzadok Hacohen’s “A Treatise on Eating,” he cites the mystical book of theZohar, which calls the moment of eating “the time of combat.” This is because in eating a Jew must engage in the spiritual fight to ensure the act ...

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Shabbat Noach is Coming!

In celebration of Parshat Noach this coming Shabbat, Jewcology is proud to share a wealth of resources on the topic of Noach. Please enjoy and share these resources from many of our partners and participants so we can all benefit from the lessons of Parshat Noach. Explore all of our Parshat Noach resources Here's a sampling: Countering Destruction - Lessons from Noah Although the flood and the life of Noah occurred thousands of years ago, the story of Noah offers important lessons about how our actions affect the world. The Torah teaches that ten generat...

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New Year of Jewish Learning on the Environment Materials Released!

The Twelfth topic in the Year of Jewish Learning on the Environment, Genesis and Human Stewardship of the Earth, has just been released! In the first chapter of Genesis, twice in three verses, G-d speaks of humans ruling over other living beings. In the second instance, after creating Adam and Eve, G-d blesses them, saying "Be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the sky, and over every living thing that moves upon the earth." What does it mean for humans to subdue the ...

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Webinar on Becoming a Jewish Energy Champion in Your Community

ANNOUNCING COEJL’S JEWISH ENERGY NETWORK! Webinar on Becoming a Jewish Energy Champion in Your Community Tuesday, October 16 at 2:30 pm est Reserve your Webinar seat now at: https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/487930350 Learn about COEJL’s new Jewish Energy Network and how you can take action on renewable energy and energy efficiency in your Jewish community. Hear about successful Jewish environmental initiatives. Panelists will share their insights on how to achieve energy goals while also meeting the needs of your ...

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Earth Etude for 29 Elul

May We Open Photos by Gabi Mezger Text by Rabbi Katy Allen May we all unfold and open our hearts. May we bloom and blossom in colors vivid and energetic. May we find butterflies in our midst, seeking our sweetness. Thank you for traveling through Elul with us. Thank you to all those who wrote and all those who read. Shanah tovah u'm'tukah l'chulam. May you all have ...

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Green Your High Holidays

Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are right around the corner. There are a number of things you can do as a way to resolve to be more environmentally aware this new year. Use local and organic ingredients in your meals: The healthiest foods for the holiday are foods that are grown locally without any pesticides. Food purchased from local farmers or that you grow yourself will be fresher and have a higher nutritional content than food flown in from hundreds of miles or more away. If you are planning to serve the traditional snack of apples and honey, consider that ...

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A Very Green Rosh Hashanah

On Rosh Hashanah, we celebrate the New Year and give thanks for the creation of our world. We dedicate time to family and friends and we reflect on our past year and celebrate the start of the new year. It's the perfect time to make new goals for the year ahead and try to do better for yourself, your family, and our world. Shopping for the holidays Be eco-"logical" about planning your family gatherings right from the get-go. Shopping locally for an organic Rosh Hashanah meal, apples and honey will not only help support your neighbours and ...

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Redeeming humanity: The Jewish approach to women

Women are at the center of Jewish life, and need to be central in the Jewish environmental and social change movement. Jewish women — as a collective entity — must draw lessons from the global conversation on economic development, which acknowledges that empowering women is the central key to societal harmony. Then steps need to be taken to strengthen our own circle and extend support to all women. Jewish birth workers today serve women in medical and non-medical settings locally and globally, and women’s wellness inside and outside of the Jewish ...

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Earth Etude for 3 Elul

The Earth Is Crying Out in Pain Rabbi Katy Z. Allen “The Earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof.” (Ps. 24:1) The Earth is crying out in pain. Yet, its beauty and mystery shine forth, ever ready to calm us, inspire us, strengthen us, and remind us of our smallness in Creation. We walk in the woods and find wonder in the spring wildflowers. Eagerly we bite into the delicious bounty of the late summer harvest. In awe we gain inspiration from the night sky, a sudden and unexpected rainbow, a brilliant sunset. ...

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Think Jewishly, Act Globally: Teva Ivri at RIO+ 20

Dear Friends, A few weeks ago , I traveled with the Israeli delegation to The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The conference, titled “The Future We Want,” was an opportunity to evaluate the global progress on environmental issues since the last summit in 1992 and to commit to future changes. An amazing cross-section of humanity – heads of state, tribal kings, medicine women, and ordinary activists like me – gathered from all corners of the earth to discuss how to reduce p¬overty, ...

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New COEJL Webinar on Funding and Creating an Energy Efficiency Project

Join COEJL for the third in our series of webinars for Sustainability Liaisons. These briefings will enable your organization to take concrete actions toward reducing greenhouse gas emissions 14% by 2014. Get the practical information that you need to fulfill the commitment your organization made in signing the Jewish Energy Covenant Campaign Declaration. Our panelists have implemented energy efficiency projects of all sizes, from insulating pipes for a quick payback to building a brand new facility. What happens once you identify actions you can take to reduce energy ...

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How Energy uses Water

Tonight there is a great Midwestern thunderstorm in the sky. Lightning bolts are flashing, and the rain is pouring down. This has put me in a mood of wonderment at the awesome power of the Heavens, and has 'sparked' my curiosity regarding the relationship between electricity (lightning) and water (rain). While there can be rain without lightning and lightning without rain, the combination of the two is a fairly common occurrence lately, and provides a 'striking' illustration of the connections between these two powerful forces that are so ...

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Jewish Outdoor Adventures: Burning Bush Adventures

Burning Bush Adventures has been a leader in combining wilderness and Jewish experiences for 20 years. To learn more about BBA visit our web site at: www.burningbushadventures.com June 8 - 10: Delaware River Water Gap canoe shabbaton: We will paddle a stretch of the Delaware River entirely within the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area (DWGRA). There is an abundance of wildlife (no promises we’ll see any) and the river is lively, offering several exciting stretches. The trip includes baking challah in a dutch oven, kabbalat shabbat services ...

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“Esh, Esh Medura” (Fire, Fire, Bonfire)

by Einat Kramer, Director – Teva Ivri One of the most “Israeli” phenomena that I know is the bonfires of Lag B’Omer. Immediately after Pesach, even before the clean spring scent fades in the heat of the summer, the streets of our country are filled with children looking for firewood. They are everywhere; in forests, building sites, and among the garbage cans, they collect wood (or anything resembling wood), hauling it off in “borrowed” supermarket carts to their secret hiding place and guarding it fiercely until ...

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Eco-friendly Summer

Summer will be here before you know it. One way to be a better guardian of the Earth and to follow the Jewish imperative of bal tashchit (do not waste) is to take some simple steps to keep your home naturally cool in the summer months. Here are a few ways to make that happen: -- Close your curtains: During the heat of the day, close your curtains or blinds. This blocks the sun’s rays so that less air conditioning will be needed to cool your home. -- Keep the oven off: As much as possible on hot days, use the microwave, toaster oven and/or the outdoor ...

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Support Sustainability and Community in Chicago

Support Sustainability and Community: Purchase Your Organic and Heirloom Plant Starts at The Gan Project’s 2nd Annual Spring Plant Sale CHICAGO, Ill. -- Looking for locally grown, organic, heirloom plant starts for your garden or patio planter? The Gan Project will be having their 2nd Annual Spring Plant Sale with proceeds going to support the creation of a local, just, and sustainable food system in the Chicagoland region. Many varieties of vegetables and herbs will be available for purchase. The Gan Project grows ...

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MEDIA ADVISORY: Earth Day heralds funding of $65,000 for new Jewish environmental network

New York, New York (April 9, 2012) –The Nathan Cummings Foundation and the Morningstar Foundation have awarded the Green Hevra, a new network of U.S.-based Jewish environmental organizations, $65,000 in seed funding. With these funds the group will lay the groundwork for strategic collaboration across the Jewish environmental movement in 2012. “We believe that the global sustainability challenge is analogous to the civil-rights campaigns of an earlier time,” said Sybil Sanchez, director of the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life, the organization charged ...

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