Sustainable Agriculture Subscribe

A selection of initiatives, blogs, resources and communities on Jewcology which focus on sustainable agriculture.


Blogs

“Who Stole My Religion?” has been published!

HERE'S WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING ABOUT THIS UPDATED BOOK BY RICHARD SCHWARTZ. The many endorsements below are included to show that it is not just the author, but also many other people – of various perspectives – who think their religion has been “stolen,” but who still believe that religious values have relevance to current issues. It is our hope that the voices of the people who submitted the statements below, as well as many more voices, will be raised to help revitalize Judaism and other religions and to apply religious values effectively in response to the ...

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SACRED EARTH, SACRED TRUST

A Day of Prayer & Action for People and Planet. Sunday, June 12 FAITHS RISING FOR PEOPLE & PLANET Sacred Earth, Sacred Trust is a worldwide, multi-faith day of prayer & action for the planet and a call for world leaders to commit to a 1.5 degree limit on global temperature rise. Six months after world leaders reached the Paris Agreement, communities around the world will come together in a day of beautiful commitment and blessing for the earth. 1°C OF WARMING MEANS EVERYTHING The adopted Paris Agreement is an incredible first step, but much of ...

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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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Kosher Palm Oil

Until recently I thought I understood the problem with palm oil. I thought palm oil meant unethical agricultural practices causing the destruction of equatorial rainforests, driving Orangutans to extinction and contributing significantly to climate change. I believed that products where palm oil was listed as an ingredient are worse than those where palm oil is not listed as an ingredient. I understood that environment groups advocated boycotting manufacturers that use palm oil until they substituted with an alternative. And then I visited Melbourne Zoo where I listened ...

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Review of “Who Stole My Religion? Revitalizing Judaism and Applying Jewish Values to Help Heal Our Imperiled Planet

HOW JEWISH TEACHINGS CAN HELP SAVE THE PLANET ------------------ Review in the Jewish Georgian, “the largest Jewish newspaper in the South,” by Lewis Regenstein, president of The Interfaith Council for the Protection of Animals and Nature, and author of the book “Replenish the Earth: The Teachings of the World’s Religions on Protecting Animals and Nature.” ---------- Dr. Richard Schwartz, an expert on Jewish teachings on the environment, vegetarianism, and animals, has given us a preview of his new book, due out by early July 2016, on the environmen...

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A Shavuot Message: Applying Torah Values To Our Diets

Since Shavuot is z'man matan Torateinu (the commemoration of the giving of the Torah to the Israelites on Mount Sinai), many dedicated religious Jews admirably stay up the entire first night of Shavuot to hear talks about and discuss Torah teachings. Among these Torah teachings are that Jews should preserve human health, treat animals with compassion, protect the environment, conserve natural resources, help hungry people, and pursue peace. By becoming vegetarians, and preferably vegans, Jews would be partaking in a diet that is most consistent with these basic ...

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The Jewish Imperative of an Animal-Free Diet

Jeffrey Cohan, the Executive Director of Jewish Veg, is coming to Teaneck, NJ. He will be leading an hour-long, interactive presentation at Congregation Beth Sholom on the significance of Tza'ar Baalei Chayim (the Jewish mandate to prevent animal suffering) in our contemporary world. This event begins at 7 pm and is free and open to the public.

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Lag B’Omer & Vegetarianism (or Veganism): Making Every Day Count

By Daniel Brook & Richard H. Schwartz Lag B’Omer is considered a minor holiday in the Jewish calendar, but even a minor holiday is worth celebrating. A great way to celebrate Lag B’Omer is through veganism, as Lag B’Omer is deeply connected to veganism. If not quite ready for veganism, a shift to vegetarianism would be a great initial step. Lag B’Omer represents the 33rd day of the counting of the omer, the fifty days from Passover and Shavuot, reminding us of the link between these two holidays. While Passover celebrates our freedom from slavery, Shavuot ...

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Climate Catastrophe or a Sustainable Future – It Depends On Our Food Choices

Climate experts from 195 countries have gathered in Paris working to come up with an agreement that will help avert a climate catastrophe. However, they are overlooking an important factor and this threatens the success of their meeting. Here are some important reasons that it is essential to address climate change: Science academies worldwide, 97% of climate scientists, and 99.9% of peer-reviewed papers on the issue in respected scientific journals argue that climate change is real, is largely caused by human activities, and poses great threats to humanity. Every ...

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Conserving Our Oil: A Chanukah Message

Richard H. Schwartz   The Jewish festival of Chanukah commemorates the miracle of the oil that was enough for only one day, but miraculously lasted for eight days in the liberated Temple in Jerusalem. Hence, this holiday is a good time to consider our own use of fuel and other resources. Like Chanukah’s miraculous extension of scarce resources, vegetarianism also allows the increasingly scarce resources of our contemporary world to go much further. This is no trivial matter, since it is expected that future conflicts between nations might involve scarcities ...

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Is Eating Meat a Mitzvah that Comes from an Aveirah (Transgression)?

Judaism places much stress on performing mitzvot, carrying out God's commandments. However, a "mitzvah haba'ah b'aveirah" - a mitzvah based on an aveirah (sin or "illegitimate means") - is forbidden and is not considered a mitzvah. For example, if one uses a stolen lulav and esrog on Sukkot, it is not a proper mitzvah. Similarly, if money is stolen, it cannot be used to give tzedakah (charity). In fact, the sages indicate that it is better not to do the mitzvah at all than to do a mitzvah haba'ah b'aveirah. Eating meat is arguably a mitzvah haba'ah b'aveirah, actually ...

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The Jewish Veg Event of the Decade


Dialogue Between a Jewish Vegetarian Activist and a Rabbi

For a long time, I have been trying to start a respectful dialogue in the Jewish community. Because I have had very little success, I am presenting the fictional dialogue below. I hope that many readers will use it as the basis of similar dialogues with local rabbis, educators, and community leaders. Jewish Vegetarian Activist: Shalom rabbi. Rabbi: Shalom. Good to see you. JVA: Rabbi, I have been meaning to speak to you for some time about an issue, but I have hesitated because I know how busy you are, but I think this issue is very important. Rabbi: Well, that ...

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Inconsistencies Between Animal-Based Diets and Basic Jewish Values

And God said: "Behold, I have given you every herb yielding seed which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree that has seed-yielding fruit -- to you it shall be for food." (Genesis 1:29) There are many inconsistencies between basic Jewish values and the realities of animal-based diets: 1. While Judaism mandates that people should be very careful about preserving their health and their lives, numerous scientific studies have linked animal-based diets directly to heart disease, stroke, many forms of cancer, and other chronic degenerative diseases. 2. ...

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Eden Village Camp is hiring a Farmer/ Educator

Eden Village Camp is Hiring! 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 role models, we foster our ...

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A Rosh Hashanah Message: Aplying Jewish Values to Help Heal Our Imperiled Planet

Rosh Hashanah reminds us of God’s creation of the world. The “Ten Days of Repentance” from Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur is a period to evaluate our deeds and to do teshuvah (repentance) for cases where we have missed the mark. Sukkot, starting four days after Yom Kippur, is a holiday in which we leave our fine houses and live in temporary shelters (sukkahs) to commemorate our ancestors journey in the wilderness. So, that period provides an excellent time to consider the state of the planet’s environment and what we might do to help keep the world on a sustainable ...

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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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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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Jewish Climate Action Network Conference

by Rabbi Katy Z. Allen This past Sunday, over 100 members of the Jewish community, from New Bedford, MA to Brattleboro, VT, gathered at Hebrew College in Newton, MA, for the first Jewish Climate Action Network conference, "From Uncertainty to Action: What You Can Do About Climate Change." According to Rabbi Arthur Waskow, it was the first conference of its kind, "I would have heard about it,"  he told us, if there had been another. For four hours, we learned together, sang together, talked together, and connected to each other. And through all this, we were inspired, ...

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From Uncertainty to Action: What You Can Do About Climate Change

The Jewish Climate Action Network (JCAN) is sponsoring its first conference, a time for community members from across New England concerned about climate change to come together. The conference will focus on a Jewish response to climate change, ideas for action, and how climate change is fundamentally a social justice issue. It will provide organized opportunities to connect with others interested in working together. Summery of the conference: Panel exploring what Judaism adds to our understanding and ability to respond to climate change Two rounds of workshops, ...

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