Archive for the 'Jewish Organizations' Category

Earth Based Judaism – Reclaiming Our Roots, Reconnecting to Nature

Originally Published by ZEEK.

Humanity’s current alienation from nature is unprecedented. As Wendell Berry explained in his seminal 1977 work The Unsettling of America, we are confronted with a “crisis of culture,” reflected in a “crisis of agriculture,” rooted in the simple fact that modern people have become disconnected from nature and the natural cycles we depend upon for survival. In less than fifty years, modern Western culture – particularly in the United States – has shifted from relying on small family farms that dotted the countryside to relying on an industrial food system run by massive corporate farms.

What’s Your #ish?

The Jewish Federations of North America started a campaign in March of this year called “What’s Your #ish?”  Every time someone posts their #ish (a sentence or 2 or a video about what it means to them to be Jewish) on the website, a quarter is donated to the $50,000 #ish fund which goes towards Israel solidarity, poverty, Jewish identity, global needs, and elder care.  People can vote on the site where they would like the money to go.

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!

Jewish Farmers? In The City? You Better Believe It

This article is crossposted to Intermountain Jewish News and was written by Chris Leppek.   Photo by Shari Valenta

If you listen carefully, you might hear new and curious sounds emanating from the Denver Jewish community.

Such as a rake drawing its tines through freshly turned earth.

Or a hoe chucking its way through clods and weeds.

Or the hushed plinks of water drops falling from hoses to dirt.

Or, perhaps, even the barely perceptible whisper of a young plant springing forth from a seed in search of sunlight.

Gardens and small farms are appearing in the city in all sorts of unlikely places, including Jewish places — in the shadow of a synagogue, on newly-acquired land that might one day become a Jewish high school, on an empty lot amidst the hustle-bustle of downtown itself.

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.

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.

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.

PB & J: Poverty, Bread and Justice with BBYO

Hungry for Change? Join teens from around the country for five days in Washington, DC as they take on today’s hottest issues around hunger. Click here to learn more about BBYO’s PB and J: A Jewish Teen Summit on Hunger. Jewish teens from around the country to will gather in Washington, DC. Over the course of five days in the Nation’s capital teens will have the opportunity to celebrate Shabbat and Havdalah amongst the monuments, engage in service and advocacy, meet with their Congressional offices, and make strides in eliminating hunger in America and the world.

Growing Food Justice: How going local can help feed our cityand the world.

As Shavuot approaches and we reflect on the significance of harvest festivals in contemporary (urban) times, the AJWS-AVODAH Partnership is hosting an interactive program on hunger in NYC and what you can do about it! If you are in the NYC area you should definitely check out this event.

Date: Wednesday, May 12th

Time: Light dinner and registration at 6:30pm, program at 7pm sharp

Place: The Commons on Atlantic, in Downtown Brooklyn

Address: 388 Atlantic Ave (map)

To register: Click here

Speakers include:

A Year in Review of the Hazon CSA program


We’ve just begun to distribute our Hazon CSA 2009 Season Report, and we figured that sharing it with our JCarrot readers might be fun for you all. Each of the carrots on the above map represents all of our CSAs for the 2010 season, but to learn more about what happened in 2009 in our longest standing food program, you can download the report. For instance, did you know the following?

In 2009:

  • The Hazon CSA program grew to 32 communities in the United States and Canada, with forty-one partner organizations, including synagogues, day schools, Hillels and JCCs and twenty eight partner farms.

A garden grows in Cleveland


Check out this Cleveland Jewish News article about the new community garden just starting out at Beth El Congregation in Akron. Ellen Botnick and her friends were, in part, inspired by their connection to Hazon on the Israel Food Tour that we cosponsored with Heschel last Novemeber.  As Ellen says “Food connects us to the earth, to each other, and to something much larger than ourselves. We are building community through this garden.”

New Podcast Episode with Wilderness Torah’s Julie Wolk

Listen to our new PODCAST, Episode 5 by clicking here!

Co-Founder Julie Wolk sits down with me on the latest Hazon Podcast. Listen to what Wilderness Torah is doing to revitalize the American Jewish Community. Also, don’t forget you can subscribe on iTunes by searching “Hazon”.

Also, don’t forget that it is Earth Day this week, so check out all the options going on in your area. For a good listing, check this website out

They have a map where you can choose where you live and find out what is going on near you!

Apply Now! Uri L’Tzedek Summer Fellowship Program!


Uri L’Tzedek is now accepting applications from college and graduate students for our 2nd annual Summer Fellowship Program! This 6-week program is an opportunity to work alongside Uri L’Tzedek’s staff and board, experiencing the many mechanisms that come together to create an effective non-profit organization, gaining exposure to communal Jewish life, effecting change, and learning Torah, social justice philosophy, and community organizing models.

Fellows will be based in New York City and will dedicate their time to some of the following innovative projects: Tav HaYosher (the ethical seal for kosher restaurants), organizational development, communications, education, service, community outreach, website development, multi-media, and technology.