Some thoughts for Rosh Hashanah: If we took a vote on what trait we human beings most value, goodness would undoubtedly win. Certainly goodness is the trait that we most want everyone else to possess. But if we say we value goodness above everything else -- and surely Judaism does -- why aren't there more good people? A big reason is that it is easier to value other things -- including, and especially, positive things -- more than goodness. So it's much easier to be just about anything rather than good. It’s easier to be religious than to be good.
City of Los Angeles has been ordered to conduct a new environmental impact report (EIR) before implementing the Pico-Olympic traffic plan.
No doubt because I once worked at a Jewish newspaper and have written a novel about a woman rabbi -- not to mention a work of nonfiction called "The Talmud and the Internet" -- I am sometimes asked if my new book about bird-watching, "The Life of the Skies," is a Jewish book.
Often derided or acclaimed as "New Age Judaism," Renewal focuses on environmentalism and direct spiritual connection to the Divine. It's part of the burgeoning world of transdenominational Judaism -- the growing number of synagogues, rabbis and prayer groups that eschew affiliation with a Jewish stream.
COEJL's Web site describes its three-pronged approach of "engaging the Jewish community in awareness, advocacy and concrete action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote energy conservation and sustainable legislation," in order to "change how American Jewry responds to ... daunting environmental problems."
True Joy Through Water, a new outreach program created by Canfei Nesharim ("the wings of eagles"), an Orthodox environmental organization, it's designed to educate about the importance of water, its imperiled state and ways to conserve it.
Skateboarding runs in the Tashman family, although not on the paternal side. His mother, who also grew up religious, skateboarded when she was a kid. She was sponsored by a local Velcro company. "She took her old roller skates and nailed them to a two-by-four for her first skateboards," Tashman said. Since he was 3 years old, "she would attach me to my skateboard and pull me down hills and our neighbor's empty swimming pool," he said. "She always wanted me to be a cantor, though."
A new law that bans that use of experimental pesticides in schools is the latest achievement of Robina Suwol, a Jewish anti-pesticide activist.
"Fish prices have tripled; fish form a significant part of our diet," Diamond told The Journal. "At the rate we're going, most of the world's major fisheries will be gone within a decade."
Ellen Bernstein has been called the birth mother of the Jewish environmental movement. In 1988, she founded Shomrei Adamah (Keepers of the Earth), the first national Jewish environmental organization, and since leaving the group in 1996 has been an educator, consultant and writer.
Taking a cue from Tu B'Shevat, rabbis, students, and representatives from Jewish and environmental organizations gathered for the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life of Southern California's (COEJL/SC) Third Annual Leadership Retreat to cultivate enthusiasm for environmental awareness within the Jewish community.