Environmental Justice Subscribe

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


Blogs

Earth Etude for 3 Elul – Paying Attention to Roots

by Maxine Lyons Being a passionate gardener, I have been tending several gardens in my yard as well as many flower pots on our large deck so my hands are in dirt quite often these days. I have been transplanting yellow primroses, succulents, day lilies and sunflowers, focusing on the integrity of the roots, noticing how each root system is different. For example, some plants require a full root for transplanting while others need a partial root to survive. Succulents do not need roots at all; pieces can be immersed in dirt and re-establish their roots in ...

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An Overlooked Mitzvah: Tsa’ar Ba’alei Chaim/A New Year for Animals Message

While tsa'ar ba'alei chaim (the mandate not to cause "sorrow to living creatures") is a Torah prohibition, many religious Jews seem to be unaware of it or to not consider it of any great importance. Some examples reinforce this assertion: • Upon reading an article about my efforts to get Jewish teachings on animals onto the Jewish agenda, a member of my modern Orthodox congregation was incredulous. "What? Jews should be concerned about animals?" she exclaimed. • Some years ago, I was at a Sukkot gathering at which there ...

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Opportunity from the Nathan Cummings Foundation

On October 7-10, 2013 The Nathan Cummings Foundation will host leaders in their twenties and thirties to explore strategies to create a U.S. society by the year 2030 where our religious diversity leads us to act collaboratively for a more just, fair and compassionate country. As a Jewcology community, we feel that the more Jewish environmental leaders who apply to this event, the more likelihood that the conversation will include challenges of sustainability. We encourage you to apply for this event. The deadline to apply is this coming Monday, July ...

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RELATING TISHA B’AV TO TODAY’S ENVIRONMENTAL CRISES

Tisha B'Av (the 9th day of the month of Av) which we commemorate this year on July 15-16, reminds us that over 2,000 years ago Jews failed to heed the warnings of the prophet Jeremiah, with the result that the first Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed, the first of many negative things that occurred on that day, including the destruction of the second Temple as well. Today there are many "Jeremiahs" warning us that now it is the entire world that is threatened by climate change and its effects, species extinction, soil erosion, destruction of tropical rain forests and ...

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Beyond the Letter of the Law: Jewish Ethical Investing in the Light of Climate Change

Responding to a Dangerous Impasse on Climate Change Climate change resulting from the use of fossil fuels poses a well-documented, grave threat to humanity and the ecosystems that support life. But in the United States, a real national response to climate change has been stymied by political inaction, cultural inertia, and the concerted effort of fossil fuel companies, which have funded propaganda and disinformation in opposition to limits on greenhouse gas emissions. Increasingly, environmental organizations have resorted to various actions meant to break ...

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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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Shavuot and Vegetarianism

Shavuot and Vegetarianism By Richard H. Schwartz There are many connections between vegetarianism and the important Jewish festival of Shavuot: 1. Shavuot is described as "z'man matan Toratenu" (the season of the giving of our law (the Torah)). It is this Torah that has in its very first chapter God's original, strictly vegetarian, dietary regimen: "And God said: 'Behold, I have given you every herb yielding seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree, in which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed - to you it shall be for food'" (Genesis 1:29). ...

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Going Fossil Free and Investing Green

On the of the biggest campaigns of 350.org is its Fossil Free campaign (http://gofossilfree.org/) which seeks to have many institutions including religious one divest their holdings from 200 publically held companies that hold 200 publicly-traded companies hold the largest amount of the world’s carbon-based energy reserves. The campaign, which has become quite successful in organizing on college campuses, is demanding that those companies stop any further exploration for new carbon-based energy reserves, cease from political lobbying on the state and national ...

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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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Earth Etude for 14 Elul

Elul Greening by Judith Feinstein Have we done the reparation so to take the consolation and digest it all and well? Have we psalms we want to hear releasing some for other's ears while disregarding somber prohets' words? Can we see Akiva's vision, crumbling Temple fox is running as a sign Moschaiach's coming or do we yet deny our state? Do we choose to not attend to what this month we must amends do so that we are then released from martyr's fate at our own hands. We do not ...

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Support the Shaar Hagai Kennels & the Canaan Dogs

This week I was alerted to an issue that resonated deeply with me. I was asked to sign a petition in support of the Shaar Hagai Kennels, who are facing eviction by the Israel Government Lands Authority. Tied up in this legal battle is the fate of the Canaan dog, a breed of dog most closely related to the dogs depicted in the bible. After reading of how the kennel owner moved to the desolate location 42 years ago as a Zionist seeking to settle the land and breed these dogs, my interest was piqued. Why was the Land Authority threating to evict them, and to what ...

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Equity or the Flood: Two Visions of Justice

It is now seven weeks to Passover and the Passover foods are already for sale in my local supermarket. My family is already planning when to do our shopping and whom to invite to the seder. Like many Jewish families, we put a lot of time and preparations into this holiday because we want to make it special and different from the rest of the year as was done when we were children. But our preparations are not only about shopping, cooking, invites and the changeover of dishes. Every year, we spend at least a little time considering what we ...

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Maryland Legislative Environmental Summit

  • January 31, 2012
  • Member since 2011

(reposted from Rabbi Nina Beth Cardin's Blog: http://blog.bjen.org/, dated January 25, 2012) Below is Rabbi Nina Beth Cardin's presentation at the annual Maryland Legislative Environmental Summit, held January 24, 2012, in Annapolis, MD. We live in the midst of a 4-billion year old mystery, an on-going miracle that we call Earth. For all we know, no such miracle exists anywhere else. Whatever we may be skilled enough to find out there, there is likely not to be another Planet Earth, or another you, or another me, or another Bay or the ...

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Why Tu B’shvat Matters in 2012

The economy is in crisis across much of the USA and Europe, governments are killing their citizens in Syria and Bahrain, and organized crime is dominating Mexico and Central America… This Tu B’shvat how can we worry about environmental issues, when there are so many pressing social issues face our society? Indeed, environmental concerns seem to be fairly low on the international priorities list these days. Look at the recent failure of the Durban conference, in which governments, (most notably my own Conservative Canadian government), were unwilling ...

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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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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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Samar Gets Temporary Reprieve — Let’s Make it Permanent!

Israel's Samar sand dunes — and the unique animal species that live there — may be destroyed, unless we act now. (Photo courtesy of Taal Goldman of the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies) NEW YORK (Nov. 14, 2011) — We are being heard: The Samar sand dunes have been granted a temporary reprieve from destruction! Although the bulldozers were scheduled to start mining the dunes weeks ago, work has been indefinitely postponed in the wake of our efforts and the protests conducted by our partner environmental organizations ...

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My arrest at theTar Sands Protest

This was one adventurous day. There was the earthquake. Where were you when it occurred? I was just outside the Park Police holding cell after being released from police custody. I joined in today, very unexpectedly, with about 60 others to be arrested for “failure to obey a lawful order”. We stood in three long lines in front of the White House singing and chanting our protest of the Tar Sands oil pipeline that would extend from northern Canada, down through the heartland of the West, and directly through Yellowstone National Park, to Texas. ...

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thoughts about sustainability – from Noach to Abraham

Einat Kramer “And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth.” Genesis 9:16 Parshat Noach details a terrible ecological disaster, the Flood that immerses the world in water and brings an end to all life – all because of man’s despicable behavior. In this parsha we meet Noach, the first “environmental activist” who acted upon a divine commandment to keep every species of animal ...

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“Is this the pipeline that is desired of us?” Talk to Rally Against Keystone XL Pipeline

Joelle Novey, Director Greater Washington Interfaith Power & Light Delivered to Sept 2 2011 Rally Against the Keystone XL Pipeline Behind the White House I speak this afternoon on behalf of hundreds of congregations in the DC area that are working to respond to climate change in their sacred communities. These congregations work together through an organization called Interfaith Power & Light. And I speak as one of dozens of religious people – priests and ministers and rabbis, Christians and Jews and Muslims and Unitarian Univer...

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