Advocacy and/or Policy Subscribe

A selection of initiatives, blogs, resources and communities on Jewcology which focus on advocacy and-or policy.


Blogs

Energy Conservation for your Home: Summer Edition

The weather may be hot and humid, but summer is still a good time to be mindful of the importance of protecting God’s creation, the Earth, by reducing energy waste in your home. Below are a few simple suggestions to get you started.  These tips will both help reduce waste and reduce costs. Green Lighting Tips: Do not place lamps near a thermostat.  The thermostat senses the heat produced by the lamp which can change how often the air conditioner will run.  Use dimmers, motion detectors, and timers on indoor and outdoor lighting Use CFL lightbulbs wherever ...

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Throw Out the Cookie Jar …. And Save the Planet

As a lifetime Weight Watcher, I have learned a few tricks. The most helpful to me was this one: Banish red light food from your home...and keep healthy food cut up and ready to eat at the front of your refrigerator in plastic see-through containers.  Now what does that have to do with saving the planet?  Well, a whole lot. Fracked gas is not healthy for people or the climate. Neither is nuclear-powered electricity. These are red-light energy products, the healthy alternatives being solar and wind energy. Even knowing this, companies profiting from red light dirty ...

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“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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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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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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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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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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What Did YOU Do?

I offer here the oral testimony I gave today at the Massachusetts State House on Sen. Barrett’s carbon pricing bill, S. 1747, An Act combating climate change before the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities & Energy. --KZA   The time is 50 years hence, and this story is told –- you are old and your hair is gray . Children gather at your feet. They ask, Wise One, Ancient One – we have heard of a time when the inhabitants of the Earth became aware that time was limited, that little time remained to save the ...

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The Jewish Veg Event of the Decade


Light the Way: Support Pope Francis’ Call for Climate Action

Pope Francis is speaking to world leaders at the UN on September 25 with a simple message for politicians: There is no more time for talk.  Now is the time to act on climate change. In his recent encyclical on climate change, Pope Francis wrote that “…faced as we are with global environmental deterioration. I wish to address every living person on this planet.”   His impassioned message to humanity was drawn from Torah.  He wrote that Genesis 2 teaches us that we are required to respect and protect the dignity of every human being.  And Psalm 148 is a ...

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Moral March for Climate Justice

Join the Moral Action for Climate Justice At the Lincoln Memorial on the National Mall. NEW DATE: Thursday 9/24/15 Washington, DC Because this is the day we can make history. On this day the Pope will be calling on Congress to take action to save our planet — and we will be right there to show him, Congress, and the rest of the world that we agree! PLEASE CHECK THE WEBSITE CLOSE TO THE DATE FOR THE UPDATED TIMES.

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Light the Way – Support Pope Francis’ Call for Climate Action on September 24

Pope Francis is speaking to world leaders at the UN on September 25 with a simple message for politicians: There is no more time for talk.  Now is the time to act on climate change. In his recent encyclical on climate change, Pope Francis wrote that “…faced as we are with global environmental deterioration. I wish to address every living person on this planet.”   His impassioned message to humanity was drawn from Torah.  He wrote that Genesis 2 teaches us that we are required to respect and protect the dignity of every human being.  And Psalm 148 is a ...

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Make a Bigger Difference: Environmental Action for your House of Worship/Life/Community

Learn more about how we all can make a difference in addressing climate change--hear keynote speaker Don Corrigan, Professor of Media Law and Global and Environmental Journalism, Webster University, followed by two break out panels on "greening your house of worship" and "greening your life and community."  Co-sponsored by Jewish Environmental Initiative, a committee of the Jewish Community Relations Council of St. Louis, Missouri Interfaith Power & Light and US Green Building Council-Missouri Gateway Chapter.   Free and open to the community.

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Senator McCain gets punked by a righteous #indigenous youth! #SaveOakFlat #SaveSacredSites

Adriano Tsinigine Dine Navajo Youth serves papers to Senator McCain August 14, 2015Navajo youth Adriano Tsinigine served papers to Senator John McCain to #SaveOakFlat! August 14, 2015Original photo at https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1597159437211246 In a heroic demonstration of bravery and resistance Navajo student Adriano Tsinigine approached Senator John McCain during a visit to the Navajo Nation capital of Window Rock August 14, 2015, and asked to have his picture taken with the politician. Photo ops were part of the day honoring the Navajo Code Talkers, ...

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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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While Everyone Is Excited About This Progressive Green Pope, He’s About To Canonize The Catholic Genocidist Junipero Serra

When the highest Catholic spiritual leader promotes an historic Franciscan evangelist and colonist, it hits home for Jews too. Many of today’s Native Americans and Jews are in fact survivors of the same Catholic program. Yay! The Pope wants to stop the destruction of the Earth. Awesome! He even referred to the Earth as “her!” Great! Boo! The Pope intends to canonize Junipero Serra the friar who evangelized and colonized California. Native Americans across California, many who are practicing Catholics, are protesting the Pope’s plan but Catholic institutions ...

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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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