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A selection of initiatives, blogs, resources and communities on Jewcology which focus on food justice.


Blogs

Plans for activities for restoring the ancient Jewish New Year for Animals and transforming it into a day devoted to improving conditions for animals.

     I am working with other Jewish veg activists to organize many events in an 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. The events 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 ...

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“A New Year for Animals?” article by Abigail Klein Leichner in the August 9 Jerusalem Report

[This article discusses my efforts to restore the ancient Jewish New Year for Animals and to transform it into a day devoted to increasing awareness of judaism's teachings on compassion to animals and how far current realities are3vfrom these teachings.] A New Year for Animals? By Abigail Klein Leichman Just as Tu BiShvat was reinvented from a Temple-centric day marking the start of the fruit and nut tithing cycle into an ecologically conscious Jewish New Year for the Trees, the New Year for Animals on the first of Elul – when animal tithes were assessed for ...

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Article by Professor Yael Shemesh in the August 9 Jerusalem report, “Judaism does not allow the abuse of animals,” supporting my cover story, “Why Jews Should Be Vegans,” in the same issue

Prof. Yael Shemesh, Bible Department, Bar-Ilan University I have read the words of Prof. Richard Schwartz, an observant Jewish vegan who dedicates his life to promoting the vegetarian-vegan idea in accordance with Jewish values, as well as the words of Rabbi Yoel Schonfeld clearly demonstrating that he is a non-vegetarian. He even asks not to be preached to about stopping to consume meat. I will begin with my bottom line impression – both are right. Rabbi Yoel Schonfeld is right that Judaism is not a vegetarian religion and does not require its adherents to be ...

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My cover story in the August 9, 2021 Jerusalem Report on “Why Jews Should be Vegans”

https://www.jpost.com/jerusalem-report/heres-why-jews-should-be-vegans-675135 Since you may not be able toopen the link because you are not a Jerusalem Report subscriber, I have pasted the article below.                 Why Jews Should Be Vegans                                            Richard H. Schwartz, Ph.D I am proud to live in Israel, the eternal home of the Jewish people and arguably the vegan ...

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My Draft of a Haggadah for a Restored and Transformed New Year For Animals Event

Shalom, Below is my very preliminary draft for a Haggadah’ for a future ‘Seder’ for a renewed and transformed New Year for Animals. It is presented mainly to get people thinking about possibilities for future observances of the restored ancient Jewish holiday. We may end up with an approach or approaches very different from the one I am suggesting in this draft. And that would be fine with me. I would very much welcome your input on this and suggestions for other possible approaches. In reviewing this, please do not be concerned with the wordage, the ...

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My three articles about restoring the ancient New Year for Animals

Shalom My three articles about restoring the ancient New Year for Animals are: Restoring and Transforming an Ancient Jewish Holiday Related to AnimalsTen Reasons for Restoring and Transforming the Ancient New Year for AnimalsAn Often Overlooked Mitzvah: Tsa’ar Ba’alei Chaim   Restoring and Transforming an Ancient Jewish Holiday Related to Animals The current widespread mistreatment of animals on factory farms is very inconsistent with Judaism’s beautiful teachings about compassion to animals. One way for Jews to respond to these inconsistencies ...

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Jewish Quotations About Animals and How Animals Are Treated Today

   Jewish Quotations About Animals and How Animals Are Treated Today A. Attitude Toward Animals 1. “A righteous person regards the life of his or her animal, but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.”    ~Proverbs 12:10 2. The Lord is good to all and His tender mercies are over all His creatures.” ~Psalms 145:9 3. The tzaddik (righteous person) acts according to the laws of justice; not only does he act according to these laws with human beings, but also with animals.       ~The Malbim 4. “Living creatures possess a soul ...

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A Tisha B’Av Message: Will We Again Fail To Heed the Warnings?

Tisha B'Av (the 9th day of the month of Av) which we commemorate this year on July 17 - 18, reminds us that over 2,600 years ago Jews failed to heed the warnings of the prophet Jeremiah about the importance of changing their ways. That failure resulted in the destruction of the first Temple in Jerusalem, one of the many tragic things that occurred to Jews on that day, including the later destruction of the second Temple.       Today there are no prophets like Jeremiah to issue warnings, but we are receiving increasingly dire warnings from climate ...

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Four-page review of my latest book, VEGAN REVOLUTION: SAVING OUR WORLD, REVITALIZING JUDAISM, in the semi-annual journal of the Central Conference of American rabbis (CCAR), a publication that goes to US reform rabbis

The Vegan Revolution by Richard Schwartz (Brooklyn, NY: Lantern Publishing and Media, 2020), 272 pp. I’ve been a vegetarian for forty years. Inspired by a college boyfriend, I then fully committed to it the year I was at HUC-JIRJerusalem, walking down the meat aisle of the Old City Shuk with its hanging animal carcasses. I married a man who was already a vegetarian (thank goodness no “training” required!) and we raised three vegetarian children who now, as adults, have all retained their commitment to it. In true family dynamics, two of ...

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Honors thesis on the beginnings of Jewish environmental and vegetarian activism in the 1970s and 1980s

Renewing and Recycling: The Formation of American Jewish Environmentalism in the 1970s and 1980s Gabrielle Plotkin Advisor: Keith Woodhouse B.A. Thesis for Honors in History Northwestern University May 3, 2021 ii Abstract Few environmental historians have considered how American Jews interacted with the postwar environmental movement. Those that have, often characterize American Jews as “urban” and separate from nature. However, I demonstrate that American Jewry’s involvement in left-leaning politics and inclination to both ...

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My interview of Jeffrey Spitz Cohan, director of Jewish Veg, formerly Jewish Vegetarians of North America


Video of amazing Earth Day teach-in that involved talks by 22 fabulous speakers

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Ck72NqkUAA      Earth Day teach-in I aranged (on Earth Day, April 22, 2021), which involved 22 fabulous speakers .      The  theme was "Applying Religiouis Values To Help Save the World."      Here is the list of speakers the order of their appearance. Richard Schwartz : President emeritus of Jewish Veg and author of       “Judaism and Vegetarianism”and “Vegan Revolution” Rev. Fletcher Harper: Founder and director of GreenFaith, a  &...

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My Three Shavuot Articles Related To Vegetarianism and Veganism

Below are three Shavuot-related articles. They are: 1. A Shavuot Message: Time to Apply Torah Values To Our Diets 2. Dialogue on Shavuot Night About Veganism 3. Shavuot and Vegetarianism and Veganism ============= A Shavuot Message: Time to Apply Torah Values To Our Diets  Shavuot is "z'man matan Torateinu,” the time of the giving of the Torah to the Israelites on Mount Sinai. To honor the Torah, many dedicated religious Jews admirably stay up the entire first night of Shavuot to hear talks about and discuss Torah teachings. Yet, despite this ...

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Unique, potentially transformative Earth Day zoom event scheduled

In commemoration of the 51st Earth Day on Thursday, April 22, there will be a zoom teach-in, with the theme, “Applying Jewish and Other Religion’s Values to Help Save the World.” The teach-in aims to increase awareness of the seriousness of climate and other environmental threats, and the urgency of applying religious Values to help shift our imperiled planet onto a sustainable path. It also aims to initiate the creation of a coalition of veg, animal rights, environmental, and other organizations and individuals that will work together to address the threats, ...

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Rainbow Day is May 8-9 in 2021, the week following Shabbat Behar-Bechukotai!

Celebrate Rainbow Day and the Rainbow Covenant with all Life! The first covenant in the Torah, when Noah leaves the ark, is a covenant with all creatures, and a covenant with the Earth itself, not just with humanity. There are so many ways you can teach about this covenant, the rainbow covenant, on the day it was established! What is Rainbow Day?  On the 27th day of the second month, Noah, his family, and all the animals that were with them left the ark (Genesis 8). Exactly one lunar year and ten days before—one complete solar year—the flood began on ...

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Jewish quotations about animals

1. God’s original dietary lawAnd God said: "Behold, I have given you every herb-yielding seed which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree that has seed-yielding fruit - to you it shall be for food."Genesis 1:29God did not permit Adam and his wife to kill a creature to eat its flesh. Only every green herb shall they all eat together.Rashi’s commentary on Genesis 1:29You are permitted to use the animals and employ them for work, have dominion over them in order to utilize their services for your subsistence, but must not hold their life cheap nor slaughter ...

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Parshat Tzav: How Meat Consumption Today Differs from The Time of the Mishkan (Sanctuary) in the Wilderness

And that which is left thereof [from the meal-offering] shall Aaron and his sons eat; it shall be eaten without leaven in a holy place; in the tent of meeting they shall eat it. . . . it is most holy as the sin-offering and the guilt-offering.    Leviticus 6:9.10When the Jewish people were in the wilderness before they entered the land of Israel, the consumption of meat was associated with holiness. Every piece of meat consumed came from an animal sacrificed in the Mishkan (Sanctuary), an act meant to bring ...

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1,600 word excerpt from my book, VEGAN REVOLUTION, SAVING OUR WORLD, REVITALIZING JUDAISM

 LIVING AS A JEWISH VEGAN In this book, I have attempted to present evidence that the world is in the throes of a climate catastrophe. Selfreinforcing positive feedback loops (vicious cycles) are moving the climate system toward irreversible tipping points. If we fail to act rapidly and decisively, these will bring massive climate disruptions, with calamitous results for all life on Earth.      Because animal agriculture is a major cause of global warming, a shift toward veganism is key to the effort to avert this climate catastrophe. Such a shift is becoming ...

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My review of Eco Bible, edited by Rabbis Yonatan Neril and Leo Dee

         Relating Biblical Teachings to Current Environmental Threats Eco Bible: Volume 1: An Ecological Commentary on Genesis and Exodus Editors and lead contributors: Rabbi Yonatan Neril and Rabbi Leo Dee Publisher: The Interfaith Center for Sustainable Development No price indicate      As one who has long been advocating that Jewish values be applied in efforts to resolve current critical threats, I eagerly anticipated reading Eco Bible: Volume One: An Ecological Commentary on Genesis and Exodus. Was this the book that would help end ...

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Latest Review of My Newest Book, VEGAN REVOLUTION: SAVING OUR WORLD, REVITALIZING JUDAISM

Richard H. Schwartz, Vegan Revolution:  Saving Our World, RevitalizingJudaism.  Brooklyn, NY: Lantern Publishing, 2020. xxxiv +230 pages.$20.00 softcover. This review appeared in the March/April online Quaker Publication, "Peaceable Table." This is now one of the basic books on veganism and Judaism for thegeneral reader.  With the passion of a convert--Schwartz becamevegetarian Jan. 1 1978 at the age of 41 and vegan in 2000--the authorpresents a convincing case for Jewish observance of a plant-baseddiet. Along with the passion, he is always ...

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