Families Subscribe

A selection of initiatives, blogs, resources and communities on Jewcology intended for use by families.


Blogs

How Wonderful Are Hashem’s Creations

Growing up I was constantly reminded of the importance of protecting the environment in which we live. As an elementary school student my friends knew about this and sometimes even mocked me and my family for this zealousness. Now I think they feel like fools for making fun of us. I am the youngest of three children. My older siblings were constantly talking about important issues at the dinner table, and as their younger sibling I wanted to impress them. Consequently, when an issue was important to them, the issue became important to me as well. Not only did I want to ...

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Environmental Tip of the Week: Replace one or more store-bought, chemical-filled body-care products with something homemade and natural!

Cross posted in Environmental Tip of the Week This is a great resource to get you started: http://www.jewcology.org/content/view/Do-It-Yourself-Body-Care-for-the-New-Year

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Environmental Tip of the Week: Apology and this week’s tip: Dumpster Adventures

http://environmentaltip.blogspot.com/2013/12/apology-and-this-weeks-tip-dumpster.html I'm not blogging much lately due to certain matters going on in my life. Sorry, I know this is supposed to be a weekly post but life happens.... Anyway, here's this week's tip. This applies if you live in a place where there's a central dumpster where people dump their garbage: When you take out the garbage, keep your eyes open for things that might not really be garbage but perhaps someone was just trying to get rid of the item without it occurring to them that maybe someone else could ...

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Earth Etude for Elul 2 – Elul Writing Project

by Molly Bajgot We’re nearing a time when the Earth will not provide as bountifully as it has in the past. In exchange for a loss of resources, I believe the Earth is pleading for us humans to return to ourselves, our deep souls, so we recognize a bounty that lives within us. Could this lead to the feeling of fertility in the human spirit, we may extend the times of plenty. Answering this call is not easy. We cannot stop deadlines so we may each have the time return to ourselves as a form of resiliency. It’s a necessary evil to take this time. We may ...

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Learning to Plant

On Sunday, I planted my first garden. We planted it in a little corner of our back yard, where we hope the sun will be strong enough and the fence will keep out the deer. It's a garden built on hope. I’m not a gardener. When I was a kid, my mother (a teacher) would keep plants on her windowsill all year long, and when they were wilting would give them to a co-worker to nurse them back to health over the summer. She would say things like “I don’t have a green thumb,” and my experience showed the same – whenever I tried to take ...

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Family Fun on the Farm

In the Jewish calendar, the springtime month of Nissan signals the beginning of the agricultural New Year. As the weather warms and the days get longer, we shake off the frostiness of winter and awaken to the growth all around us. For the next 8 months, the familiar natural rhythms will renew: our favorite crops will appear at local farmer’s markets, chickens will increase their egg production, and baby animals will be born and mature. Yet, it’s so easy to forget these realities when we spend more of our time out of touch with nature’s rhythms. ...

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Teach your kids about being “green” at every opportunity!

Cross posted from Environmental Tip of the Week, http://environmentaltip.blogspot.ca/2012/10/teach-your-kids-about-being-green-at.html Teach your kids about being "green" at every opportunity! For example, recently I made a bus out of Legos for my daughter. She loaded it up with little toy people, animals, and food. While she was pushing it around on the floor, I asked her if it was a solar-powered bus. She responded yes. I've explained to her in the past, but said again, why it's better for the environment to power things with energy from the sun. I ...

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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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Torah tour of Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Sunday, July 22, 2012

Torah tour of Brooklyn Botanic Garden Sunday, July 22, 2012 11 AM This is a great way to spend part of a Sunday during the three weeks. We will meet at the Flatbush entrance to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden (corner of Flatbush Avenue and Empire Blvd.) at 11 AM. Admission to the Garden is $10 for adults, $5 for students age 12 and older and seniors age 65 or older, and free for members and children under age 12. There is an additional $5 charge (cash only, please) for the Torah tour. Children will also receive a free craft project to take home. The ...

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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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Trees, Bikes and Nature on Yom Ha’atzmaut

NEW YORK (April 26, 2012) — Falafel fests, movie nights, dance parties — Americans celebrate Yom Ha’atzmaut in many ways. But what do Israelis do on Independence Day? They head outdoors. Last year so many people jammed into the country’s de-facto national-park system, run by KKL-JNF, that parks were closed because they reached capacity. So, how many people was that, you ask? About one in every five Israelis — more than 1.5 million people — which is also about the same number of trees that have been planted in Israel since ...

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Raisins (or, How I Discovered My Inner Foodie)

I don’t usually think of myself as much of a foodie. In order to address some health conditions, I’m on a pretty rigorous diet, which has taken a lot of previously loved foods – tomatoes, bread, ice cream, chocolate – out of the mainstay in my diet. For a long time I thought that I didn’t like food at all: I wished I could simply take a pill and move on with my day. As you can imagine, this has kept me on the fringe of some parts of the Jewish environmental movement. I’m not one for conversations about making the most ...

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Earth Day Mitzvah Mania Cultivates Community in Chicago: This Earth Day, Slow Down and Dig In

CHICAGO, IL -- The Gan Project, a Jewish social and environmental justice organization, is pleased to announce their first annual Earth Day Mitzvah Mania. The Gan Project grows organic, heirloom produce on its quarter acre Homestead located in West Rogers Park, Chicago. Of that produce, half is gleaned by the community, in accordance with the ancient agricultural practices outlined in the Torah, and half is donated to the ARK food pantry. “We see the roots of Judaism grounded in the agricultural practices of our ancestors and believe that engaging in contemporary ...

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Raising a Jewish Environmentalist?

This past weekend, I attended the Kayam Beit Midrash, an annual event at the Pearlstone Retreat Center in Baltimore. I was proud to attend for the second year with my family – my husband and my beautiful 7-year-old son. We spent the weekend learning about Shemittah, the amazing Jewish mitzvah to let the land rest every seven years. I really appreciate the Kayam Beit Midrash. Through their passions for Jewish learning, farming and agriculture, they manage to bring together a really diverse and interesting group of people. I got to see a lot of old friends, ...

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Eco-Friendly Home

Many people may not think about common purchases made at the grocery or home improvement store and their impact on the environment. However, as Jews commanded to till and tend the Earth and not to waste resources, we need to be mindful of the environmental and health effects of many products we routinely buy. Here’s a list of some commonly purchased items for the home, with an eye toward the more environmentally-conscious option when shopping in a store or online: • Paper goods—Items such as toilet paper, paper towels and tissues are a ...

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The Owls of Shevat

Dear Friends, Can you hear the owls of Shevat calling? They are beckoning us to find ways to bring our Jewish communities outside. I’d like to share a simple program that gets our community of different aged folks bundled up and joining a night hike filled with owl calls, wind song, star gazing, storytelling and fair-trade organic hot chocolate. Here’s what we do. We gather when the Shevat moon is waning, on a Saturday night post Tu B’Shevat. Peak owl listening time may be 4am, but we just ramble around after dinner, wide open and trusting ...

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Celebrating Tu B’shvat… By Living Up in a Tree?

Jewish camp directors spend week aloft in a redwood “tree-sit” In preparation for Tu B’shvat, my husband and I lived this past week 150 feet up in the air into an ancient and endangered redwood tree in northern California. We cooked, slept and made Shabbat in the over-200-year-old trees as part of an environmental protection action, called “tree-sitting”, to keep the trees from being cut down. Our grove included 50 redwoods connected by ziplines; these trees would have been cut down three years ago were it not for the continual presence of ...

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