Changing Jewish Communal Infrastructure Subscribe

A selection of initiatives, blogs, resources and communities on Jewcology which focus on changing Jewish communal infrastructure.


Blogs

Earth Day Every Day – Join a Webinar!

Tuesday April 22nd marked the 44th annual Earth Day! What will you do this year to protect our planet? Join the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism (the RAC) in commemorating Earth Day with an online information session on how to successfully create a green “culture” in your congregation. How do we make our environmental efforts an integral part of the culture of our congregational communities? How do we align our actions with our Jewish beliefs of environmental stewardship? Our synagogues have the potential to model environmental behavior and ...

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Creating a Jewish Vegetarian Consciousness

Based on my over 30 years of promoting vegetarianism and veganism in the Jewish community and beyond, I believe that it is essential that there be a major shift to plant-based diets to help shift our imperiled planet onto a sustainable path. Jews can and should play a major role in accomplishing this goal. As indicated in my article below, a major societal shift by Jews (and others) to veg diets is essential to efforts to avert a looming climate catastrophe, major food, water, and energy scarcities, and other potential environmental disasters. "Environmental Catastro...

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How Should Jews React to the Polish Ban on Shechita?

Recently the Polish government banned the practice of shechita (Jewish ritual slaughter). How should Jews react? Jewish Vegetarians of North America (JVNA), of which I am President Emeritus, is against all slaughter, but we object when shechita is signaled out for criticism or is banned. Shechita was designed to minimize pain, but even if it is carried out with a minimum of pain, the many months during which animals are mistreated on factory farms should be considered. People who think that other methods of slaughter are more humane than shechita should read ...

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Are We Really Stewards of Creation?

Post by Rabbi Jacob Fine, Let’s face it. Our Jewish communities are failing miserably to respond to the greatest threat that humanity has ever known. For a people that (rightfully) prides itself on the utmost value that our tradition places on the preservation of life, our unwillingness to respond collectively as a people in any significant way to the threat of global warming is as hypocritical as it is suicidal. With each new report that points to how little time we have left if we want to try and sustain life on this planet as we know (and like) it, the ...

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Tears and Tisha B’Av

Humidity, thunderstorms, threatening hail- without hummingbirds, lizards and fragrant sage growing wild. I’m in a very different place now, back home, here in the Berkshire foothills, far from my month outside LA teaching and sharing stories. During this week before Tisha B’Av, I’m remembering a conversation with Nimrod (a young, post-army Israeli) about the hard work for men to reclaim our tears. Here’s a poem for those on this journey. The first grown man I saw openly crying was in Jerusalem, on Tisha B’Av, our day of mourning ...

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Clean the Land: Love It. Live It. Clean It.

It’s happened to each and every one of us. You’re at the beach in Tel Aviv, surrounded by white sand, blue sea, shining sun…and, of course, bronzed bodies. With the enthusiasm of a kid in a candy store, you run to the water and jump in. “This is just too perfect! This has to be a dream!” you think to yourself. You dip your head, envisioning yourself recreating one of those movie scenes where you emerge from the water with your hair slicked, basking in the Mediterranean sun. Unfortunately, when you break the ...

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Solar Project Completed and Dedicated at Temple Sinai of Glendale

With donations from over 50% of our congregation, we were able to raise the down payment for our solar panel system by the time construction was completed! Panels are anticipated to produce from 35 to 50% or more of our power as we continue to take conservation measures. We hope it will be encouraging to congregants to consider doing the same for their own homes.

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Those Who Plant in Joy – Tu b’Shvat and the Social Justice Protests

A.The Israeli media has recently been occupied with the six-month anniversary of the past summer’s social justice protests, in which scores of young activists (me included) declared themselves the “New Israelis.” “We are the New Israelis,” we called from the stages and street marches, “and we have a dream – to live in this land, to build our homes here, to raise our children here, and to weave our life story out of it.” This is how we “New Israelis” feel – a new generation not locked into stereo...

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Take Care Reproducing Documents (CJN May 2011)

This "Sustainable Jew" column originally appeared in the Canadian Jewish News May 12, 2011 We are now in “sphirat ha-omer,” the count-up to Shavuot—the time of the giving of our Torah. Our study and transmission of our Written and Oral Laws ("Torah Shebichtav" and "Torah Sheba'al Peh," respectively) has benefitted from technological advancement. We are known as the “People of the Book”—five books of Moses, 24 books of Tanakh, countless written commentaries—but many are beginning to find ...

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Networks and the Jewish Environmental Movement

On November 8-10, I traveled to Boulder, CO for a unique post-GA event: the NetWORKS Gathering, organized by the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Foundation. According to the organizers, the event brought together "a group of exceptional innovators, activists and network curators pushing the boundaries of the most vibrant organizations, projects and communities comprising Jewish life today." It was an honor to participate and to represent a network that I'm quite fond of - the global Jewish environmental community as gathered together on Jewcology. In ...

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What’s the Story?

How do you motivate people? In the Jewish-environmental movement, it seems that we share fact after fact about the environmental challenges we face, and list after list of things that people can do to make a difference. We’ve also gotten good at telling people what Jewish values should motivate them, and bringing them outdoors to grow food or see the beauty of nature. While we’ve made some headway as a movement, we certainly have not mastered environmental motivation in the Jewish community. The key to understanding motivation is that it ...

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1200 Jewish Young Adults Walk Into a Casino…

From March 5-8, I had the pleasure of participating in the first ever Tribefest, at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. This fantastic event put on by the Jewish Federations of North America, brought together 1200 young adults from across North America to ‘Connect, Explore and Celebrate’ their Jewish identity, culture and community. While not particularly an environmental friendly event (judged by the location, quantity of disposable dishes, etc.) the organizers went out of their way to include two environmentally themes sessions, one on ...

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