Rabbinical Council Newsletter for Rosh Chodesh Elul
In this Newsletter:                                                      בס״ד
  • Letter From Nigel
  • Rosh Chodesh Elul, New Year of the Animals
  • Jewish Coalition for Climate Action -- Global Climate Strike, September 20th-27th
  • High Holiday Resources: Hazon Sermon Swap Webinar and Learning
ראש חודש אלול תשע״ט  --------  Rosh Chodesh Elul 5779, August 29th, 2019
Dear All,

Hazon is entering into a year of Environmental Teshuva. The backdrop is that:
  1. We really are in a climate crisis, and this year, and even this summer, feels like a tipping point of sorts – not only in terms of extreme weather events – this past July was the hottest month on record – ever, but also in relation to people’s consciousness of them.
  2. A growing number of people in the Jewish community feel strongly that we ought to be “doing something” about this – but what exactly we do and how we make an impact is sometimes less clear.
  3. This is why at Hazon we intend to raise our game in the coming months and years. We’re here to catalyze and support Jewish institutions and Jewish leaders, as Jewish tradition compels us to respond to this crisis.
  4. In addition: most people have some sense that food is central to Jewish life and Jewish tradition. But they’re far less aware that food choices – especially in relation to industrial meat, industrial dairy, and food waste – are one of the top two anthropogenic drivers of climate change.  

And so we’re not only encouraging Jewish people to start to change how they – we – eat, we’re also encouraging Jewish institutions to join the Hazon Seal of Sustainability, to commit to future change, and as part of that to develop a food policy for the institution and not just a kashrut policy, narrowly construed. 

As a Member of the Rabbinical Council, we would be happy to send you a copy of Jonathan Safran Foer’s new book, “We are the Weather”: it is a superb and readable and very Jewish explication of how and why and in what ways our food choices matter. Respond to this email to request a copy.

We want to help you to prepare for the chagim, and to connect the chagim with what amounts to a planetary tza’akah, a crying-out, in relation to the climate crisis. Here’s the timing:

Sept 19th
We are the Weather is published – and there’ll be lots of press about it.

Sept 20th
The global climate strike. There will be events around the world, and accompanying headlines, and in many places a significant Jewish presence.

Sept 21st

Sept 29th
Rosh Hashanah (as you know!) and the start of the chagim.

This period of course runs all the way through Yom Kippur to Sukkot (with its agricultural themes) and then the prayer for rain, at the end; and then it’s parshat noach….
Continue Reading
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 month's newsletter. Schedule a call with Isaiah Rothstein to discuss. 
Schedule a Call
Rosh Chodesh Elul: Rosh Hashanah for Animals
This coming Sunday is Rosh Chodesh Elul, the Rosh Hashanah of Animals. Read teachings about the month of Elul from rabbinical council members Rabbis Robin Damsky, Ora Weissm and Aaron Philmus:
  1. The Spiritual Meaning of the Month of Elul by Rabbi Ora Weiss
  2. Inner and Outer Climate Change by Rabbi Robin Damsky
  3. New Year for Animals by Rabbi Aaron Philmus
Join the Jewish Coalition for Climate Action
The ice is melting. Forests are burning. Seas are rising. Climate change is here, and it feels overwhelming. So what can we do about it? 

Hazon, Jewish Climate Action Network NYC, The Jewish Theological Seminary, and the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan invite your organization to act with us. 
Learn more
High Holiday Resources
Food Waste Weekend is September 6-7. Learn more about the problem of food waste and view sample drasha here. For questions contact gary@ampleharvest.org
Join our next Webinar, Monday, September 9 at 12:00 PM (EST). The topic will be: High Holiday Sermon Swap and Learning Webinar with Dr. Richard Schwartz in Conversation​.
Check out JCAN’s High Holiday resource guide for clergy.
As we approach 5780, we are pleased to provide you with UJA’s fifth annual High Holiday publication What Binds Us in 5780: Moving Beyond Our Differences. Essays include one written by Hazon’s rabbi-in-residence, Rav Isaiah.
Take a look at Rabbinical Council member Rabbi Katy Allen’s Earth Etudes. Earth Etudes for Elul is an annual blog dedicated to our earth connection as a source of Elul preparation for the High Holy Days. You can visit the blog each day for new posts. Our Rabbinical Council co-chair Robin Damsky has a blog featured in this year's Earth Etudes.
Save the Date: Hazon Rabbis' Retreat | May 15-18, 2020
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
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 strengthens Jewish life & contributes to a more environmentally sustainable world for all – and we want you to be part of it!

Learn more about Hazon’s (updated) Theory of Change as it relates to our strategic plan with rabbis and spiritual leaders.

Contact Hazon rabbi-in-residence Isaiah Rothstein at isaiah.rothstein@hazon.org 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 | info@hazon.org

Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center
116 Johnson Road | Falls Village, CT 06031 | 860.824.5991 | registrar@hazon.org

303.886.5865 | becky@hazon.org

720.434.0470​ | sue.salinger@hazon.org​

248.792.5397 | wren.hack@hazon.org

Philadelphia  phillychairs@hazon.org 

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