Institutions Subscribe

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


Blogs

Earth Etude for Elul 2: Reflections on The Challenges of Living with Fear and Hope

by Maxine Lyons I find new signs of hope and gratitude for the changes that I feel are beginning to surface despite the anxieties and sadness I feel for the families who have lost loved ones to COVID-19, and for the heightened consciousness of racism. We are living through a time when many forces are coming together with the potential to change our daily lives, setting in motion systemic reforms to our institutions that could dismantle systemic racism. I feel fearful that social upheaval or outright rebellion could de-stabilize us as a country or alternatively, could ...

Read More


New Year for Animals Zoom Discussion in USA

You are cordially invited to attend a Zoom discussion of the 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. It 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 natural resources, helping hungry people, and ...

Read More


New Year for Animals Zoom Discussion in Israel

You are cordially invited to attend a Zoom discussion of the 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. It 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 natural resources, helping hungry people, and ...

Read More


Earth Etude for Elul 1: Elul is here

by Rabbi Katy Z. Allen I turned inward with the lockdown. I didn't want to go anywhere. My garden saved me. I worked outside almost every day. In early summer, I started again to lead outdoor services with small groups. But no walks on my own, in nature. After the depths of despair of Tisha B'Av, as the weeks of consolation began, knowing Elul was approaching, I started to turn outward. I spent a week of early mornings in a little-traveled conservation area, before the heat settled in. Reveling in the blooming flowers ...

Read More


Proper Nutrition Can Reduce the Severity of Coronavirus Infections

There are currently daily reports of record-breaking incidents of coronavirus worldwide. As the Coronavirus epidemic escalates, it is important to recognize a generally overlooked possibility of taking steps now to reduce the severity of symptoms, should one have the misfortune of getting the disease.      According to T. Colin Campbell, PhD, director of the China-Cornell-Oxford study, deemed the Grand Prix of epidemiology by the NY Times, shifting to a nutritious, well-balanced, plant-based diet can greatly reduce the effects of COVID-19.       Based on his ...

Read More


Get Used to Wearing Masks.

by Rabbi Dr. Eric Lankin Get Used to Wearing Masks. (courtesy of the United Nations). I am afraid that we will be wearing masks for a long time to come. And it won’t be solely because of a viral pandemic. Soon it may be because of the air quality of our planet. There is a clear scientific consensus on a human-driven warming of the earth, with carbon-based pollution released in the environment as the major contributor. As shown by data from NASA and NOAA, the last few decades have seen a sharp spike in global average temperature, and the increase of carbon-...

Read More


Especially this Mother’s Day, remember Mother Earth.

~Mother’s Day will be different this year for many of us because of the impact of the coronavirus, being in quarantine and social distancing; however, we can still be mindful of how our actions can help prevent climate change even if we are having virtual Mother’s Day dinners and celebrations. Reduce: Reduce your energy needs. Winter is finally over and it’s warmer inside and out. Open your windows and let the fresh air in. If it is really hot, set your thermostat no higher than 78°F (26°C) when you are home and higher when you are away (information from ...

Read More


A Vegetarian New Year

by Susan Levine ~ The New Year, January 1 of the Gregorian calendar, is the same as Rosh Hashanah for me. I think about things I have done over my lifetime and the most important thing I’ve tried to do is to become a vegetarian. But let me start at the beginning: Both my parents grew up in kosher homes and when they got married, they had a kosher home. But it wasn’t kosher enough for my father’s mother who would visit my parents but wouldn’t touch the food. My mom didn’t see the point of being kosher if her mother-in-law still wouldn’t eat in her ...

Read More


My Strategy For Getting Climate Change, Veganism, and Related Issues Onto the Jewish Agenda

===      I urge the strongest, most widespread effort that can possibly be made to get climate threats and the need for shifts toward veganism onto the Jewish agenda. Why? Please consider the following facts (they are backed up by supporting material at the end of this article). There is a very strong scientific consensus, based on overwhelming evidence, that the world is rapidly heading toward an irreversible climate tipping point when climate change will spin out of control, with catastrophic results.  Several scientific studies have shown that animal-based ...

Read More


L’Shanah Tova and a thank you to our Earth Etudes for Elul Contributors

Elul is the month before Rosh Hashanah, a time when we review our lives and think about how we will live the coming year. Many of these earth etudes actually connect our earth with the spirit of Judaism–Tikkun Olam, repairing the world. We would like to thank Rabbi Katy Z. Allen for bringing together these awe-inspiring contributors, whose essays, poems and thoughts help us understand the meaning of our lives and how we can repair our world. And our Earth Etudes can be helpful throughout the year. So you can read them here: Earth Etude for Elul 1: Rabbi ...

Read More


Earth Etude for Elul 29 –Waking up to the Climate Crisis

by Rabbi David Jaffe ~ My guess is that many readers of the Elul Etudes are fully awakened to the climate crisis and read these blogs with the hope of gaining perspective and spiritual resilience to keep facing the crisis without panicking and burning out. This blog post is for a difference audience – those, like me, who intellectually understand the crisis but don’t feel the urgency.  Despite reading articles and watching videos about the famines, flooding and other impacts of rising temperatures on people in the Global South and here in parts of the United ...

Read More


Earth Etude for Elul 28 — Swimming in Circles in Life

by Rabbi Judy Kummer ~ Every August I participate in a 1-mile breast cancer fundraising swim at a pond on Cape Cod. I have done this swim every year since 2007, training each summer day to swim further and faster.  I especially delight in swimming outdoors. Sometimes my practice swims are in daytime, sometimes at “golden hour” as the sun is setting,  and sometimes at dusk, when I can watch the moon rising, cycling inexorably through its phases towards the High Holidays.  What a feast for the senses:  I find myself savoring the sunlight ...

Read More


Earth Etude for Elul 27 — A Vegetarian Journey

by Susan Levine ~ When I think about Elul, I think about things I have done over my lifetime and the most important thing I’ve tried to do is to become a vegetarian. But let me start at the beginning: Both my parents grew up in kosher homes and when they got married, they had a kosher home. But it wasn’t kosher enough for my father’s mother who would visit my parents but wouldn’t touch the food. My mom didn’t see the point of being kosher if her mother-in-law still wouldn’t eat in her home. Instead she went full treif. As a child I pretty much ate ...

Read More


Earth Etude for Elul 26: What do animals feel and think? Who are they?

by Rabbi David Seidenberg ~ That’s too broad a question by many degrees, but the difference between asking “who are they?” and “what are they?” is the gulf between civilizations, between epochs, between a world in which humans dominate and destroy, and a world in which humans collaborate with other species in the great project of the universe--Life. Since Descartes, the idea that the other animals (besides human beings) are not subjects has reigned in science. It became forbidden to say that animals have feelings, consciousness, thinking, despite the fact ...

Read More


Earth Etude for Elul 25*– To the Silent Stones

by Sarah Chandler ~ Do you count your days in footsteps? In strollers? In sunlight? Cement and concrete Below my feet I take a peek at the patterns And the places Where tiny rocks gather Solid, safe, secure What was it was like To move your entire being From a quarry of friends To this square of sidewalk? City stones Bricks, brownstone, marble Are your family now You The eyes of Our neighborhood My commute My shabbat walk Sometimes the trees Insist that their roots Decorate your patterns And Your cracks keep my steps whole Each journey down the ...

Read More


Earth Etude for Elul 24 –If Not Here, Where

by Maggid David Arfa ~ For Reb Bob in honor of his ordination Hillel says, "If I am not for myself, who will be for me? But if I am only for myself, who am I? If not now, when? If not here, where?" Ethics of the Fathers, 1:14+ The High Ledges Audubon Sanctuary, Shelburne, MA Ok, he didn’t say that last part. He didn’t have to. Back in the ancient world it was not so easy to get lost in the global view. Today it is different. The daily news causes international heartache on every page. We witness environmental degradation, rise of authoritarian ...

Read More


Earth Etude for Elul 23 — The Prayer for Rain

by Rabbi Louis Polisson ~The Hebrew month of Elul is well-known as the month of preparation for the Jewish holidays Rosh Ha-Shanah (the New Year) and Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement). In Jewish literature, it is often called a month of teshuvah (repentance, self-improvement, and returning to the good parts of ourselves). However, one might also view Elul as a time to prepare for the fall harvest festival of Sukkot (which literally means Booths or Huts), when we eat all of our meals in a temporary dwelling, symbolizing our fragile yet joyous and sacred ...

Read More


Earth Etude for Elul 22 — Lessons from Alaska

by Rabbi Suri Levow Krieger Alaska... Hut in Alaska surrounded by flowers. I expected to be awed by the Glaciers. I was not disappointed.  I anticipated being enLightened by 22 consecutive hours of sunlight. It was outstanding. What I did not expect, was day after day of 80 degree weather. And the following week… Anchorage registered 90 degrees as a massive ‘heat dome’ hovered over the city. This topped the previous record set at Anchorage International Airport of 85 degrees on June 14, 1969. It is good news for the Flora and Fauna! ...

Read More


Earth Etude for Elul 21 — A Little Omer on the Prairie

by Rabbi Margaret Frisch Klein ~ I live on the prairie. In the Prairie State of Illinois. On a summer’s day with large clouds towering over the cornfields, it is spectacular. Awe-inspiring. I remember to be grateful. For several decades, I have followed the practice of Rabbi Everett Gendler of planting winter wheat, rye or barley at Sukkot and harvesting it during the counting of the Omer, the 50 days between Passover and Shavuot. I have done this with generations of Hebrew School students and their parents. It roots the Jewish year in the agricultural cycle. ...

Read More


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 ...

Read More