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A Family’s Trip to The Farm

A letter from CSA member Tara Broyhill

My kids and I had so much fun at Oxbow farm on Sunday I have to tell you about it. First off the farmer Adam is one of the most kind, generous and energetic people I know. I didn’t know him before introducing myself to him a couple of weeks ago at the Ballard farmer’s market, but now I feel like he’s a friend. After spending four hours at the farm learning about it from Adam, weeding the beets and cucumbers with Michele and my two sons, and eating produce right from the field – this is now my farm. I’m hooked.

Blessings of Satisfaction

Tuv Ha’aretz Reflections on Parshat Ekev, by Rabbi Marc Soloway

The intuition to make some kind of blessing or prayer before eating, either traditional or spontaneous, transcends religions and cultures.  Jews, Buddhists, Christians, Muslims and probably every religion has its version of making a spiritual connection to the food we are about to eat, whether an established formula or a moment of meditation.  The Talmud has a strong statement that anyone enjoying the physical pleasures of this world without first saying a bracha, is like someone who steals from the Temple! (Berachot 35a).

Ample Harvest Food Pantry to Focus on Gulf Region

From Ample Harvest

In response to the economic upheaval caused by the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, Inc. has announced that the Campaign will be focusing its outreach efforts in the Gulf States region for the immediate future.

Since its introduction in May of 2009, the Campaign, enabling more than 40 million Americans who grow fruit, vegetables, herbs and nuts in home gardens to quickly find a local food pantry eager for their excess garden produce, has rolled out nationwide without any specific geographic focus.

A Zombie’s Day of Atonement

By Adam Liss

Hello, my name is Adam, and I’m about to hit you with some contradictions, so please bear with me.  I recently finished building a website as part of the New Jewish Filmmaking Project.  However, there was no film involved.  The website is about Judaism and environmentalism.  It’s also about zombies.  Like I said, please bear with me.

iMasoret iPhone App

By Samuel Eskenasy

iMasoret is a new all-in-one Jewish tradition application.  It serves as a vast info center that can accompany the user wherever they go.  iMasoret includes all the siddur prayers (in Nussach  Ashkenaz  Sfarad  and Edot Hamizrach) for Israel and for The Diaspora. Also included are The Holy Days, the books of the Torah, Tehillim(Psalms), Lessons, Kabbalah, Blessings, and Songs.  The app even provides locations of Jewish sites of interest including kosher establishments, synagogues and hotels.

Brachot – From Kayam Farm Kollel

Crossposted to Kayam Farm Kollel Blog Photo from Kayam Farm


My name is Joel Mosbacher, and I was the “Brachot captain” for week one of the Kollel here at Kayam Farm. I am a rabbi at Beth Haverim Shir Shalom in Mahwah, New Jersey, and I’m spending six weeks of my first-ever sabbatical sweating and studying here at this incredible place. I love it here, and would recommend to all of my colleagues to spend a week, a month, a summer, or whatever time you possibly can here at Kayam when you get a vacation or a sabbatical!

PB & J: Poverty, Bread and Justice, A Jewish Teen Summit on Hunger

By Joshua Chasan from Seattle, Washington, on his experiences during the PB&J conference.  Photo at Kayam Organic Farm.

When I was preparing to come to Washington, DC, for PB & J I really tried to get myself into a business mindset.  I wanted to be mentally prepared for a lot of learning and the serious nature of the topic of hunger.  Beyond that, I really didn’t know what else to expect.

Birkat HaMazon iPhone App – iBirkat

By David Sigal, from appstudio

This app came about from my realization that when people go to Shul to daven, they almost never pull out an electronic device. Back 8-9 years ago I remember seeing people trying to daven in a shul from their Palm Pilots and that looked very unnatural. Pocket PC screens were dim, not multitouch, low resolution and one had to tap on a button almost every second to scroll the text. Besides, there are ample amounts of siddurim in a shul, and most people still prefer to read from a physical siddur.

Green Zionist Alliance Passes 4 Green Resolutions at World Zionist Congress

This post is  from Green Zionist Alliance, check out their website at

Photo from Earth’s Promise community garden at the Kalisher Absorption Center.

The World Zionist Organization took major steps to green Israel by approving four resolutions put forth by the Green Zionist Alliance at the World Zionist Congress. The resolutions address a wide swath of environmental concerns, including water, energy and food justice. All of the votes were near unanimous, uniting all religious and political streams of Zionism for the cause of Israel’s environment.

“The resolutions will play a major role in helping shift an environmentally imperiled Israel onto a sustainable path, and provide a greener Israel for future generations,” said Dr. Richard Schwartz, a GZA delegate to the Congress.

Going to the Source: A Look at Sustainable Dairy through the Eyes of a Dairy Farmer

By Rachel Gelman, Hazon Food Area Intern

There’s no doubt that including dairy in your diet can have a wide array of health benefits. Dairy staples such as yogurt, milk, and cheese offer a healthy dose of calcium, protein, and vitamin D. Consumption of low-fat dairy has been proven to help lower blood pressure, and the calcium that comes from dairy can increase bone density and has even been linked to weight loss. Plus, it’s absolutely delicious! But there are also some considerable reasons to choose organic dairy products over their non-organic counterparts.

Seattle’s Ravenna Kibbutz Launches New Sustainability House

The Ravenna Kibbutz new sustainability house is looking for new residents for July, August and September move-in dates!  Please contact us if interested at  The house is particularly seeking those with experience in areas like environmental education, sustainable retrofitting, alternative transportation, advocacy, local foods, natural building, alternative energy or gardening.

The initiative also seeks sponsors for small or large projects, as well as ideas from the community.

The Jewish environmentalist who had to change a light bulb was just like her mother. It’s OK, she said, I’ll just sit here in the dark.
Oh, and how about the oil spill?  Between the CEO of BP, three Navy Admirals, and the president, clearly there was not a Jew among them to have learned the lesson of Chanukah the way a Jewish environmentalist would: That sometimes a little oil can go a long way.

Humor aside, the idea of Jewish sustainability has grown so big, with the work of organizations like Hazon, that we’re now seeing local projects pop up around the country, sometimes as new initiatives and sometimes as part of existing organizations.  The latest is at the Ravenna Kibbutz in Seattle: a sustainability-focused house, set within an existing Jewish residential community.

Is the new humane kosher label humane enough? Or too humane?

Fran Hawthorne is the author of The Overloaded Liberal: Shopping, Investing, Parenting, and Other Daily Dilemmas in an Age of Political Activism (Beacon Press. 2010), which discusses the new kosher hekhsher and many other issues. Thanks, Fran, for sharing your thoughts!

Jews like me, who care about animal welfare, could always feel a little smug about our dining habits — even if (also like me) we arent vegetarian. Pigs are particularly intelligent animals? Well, we dont eat them. Shrimp-farming destroys delicate swamps in Thailand? We dont eat shrimp, either. And the meat we do eat is killed according to the laws of kashrut, which everyone knows is a more humane method than other types of slaughter. (Isnt it?)

Framing the Environment Through a Jewish Lens May 23rd in Malibu, CA

Bill Kaplan, Executive Director of the Shalom Institute and Lisa Friedman, President of the Lisa & Maury Friedman Foundation shared the following information with us about the upcoming event they’re hosting in California later this month. Read on for more details!

As a Jewish community we have the capacity and potential to create our own unique and genuine response to integrating environmental education into our family life. Thats why we are so excited to present this first-ever Los Angeles Jewish environmental seminar Framing the Environment Through a Jewish Lens. Join us on Sunday, May 23rd, 1:30-6pm at the Shalom Institute in the beautiful Malibu Mountains.

Jewish Innovation Foundation awards $50,000 for “Jewcology” Project

We wanted to make sure that you all got the news that our friend Evonne Marzouk of Canfei Nesharim has just gotten a big grant from ROI to collaborate with 17 other ROI alumni to create, a new web portal where Jewish-environmentalists can network and share program resources. The new site will be enriched with diverse Jewish-environmental content, and the team will hold organize Jewish Environmental Leadership Summits where participants can learn to use the site. The project is led by Evonne Marzouk, Executive Director of Canfei Nesharim, with participation from: Jesse Glickstein, Isaac Hametz, Emily Jane Freed, Sasha Perry, Baruch Rock, Eli Winkleman, Noga Zohar, Rafi Bratman, Rebecca Hailpern, Noam Dolgin, Yigal Deutscher, Brian Heimberg, Dafna Neiman, Hamutal Gillo, Vivian Lehrer, Micah Bergdale, Leah Jones — many of whom are also good friends of Hazon! Read the full press release after the jump.