Teenagers Subscribe

A selection of initiatives, blogs, resources and communities on Jewcology intended for use by teenagers.


Blogs

Aytzim (Ecological Judaism) is Back—Let’s reconnect!

It’s a mystery--we lost our Aytzim facebook page and all our facebook friends. So we will be sending out new invites to like our page. In case you have forgotten, we are all about the environment—saving our world. And these days, it has become more important than ever. Aytzim is the umbrella organization of: Green Zionist Alliance, Jewcology.org, EcoJews, and Shomrei Breishit: Rabbis and Cantors for the Earth. Aytzim means “trees” and here’s a little about the other organizations in our product grove: Green Zionist Alliance—Since its founding in 2001, the ...

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Our Earth Etudes for Elul: Thank you to our contributors!

Thank you!

By Susan Levine A special thank you to Rabbi Katy Z. Allen for organizing this project and to our contributing writers with their meaningful essays, poems and thoughts. Elul is the month that leads up to Rosh Hashanah, but these Earth Etudes are insightful windows into the meaning of life and the interconnection between our lives, our Earth and our spiritual existence at any time.  ~ Etude Elul 1 by Andy Oram: Save the Earth to Save Our children. Read more... ~ Etude Elul 2 by Rabbi Robin Damsky: Oh Deer What Can the Matter Be? Read more… ~ Etude Elul 3 by ...

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Earth Etude for Elul 20: An Old Problem

by Rabbi Jacob Siegel ~ I like to think of climate change as an old problem. True, human-made climate change and the potential it has to wreak disaster on our earth’s ecosystem are new and unprecedented. Every year extreme temperatures rise and extreme weather events become more common. These are challenges we have never faced. On the other hand, this is an old problem. We, as the Jewish people, know what it means to face a crisis of existence after a cataclysmic destructive act − the destruction of the Temple – which itself was destroyed because of a moral ...

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Earth Etude for Elul 5: Changing Ourselves

by Thea Iberall, Ph.D. ~ Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910) said, “Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.” I think about this statement every time I do climate change activism. We must wean humanity off of fossil fuels before the seas rise too high and before droughts have not just millions of people on the move as they are now, but billions searching for food, water and stable governments. What am I personally doing to change myself to help alleviate the problem? I drive a hybrid car and try to use less and less electricity. How much of ...

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Earth Etude for Elul 4: The Power of Silence, the Power of Creation

by Rabbi Katy Z. Allen ~ When we don’t know what to do, it can be difficult to sit still. When we are deep in grief or despair, it can be painful to stop moving. When we are angry or hurt, allowing silence into our lives can feel almost impossible. Silence in all these situations can feel like an unwanted stranger. But silence is a good friend. And our own silence when we are out in nature, is even a better friend. Those of us who have a bit of undisturbed land near us, and who can safely walk in these places, are truly privileged and blessed. A moment of ...

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Earth Etude for Elul 3: G-d’s Might, Detroit, and Coming Back to Life

by Moshe Givental ~ Every year on Tisha b’Av we begin a 7-week journey of preparation for Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur. Like most significant experiences in life, for the Jewish Holy Days to have the potential for transformation, they require preparation. So we started a few weeks ago by looking at the broken-ness of our physical, ethical, and spiritual worlds signified by Tisha b’Av, moved towards the hope of a world filled with love 6-days later at Tu b’Av, and are now in the midst of a month of working on Heshbon HaNefesh (our soul accounting), reflecting on ...

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Earth Etude for Elul 1: Saving the Earth to Save Our Children

by Andy Oram The traditional Torah readings on Rosh HaShanah cover two of Abraham’s most difficult trials, calling on him to relinquish his two sons. The troublesome stories can tell us a lot about how to make room in our lives for our children--and also a lot about how to save the Earth from the devastation of climate change and ecological destruction. In the first story, read traditionally on the first day of the holiday, Sarah abruptly demands that Ishmael be thrown out with his mother into the desert, and God backs her up. Abraham reluctantly goes along. ...

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Go Back to School and Be Green

With many area schools beginning their fall semester between mid-August and early September, many students and their parents will be heading to the stores for back-to-school supplies.   Your back-to-school purchases make a huge difference. Here's why: 14 billion pencils are produced every year, many made with wood from ancient forests. Americans use about 31.5 million tons of printing and writing paper each year, requiring 535 million trees (most from virgin tree fiber) and 12 billion gallons of oil to make. The average American consumes about 660 pounds of paper ...

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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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The Rainbow Connection: Rainbow Day and Creation

Millennia before Kermit sang about the Rainbow Connection, the very first Rainbow Day marked the connection between God and all animals. The biblical flood began on the 17th of the second month, exactly one lunar year and 10 days (= one solar year) before Noah, his family, and all the animals that were with them left the ark, on the 27th day of the second month. But just before they left, God made a covenant with them that there would never again be a flood of water to destroy life on Earth. And just as today we sign contracts with our signatures, God signed our covenant ...

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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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Hanukkah Night 8, 5776 – Seeing in Detail

Text by Rabbi Katy Z. Allen Photos by Gabi Mezger Eight lights burning, sending out light, sending out heat - the hanukkiah is full. May our hearts be full as well, of light and warmth, allowing us to see in detail both the pain and the beauty of the world. Rabbi Katy Allen is a board certified chaplain and serves as an Eco-Chaplain and the Facilitator of One Earth Collaborative, a program of Open Spirit. She is the founder and rabbi of Ma'yan Tikvah - A Wellspring of Hope, which holds services outdoors all year long. She is the co-founder and ...

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Hannukah Night 7, 5776 – One

Text by Rabbi Katy Allen Photo by Gabi Mezger     One. What does it mean? One Homo sapiens. One Earth. One G!d. One Universe. One time. One future. What does it take for us to live as ONE? Rabbi Katy Allen is a board certified chaplain and serves as an Eco-Chaplain and the Facilitator of One Earth Collaborative, a program of Open Spirit. She is the founder and rabbi of Ma'yan Tikvah - A Wellspring of Hope, which holds services outdoors all year long. She is the co-founder and President pro-tem of the Boston-based Jewish ...

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Hanukkah Night 6, 5776 – Let it Flow

Text by Rabbi Katy Z. Allen Photo by Gabi Mezger Let the light within us flow, Let our lives flow, and our hearts, and our souls. Shabbat shalom. Rabbi Katy Allen is a board certified chaplain and serves as an Eco-Chaplain and the Facilitator of One Earth Collaborative, a program of Open Spirit. She is the founder and rabbi of Ma'yan Tikvah - A Wellspring of Hope, which holds services outdoors all year long. She is the co-founder and President pro-tem of the Boston-based Jewish Climate Action Network, and a hospice chaplain. She received her ordination ...

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Hanukkah Night 5, 5776 – Sparks

Text by Rabbi Katy Z. Allen Photos by Gabi Mezger   A spark of Mystery burns within every single human being,   and within every part and parcel of Creation,   and every one of those sparks is different.    All of the sparks are needed for shleimut -- for total healing, wholeness,  for Oneness.    What is the essence of your spark?       Rabbi Katy Allen is a board certified chaplain and serves as an Eco-Chaplain and the Facilitator of One Earth Collaborative, a program of Open Spirit. She is the founder and rabbi ...

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Hanukkah Night 4, 5776 – What Is Burning?

Text by Rabbi Katy Z. Allen Photo by Gabi Mezger What is burning in your heart? What is burning to be expressed? To come out? To be shared with the world? To bring a blaze of light?   Whatever it may be... Let it out! Let it come forth! Let it shine!     Rabbi Katy Allen is a board certified chaplain and serves as an Eco-Chaplain and the Facilitator of One Earth Collaborative, a program of Open Spirit. She is the founder and rabbi of Ma'yan ...

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Hanukkah Night 3, 5776 – Within and Without

Text by Rabbi Katy Z. Allen Photos by Gabi Mezger   Baruch atah Adonai - Blessed are You Adonai -- Blessed is the spark of G!d -- of Life, of Light, of Specialness, that burns within your being, within every living being. Blessed is the Spark. Eloheinu melech ha'olam - Our G!d, Sovereign of the Universe -- We acknowledge You, Source of All, from before time began to the end of time,  and beyond, from this pin point of place to the farthest ends of the Universe, and farther still. We acknowledge You. As the words of the blessings enter the ...

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Hanukkah Night 2, 5776 – Reflections

Text by Rabbi Katy Z. Allen Photos by Gabi Mezger     The moon appears in the sky while sunlight still shimmers, the sky can still be called blue, and clouds are visible.   In the waning daylight, the reflection of the reflected light  we call moonlight sears a bright path across the sea.     As darkness rolls in the moon seems to brighten.        And when the darkness of the sky is complete - though ...

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Hanukkah 1 – 5776

Text by Rabbi Katy Z. Allen Photos by Gabi Mezger   dark emotions lurk in our hearts heaviness weighs down our souls the night stretches on            interminably; we cannot see we are lost hope fades but the picture is incomplete a candle burns piercing the darkness anticipating dawn reviving hope carrying us forward into a new day Rabbi Katy Allen is a board certified chaplain and serves as a Nature Chaplain and the Facilitator of One Earth Collaborative, a program of Open Spirit. She is the founder and rabbi of Ma'yan ...

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