Jewish Journal


June 25, 2013




Rabbi Arthur Waskow

Rabbi Arthur Waskow founded (1983) and directs The Shalom Center.
He was legislative assistant to a US Congressman, 1959-1961; Resident Fellow of the Inst. for Policy Studies, 1963-1977; member of the DC delegation to the Democratic Natl. Conv. in Chicago, 1968; member of the steering committee of the New Mobilization Comm. Against the War in Indo-China, 1969-1971; and Resident Colleague of the Public Resource Center, 1977-1982. During this period he wrote many books, monographs, and articles on US military strategy and disarmament, on race relations, on nonviolence, and (through a grant from the US Department of Energy in 1978) on community-based renewable energy.
Beginning in 1969 with writing the original Freedom Seder and continuing with his seminal work as editor of New Menorah magazine and author ofGodwrestling (1978) and Seasons of Our Joy (1982), and as co-author with Rabbi Phyllis Berman of A Time for Every Purpose Under Heaven: The Jewish Life-Cycle as a Spiritual Journey and of Freedom Journeys: The Tale of Exodus & Wilderness Across Millennia, he has been a leader of the movement for Jewish renewal.  He taught at the Reconstructionist Rabb. Coll (1982-1989) and as a Visiting Professor of Religion at Swarthmore College, Vassar College, Drew University, and Temple University. In 1993 he co-founded ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal. 
Rabbi Waskow pioneered in the development of Eco-Judaism through the Green Menorah organizing project of The Shalom Center; through the Interfaith Freedom Seder for the Earth; through such books as Seasons of Our Joy; Godwrestling – Round 2; Down-to-Earth Judaism; Trees, Earth, & Torah: A Tu B’Shvat Anthology; and Torah of the Earth: 4,000 Years of Ecology in Jewish Thought; and through a major essay on “Jewish Environmental Ethics:Adam and Adamah,” for the Oxford Handbook of Jewish Ethics and Morality (Elliot N. Dorff and  Jonathan K. Crane, eds.; Oxford University Press, 2013).

He is a member of the organizing committee of the US Council of Elders, a member of the stewardship committee of the Green Hevra (a network of Jewish environmental organizations), and a member of the coordinating committee of Interfaith Moral Action on Climate.

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