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


Blogs

Earth Etude for Elul 10 – Guatemalen Etudes for the Earth

by Rabbi Margaret Frisch Klein An etude is a song, a song of praise. This summer I spent time bouncing on a bus as part of American Jewish World Service’s Global Justice Fellowship in Guatemala. Part of a two year program, we studied text together, we lobbied together, we learned organizing skills together and then we experienced Guatemala together. It is hard to reconcile the beauty of the land together with the brokenness of the country. In 1954 there was a coupe organized in part by the United Fruit Company and the CIA to protect US interests and land ownership. ...

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Earth Etude for Elul 9 – Weeds and Debris

by Maxine Lyons I started to think about teshuvah and Rosh Hashana early this summer while cleaning out my flowerbeds of weeds and debris. I noticed the different roots in my garden - fibrous roots spread laterally underground and re-appear in other places, taproots that remain steadfast in one place and grow downward deep into the earth. I was musing about how some people are like taproots- making a bold, firm stance whereas others are like the plants with fibrous roots, appearing and reappearing, showing their influences by reaching out in a variety of places and spaces. ...

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Earth Etude for Elul 8 – Creativity and Teshuvah

by Rabbi Katy Z. Allen Creation. Whether you consider it to warrant a capital C or simply a lower case c, the word expresses how the Universe began. The act of creation holds within it creativity. Creativity was present from the start of the Universe. When we look around, we can see that continually the Universe is created anew, with newness filling every moment of every day: new growth of plants, animals, and other organisms, new stars being born, precipitation falling anew, streams and rivers renewing and changing their course as the water tumbles down mountains ...

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Earth Etude for Elul 7 – Covenant and Community

by Rabbi Katy Z. Allen  I’ve been thinking a lot lately about community and covenant.  Rabbi Avi Olitzky defines community as “a circle to which you feel you belong that will miss your presence; it reaches out to you when you’re absent, and you long for it when you’re not there.”  Covenant, berit, is a promise, generally bilateral, requiring the participation of both parties that are bound by the covenant.  In the Torah, G!d enacts three covenants. First is G!d’s promise to all humanity after the Flood, never again to wreak such destruction. The sign ...

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Earth Etude for Elul 6 – Bringing Truth to Power on Yom Kippur

by Hattie Nestel To bring truth to power on any day is always rewarding, but to bring truth to power on Yom Kippur acquires even deeper meaning. The first I time I spoke truth to power sufficiently to be arrested was on Yom Kippur, 1983, at the invitation of Scott Schaeffer-Duffy and the Atlantic Life Community, ALC, a mixture of Jewish and Catholic activists from the East Coast founded by Philip Berrigan and his wife Liz McAlister. After meeting Philip Berrigan in 1982, my two sons and I went to ALC retreats in Washington, DC. ALC activists encouraged me to join ...

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Earth Etude for Elul 5 – Dandelions and Teshuvah

By Thea Iberall, Ph.D. As an act of service, I take care of the lawn and gardens at my local Unitarian Universalist Church. The first time I mowed the lawn, I used the hand mower so as to not pour carbon pollution into the atmosphere. People laughed at me, saying this is so old-fashioned. As I doubled-down into my task, I replied, “It’s the wave of the future.” In the lawn are dandelions which are weeds that don’t belong. But what is a dandelion anyway? Is it a weed or a flower? If we think of it as a weed, it is something to destroy because it ruins our ...

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Earth Etude for Elul 4 – Fearing God as a Response to Fear

by Andy Oram Fear is a recurring state that runs throughout life. These days, our fears increasingly hone in on environmental degradation. The drying up of aquifers, the threat of flooding that our major cities face through rising oceans, the disappearance of bees that keep the food chain going--such apocalypses outstrip almost everything we’ve feared in the past. Except for medieval plagues and nuclear war, nothing else in history can cause such legitimate fear as what we’re doing to the environment. These facts engender toxic mental reactions that are sometimes ...

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Earth Etude for Elul 2 – Elul: A Time to Start Shifting Our Imperiled Planet onto a Sustainable Path

by Richard H. Schwartz, Ph.D The Hebrew month of Elul has arrived. It is the traditional time for heightened introspection, a chance to consider teshuva, improvements in our lives, before the “Days of Awe,” the days of judgment, the “High Holidays” of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. The shofar is blown every morning (except on Shabbat) in synagogues during the month of Elul to awaken us from slumber, to remind us to consider where we are in our lives and to urge us to make positive changes. How should we respond to Elul today? How should we respond when: ...

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Earth Etude for Elul 1 – On the Search for Teshuvah at Walden Pond

by Rabbi Katy Z. Allen Today is the first day of the month of Elul. We are on the countdown to Rosh HaShanah, one month away. Welcome to the first of this year's Earth Etudes for Elul, a project of Ma'yan Tikvah - A Wellspring of Hope, a daily feast of reflections to help us in the process of teshuvah, of re-turning to the Holy One, re-turning toward our best innermost self. The journey toward self-discovery, self-fulfillment, and self actualization is one of constantly looking through the trees for the deep well of water from which we take ...

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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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Alon Tal tells why it is important to vote for Green Israel Now!

Last chance to help us make Israel a greener, environmentally healthier land: Until the end of April you can vote online for the upcoming World Zionist Congress. The results determine, among other things, the division of power at the Jewish National Fund’s international board. For the past decade I have sat on the JNF board, largely because of the support and intervention of the Green Zionist Alliance – a wonderful group of young environmentalists who decided to get involved and improve Israel’s environmental performance. This support has allowed me to ...

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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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Your One Vote Can Make Israel Greener

Recently, I've been more focused on teaching my baby to crawl than the state of the environment in Israel.   But even for us moms living inside the family bubble, there's a world out there that sometimes needs our attention. That's why I am proud to be part of the Green Israel slate for elections of the World Zionist Congress.  If you care about the environment in Israel and have not yet voted in the election, your vote can make a difference in a greener Israel.  You can vote here: https://myvoteourisrael.com/ The vote costs $10, which pays for the cost of the ...

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Vote for Green Israel in the WZC Election before April 30th!

You can support the Israel you want to see. All American Jews can vote in the World Zionist Congress election going on right now. One of the most common questions, we get is why it costs $10 to vote. As Mirele Goldsmith, a Green Israel slate member answers: "The American Zionist Movement has contracted with an independent company to run the online election.  This is to insure that the election is fair.  The registration fee is being used exclusively to pay for the election.  It is not a donation to the WZO.  I wish there was no fee, but it is a small price to pay ...

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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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Grow & Behold Kosher Pastured Meats

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“Farm the Land Grow the Spirit Summer 2015”

flgs_2015  This ia a free opportunity for young adults 19-29 to come together in an interfaith setting for Jews, Christians and Muslims to live, farm and study together from June 1st - July 23rd 2015 at the Stony Point Conference Center in Stony Point, NY, with time for mentoring and vocational discernment. It is a Multifaith, Peace, Justice and Earthcare program. We seek students who are grounded in their religious tradition, serious about spriiuality and the state of the planet, and open to learnig and living in an intentional community setting. This is our 6th annual ...

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Hanukkah 5775 – Night 7 Re-Dedication Meditation

by Rabbi Katy Z. Allen On this penultimate night of Hanukkah, we light seven candles, we continue the “Litany of Harm” and the “Call to Action,” and we consider a seventh way to strengthen our resolve to change the world in positive ways. Hanukkah Night 7: The Litany of Harm: For all those in island nations, where rising sea levels and superstorms threaten their very existence. We stand in witness! For all coastal cities and villages, where storm swells and flooding put lives and homes at risk. We stand in witness! For all those who suffer from ...

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