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


Blogs

Jewish Teachings on Human Rights and Responsibilities

This posting is from chapter 2 of the 2nd edition of my book, “Judaism and Global Survival" (Lantern Books, 2002) "One person (Adam) was created as the common ancestor of all people, for the sake of the peace of the human race, so that one should not be able to say to a neighbor, 'My ancestor was better than yours.' "One person was created to teach us the sanctity and importance of every life, for one who destroys a single life is considered by scripture to have destroyed an entire world, and one who saves a single life is considered by scripture to have saved an ...

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Looking to the Sky, Remembering Our Ideals

Recently, I read an article in the New York Times Magazine that talked about the way that people do or say things, say, supporting a good cause or political opinion, not because they really believe in it, but because they want to signal to their social network that they are virtuous. Apparently, there is a popular new label for this behavior: “virtue signaling.” The author reports that this term is most often used by people on the right against people on the left (“Virtue Signaling Isn’t the Problem. Not Believing One Another Is,” August 8, by Jane Coaston)...

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Old Habits, New Opportunities

We are creatures of habit. Mostly, that’s a good thing. I almost never forget to brush my teeth, close the windows and lock the doors before I go to bed at night. In the morning I can almost sleep walk while I make my favorite breakfast (fried rice, sardines and kale… I know, it’s not a classic breakfast like cereal and milk, or eggs and toast, but I like it and the kids like it, too. My wife, not such a big fan of sardines…) But, as much as those habits help us stay on an even keel, too much habit can keep us from changes that we want to make. As we enter ...

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A New Kind of Community

My family and I just got back from ten days at our annual “dance camp.” This gathering, which has been happening for more than 30 years, is about dancing, but more so, it’s ten days of living like a village in a tight knit, inclusive and caring community. My oldest son had a great summer this year: Jewish wilderness camp, basketball camp, beaches and more. He loved all of them, but he said that dance camp was the best: it was because he got to hang out with a tight group of teens who spent a ton of time together dancing (he’s becoming a great salsa dancer!), ...

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Tree of Knowledge, Tree of Life

My work at Organic Torah starts with asking a question about chochma/Jewish wisdom: Must the Tree of Knowledge be separated from the Tree of Life? The Tree of Knowledge is what we have become used to in much of our Western education—it begins with breaking things apart into smallest components. Our education system is divided into discreet subjects: math, science, English—too often devoid of context and the vibrancy which comes from what Gregory Bateson called “the pattern which connects.” And if we go to college or grad school we might study a “discipline” ...

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Judaism’s Mission Today

What a wonderful path Judaism is! Judaism worships a God who is the Father of all humanity, Whose attributes of kindness, mercy, compassion, and justice are to serve as examples for all our actions. Judaism teaches that every person is created in God's image and therefore is of supreme value. Judaism asserts that people are to be co-workers with God in preserving and improving the earth. We are to be stewards of the world's resources and to see that God's bounties are used for the benefit of all. Nothing that has value can be wasted or destroyed unnecessarily. ...

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Belgium’s Shechita Ban Ignores Key Considerations

On May 5, 2017 Belgium’s Walloon region, its largest territory, outlawed the slaughter of un-stunned animals, meaning, in effect, that they banned kosher meat there, since Jewish ritual law requires that animals not be stunned prior to slaughter. Their decision overlooks some important considerations. First, it ignores the many problems related to stunning, These are thoroughly discussed in the book, Slaughterhouse: The Shocking Story of Greed, Neglect, and Inhumane Treatment Inside the U.S. Meat Industry, by Gail Eisnitz. Through many interviews with slaughterhouse ...

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Should the Holocaust Be a Spur to Activism?

"For me the Holocaust was not only a Jewish tragedy, but also a human tragedy. After the war, when I saw that the Jews were talking only about the tragedy of six million Jews, I sent letters to Jewish organizations asking them to also talk about the millions of others who were persecuted together with us – many of them only because they helped Jews" – Simon Wiesenthal (1) Every year around Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, my Orthodox synagogue has a memorial commemoration. It is a well-planned event, featuring a talk by a Holocaust scholar or survivor, ...

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Returning to Natural Wisdom, Expanding Our Love (appeared in EJP, 3/3/17)

In the depth of winter, when the stark lines of bare tree branches are etched against a gray sky, it feels like each tree has pulled away from its neighbor, shrinking into itself, saving its energy to survive the cold season. We are also seeing that same reflex toward isolation in our society and country. To continue reading click here.    

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Eden Village is Hiring Farm Educator Apprentices

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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My Vision for Judaism in this Time of Multiple Crises

The following is an excerpt from my recently published new edition of "Who Stole My Religion? Revitalizing Judaism and Applying Jewish Values to Help Heal Our Imperiled Planet." To be a Jew is to see the world through the eyes of God, to be unreconciled to the world as it is, to be discontented with the status quo, and to be unafraid to challenge it. To be a Jew is to be a co-worker with God in the task of perfecting the world, to know that the world remains unredeemed and that we must work with God to redeem it. To be a Jew is to feel deeply the harms done to ...

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Throw Out the Cookie Jar …. And Save the Planet

As a lifetime Weight Watcher, I have learned a few tricks. The most helpful to me was this one: Banish red light food from your home...and keep healthy food cut up and ready to eat at the front of your refrigerator in plastic see-through containers.  Now what does that have to do with saving the planet?  Well, a whole lot. Fracked gas is not healthy for people or the climate. Neither is nuclear-powered electricity. These are red-light energy products, the healthy alternatives being solar and wind energy. Even knowing this, companies profiting from red light dirty ...

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Restoring Eden: Behar and Bechukotai

The loss of Eden near the beginning of Genesis sets in motion the entire saga of the Torah. In fact, the Torah can be read as one long quest to regain Eden. But what does a restored Eden look like? One of Eden’s characteristics was that none of the animals ate each other, and, more specifically, human beings had no permission to eat any of the other animals. Instead, human beings and all the animals shared the plants for food. This motif of sharing and non-violence between species is used as a signal throughout Tanakh (scripture) to let us know when we are talking ...

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Rabbinical School of Hebrew College Issues Environmental Call To Action

  • August 25, 2015
  • Member since 2015

“Even though we may understand the story of creation differently from our ancestors, like them we recognize the need to care for God’s holy works with care and diligence." Rabbi Arthur Green, Rector of the Rabbinical School at Hebrew College

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Senator McCain gets punked by a righteous #indigenous youth! #SaveOakFlat #SaveSacredSites

Adriano Tsinigine Dine Navajo Youth serves papers to Senator McCain August 14, 2015Navajo youth Adriano Tsinigine served papers to Senator John McCain to #SaveOakFlat! August 14, 2015Original photo at https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1597159437211246 In a heroic demonstration of bravery and resistance Navajo student Adriano Tsinigine approached Senator John McCain during a visit to the Navajo Nation capital of Window Rock August 14, 2015, and asked to have his picture taken with the politician. Photo ops were part of the day honoring the Navajo Code Talkers, ...

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While Everyone Is Excited About This Progressive Green Pope, He’s About To Canonize The Catholic Genocidist Junipero Serra

When the highest Catholic spiritual leader promotes an historic Franciscan evangelist and colonist, it hits home for Jews too. Many of today’s Native Americans and Jews are in fact survivors of the same Catholic program. Yay! The Pope wants to stop the destruction of the Earth. Awesome! He even referred to the Earth as “her!” Great! Boo! The Pope intends to canonize Junipero Serra the friar who evangelized and colonized California. Native Americans across California, many who are practicing Catholics, are protesting the Pope’s plan but Catholic institutions ...

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Free Eco Israel Birthright Trip with URJ Kesher

This June 1-11 join Taglit-Birthright Israel and  URJ Kesher on a unique program. The Eco Israel bus will explore and discover, up-close, the remarkable variety of environmental initiatives in Israel, through the lens of ecology and environment WITHOUT missing out on all of the highlights of a classic URJ Kesher Birthright tour. During the tour, the group will visit four main regions in Israel: North, Centre, Jerusalem, and South. In each region, you will encounter local community members, and will gain hands-on experience volunteering with local Israeli activists who are ...

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Hazon Philadelphia’s Ride the Pines

We are excited to announce Hazon Philadelphia’s Ride the Pines - Sunday, May 31st, at the JCC Camps in Medford, NJ. Ride the Pines is a fully-supported bike ride and community experience for people of all cycling levels and ages, bringing together organizations like ours from across the Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey Jewish communities.   Join friends for routes through pine forests, farmland, and local villages, culminating in a barbecue lunch of kosher, pasture-raised meat from Grow and Behold, followed by an interactive marketplace of local, ...

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The Dream and Its Interpretation

Excerpt from "The Dream and Its Interpretation," by A. D. Gordon, translated by Rabbi Katy Z. Allen A. D. Gordon (1856-1922) was an early Zionist and pioneer in the Land of Israel. His words, written 100 years ago in totally different circumstances, resonate today when we read them through the lenses of climate change and environmental degradation.    We dreamed, you and I, my brother and my sister, interpreter it has none, an ancient dream it is, as the days when we went forth from exile, but you forgot it or did not elucidate it for yoursel...

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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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