Culture Change Subscribe

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


Blogs

Adventures in Being “So Kind”

Register. There it was on my list of pre-baby things to do. I had the feeling that people would want to buy things for us, and I knew they’d be asking if we had a registry. Setting one up seemed like the proper thing to do. It would help everyone know what we needed. But the truth was, we didn’t need all that much. We had saved bags of clothing, toys and other baby gear from our older son. And we live in a generous community where neighbors had already given or lent us key things like a carseat, a baby swing, a jogging stroller and our choice ...

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Hopenhagen: A City in a Cloak of Hope

By Dr. Orr Karassin. COPENHAGEN (Dec. 14, 2009) — In honor of the United Nations Conference on Climate Change, the city of Copenhagen had an especially optimistic ambiance. Despite the optimism, it could be said that the conference planners miscalculated in bringing the world's policy makers and the decade's most important conference on global warming to the Danish frost. Situating this conference in the Sahara desert may have resulted in a less amiable conference — but a more effective one. Click here to continue reading the article

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History of the Kayamut Sustainability Circle

The Kayamut Sustainability Circle in Silver, Spring, MD was formed in 2010, and led by a team of local Torah-based Jewish environmentalists who met regularly to learn about community opportunities for environmental action. Over three years, members met local chickens, explored invasive plants, experimented with composting, learned what's recyclable in Montgomery County, and much, much more. We're most proud of the work done on the Maryland Offshore Wind Power campaign, where our shared activism and concern influenced Delegate Ben Kramer to support wind power ...

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Get Your Hands Dirty at the Nevatim-Sprouts Conference!

Nature-Based Workshops for Educators in Jewish Preschools, Day Schools and Synagogues Reisterstown, MD – May 5, 2014 -- Pearlstone Center is holding its 4th annual Nevatim-Sprouts Conference, Sunday, July 13th through Wednesday July 16th. This professional development conference brings together early childhood, day school, and religious school educators from around the country for training in Jewish garden and environmental education. Participants learn the basics of educational garden design, share lesson plans and Jewish, environmental curricula, tour the ...

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70+ Rabbinic Call to Move Our Money to Protect Our Planet

Dear chevra, By April 30, 2014, more than 70 Rabbis and other Jewish spiritual leaders have signed this Call. Now we appeal to all members of the Jewish community to join in this effort. To do so, please click to: <https://theshalomcenter.org/civicrm/petition/sign?sid=11&reset=1> We — Rabbis, Cantors, and other Jewish spiritual leaders — call upon Jewish households, congregations, seminaries, communal and denominational bodies, and other institutions: Move Our Money to Protect Our Planet. In the ancient tradition ...

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Vegetarianism for a More Peaceful World

The universal dream of a peaceful, non-violent world will never be realized as long as we continue to consume the flesh of animals. Simply put, the senseless, mind-boggling, global slaughter of over 65 billion chickens, cows, turkeys, pigs, sheep, goats, ducks and other farm animals and an even greater number of fish and other sea creatures constitutes the largest source of pain, suffering, bloodshed, and killing on our planet. It is a bloodbath of inconceivable magnitude. Through the consumption of flesh, we desensitize ourselves to all forms of suffering and ...

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GZA-Hechalutz FREE Birthright Trip to Israel in June

Interested in a FREE trip to Israel with a focus on the environment, this is the trip for you! The application deadline is today — Monday, March 31. Visit our website to for info on the application: http://www.greenzionism.org/greenisrael Select IsraelExperts as the Trip Organizer, June - Green Israel as the Trip Selection & enter Referral Code GZA30.

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And on Day Eight of Creation, We Advocated for Change…

This year, my attention is on the power of advocacy and the opportunity for us to make a difference, as a Jewish community, in environmental policy. After spending a year with Jewcology and Canfei Nesharim focusing my attention on Jewish learning on the environment, and a second year focusing on action, I’ve come to understand that real change also requires a third piece: joining with others as citizens to make a difference. That is why, this year, we’re focusing on a Year of Jewish Policy Engagement on the Environment. We are blessed to live in a democracy like the ...

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Do We Need to Rename God?

In the traditional Jewish spiral of Torah reading, we will soon start the Book of Exodus -- the transformational story of successful resistance to slavery. As the British Army band played the song when the American Revolution became victorious, this book is a story of “The World Turned Upside Down.” Maybe the first such story. Maybe even the story that inspired many of the higgledy-piggledy Boston blacksmiths and Pennsylvania farmers who thought they could defeat the world’s greatest Empire. It certainly inspired Harriet Tubman and Sojourner ...

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A Dialogue Between a Jewish Vegetarian Activist and a Rabbi

For a long time, I have been trying to start a respectful dialogue in the Jewish community. Because I have had very little success, I am presenting the fictional dialogue below. I hope that many readers will use it as the basis of similar dialogues with local rabbis, educators, and community leaders. If you do, please let me know how it turns out. Thanks. Jewish Vegetarian Activist: Shalom rabbi.. Rabbi: Shalom. Good to see you. JVA: Rabbi, I have been meaning to speak to you for some time about an issue, but I have hesitated because I know how busy you are, but I think ...

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The Urban Adamah Fellowship Now Accepting 2014 Applications

Connect to Something Bigger: Earth, Community, Social Justice, Jewish Spirituality The Urban Adamah Fellowship, based in Berkeley, CA, is a three-month residential training program for young adults (ages 21–31) that combines urban organic farming, social justice training and progressive Jewish learning and living within the setting of an intentional community. Through the operation of Urban Adamah’s one-acre organic farm and internships with social justice organizations, fellows gain significant skills, training and experience in all aspects of ...

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Do Animals Go to Heaven? Reflecting on Our Relationship to Non-Human Life

Do All Dogs Go to Heaven? When we ask such a question or “Do animals have souls?” what are we are really saying? We are revealing a deeper existential and theological question about how human beings relate to other living creatures. No one can know the actual reality of the afterlife, but what we believe about it says something about what we believe about life. Our ideas about animal “souls” is, therefore, really about whether humans are unique among living creatures and determining the spiritual distance or ontological gap between humans and ...

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Opportunity from the Nathan Cummings Foundation

On October 7-10, 2013 The Nathan Cummings Foundation will host leaders in their twenties and thirties to explore strategies to create a U.S. society by the year 2030 where our religious diversity leads us to act collaboratively for a more just, fair and compassionate country. As a Jewcology community, we feel that the more Jewish environmental leaders who apply to this event, the more likelihood that the conversation will include challenges of sustainability. We encourage you to apply for this event. The deadline to apply is this coming Monday, July ...

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Earth Etude for 23 Elul

Returning from Forgetting by Alexander Volfson Elul, I’m told, is “a time to return to our best selves.” Upon reading these words this time, something struck me: what if we, every year, are perpetually returning from the same forgetting? We would do a greater justice to G-d and ourselves if we took the time to deeply understand why we turned away in the first place. The truth is that the most compelling explanation for why we turned “away” is that, in fact, we turned toward something else. In reflecting, then, let us ...

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Don’t Buy Bottled Water

One of the core tenets of Judaism that links it to the environmental movement is the tenet of Baal Tashchit: “do not waste” or “do not destroy.” While it may be convenient, especially in the summer heat, to buy a bottle of disposable bottled water, there are many environmental and health reasons why you should resist this urge. Why Bottled Water is Bad for the Environment: Consider these statistics from the non-profit organization Food and Water Watch before you spend money on bottled water: As much as 40 percent of bottled ...

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Trees, Bikes and Nature on Yom Ha’atzmaut

NEW YORK (April 26, 2012) — Falafel fests, movie nights, dance parties — Americans celebrate Yom Ha’atzmaut in many ways. But what do Israelis do on Independence Day? They head outdoors. Last year so many people jammed into the country’s de-facto national-park system, run by KKL-JNF, that parks were closed because they reached capacity. So, how many people was that, you ask? About one in every five Israelis — more than 1.5 million people — which is also about the same number of trees that have been planted in Israel since ...

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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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Seeds Of Peace: Botanical Gardens To Connect Jews And Arabs

  • March 4, 2012
  • Member since 2011

Seeds Of Peace: Botanical Gardens To Connect Jews And Arabs By Hanna Szekeres The Botanical Gardens in Jerusalem, Israel is a 30-acre oasis where you can see, smell and even taste over 10,000 species of flowers from around the world. But the educational department of the gardens also focuses on another type of seed: “the seeds of peace.” Five years ago the department started a project called “Coexistence” that brings together nine- to 11-year-olds from the city’s Jewish and Muslim schools and teaches them about the production ...

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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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Equity or the Flood: Two Visions of Justice

It is now seven weeks to Passover and the Passover foods are already for sale in my local supermarket. My family is already planning when to do our shopping and whom to invite to the seder. Like many Jewish families, we put a lot of time and preparations into this holiday because we want to make it special and different from the rest of the year as was done when we were children. But our preparations are not only about shopping, cooking, invites and the changeover of dishes. Every year, we spend at least a little time considering what we ...

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