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A selection of initiatives, blogs, resources and communities on Jewcology inteded for use by camp counselors.


Blogs

Earth Etude for Elul 4: A Letter to Mother Earth

by Rabbi Judy Schindler Dear Mother Earth, As we spiritually make our way through the month of Elul and approach the anniversary of your and our creation, you are in our prayers for healing. An illness extends across the globe – COVID-19.  We know that you can feel it.  You wonder why people wear masks when the air should be so perfect to inhale. You cringe that we have come to fear rains and their floods, winds and their consequent hurricanes, when instead we should stand in awe of the miraculous cycles of your natural world. We have ...

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Earth Etude for Elul 3: Joining Fifty Years of Mystic River Watershed Environmental Advocacy

by Karen L. Grossman In 2009 I was invited to get involved with the Mystic River Watershed Association, established in 1972 with a long, hard mission of environmental advocacy. As a board member for 10 years, I was able to admire how we partnered with other groups to champion environmental changes for MA, pursuing concerns with land use and transportation, involving the location of the Alewife Red Line Station, a highway building moratorium, the Amelia Earhart Dam completion, and greenway connectivity into Boston. While tabling at events, I spread the word that ...

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Earth Etude for Elul 2: Where Heaven Is Here…

by Andy Oram What is heaven? How does one earn the right to enter heaven? I speculated on these questions by examining the Hebrew word for heaven, which is "shama'im" (שָׁמַיִם). The word is somewhat odd because it's plural, as indicated by the "im" (ים) ending. Here is my parsing of the word. If "shama'im" (שָׁמַיִם) is plural, what's the singular? Take off the plural ending, and the singular appears to be simply "sham" (שָׁמ), which is Hebrew for "there." Basically, heaven is just multiple "theres." Each of us has a "there" we would like ...

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Earth Etude for Elul 1: An Etude is…

by Enid C. Lader To listen to the Etude: Listen to Earth Etude for Elul 1, read by Ilana Gauss An etude is a short musical composition, typically for one instrument, designed as an exercise to improve the technique of the player. Is it finger dexterity? Bowing alacrity? Air control? Rhythmic concentration? ~ Standing beneath a canopy of trees I hear the rhythm of their rustling leaves I feel the heavenly breath of the breeze, A breath so controlled it seems to last forever. The tiny birds fly this way and that, Aligh...

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Elul is Coming and So Are the Etudes by Rabbi Katy Z. Allen We are rolling around to Elul now on the Jewish calendar. It feels too soon, and yet, it also feels right on time. Too soon, because Elul always comes too soon. I'm never really ready. And right on time, because it's impossible to be ready.  The clock ticks, the calendar days fly by, and IT arrives, whatever IT may be. A wedding, a birth, death, the start of a new school year, Shabbat, a difficult conversation – whatever it is we are awaiting, it always comes too soon – or sometimes not ...

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Our Temple is Being Destroyed

~by Lynn Nadeau * Destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem by Francesco Hayez On Tisha B'Av, we sit on the floor, a candle barely lighting the page, and we read the words which sear the heart. We lament the destruction of the First Temple by the Babylonians. And we lament the destruction of the Second Temple by the Romans. And today, we mourn the destruction caused by ourselves. Our private profligacy. Our passivity and our lack of participation in public policy letting selfish interests predominate. For these things I weep; my eye, yea my eye, sheds ...

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Dr. Alon Tal Joins Knesset! Aytzim Co-founder Brings Green Agenda to Israeli Government

Dr. Alon Tal, co-founder of the Green Zionist Alliance JERUSALEM (June 16) -- This morning Aytzim co-founder Dr. Alon Tal joined the Knesset, Israel's parliament, becoming only the second Knesset member with roots in Israel's Green Party to be appointed to the legislative body (following Yael Cohen Paran). Tal, who serves on Aytzim's board of directors, led the founding of Aytzim in 2001 along with Rabbi Michael Cohen, Dr. Eilon Schwartz and about 30 other volunteers. For almost two decades, Tal has served as one of Aytzim's Green Zionist Alliance representatives on ...

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Earth Etude for Elul 2: Reflections on The Challenges of Living with Fear and Hope

by Maxine Lyons I find new signs of hope and gratitude for the changes that I feel are beginning to surface despite the anxieties and sadness I feel for the families who have lost loved ones to COVID-19, and for the heightened consciousness of racism. We are living through a time when many forces are coming together with the potential to change our daily lives, setting in motion systemic reforms to our institutions that could dismantle systemic racism. I feel fearful that social upheaval or outright rebellion could de-stabilize us as a country or alternatively, could ...

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New Year for Animals Zoom Discussion in USA

You are cordially invited to attend a Zoom discussion of the historic, potentially transformative initiative to restore the ancient New Year for Animals and to transform it into a day devoted to increasing awareness of Jewish teachings about compassion to animals and how far current realities are from these teachings. It will also consider how animal-based diets and agriculture seriously violate basic Jewish teachings about preserving human health, treating animals with compassion, protecting the environment, conserving natural resources, helping hungry people, and ...

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Earth Etude for Elul 1: Elul is here

by Rabbi Katy Z. Allen I turned inward with the lockdown. I didn't want to go anywhere. My garden saved me. I worked outside almost every day. In early summer, I started again to lead outdoor services with small groups. But no walks on my own, in nature. After the depths of despair of Tisha B'Av, as the weeks of consolation began, knowing Elul was approaching, I started to turn outward. I spent a week of early mornings in a little-traveled conservation area, before the heat settled in. Reveling in the blooming flowers ...

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New Year for Animals Zoom Discussion in Israel

You are cordially invited to attend a Zoom discussion of the historic, potentially transformative initiative to restore the ancient New Year for Animals and to transform it into a day devoted to increasing awareness of Jewish teachings about compassion to animals and how far current realities are from these teachings. It will also consider how animal-based diets and agriculture seriously violate basic Jewish teachings about preserving human health, treating animals with compassion, protecting the environment, conserving natural resources, helping hungry people, and ...

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Proper Nutrition Can Reduce the Severity of Coronavirus Infections

There are currently daily reports of record-breaking incidents of coronavirus worldwide. As the Coronavirus epidemic escalates, it is important to recognize a generally overlooked possibility of taking steps now to reduce the severity of symptoms, should one have the misfortune of getting the disease.      According to T. Colin Campbell, PhD, director of the China-Cornell-Oxford study, deemed the Grand Prix of epidemiology by the NY Times, shifting to a nutritious, well-balanced, plant-based diet can greatly reduce the effects of COVID-19.       Based on his ...

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Get Used to Wearing Masks.

by Rabbi Dr. Eric Lankin Get Used to Wearing Masks. (courtesy of the United Nations). I am afraid that we will be wearing masks for a long time to come. And it won’t be solely because of a viral pandemic. Soon it may be because of the air quality of our planet. There is a clear scientific consensus on a human-driven warming of the earth, with carbon-based pollution released in the environment as the major contributor. As shown by data from NASA and NOAA, the last few decades have seen a sharp spike in global average temperature, and the increase of carbon-...

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The Youth Climate March (Saturday, July 21)

  In Washington D.C., youth will march on the National Mall to advocate for their own rights to a safe and livable future. We will rally and highlight the voices and stories of youth on the frontlines of the climate crisis. Then, we will flood the streets as a demonstration of youth power and show how #ThisIsZeroHour to act on climate change. There will also be a Youth Climate Weekend with a Youth Climate Lobby Day on Thursday, July 19 and Art Builds and Community Building on Friday, July 20. To learn more and register for the events: http://thisiszeroh...

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The Youth Climate Weekend – Thursday, July 19 – Saturday, July 21

WE LOBBY - JULY 19 Zero Hour is not mobilizing just for the sake of mobilizing. We, the youth, are demanding an end to business as usual on climate change, so we have created science-backed demands for both our leaders, and the general public to take action on. On July 19th youth are taking over Capitol Hill to deliver our demands to our politicians. We are giving them the exact asks that we are marching for—so they have no excuse not to take action. ART BUILDS & COMMUNITY BUILDING - JULY 20 We will prepare for our mobilization by having art builds around the DC ...

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Eden Village is Hiring Farm Educator Apprentices

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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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 ...

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Earth Etude for Elul 22: Earth Rituals

by Molly Bajgot ~ This is what rituals are for. We do spiritual ceremonies as human beings in order to create a safe resting place for our most complicated feelings of joy or trauma, so that we don't have to haul those feelings around with us forever, weighing us down. We all need such places of ritual safekeeping. And I do believe that if your culture or tradition doesn't have the specific ritual you are craving, then you are absolutely permitted to make up a ceremony of your own devising, fixing your own broken-down emotional systems with all the do-it-yourself resour...

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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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