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


Blogs

The Surprising Views of the Rav (Rabbi Yosef Soloveitchik) on Vegetarianism

This article was written with the editorial asistance of Rabbi Dovid Sears Rabbi Joseph Ber (Yosef Dov) Soloveitchik, simply known as "the Rav" by his wide circle of colleagues, students, and admirers, was generally regarded as one of the leading religious philosophers, Talmud scholars, and rabbinic leaders of the 20th century. He stressed that Torah values were in many ways compatible with world culture and secular studies, and promoted Jewish interaction with the broader community -- while asserting the need to preserve the purity of halakhah (religious law) and the ...

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Alon Tal tells why it is important to vote for Green Israel Now!

Last chance to help us make Israel a greener, environmentally healthier land: Until the end of April you can vote online for the upcoming World Zionist Congress. The results determine, among other things, the division of power at the Jewish National Fund’s international board. For the past decade I have sat on the JNF board, largely because of the support and intervention of the Green Zionist Alliance – a wonderful group of young environmentalists who decided to get involved and improve Israel’s environmental performance. This support has allowed me to ...

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My activities in Israel to increase awareness about climate threats and veg diets

Below is the April 24 Jerusalem Post ‘In Jerusalem’ article about my vegetarian/vegan activities in Israel followed by my Times of Israel blog with links to YouTube videos of my talks, interviews, and other veg activities there.   Kol tuv,   Richard   ====   Apocalypse Cow Jerusalem Post article [In Jerusalem section] April 24, 2015 By Gavriel Fiske [Corrections in brackets [ ]] Reducing meat consumption could help avert a global disaster, according to Jewish vegetarian activist Richard Schwartz  Octogenarian vegetarianism activist Richard Schwartz, an Orthodox ...

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Vote for Green Israel in the WZC Election before April 30th!

You can support the Israel you want to see. All American Jews can vote in the World Zionist Congress election going on right now. One of the most common questions, we get is why it costs $10 to vote. As Mirele Goldsmith, a Green Israel slate member answers: "The American Zionist Movement has contracted with an independent company to run the online election.  This is to insure that the election is fair.  The registration fee is being used exclusively to pay for the election.  It is not a donation to the WZO.  I wish there was no fee, but it is a small price to pay ...

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Eden Village is hiring farm educator apprentices for 2015 growing season!

Eden Village Camp is Hiring!  Submit Your Application About Eden Village Camp: Eden Village Camp aims to be a living model of a thriving, sustainable Jewish community, grounded in social responsibility and inspired Jewish spiritual life. By bringing the wisdom of our tradition to the environmental, social, and personal issues important to today’s young people, we practice a Judaism that is substantive and relevant. Through our Jewish environmental and service-learning curricula, joyful Shabbat observance, pluralistic Jewish expression, and inspiring, diverse staff ...

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Review of “The Vision of Eden: Animal Welfare and Vegetarianism in Jewish Law and Mysticism, ” by Rabbi David Sears

David Sears. The Vision of Eden: Animal Welfare and Vegetarianism in Jewish Law and Mysticism, Create Space Independent Publishing Platform; 2nd edition (December 29, 2014), 400 pages Reviewed by Richard H. Schwartz, Ph.D. Currently most Jews eat meat and other animal products and relatively few Jews seem concerned about the cruel mistreatment of animals on factory farms and in other areas. However, David Sears landmark book, now in its just released second edition, with its many examples of Jewish teachings about compassion for animals, has the potential to change ...

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Hazon Food Conference

Join the thinkers and doers of the Jewish Food Movement to explore and experience a new angle on food. 4 days of kosher farm-to-table food in a pluralistic Jewish community and a rockin’ New Year’s Eve “Butterfly Masquerade” party Rabbis and leaders in Jewish thought bringing to life history, ethics, Jewish text, meaningful prayer, and more Expert cooking demonstrations and hands-on learning with renowned chefs Homesteading workshops with farmers and city folk for backyard chickens and beekeeping Conversations and take-home resources about food justice ...

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Start-Up Moshav: Growing our Demonstration Garden in Berkeley, California


Confessions of a Shemitah Skeptic

Two weeks ago, on Rosh Hashanah, we marked not only the beginning of another year in the Jewish calendar, but the beginning of Shemitah, the Jewish sabbatical year.  Every seven years, Jewish farmers in Israel are commanded to let their lands lie fallow, not to plant, plow, prune trees or in any way improve the land, to harvest only what they can eat themselves (from perennial plants that do not need to be sown each year), and to leave the rest for whoever wants to pick them. In addition, at the end of the Shemitah year, we are commanded to release debts. Shemitah ...

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Sukkot of Shmita Resources and Events

SUKKOT AND SHMITA RESOURCES AND EVENTS for 2014-15 contributed by all the organizations and initiatives on “the Map” http://jewcology.org/map-of-initiatives/ Here’s a quick bit of Sukkot Torah to start us off: “The four species of the lulav represent the four types of ecosystems in the land of Israel: desert (date palm), hills (myrtle), river corridors (willow), and sh’feilah, the lowlands (etrog). Each species has to be fresh, with the very tips intact – they can’t be dried out, because they hold the water of last year’s rain. Together, they make a ...

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A Green Opportunity to Share Love with Israel – Steven’s Garden


Red Heifers, Mint Potatoes and the New Wheat: The Future of Food in Israel

By Sarah Friedman. BEIT DAGAN, Israel (Dec. 7, 2012) — By 2050, agricultural yields will have to increase by 50 to 70 percent in the developed world and 100 percent in the developing world to meet the food needs of the 9.3 billion people on the planet, according to Prof. Ada Rafaeli, associate director of Israel's Agricultural Research Organization, the research arm of the Israeli Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. The organization is marking its 90th anniversary this week with a conference on the coming world food crisis. Click here to ...

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Yovel: Divine Sparks in New York

By Yael Schonzeit "One generation goes, another comes," reads Kohelet (Ecclesiastes), "but the Earth remains the same forever." The sun will rise, the wind will blow and the rivers will continue to flow into the sea, uncontrollable no matter what we do. As the most recent natural phenomenon of Sandy has shown us, nature is so much larger than us. The Earth is unpredictable and holds endless power and strength. We as humans tend to forget that we are partners with God in creation. Part of our role is to maintain the planet's homeostasis, to ...

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Is it Jewish to be Green?

To many this may seem to be a stupid, or rather a redundant question: Should Jews support democracy, freedom of speech and freedom of worship? I am sure that no one will dispute the fact that climate change, alongside the dwindling of the world's resources, constitutes one of the burning issues of our time. So let me rephrase the question: Should we be committed environmentalists because we are Jews, and does our faith and its practices prescribe our undertaking to address these issues, as part of our obligation to repair the world? Click here to continue ...

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Get Your Hands Dirty at the Nevatim-Sprouts Conference!

Nature-Based Workshops for Educators in Jewish Preschools, Day Schools and Synagogues Reisterstown, MD – May 5, 2014 -- Pearlstone Center is holding its 4th annual Nevatim-Sprouts Conference, Sunday, July 13th through Wednesday July 16th. This professional development conference brings together early childhood, day school, and religious school educators from around the country for training in Jewish garden and environmental education. Participants learn the basics of educational garden design, share lesson plans and Jewish, environmental curricula, tour the ...

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The Urban Adamah Fellowship Now Accepting 2014 Applications

Connect to Something Bigger: Earth, Community, Social Justice, Jewish Spirituality The Urban Adamah Fellowship, based in Berkeley, CA, is a three-month residential training program for young adults (ages 21–31) that combines urban organic farming, social justice training and progressive Jewish learning and living within the setting of an intentional community. Through the operation of Urban Adamah’s one-acre organic farm and internships with social justice organizations, fellows gain significant skills, training and experience in all aspects of ...

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Making Dance Green

By Stacey Menchel Kussell, director of Renewal: A Film About Art and Ecology Contemporary ballet and environmentalism are not topics that often go hand-in-hand. That is until you meet Israel’s Vertigo Dance Company. The dance group’s unique approach to ecological activism is the inspiration for my new film Renewal. Dance is one of Israel’s most impressive art forms, and it engages people worldwide regardless of language. Renewal is an opportunity for new audiences to learn about a unique and powerful aspect of Israeli culture, and gain new ...

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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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Earth Etude for 1 Elul – Restoring The New Year for Animals

by Richard H. Schwartz Today is Rosh Chodesh Elul, the beginning of the month before Rosh Hashanah, when the shofar is blown at weekday morning services (except on Shabbat), and Jews are to examine their deeds and consider how to align their lives more with Jewish values. When the Temple stood in Jerusalem, Rosh Chodesh Elul was a New Year for Animals, a day devoted to tithing for animal sacrifices. After the second temple was destroyed in 70 CE, there was no longer a need for this holiday and today very few Jews ...

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