Tag Archives: Environment

Saving the Places We Love

“What do you like doing best in the world, Pooh?” asked Christopher Robin. 

“Well, said Pooh, what I like best—” and then he had to stop and think. Because although eating honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn’t know what it was called.

I discovered A.A. Milne’s magical creations late in life. But with great stories like this, it is never too late. Christopher Robin’s question got me thinking about what it is that I like doing best. One of them was spending time at Chata, a rustic cabin in the woods near Brno, Czechoslovakia where I grew up. You had to hike in and when you got there the smells were all pine and fir tree sap, spring flowers, the charcoaly smell of the fire pit where we baked potatoes, trout my father caught and those delicious wild strawberries. Read more…

Briefing: Understanding How People of Faith Perceive Climate Change

We talk quite a lot in the Jewish community about what our sacred texts teach us about environmental stewardship. Many families and congregations celebrated Tu BiSh’vat, the New Year of the Trees, this week with an environmental or food justice-themed Seder or service. Tu BiSh’vat isn’t the only holiday when we consider acting as a partner and leader in protecting God’s earth. Between energy efficiency initiatives through GreenFaith, marching in the People’s Climate March, and taking action to thank President Obama for his work to protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, it is clear that environmentalism and climate change are key issues for many Jews. Read more…

Green Shevat Challenge: Learn to Cook and Celebrate Tu BiSh’vat!

Welcome to the Jewish month of Shevat and (if you’re on the East Coast) to Storm Juno. While you’re inside waiting out the snow, take this time as an opportunity to take the Green Sh’vat Challenge and make your life a little greener. Unfortunately, massive snowstorms don’t counteract the fact that climate change is real, human-caused and happening quickly. The Green Shevat Challenge is one small, easy way to reduce our carbon footprint by making small changes to our daily routines. Read more…

Happy New Year to the Trees!

Tu BiSh’vat, also known as Chamishah Asar BiSh’vat (the fifteenth day of the month of Sh’vat) is commonly known as the New Year for trees and falls this year on February 3. Historically, it was the date on which trees in Israel were determined to be mature enough for their fruit to be harvested. Tu BiSh’vat was the date designated because by then, the early winter rains had largely subsided and the period of “budding” was just commencing, making the holiday a celebration of renewal.

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picture of sign outside cape cod synagogue

Doing Well by Doing Good

Doing the right thing paid off at the bottom line. How often can you say that about doing a mitzvah? My experience with solar power at the Cape Cod Synagogue has been just that: our investment in renewable energy has been a positive for the environment, an expression of our Jewish values, and a net budgetary savings. Read more…

Neesh Noosh recipe

Bo: Liberation

By Sarah Newman

This piece is crossposted from Neesh Noosh.

This week, in Bo, the remaining three plagues—locusts, darkness and the death of first-born sons–-are inflicted upon the Egyptians. While Egypt was shrouded in darkness, “all Israelites enjoyed light in their dwellings” (Bo, 10: 23).  How, despite the plagues and the continuing hardening of Pharaoh’s heart, did the Israelites live at the precipice of freedom and eventually gain freedom?

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President Obama at the State of the Union 2014

#SOTU Preview

On Tuesday night, the Sergeant-at-Arms for the House of Representatives will stand on the floor of the House chamber and announce to the assembled Members of Congress, Supreme Court Justices, Cabinet members, an array of guests in the gallery (including the First Lady and Dr. Biden) and millions of the American people watching live, “Mr. Speaker, the President of the United States!” This now-iconic declaration opens the State of the Union ceremony, as the President ascends the dais, hands copies of his speech to the Vice President and the Speaker of the House, and begins his address. Read more…

Urge Congress to Take Action for the Environment!

The 114th Congress has been in session for just a little over a week now and already we have seen that rollbacks on environmental protections are looking like a priority for many members over the course of the next two years. Here are a couple things to watch out for in the coming weeks and over the course of the 114th Congress: Read more…