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


An Israeli Orthodox Rabbi’s Challenge to the Jewish Establishment

The Problem and Future of True Halachah Part One of four parts, by Rabbi Nathan Lopes Cardozo. Excerpts from Jewish Law as Rebellion: A Plea for Religious Authenticity and Halachic Courage. Rabbi Nathan Lopes Cardozo, Urim Publications, Jerusalem, New York, August 2017. {Soon to be published.] The Problem It is time to start thinking big about Halacha. Great opportunities are awaiting us and too much is at stake to let them pass by. For too long, Halacha has been jailed in compartmentalized and awkward boxes. It is time to liberate it. Most religious Jews are not ...

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Seasons in the Era of Climate Change

by Stephen Jurovics, Ph.D. Each of the seasons of the year can evoke, for many of us, an image of what we most enjoy about that period. It may be the sequence of warm spring days with clear blue skies during which the outside world exerts a strong pull and diminishes our commitment to work or study, that period we call “spring fever.” For others, it’s the summer days of sunshine and high temperatures when many leave work to vacation at the beach and enjoy the water, sand, and sunshine. The familiar images and anticipated enjoyment are inexorably moving ...

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Tu Bishvat: All About the New Year of the Tree(s)

Tall Trees in Bidwell Park, Chico, California

My youngest daughters' friends were impressed that Judaism celebrates a New Year of Trees, marked by planting and honoring trees. Here's a round-up of how to observe this special day. (more…)

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Gateway of Trees: Tu Bishvat Resources on Wellsprings of Wisdom

Tree on the banks of Big Chico Creek, California, Julie Danan

If you are looking for fresh material about Trees and Tu Bishvat, I invite you to explore the Gateway of Trees on Wellsprings of Wisdom. Wellsprings of Wisdom is a virtual retreat center built around ancient Jewish symbols from nature. Explore Trees in Jewish sources and your own life, through many modalities including photos, nature sounds and video. Enjoy Torah study, rituals, and a guided mediation. There are stories and blessings about trees as well as resources for celebrating Tu Bishvat, the New Year of Trees. Plus that time I hugged a tree. Learn about the cosmic ...

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Wellsprings of Wisdom: A Virtual Retreat Center

Bear Hole, Bidwell Park, Chico, CA

I am delighted to announce and share my newly redesigned and relaunched website, It's a place for anyone interested in Jewish spirituality in nature. Wellsprings of Wisdom is a site for your soul, an island of quiet contemplation in a sea of noisy information. It's the rare online place where you can pause to refresh your soul, re-enchant your world, and renew your inner life. At this virtual retreat center, ancient Jewish symbols from nature become gateways to personal growth and action. You are invited to immerse yourself in the ...

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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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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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The Jewish Veg Event of the Decade

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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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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R&R Shabbat at the JCC

  • December 6, 2014
  • Member since 2014

R & R: Shabbat at The JCC is an antidote to our 24/7 lifestyle. Make your Shabbat afternoon special and share in our community with workshops in art, yoga, meditation, food, music, study sessions, film, performances, creative art projects, spa experiences, and indoor and outdoor play. Enjoy programs for both children and adults. R&R is an amazing weekly opportunity to be together as a family and as a community; it’s an incredible alternative to the typical New York Saturday and it is our gift to you. Join us for programs that respect all levels of observance. ...

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#Yemima, Rachel Imeinu and the Merit of Righteous Women

Photo Courtesy Simja Seraj Castro

"When Moshiach [the Messiah] comes, I will be the first to rise up and be in the Holy Temple."

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Out of the ark and into the garden: The story of Noah in the Sabbatical year

There are three places in the Torah which talk about human beings and the animals – including wild animals – sharing one food supply. In Eden, in the ark during the flood, and in the Sabbatical year or Shmita. There’s a lot more to these stories, but you don’t really need to know much more to understand the basic message of the Torah. We lived with the wild animals once, rather than carving out separate spaces for us and our domesticated fellow travelers. According to the Torah, that is the real truth, and all the owning and property and buying and selling is an ...

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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” 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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Jewish literary theorist coins ‘cli fi’ genre term for climate change awareness

Danny Bloom grew up in western Masschusetts in the 1950s, studied Jewish ideas under Rabbi Samuel Dresner, was bar-mitvahed in 1962 under the cantorial direction of Cantor Morty Shames and then started travelling. France, Israel, Greece, Italy, Alaska and Japan. Now he's 65 and working on what he calls a very Jewish project, Jewish because it comes out of ideas and values about having a vision and being a dreamer that he picked up on his way to becoming a bald, goateed senior citizen. Bloom lives in Asia now working as a public relations writer and ...

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Print books, even ebooks, are dead; but movies can still work their magic

by Danny Bloom, CLI FI CENTRAL blogger bubbie.zadie@gmail.comLOS ANGELES -- With films like "Noah" and "Into the Storm" and "Snowpiercer" -- and"Interstellar" coming in the late fall -- Hollywood has seen thehandwriting on the wall and embraced climate themes in fulltechnicolor. Call the movies ''cli fi'' or disaster thrillers,whatever. There's more to come in the film world.But while Hollywood and studio marketing people (and online socialmedia reporters covering new film releases) have welcomed ''cli fi'' intothe ...

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Uplifting People and Planet

Exciting news! Just in time for Tu b’Shevat, Canfei Nesharim and Jewcology are proud to announce the launch of a new ebook exploring traditional Jewish teachings on the environment, Uplifting People and Planet: Eighteen Essential Jewish Lessons on the Environment, edited by Rabbi Yonatan Neril and Evonne Marzouk. This ebook is the most comprehensive study in English of how Jewish traditional sources teach us to protect our natural resources and preserve the environment. From food to trees, energy to water, wealth to biodiversity, the book studies eighteen ...

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The Natural Bible

For anyone interested in Bible study, nature, the environment or religion, this unique and valuable resource elucidates the connections between Judaism and the natural world. The Natural Bible explores how religious environmental values can help us have a healthier relationship with the earth, and at the same time, how an appreciation of the natural environment enriches our understanding of the biblical text’s use of metaphors from the natural world. Topics include sustainability and stewardship, our relationship with living creatures and God’s creation, and ...

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Shabbat Noach is Coming!

In celebration of Parshat Noach this coming Shabbat, Jewcology is proud to share a wealth of resources on the topic of Noach. Please enjoy and share these resources from many of our partners and participants so we can all benefit from the lessons of Parshat Noach. Explore all of our Parshat Noach resources Here's a sampling: Countering Destruction - Lessons from Noah Although the flood and the life of Noah occurred thousands of years ago, the story of Noah offers important lessons about how our actions affect the world. The Torah teaches that ten generat...

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The main theme of the upcoming holiday of Pesach is the issue of Freedom, in all its complexity. The Jewish people are brought out of slavery in Egypt (literally Mitzrayim, or narrow place) and we are commanded to remember this act of deliverance by G-d, and to teach it to our children. We are supposed to keep this memory of redemption always in our thoughts and words; the daily prayers and the Sabbath blessing over the wine contain passages remembering our deliverance from Egypt by G-d. It is during Passover, however, that this theme takes on the central signific...

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