The Greening of Art

By Carmela Ciuraru

Global warming, energy shortages, the fragility of the natural world — these issues are no longer relegated to the fringes of culture. Jewish “eco-artists,” as they are called, have increasingly stepped into activist roles to provoke people’s thinking about the environment.Read More

The Environment in Spiritual Crisis?

By Mirele B. Goldsmith

Climate activists are banding together, claiming that December’s United Nations Summit on Climate Change was a turning point in the movement for climate action, which has taken a small group of insiders and is turning it into a grass-roots global juggernaut. More than 20,000 NGO representatives registered for the Copenhagen summit, and many stood outside the conference venue for hours because it was too small to accommodate the large crowds. Jewish activists were there, alongside activists of other faiths who believe that mobilizing their co-religionists is key to addressing the climate crisis.Read More

Fruits of the Desert On a Table Near You

By Leah Koenig

Even the most devoted locavores have their limits. While eating seasonal, locally grown food can be rewarding, both ecologically and culinarily, there are certain dietary staples that one just cannot find at North American farmers’ markets or through a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. Like coffee. Or chocolate. Or that all-important ingredient of healthy cooking: olive oil.Read More

Why Kings and Animals Lost Their New Years While Trees Keep Celebrating

By Ruth Abusch-Magder

Growing up on the snow-swept banks of Lake Ontario, I experienced the celebration of Tu B’Shvat as the triumph of hope over reality. The rebirth of vegetation was banished to the dark recesses of a damp bathroom closet, where we would try to get lima beans to sprout. If, by some miracle, the mold did not suffocate the potential for growth, the lack of sunshine that inevitably met the seedling upon transport from the recesses of the bathroom often meant a morbid end.Read More

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