#soundthecall for the 50th Earth Day. Learn more below.

Shalom Friends,

Humanity is looking for hope, courage, community, and a united voice as we face what seems to be an everflowing uncertainty of what will come to be of these trying times. Though we might be physically distant, our world awaits the call. The call for change, the call for hope, the call for freedom; the call of the shofar. We are approaching the 50th anniversary of Earth Day: a time of celebration and a call to action. Among the reasons that Nigel mentioned, the rabbis teach that the shofar was sounded to signal a shift, a change, and a transition. 

When the Torah was being received at Sinai, a shofar blast could be heard. When a king was crowned, when a new moon was sighted, or even as we know, a new year (a Rosh HaShanah) began, the shofar was blown – a call to action. For thousands of years, the shofar has offered us a united voice of continued resilience. It is the shofar that is a natural symbol to usher in a wave of hope. 

That is why Hazon is calling upon our rabbis and spiritual leaders throughout the country to stand together and #soundthecall, bringing hope to those close and far. 

The #soundthecall campaign officially launches this Friday, April 3rd at 12:30pm EDT with me posting this video on social media. 

In an attempt to grow this campaign we are looking for rabbis and spiritual leaders to create video submissions before the official launch this Friday – can we count on you? Please send submissions to me directly at isaiah.rothstein@hazon.org by the end of the day on Thursday.

Instructions (3 Easy Steps): 

  1. Take a video of yourself blowing one long shofar blast, and then introduce yourself, your work title and say to the camera  “...and I have just blown the shofar to sound the call” (30 seconds or less).
  2. Create a social media post by sharing your video and writing your own blurb or selecting one of the following two examples. Remember: In addition to tagging Hazon, and nominating up to three people to join the campaign, be sure to use the hashtag #soundthecall.

    “I am blowing the shofar as a call of solidarity during these difficult times, and to raise a banner of hope and change for the world. I am also blowing this shofar in honor of the jubilee/50th anniversary of Earth Day as a call for freedom for the environment.
    I nominate “X,” “X,” and “X” to #soundthecall”

    “I am blowing the shofar in honor of the jubilee/50th anniversary of Earth Day as a call for freedom for the environment. I am blowing the shofar to take a stance against the injustice committed against planet Earth. 
    I nominate “X,” “X,” and “X” to #soundthecall”

  3. Our work doesn't stop because of COVID-19. As a persistent voice of Environmental Teshuva, looking back on our own actions and committing to change, it is in our capacity as an organization and as a builder of community to catalyze our people to help save the planet and offer COVID-19 relief wherever possible. Consider a gift to Hazon as we ensure there is a platform for Jewish learning which highlights our Jewish responsibility to respond to the climate crisis, especially during and after moments like this. 

Sending Love,

Weekly COVID-19 Response Circle for Rabbis and Spiritual Leaders
In this global moment of uncertainty around COVID-19 resulting in both personal and organizational questions, we would like to offer our rabbis and spiritual leaders a digital gathering place to connect, weekly on Wednesdays from 1:00-2:00pm EDT. We invite you to bring your ideas, thoughts, feelings, organizational strategies, and questions together. Learn more & RSVP.
Stuck Inside?
Stuck inside during COVID-19? We are sending so much love and warmth at this difficult time. Hazon is busy gathering spiritual resources, activities, webinars, and other virtual offerings on our new "Stuck Inside?" webpage. We hope these offer nourishment – for you, your families, students, congregations, and communities.

Passover Resources

Sustainable Passover Resources
Passover offers a perfect opportunity to combine the wisdom of a traditional Jewish holiday with our contemporary desire to live with our health and sustainability in mind. Hazon has two Passover supplements available for free download, created in collaboration with Jewish Initiative for Animals (JIFA):  Visit our website for Passover recipes and other sustainability tips. 
Earth Seders
Earth Seders are seders that are guided by The Promise of the Land: A Passover Haggadah by Ellen Bernstein. They are traditional Passover seders that acknowledge the interconnectedness of our lives with the earth, its people and creatures. Today, in light of the social distancing, Earth Seders have acquired new meaning: not only are they grounded in the earth; they welcome people from all corners of the earth. Join or host an Earth Seder.
Freedom You Have Not Yet Known: The Energy of the Month of Nissan by Rabbi Ora Weiss 
The glorious energy of the month of Nissan is a breath of fresh air, a time of birth, of new starts, a spring-time for the spirit and soul. The invitation of this month, which began on March 26, has been called “the first of months of the year for you” (Exodus 12:2). Ramban, the medieval scholar and kabbalist, explains that although Nissan is not the beginning of the year (which is in Tishrei), we are alerted that there is a primacy of this month. Just as we count the days of the week with respect to Shabbat, we are to count, order, and orient our year around Nissan. Read more.
UJA-Federation Passover Resources
We know many of you may be without family for the seders, are facing newfound financial hardships, or may not have access to the community seders you once relied on. If ever there was a time to send out hope, it’s at Passover – a holiday that celebrates deliverance from fear and peril to security and providence. Taking our cue from the Passover story, UJA is delivering free meals, virtual seders, online classes, and ritual content to our community so we can all take heart in this timeless tradition during an unprecedented challenge. While the question “Why is this night different from all other nights?” may ring especially true this year, one thing remains constant: UJA is here for you. Learn more.
What if you thought of it
as the Jews consider the Sabbath—
the most sacred of times?
Cease from travel.
Cease from buying and selling.
Give up, just for now,
on trying to make the world
different than it is.
Sing. Pray. Touch only those
to whom you commit your life.
Center down.
And when your body has become still,
reach out with your heart.
Know that we are connected
in ways that are terrifying and beautiful.
(You could hardly deny it now.)
Know that our lives
are in one another’s hands.
(Surely, that has come clear.)
Do not reach out your hands.
Reach out your heart.
Reach out your words.
Reach out all the tendrils
of compassion that move, invisibly,
where we cannot touch.
Promise this world your love–
for better or for worse,
in sickness and in health,
so long as we all shall live.
–Lynn Ungar 3/11/20

Update from Hazon

Thousands of people engaged with our 2020 Hazon Tu B’Shvat Haggadah – take a look at this amazing resource and how you might incorporate some of our lessons into your own work.

We are growing our work with rabbis. Take a look at our webpage: hazon.org/rabbis. We welcome Rabbis Robin Damsky and Aaron Philmus as our co-chairs for the Hazon Rabbinic Advisory Board (RAB). If you are interested in getting more involved email me at isaiah.rothstein@hazon.org.

We declared 5780 the Year of Environmental Teshuva by acquiring a billboard ad in Time Squares for a day this August. See Nigel’s article on Environmental Teshuva in the Jerusalem Post and be sure to engage with our Environmental Teshuva webpage to find ways to get involved in sustainability efforts this year.

Jonathan Safran Foer’s new book We are the Weather came out on September 17th. We sent out a few hundred copies to rabbis and spiritual leaders on our Rabbinical Council and beyond because we believe the book is directly aligned with Hazon’s work around food systems and climate justice. Check out the Hazon We are the Weather discussion guide here.

We co-founded the Jewish Climate Coalition along with the Marlene Meyerson JCC of Manhattan, Jewish Theological Seminary, and Jewish Climate Action Network as an organizing strategy for strengthening our greening efforts as a Jewish community. The coalition has over 35 organizations to date; join us! Take a look at Hazon’s signature signs and pictures from the Global Climate Strike.
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.

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