Community Organizing and Policymaking Subscribe

A selection of initiatives, blogs, resources and communities on Jewcology which focus on community organizing and policymaking.


Blogs

The Climate Crisis, Our Addictions, and How Judaism Can Help

The other day there was a blackout in our neighborhood. Not a long or serious one. Our block was dark for only about an hour because of some mechanical problem. But for that hour, something interesting happened. The kids all came out of their rooms and even our upstairs neighbor, a young teenager whom we rarely see, said he was home alone and wanted company in the dark. Everyone gathered in our kitchen. Ilana, my wife, was cooking so everyone helped out cutting vegetables by candle light. Naturally, people started talking to each other. Then the lights came on and every...

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Strike for the Climate, Albany NY: Friday Sept. 20th, 11 am – 2 pm

The People of Albany United for Safe Energy (PAUSE) are joining with the students from local high schools and colleges to hold a march and rally. Our specific purpose is to call upon Governor Cuomo to enact aggressive measures that can lead the nation and the world in lowering our greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) to a safe level. The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports that we have until 2030 to lower GHG by 45% from the 2010 level. Every report the IPCC puts out is cautiously moderate and needs to be replaced by more dire predictions ...

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Crisis or Opportunity

Part One: A World in Crisis In the winter time we yearn for more light, and in challenging times like this we also wish to see the light of justice, health and understanding increase. But we first need to look squarely at the darkness: Climate change may be the worst disaster humanity has ever faced; politically, democracy isn’t spreading anymore, but instead it is in retreat across the globe; we have an addiction crisis and record levels of related ailments such as depression, loneliness, and loss of as sense of meaning. Jewishly, we, like all other religions and ...

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Hanukkah: Dynamic Emergence of the Eternal Light– Part 2

This post is part two of a three part series on Hanukkah. As we move through this eight day holiday, Rabbi Margalit will be sharing thoughts on the emergent and dynamic aspects of Hanukkah. You can find the first post here.  I wrote in Part One that Hanukkah isn’t mentioned in the Torah, that it is a holiday that was started by us, the people, and it didn’t really focus on God’s explicit miracles but more on the people’s courage in the war against the Greeks and their initiative in declaring this a new holiday. But, hold on! Of course, Hanukkah has miracles! ...

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What People Are Saying About My Book, “Who Stole My Religion?”

The many endorsements below are included to show that it is not just the author, but many other people also - including Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, and Reconstructionist Jews, as well as Christians, and Muslims - who think their religion has been "stolen" by right-wing politics, but who still believe that compassionate religious values have relevance to current crises. Provision of a blurb here does not imply that the person who provided it agrees with everything in my book. However, it is hoped that the voices of the people who submitted the statem...

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Starting a Major Campaign to Help Heal Our Imperiled Planet

Shalom, It is time for a major effort for committed Jews, preferably joining with others, to apply Jewish values to help heal our imperiled planet. Here are some issues to be considered: The world is rapidly heading toward a climate catastrophe. Many climate experts think we are close to an irreversible tipping point when climate change will spin out of control, with disastrous consequences, unless very significant positive changes soon occur. My article: “Climate Change: An Existential Threat to Israel, the US, and the World,” published in the Jerusalem Post ...

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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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Where Were You When the World Was Ravaged? by Dr. Adriane Leveen

If you take our roles as God’s agents on this planet seriously, march. If you are losing sleep because of the world in which our children and our children’s children must live, march. March against those who should know better. March for common sense. We can stop this!

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Returning to Natural Wisdom, Expanding Our Love (appeared in EJP, 3/3/17)

In the depth of winter, when the stark lines of bare tree branches are etched against a gray sky, it feels like each tree has pulled away from its neighbor, shrinking into itself, saving its energy to survive the cold season. We are also seeing that same reflex toward isolation in our society and country. To continue reading click here.    

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Review of My Book, “Who Stole My Religion?” by the Midwest Book Review

Wisconsin Bookwatch: October 2016
/James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief 
Midwest Book Review 
278 Orchard Drive, Oregon, WI 53575 The Judaic Studies Shelf Who Stole My Religion? 
Richard H. Schwartz 
Urim Publications 
c/o Lambda Publishers 
527 Empire Boulevard, Brooklyn, New York 11225 
www.UrimPublications.com
 9789655242348, $28.95, HC, 302pp, www.amazon.com "Who Stole My Religion?: Revitalizing Judaism and Applying Jewish Values to Help Heal Our Imperiled Planet" by Richard H. Schwartz (President of the Society of Ethical and Religious Vegetarians ...

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Challenging Questions for Donald Trump That Can Help Defeat Him

Donald Trump has been getting away with many lies and misrepresentations during his presidential campaign. Below are some challenging questions, mainly on issues that generally are insufficiently considered, that can help defeat him. Suggestions for other questions are very welcome. Mr. Trump, you claim that you will make better deals with other countries, but won’t your diplomatic efforts be harmed by your eagerness to tear up an agreement signed by leaders of all 195 nations at the December 2016 Paris climate change conference? Mr. Trump, you claim that you will ...

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Why Averting a Climate Catastrophe Must Be a Central Focus For Society Today

­­­ Here are ten reasons we all should be very concerned about climate change: Science academies worldwide, 97% of climate scientists, and 99.9% of peer-reviewed papers on the issue in respected scientific journals argue that climate change is real, is largely caused by human activities, and poses great threats to humanity. In December 2015, 195 nations at the Paris climate change conference all agreed that immediate action must be taken to avert a climate catastrophe. Every decade since the 1970s has been warmer than the previous decade and all of the 17 warmest ...

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Jews March for a Clean Energy Revolution

On the eve of the Democratic National Convention, as TV cameras turn towards Philadelphia, thousands will march for action to prevent climate catastrophe and present these demands directly to current and future policy makers: • Ban Fracking Now • Keep Fossil Fuels in the Ground • Stop Dirty Energy • Quickly and Justly Transition to 100% Renewable Energy We'll be organizing a group marching together as Jews (of all backgrounds) who want a clean energy revolution! At the 2014 People's Climate March, 400,000 people marched through the streets of New ...

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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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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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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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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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Deadly Heat Wave in Israel Should Be a Wake-Up Call To the Need For Dietary Changes To Help Avert a Climate Catastrophe

When I speak to people about climate change, often they say that perhaps it will be a problem for future generations, but not now. The recent very severe heat wave in Israel, with temperatures ranging from the mid 90s to well over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, resulting in the deaths of a one-year old baby and an 18 year old soldier and in many other people fainting or suffering from dehydration, is an indication that the effects of climate change are already being felt. Other counties in the Middle East experienced even higher temperatures, which reached 122 degrees F in Iraq ...

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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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