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A selection of initiatives, blogs, resources and communities on Jewcology which focus on culture change.


Blogs

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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My activities in Israel to increase awareness about climate threats and veg diets

Below is the April 24 Jerusalem Post ‘In Jerusalem’ article about my vegetarian/vegan activities in Israel followed by my Times of Israel blog with links to YouTube videos of my talks, interviews, and other veg activities there.   Kol tuv,   Richard   ====   Apocalypse Cow Jerusalem Post article [In Jerusalem section] April 24, 2015 By Gavriel Fiske [Corrections in brackets [ ]] Reducing meat consumption could help avert a global disaster, according to Jewish vegetarian activist Richard Schwartz  Octogenarian vegetarianism activist Richard Schwartz, an Orthodox ...

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Adam Sandler’s New Shanda – Racism Against Native Americans – Is A Reminder For Jewish Justice Activists

by Wendy Kenin @greendoula News broke last week that a dozen Native Americans and a cultural consultant walked off the set of Adam Sandler’s new Netflix film under production because it was misrepresenting Apache culture and spouted derogatory lines about women and indigenous people. I stand with them! It gets personal for us Jews who are activists for social justice when successful Jewish business persons in the entertainment industry perpetuate racism in mainstream society. On the heels of a long term campaign which erupted last year to change the name of the ...

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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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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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Hanukkah 5775 – Night 4 Re-Dedication Meditation

by Rabbi Katy Z. Allen On this fourth night, half way through Hanukkah, we light four candles, continue the “Litany of Harm” and the “Call to Action,” and consider a fourth way to move our lives forward in a way that adds goodness to the world. Hanukkah Night 4: 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 ...

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Hanukkah 5775 – Night 2 Re-Dedication Meditation

by Rabbi Katy Z. Allen On this second night of Hanukkah, we continue to increase in holiness by lighting two candles and by adding to the “Litany of Harm” and the “Call to Action,” and by adding a new action to our personal list of ways in which to re-dedicate ourselves. (See Night 1 for a full introduction.) Hanukkah Night 2: We continue 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 ...

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Hanukkah 5775 – Night 1 Re-Dedication Meditation

by Rabbi Katy Z. Allen Why don’t we light eight candles on the first night of Hanukkah, and work our way down to one? Why do we start with one candle and work our way up to eight? So familiar are we with our traditional way of lighting the candles and increasing the light, that imagining doing it the opposite way is almost impossible. Reduce the amount of light each night? No way! Yet, in ancient times this custom seems to have been practiced. In the Talmud, the School of Shammai said, “On the first day eight lights are lit and thereafter they are gradually ...

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Start-Up Moshav: Growing our Demonstration Garden in Berkeley, California


Reject Keystone XL

Dec. 2, 2014   Thirteen Jewish organizations, under the umbrella of the Green Hevra, have issued the following joint statement today publicly calling on the U.S. government to reject the Keystone XL pipeline:   It has become abundantly clear that we are consuming far too many fossil fuels. In this Sabbatical/Shmita year, when the Torah calls for deeper gentleness toward the Earth, we are especially conscious of the dangers to the Earth from the drilling, transporting and burning of tar-sands oil. The resources that would be devoted to the Keystone XL ...

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Out of the ark and into the garden: The story of Noah in the Sabbatical year

There are three places in the Torah which talk about human beings and the animals – including wild animals – sharing one food supply. In Eden, in the ark during the flood, and in the Sabbatical year or Shmita. There’s a lot more to these stories, but you don’t really need to know much more to understand the basic message of the Torah. We lived with the wild animals once, rather than carving out separate spaces for us and our domesticated fellow travelers. According to the Torah, that is the real truth, and all the owning and property and buying and selling is an ...

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Making our Confession Real: Tools for On-going Teshuvah – Part 1

Just before Yom Kippur, I posted Al Chet - A Confessional for the Earth. So many are the deeds, misdeeds, and non-deeds in relation to the Earth for which we must confess, and then, hopefully, do teshuvah. With this post I begin a series of suggestions for how to implement changes that can help to make our confessional meaningful beyond its words, into actions. I begin with a response to this phrase: For the sin we have committed against You by believing we are doing enough,

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Religious Environmentalists

This month I want to highlight the various groups that continue to do amazing work throughout the various faith communities.  Coming together as Jewish environmentalists to collaborate and share ideas is crucial, but I am also a strong believer in working with other faith communities, especially when it comes to advocacy.  The following are several groups I think do fantastic work and can be excellent partners and/or resources in connection with environmental learning and activism: GreenFaith  (http://greenfaith.org/):  GreenFaith has an amazing fellowship program ...

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Earth Etude for Elul 29- Shanah Tovah

photos by Gabi Mezger text by Rabbi Katy Z. Allen   May you find yourself in the new year constantly in motion...   surrounded by love like a seal in water...   reflecting light visible even in the light of those around you...     moving slowly when necessary, yet always steadily...   raging ferociously against the ills and injustices of the world...     with unending energy, unceasing in your efforts like the constantly moving waves...     zeroing in on what is most beautiful and most nourishing...   &nb...

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A Green Opportunity to Share Love with Israel – Steven’s Garden


Earth Etude for Elul 21- What Does Atoning and Returning to God Mean?

by Rabbi Judy Weiss   Ps. 27:1 "The Lord is my light and my rescue. Whom should I fear?" For an entire month before Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, we focus on atoning and returning to God. But what exactly, in real life terms, does atoning and returning to God mean? We plan our path to return by adding Psalm 27 to our daily prayers. This psalm repeatedly affirms hope in God. It ends with: Ps 27:14 "Let your heart be firm and bold, and hope for the Lord." As Robert Alter comments, the Psalm opens and closes with the same sentiment "It begins by affirming trust in God ...

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Why Jewcology Matters

It feels good to be back blogging on Jewcology after a 6 month hiatus.  During this period, my wife gave birth to a baby boy and we moved from NYC to Maryland.  Although it has been a very hectic time, as those with children or nieces/nephews know, the birth of a child changes one's perspective on the world.   I have been involved with Jewcology since its inception and think it serves a very important purpose.  I am thrilled that a new group of individuals has become involved, breathing a new sense of energy into the movement, including the launching of the redesigned ...

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Earth Etude for Elul 12- Growing Teshuva

by Maxine Lyons I am often looking for ways to connect to teshuvah even during the leisurely days of summer. Teshuvah for me is turning to those thoughts and actions that help me to become my better self, following those practices that nourish my growth to know peace - shalom - and to reach greater wholeness - sh'lemut. As I pursue personal growth, I resonate to the Hebrew word, hitpatchut, growth through an openness and receptivity to change.This summer I have focused on ways to practice with greater compassion in how I spend my time and focus my energy as I take on ...

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Earth Etude for Elul 9 – A Cry in the Night: My Decision not to Consume Dairy

by Diana G.   A memory: Our newborn is up again. I turn to the clock. It’s 4:25 am. Less than three hours since she last awoke. My husband and I are exhausted, and we lie quietly for a few moments, willing our daughter back to sleep. But her cries are persistent. Who knows if she’s hungry, cold, or simply distressed and looking for comfort?   Regardless, we’ve reached our “give-her-a-moment” limit; there’s only so long one can ignore an infant baby’s cries. My husband grabs for his glasses, makes his way to the nursery, and returns ...

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Earth Etude for Elul 8 – Waves on the Beach

by Rabbi Katy Z. Allen I stand on the beach. Waves--      I hear them, see them, rising, falling, splashing, foaming. Deep within me    waves form,   rise up, are released, unite with the ocean waves. Throughout my body   sadness.... grief.... despair.... engulf me. The Earth is suffering. I cannot simply stand, sit, lie, relax. Act, I must, driven by my grief,  by my love, by the waves, in order to live with myself, with the Holy One of Blessing-- who is able to quiet waves, in the sea, in my soul-- who continues ...

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