Rosh Chodesh Av Newsletter for Rabbis & Spiritual Leaders 
In this Newsletter:                                                      בס״ד
  • The Month of Av: Shabbat Hazon and Tisha B’av
  • Tisha B’av Learning Beyond the Holocaust: Videos, Articles and Podcasts for Planet Earth
  • From Mourning to Comfort: Seven Weeks of Sustainable Choices to Comfort Planet Earth
  • Save the Date: Rabbis Retreat, 2020!
  • Learn more about Hazon’s Updated Theory of Change as it relates to our strategic plan with Rabbis
ראש חודש אב תשע״ט  --------  Rosh Chodesh Av 5779, August 2nd, 2019
Chodesh Tov Friends,                                      

As the Jewish lab for Sustainability, and the largest Jewish environmental organization in the world, Hazon sees our national network of 1000+ rabbis and spiritual leaders as a critical force in activating the Jewish community to engage more in the stewardship and wellbeing of planet Earth. 

We see you as gatekeepers to morality and role-models for current and future generations. Now more than ever, it is not only our youth who look to faith leaders for answers, but all of us. 

It is our hope that the Hazon monthly newsletter for rabbis and spiritual leaders activates or continues your own sustainability journey and provides a resource for you and your community as we respond to the needs of our generation.

Chodesh Tov,

Rav Isaiah
Isaiah J. Rothstein
Rabbi-in-residence, Hazon
As members of the rabbinical council, we want to thank you for your ongoing commitments to Hazon’s work in the Jewish community, and invite you to feature your work in next months newsletter. Schedule a call with me to discuss. 
Schedule a Call
The Month of Av: Shabbat Hazon and Tisha B'av 
The Month of Av:

The word “Av” comes from the Babloynian word “Abu,” meaning hostile. The body part corresponding to this month is the ear and the element most related to this month is fire. 

Fire and hostility because the month of Av is a time which symbolizes the destruction of both temples by fire and hostility, in addition to Tu’ B’av, the holiday of love and love being associated with fire (hopefully no hostility) – not to mention, fire and hostility because it was the hottest July on record.

Shabbat Hazon and Tisha B'av:

The rabbis refer to the Shabbat before Tisha B’av as Shabbat Hazon (Shabbat of vision). The main reason is because the Haftarah we read is titles “Hazon Yeshayahu,” the vision of Isaiah. 

By observing the Shabbat before Tisha B’av as Shabbat Hazon, we are providing a means to help ourselves to slow down and reflect on what the current reality of our people and planet are. Through this we have the ability to produce our individual and communal hazon (vision).

Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik points out, Tisha B’Av itself is a fast of mourning and not of repentance. We don’t try to fix anything on Tisha B’av, but to experience the magnitude of the catastrophe that befell us. 

As we create this vision for our communities, let yourself simply sit in the moment of mourning, let us examine our ways at it relates to the impending breakdown of food systems throughout the country. 

As Rabbi Professor Richard H. Schwartz wrote in his article Tisha B’av and the Environmental Crisis:

“In view of the many threats to humanity today, I hope that Jews will enhance their commemoration of the solemn but spiritually meaningful holiday of Tisha b’Av by making it a time to begin striving even harder to live up to Judaism’s highest moral values and teachings. One important way to do this is by applying Jewish values in efforts to shift our precious, but imperiled, planet onto a more sustainable path.”

So as you slow down and listen to your own heart during this Shabbat Hazon and Tisha B’av, will you also consider how we as a Jewish community can address the environmental crisis before us?
Tisha B'av Resources Beyond the Holocaust: Videos, Articles, and Podcasts for Planet Earth
Videos: Article: Podcasts:
From Mourning to Comfort: 7 Weeks of Sustainable Choices to Comfort Planet Earth
Shiva D'Nechemta, The Seven Weeks of Comfort:

There are exactly seven weeks from Tisha B’av to Rosh Hashanah, also known as the Seven weeks of Comfort or Shiva D’nechemta. One reason for this is because the Haftarah we read directly after Tisha B’av and all those after  are from the second half of the book of Isaiah, containing messages of comfort, hope, redemption, and justice. Just like the 49 days of the Omer, we have an opportunity to engage in a teshuva process guided by love (Teshuva M’ahava) before the coming months of the high and holy days. 

As we begin the new year together, let us consider 49 actions – for the seven weeks of comfort – for planet earth, mending a broken environmental ecosystem and a broken heart. Let us not only enter into a people-teshuva process, but an environmental-teshuva process. As the need for change grows louder, let us not wait for another thing to mourn. 

Join us in Seven Weeks of Sustainable Choices from Hazon, the Jewish Lab for Sustainability.

  1. Reduce your meat and dairy consumption. Also consider reading and adopting Rav Kook’s Vision for Vegetarianism and Peace.
  2. You CAN make a difference. Take on one of the four most effective individual steps to tackle climate change –  Take a look at Animal Recovery Mission and sign petitions to fight for the Jewish value of tzar ba’alei chayim – not causing pain to a live animal.
  3. Put a Green Kiddush on your calendar. Don’t know how? Check out Hazon’s Resource on Green Kiddush here! Contact:
  4. Climate Change High Holiday Sermons. Incorporate environmental sustainability into your sermons for the High Holidays using the Jewish Climate Action Network’s (JCAN) High Holiday Climate Packet. Contact:  
  5. Food Waste Weekend. Choose One Sermon (any day of the year) and turn it into a food waste/food systems at’s Food Waste Weekend. Contact:
  6. Pledge your commitment toward living a more sustainable life and rabbinate by joining the Hazon Rabbinical Council here! Contact:
  7. Stage a walk-out for the Global Climate Strike, September 20-27. Let us show all faith groups that the Jewish community is on the right side of history as it relates to climate change.
Save the Date: Hazon Rabbis' Retreat | May 15-18, 2020
The Hazon Rabbis' Retreat is not another conference, training, or convention. It is intended to be a retreat to really rest, rejuvenate, make new connections – inner and outer – and renew. We'll be starting with a clergy-family Shabbat experience, as we believe that families of spiritual leaders need a place to retreat as well. After our Shabbat experience and a rocking musical havdallah and Saturday night event, Sunday and Monday will be exclusively for rabbis and spiritual leaders in an effort to strengthen the bond of clergy and consider how we might lift up the generation.
We welcome all rabbis and spiritual leaders (rabbis, cantors, kohanot, ritual leaders, chaplains, and students) to join us for an unforgettable experience with new and old friends at the home of Hazon, Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center. Learn more below.
Learn more
Theory of Change
We are in a global environmental crisis. Jewish tradition compels us to respond.
The word Hazon means “vision.” Our vision is of a vibrant healthy Jewish community, in which to be Jewish is necessarily to help create a more sustainable world for all.

Together we are building a national Jewish movement that strengthens Jewish life and contributes to a more environmentally sustainable world for all.

Learn more about Hazon’s (updated) Theory of Change as it relates to our strategic plan with rabbis and spiritual leaders.
Want to get more involved in Hazon's work with rabbis and spiritual leaders?
Hazon is building a movement of rabbis and spiritual leaders that strengthen Jewish life & contribute to a more environmentally sustainable world for all and we want you to be a part of it.

Contact Hazon rabbi-in-residence, Isaiah Rothstein at or set up a 30 minute call using his online calendar.
As the Jewish lab for sustainability, Hazon is building a movement that strengthens Jewish life and contributes to a more environmentally sustainable world for all.

25 Broadway | Suite 1700 | New York, NY 10004 | 212.644.2332 |

Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center
116 Johnson Road, Falls Village, CT 06031 | 860.824.5991 |

303.886.5865 |

720.434.0470​ |​

248.792.5397 |



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