Education Subscribe

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


Blogs

“Water, Water Everywhere and Nor any Drop to Drink”: Praying for Rain at the Right Time and in the Right Amount

When I was in Israel for my Junior Year abroad in 1974, I remember that on Erev Sukkot the headline on the Jerusalem Post read: “Sukkot Starts Tonight, Weatherman Predicts No Rain.” For those of us in the Northeast this year Sukkot started with a lot of rain continuing a very wet few months that caused severe flooding in many areas. In Israel, rain at this time of year would very unusual which is why the Mishnah says the following: All the seven days [of the festival of Sukkot] a man must make the Sukkah his permanent abode and his house his temporary ...

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Why Sukkot might be better than Purim

Both holidays are about being joyous, celebration, and sharing your joy with community. Purim focused on the joy of not getting killed off as a people, while Sukkot celebrates the (hopefully) fruitful harvest, a result of hard human work and physical support (sun, rain) from G!d. Purim gets points for yummy treats, and I should know as the 4 year host of a hummentashen bake off. But Sukkot deals the upper hand for many reasons, including 7 whole days of fun. It is also one of the holidays with multiple names, two being: Zeman Simkhateinu, the Season of our Rejoicing ...

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Isaiah’s Fast: This Yom Kippur, Volunteer, Donate & Mobilize

Yom Kippur, the ‘holiest’ day of the Jewish year. Millions of Jews worldwide get dressed up in white or their best attire and sit together in synagogue, hungry, lamenting all the bad things we have done as a community of flawed individuals. When the average person is asked about Yom Kippur, fasting is first on their mind. Fasting has become a central tenet of Yom Kippur practice, but what is a fast and why do we do it? Three of the most common modern arguments for fasting include: Through the act of fasting we cleanse our bodiy and soul; we keep ...

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The Sacred Trees of Betar

Dear Friends, I love how stories contain so much more than just what they are “about”. Like seeds from an ancient world, they have the ability to surprise and grow in unpredictable ways. Check out this obscure story from the Talmud (Gittin 55a, from Ein Yaakov, 1999 English translation): “Because of a (broken wheel) from a carriage, Betar was destroyed. [How did that happen?] It was the custom in Betar that when a boy was born the parents would plant a cedar tree, and when a girl was born they planted a pine tree. When they got married the ...

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What’s this Rosh HaShanah thang?

Dear chevra, When the Talmud takes up Hanukkah, it begins, “Mah zot Hanukkah, What’s this Hanukkah, anyway?” The ancient Rabbis did not like its military overtones. But they took great delight in Rosh Hashanah. It’s more than a “new year”: “Rosh” means “head” or top,” but “shanah” is from a root that means both “change” and “repetition.” Only makes sense if you think of a spiral, where a new turning grows from an older reality. Transformation. We ...

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Water Fluoridation and Vaccinations are contrary to Torah principles

Having previously examined the issue of Genetically Engineered Organisms and Kashrut, I'd like to focus this month's blog on what I see as the other two most harmful medical misconceptions of our age -- water fluoridation and vaccinations. In both cases, the media and medical establishments have claimed that these practices will help humanity, when in fact they have caused tremendous harm. Additionally, it will be shown that water fluoridation and vaccinations violate the Torah principles of kashrut, pekuach nefesh, and ushmartem es nafshoseichem (taking ...

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A Sense of Wonder- Video Blog

Do you know this text- "Civilization will not be destroyed for lack of knowledge, but for lack of wonder" by Abraham Joshua Heschel? I confess, at first, while I wanted to love it, I doubted it. After all, aren't educators in the business of knowledge? But then, I remembered this quote by Rachel Carson: "If I had influence with the good fairy...I should ask that her gift to each child in the world be a sense of wonder so indestructible that it would last throughout life." SPOILER ALERT: This video blog records a reflection of these ...

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Hydrofracking and the Book of Job

By Rabbi Lawrence Troster Most scholars believe that chapter 28 of the Book of Job is a later poetic addition into the text. The poem is nonetheless a beautiful hymn to Wisdom (Hokhmah) and a meditation on how to acquire it. The unknown Wisdom teacher who composed this poem is warning us that we cannot find wisdom in the ingenuity of human activity, which can even encompass the searching the depths of the Earth through the mining of precious metals and jewels. “Man sets his hand against the flinty rock and overturns mountains by the roots. He ...

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What is Public Narrative?

Although I have participated in all three of the Jewcology Public Narrative trainings, I still struggle to succinctly describe the experience (don’t tell). So I did what all good folks do in this day and age, I googled it. Marshall Ganz, Professor at the Kennedy School, long time organizer, has this to say in his course outline where he teaches the tenants of it: The questions of what am I called to do, what my community is called to do, and what we are called to do now are at least as old as Moses’ conversation with God at the burning bush. ...

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Radical Judaism Book Review

Shalom, I’d like to dedicate my first Jewcology blog to Rabbi Arthur Green and his latest book, Radical Judaism. I believe this an extremely valuable and important book as we head into the next centuries of Jewish life. What do you think? What books would you recommend? I look forward to the conversation. David Arfa, Maggid (Mah-geed; Storyteller)/ Environmental Educator Radical Judaism is written for all of us who are exploring fresh relationships between mind, forest, earth, cosmos and religious life. It is not a how-to ...

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About Our Organization

The Need for What We Do: Studies show that young people, and young Jews among them, are extremely concerned about environmental issues and the future of the planet. In an October 2008 poll of the Pew Research Center, 64 percent of U.S. voters under age 30 said the environment is “very important.” Jewish education has the potential to speak to the most burning issues that excite young Jews and the most pressing issues facing humanity. Yet Jewish education has yet to capitalize on this core concern as a key engagement point for young Jews. In particular, the link ...

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Jewish Eco Seminars

* Jewish Eco Seminars engages and educates the Jewish community through inspiring programs linking Israel, the environment, and Jewish values. * In Israel, we provide experiential, guided programs in English, Spanish, and Hebrew on a range of subjects and places for groups, couples and individuals. * In North America, we deliver dynamic talks, classes, and activities on Israel-focused Jewish environmental topics to a range of Jewish institutions. * We also offer free distance learning classes on Jewish environmental teachings through an online platform.

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How counting to 50 can heal the planet

Last week we completed the Sefirat Ha-Omer, the counting of the 49 day period between Pesach and Shavuot, culminating with the celebration of Shavuot, which falls on the 50th day. In agricultural terms, this is a period of waiting in between the barley harvest and the wheat harvest in Israel. In religious terms, this period is a time for preparation and transformation that preceeds Matan Torah, the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai. Sefirat Ha-Omer is very similar to the mitzva of Sefirat Ha-yovel, whereby we are enjoined to count 49 years and consecrate the 50th ...

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Question of the Week #21

Michael Levin, intern at Hazon, asks Jewcology's question of the week: Who did you teach in the last week to protect the environment? Hazon creates healthy and sustainable communities in the Jewish world and beyond.

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Rainbow Day is coming! Celebrate, learn, create!

I'm so excited to let people know about Rainbow Day – the 27th of Iyyar, and the 42nd day of the Omer. For a few years now I've been working to make Rainbow Day a reality in the Jewish world. Rabbi Arthur Waskow first came up with the idea of using the dates of the flood story in 1981. But now I think we (the Jewish world) are ready to make it happen. I've been collecting prayers and rituals, lesson plans about seed-saving and hydrofracking, learning from Hoshea and Ezekiel, from Kabbalah and midrash, and project ideas that you can use to celebrate Rainbow Day and to ...

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Teva Seminar – 66% Discount through the Jewish Education Project!

  • May 12, 2011
  • Member since 2011

May 12, 2011 | 8 Iyyar, 5771 Hi Teva Friend, The Teva Seminar on Jewish Environmental Education is one of the best professional development opportunities for meaningful, inspirational, experiential Jewish education. Each year the Seminar provides educational directors and teachers dozens of amazing new ideas, lessons, and techniques to take home to their own school or instituion. And this year, the Jewish Education Project (JEP) ...

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Green is still a color – 2

Wednesday, April 6, 2011 Green is still a color Today I received a letter in the mail addressed to "Green Bubbie(TM)" You know, even a great idea is only an idea. Even if you write about it, you need to see if it resonates with others outside of your own head. Do other people ever know what you are imagining? As a 'visionary' thinker, I can tell you that there is nothing more exciting then to see/know that your idea is understood by others, and used by them. So, imagine my delight when during my recent visit to my grand ...

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Green is still a color

Wednesday, April 6, 2011 Green is still a color Today I received a letter in the mail addressed to "Green Bubbie(TM)" You know, even a great idea is only an idea. Even if you write about it, you need to see if it resonates with others outside of your own head. Do other people ever know what you are imagining? As a 'visionary' thinker, I can tell you that there is nothing more exciting then to see/know that your idea is understood by others, and used by them. So, imagine my delight when during my recent visit to my grand daughter's kindergarten, I was asked by the teacher ...

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Question of the Week #19

Lauren Freedman, board member of the Green Zionist Alliance: The Grassroots Campaign for a Sustainable Israel asks the Jewcology question of the week: What do you think is the most important environmental challenge today?

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Teva Rocks All Ages – Teva Seminar 2011

May 3, 2011 | 29 Nisan 5771 No matter what your age, Teva is going to kick-start your summer at this year's Teva seminar. Our Congregational Education programs from "Nurturing Connections - Spirituality in the Early Childhood Classroom" to "Lech Lecha - Bringing up a Congregation to Raise Jewish Youth" for B'nai Mitzvah teens, to "Geshem - The Eco-Orientation of Prayer" for those of us young at heart will engage and energize all ...

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