Land Use Subscribe

A selection of initiatives, blogs, resources and communities on Jewcology which focus on land use.


Almost Out of Time: Act Now to Save Samar

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 (Oct. 12, 2011) — The bulldozers and dump trucks are getting ready. Without intervention, they will begin carting away one of Israel’s unique ecosystems, the Samar sand dunes, home to species that live nowhere else on the planet. And soon, at the government’s initiation, the sands of Samar in Israel’s Arava ...

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“This is our nation’s Yom Kippur moment.” Testimony to State Department against Keystone XL Pipeline

Joelle Novey, Director Greater Washington Interfaith Power & Light Friday October 7 Testimony to State Department Against Keystone XL Pipeline Through Greater Washington Interfaith Power & Light, hundreds of congregations of all religious traditions work together on energy and climate issues. I am submitting into the record today hundreds of comment cards from local churches and synagogues where good folks have concluded that the Keystone XL Pipeline would do great harm, and that their religious traditions call them to speak out. These cards ...

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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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The Sacred Trees of Betar

Dear Friends, I love how stories contain so much more than just what they are “about”. Like seeds from an ancient world, they have the ability to surprise and grow in unpredictable ways. Check out this obscure story from the Talmud (Gittin 55a, from Ein Yaakov, 1999 English translation): “Because of a (broken wheel) from a carriage, Betar was destroyed. [How did that happen?] It was the custom in Betar that when a boy was born the parents would plant a cedar tree, and when a girl was born they planted a pine tree. When they got married the ...

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Workshop: Urban Composting – From Scraps to Soil

This year during Chol HaMoed Sukkot we will connect to the earth with our hands in the soil. I am teaching friends and neighbors how to compost right here in the city. I've partnered with a nifty new start-up for this inaugural venture. In the future, this workshop will be taught in the context of Jewish education, just like we did/do at the Teva Learning Center. Read more and sign up at the link. Most of all, tell your friends in Chicago. Shana tova! Urban Composting: Scraps to Soil ...

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GZA Leads KKL-JNF Effort Against Fracking in Israel

NEW YORK (Sept. 16, 2011) — Hydraulic fracturing and in-situ retorting for oil in Israel should be banned in Israel pending further research into the environmental effects of the relatively new fossil-fuel extraction techniques, according to a new report issued by Israel’s Keren Kayemet L’Yisrael / Jewish National Fund (KKL-JNF) at the initiation of the Green Zionist Alliance. The report and its recommendations, which were drafted and approved unanimously by a KKL-JNF committee convened and chaired by Green Zionist Alliance representative Dr. ...

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Sit Under a Vine and Fig Tree, and You Shall Not be Afraid!

‘Every one shall sit under his or her own vine and fig tree, and no one will make them afraid, for Hashem has spoken.’ Micah 4.4 What is it about growing your own fruits and vegetables that alleviates fear? Why does Micah believe Hashem has spoken through the act of farming or gleaning? Why a grape vine and fig tree? Why not under the string beans or cherry tomatoes? As I sit in my back yard, positioning myself between my grape vine, fig tree, string beans and cherry tomatoes, I begin to understand what Micah might have meant all those years ...

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Grassroots Jewish Women’s Community

  • September 8, 2011
  • Member since 2011

By Teri Jedeikin Kayam Farm Multicultural Educator True to its name sake, The Matriarch’s Orchard watches over Kayam Farm from its place upon the hill. Its landscape, gently sloping towards vineyards and strawberry patches, is rich with fruit trees, berry bushes and spiritual symbolism. It is a space created by women for women - a radical innovation that invites Jewish women to engage with each other and with all women of diverse ages and heritages. The orchard is an ecological and spiritual learning space where integration of mind, body and spirit is ...

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The Israeli Summer: Tent Cities, Bombs, Boycotts and Herzl’s Dream

NEW YORK (Aug. 22, 2011) — If you thought Theodor Herzl’s dream was fulfilled with the establishment of the modern state of Israel in 1948, think again. Thousands are camping out in Israel’s cities, demanding social change. Thousands more around the world, angered by the Palestinians’ situation, seek to boycott Israel. Meanwhile, Egypt, Israel and Gaza volley bombs and rockets in escalating attacks and counterattacks. Which brings us back to Herzl. His dream wasn’t simply the creation of a Jewish democratic state, but the creation of a ...

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4 Jewish Summer Camps Sell “Fracking Rights” that Endanger Drinking Water, Food, Health, & Climate

By Rabbi Arthur Waskow (7/14/2011) The Forward, the leading national Jewish weekly, on July 14, 2009, reported that four Jewish summer camps in Pennsylvania have signed leases with gas exploration companies to allow “fracking” –- the hydro-fracturing method of pouring tons of highly chemicalized water to smash shale rocks into releasing natural gas. The four are Starlight’s Perlman Camp, which is owned and operated by B’nai B’rith; Camps Nesher and Shoshanim, which share a property in Lakewood and are owned and operated by the New Jersey Federation of ...

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How counting to 50 can heal the planet

Last week we completed the Sefirat Ha-Omer, the counting of the 49 day period between Pesach and Shavuot, culminating with the celebration of Shavuot, which falls on the 50th day. In agricultural terms, this is a period of waiting in between the barley harvest and the wheat harvest in Israel. In religious terms, this period is a time for preparation and transformation that preceeds Matan Torah, the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai. Sefirat Ha-Omer is very similar to the mitzva of Sefirat Ha-yovel, whereby we are enjoined to count 49 years and consecrate the 50th ...

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Hamakom (The Place), Public Space, Property, and Ownership

How might we better understand climate change, social inequality, and the sense of personal isolation that pervade much of modern society? In a metaphoric and material sense I believe the answer lies in societal conceptions of public space, property, and ownership. These elements are hallmarks of industrial society and in many ways define the boundaries and context of personal, corporate, and governmental relationships – temporally as well as spatially. The parceling out of land (the Dawes Act in the US, the Inclosure Acts in England, and many more) for ...

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