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


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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Making Hanukkah Green, Inspiring Future Generations

This blog is written by guest blogger Leah Schuckit, JCRC Fall 2016 Social Justice Intern.   As a young Jewish kid, Hanukkah was my favorite time of the year. I can still remember being in grade school and impatiently waiting for my Hebrew School lessons to turn to the Maccabees and the Temple menorah’s miracle. I remember the way that certain brands of candles smelled once you lit them and the excitement I felt when my family would start singing Hanukkah songs. I remember all of this alongside the more central concepts of Judaism I was taught in my childhoo...

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Three Simple Steps Toward Going Green

If you are someone who cares about protecting the environment, you may find yourself frustrated at times because you are not doing as much as you could to change your lifestyle.  While caring for God’s creation and reducing waste (baal tashchit) are important principles in Judaism,   you don’t have to do it all to make a difference.  Here are a few simple suggestions to get you going on the right path.  Start slow and keep it going:  As with anything in life, creating eco-friendly change is more likely to succeed if you take it one small step at a time.  ...

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Sukkot and Eco-Friendly Eating

Sukkot, the harvest holiday that takes place  on the 15th day of the month of Tishrei, marks the end of the agricultural year.  Jews give thanks for the bounty of the Earth.  We commemorate the holiday by decorating our sukkah with fruits, vegetables and harvest items.  We shake the lulov and the etrog to connect ourselves to the Earth as we eat and spend time outside. It is fitting during the traditionally agricultural holiday of Sukkot to think about our food choices.  Here are a few ways we can be more eco-friendly in our eating and food purchasing habits:...

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Earth Etudes for Elul: A Collection of Meaningful Ways to Enrich Our Lives

by Susan Levine ~ It’s not too late to read the thought-provoking Earth Etudes for the month of Elul. Now is a good time to think about our lives and what matters: our family, our friends, this Earth we call our home and all the other people and animals who share it with us. How can we take care of our health and work towards a peaceful and sustainable future for our children? 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. You can read them here whenever ...

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10 Top Reasons to Read “Who Stole My Religion? Revitalizing Judaism and Applying Jewish Values to Help Heal Our Imperiled Planet”

Who Stole My Religion?: 1. Generates interest and discourse on the future of Judaism and our imperiled planet because of its challenging analyses. 2. Delivers a critical analysis of Orthodox Judaism’s views on climate change and politics. 3. Argues that vegetarianism, and especially veganism, is the diet most consistent with Jewish teachings and is essential to efforts to avert a climate catastrophe. 4. Offers a possible viable solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. 5. Provides a radical approach to reducing terrorism. 6. Discusses how to ...

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Greening Your Travel: Part Two

Summer is here and what better way to honor the environment and the Jewish principle of baal tashchit (do not waste) than by planning your summer travels to be as eco-friendly as possible.  Here are a few tips to help as you plan your summer getaway:  Use eco-friendly transportation as much as possible:  Some options include doing a biking vacation and/or taking public transportation (such as train or bus) to get to your ultimate destination.  These alternatives are often cheaper and also reduce your carbon footprint as opposed to travelling by car. Bring your ...

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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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Reducing Food Waste in Seven Easy Steps

Statistics show that in the U.S. alone   60 million metric tons of food is wasted each year, of which about 40 million metric tons of it end up in municipal landfills. This represents between 30 to 40 percent of the overall food supply and the single largest component in landfills.  It is an important value in Judaism that we not waste resources, including food (the principle of baal tashchit).  Below are a few simple steps you can take to personally reduce food waste as you shop. Inventory your food items before grocery shopping—Take stock of what you already ...

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Greening Your Purim

The Jewish holiday of Purim, which begins this year on the evening of March 23, celebrates  the deliverance of the Jews from their enemies in the biblical Book of Esther.  Purim typically involves reading from the Megillah, dressing up in festive costumes , eating hamantashen and giving gifts  of food and drink to others (Shalach Manot).  With a little creativity, you can make this holiday more eco-friendly.  Below are some suggestions: Do a clothing/costume exchange with friends: Instead of buying a new costume for the holiday, gather with friends (both adults ...

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Support your local farmer

When shopping for groceries, many of us are quick to turn to the closest chain store for food items. We often forget to uphold the principle of “Bal Tash’chit” which urges us not to waste. This value is central to Judaism and has the potential to stave off further environmental damage. Although we may not see the potential for waste in purchases from supermarkets, oftentimes these stores harm the national environment and detract from local business. While many boast convenience, they often fail to provide locally sourced meats, grains, dairy products, and produce. ...

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Rededicating Ourselves to Helping The Environment and the Poor During the Holiday Season

By Guest Blogger Maggie McCarthy,  JEI Environmental Intern   The winter months provide several occasions for celebration. Hanukkah is the festival of lights and celebrates the victory of the Jewish people over religious persecution.  The secular New Year is a time for reflection and renewal.  Though we find ample opportunity for gratitude during these holidays, many in our local community struggle with hunger and poverty. These issues result from, not only a lack of resources, but also from the mounting environmental crisis. Tumultuous environmental condit...

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Ways to Reduce Waste When Dining Out

There are a number of ways that you can reduce waste as you dine out at restaurants or head to a café for a warm drink in the cold weather.  Reducing waste (the principal of baal tashchit) is a core value in Judaism and can go a long way toward helping the environment, especially added up over time. Consider ways to reduce paper cup waste:  Take a thermos with you when you order coffee in a coffee shop,  indicate that your order is “for here” and ask for the mug rather than the paper cup.  You can then pour the coffee into your thermos.  Also consider brewing ...

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Eco-friendly baby products

If you are expecting a baby or have little ones in your home, you may be wondering how to surround your infant or toddler with products that are environmentally safe.  Below are a few suggestions that will  help reduce waste (baal tashchit) and keep your baby healthy  too. Make your own organic baby food—The safest food for your baby is the same fresh, organic food you eat.  Rather than worry about additives in store bought baby food and the waste caused by purchasing all of those little jars, buy a baby food grinder. After pureeing items, you can also make extra ...

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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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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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Simple Steps to Reduce Water Use

Water use in and around your home takes its toll on the environment, because it needs to be cleaned, delivered, and then treated, using energy and resources every step of the way.  Conserving water helps protect natural ecosystems and aquifers, saving both energy and money.  It also is a great way to honor the Jewish principle of ba’al tash’chit (do not waste). Follow these tips to trim down your water footprint. Fix water leaks:  Roughly 7 gallons of water is lost each day per person to leaks. Walk around your house and look for leaks (which can also prevent ...

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Going Green when you Remodel Your Home

Many home remodeling efforts take place in the summer and fall.  Before you begin a home remodeling project, consider ways you can remodel to make your home more “green.”   This can include everything from using eco-friendly products to improving energy efficiency.  Being eco-friendly when you upgrade your house is one way to honor the Jewish principle of baal tashchit (not wasting).   In addition to being a good steward to the environment, homeowners who go green in their remodeling efforts will often see more green in their wallets. Even the smallest green ...

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Eco-Friendly Summer-2015 Edition

June marks the official beginning of summer.  What a great time of year to get outdoors and practice the principles of reducing waste and honoring G-d’s creation, the Earth.  Here are a few suggestions of summer activities to reduce your carbon footprint and help the environment. Use natural methods to protect against the sun:  Use of sunscreens is commonplace from May through August.  Many sunscreens, however, contain chemicals and may be harmful to the skin and the environment.  Look for a sunscreen made with organic ingredients and no chemicals. Read the ...

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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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