This week, as we prepare ourselves for receiving the Torah anew on Shavuot, we travel across the congregational system, from schools to shuls, and then back again...
Included in this week's omer teachings, among other things, we learn the importance of reflection while you pursue social justice, potential suggested ingredients for successful synagogue tikkun olam programs, and discover many education related tikkun olam resources.
In Brachot 63b, the Babylonian Talmud states that the Torah can only be acquired in partnership, while in community with others.
Therefore, this week's omer packet features some of JRF's many collaborative partnerships and formal external affiliations with other organizations, including The Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life, The Conference of Presidents of American Jewish Organizations, The Informed Meetings Exchange (INMEX), The International Association for Religious Freedom, The International Jewish Social Justice Network, The Jewish Coalition Responding to HIV/AIDS in Africa , The Jewish Council on Public Affairs (JCPA), The Jewish Coalition for Disaster Relief, Mazon – A Jewish Response to Hunger , The Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, Secure Community Network (SCN), and The World Union for Progressive Judaism.
This week's omer study packet, on service-learning, features the upcoming JRF Teen-Parent Week of Service, happening in August 2008, reflections from service-learning trips taken by congregations Havurah Shalom and JRC-Evanston to Africa, and RRC students to Central America, with the American Jewish World Service, as well as domestic trips to New Orleans with the Jewish Funds for Justice. read more »
Please also save the date for the exciting National Educators’ Institute for Jewish Service-Learning, being held twice this summer, in June and August.
This week's omer study packet, on advocacy, features articles on how to make our synagogues into vessels of tikkun olam, and how to make decisions on controversial issues, as well as tachlis policy documents formulated by JRF congregations: Adat Shalom, Mishkan Shalom, and Tzedek v'Shalom. read more »
This topic will also be featured on the last of our tikkun-olam-themed PEARL tele-conference calls, on Wednesday May 14. To register, click here.
This week's Omer Study Packet on hunger and poverty highlights teachings from the 2006 JRF Omer Study and from our partners at Mazon: A Jewish Repsonse to Hunger and the Jewish Council on Public Affairs (JCPA).
From constructing new buildings out of recycled materials, to installing a compact-fluorescent ner tamid; from joining together in song, to discovering what musar can teach us about solving global climate change, JRF congregations are engaged in protecting their natural environment, reducing their carbon footprint, and ensuring a inheritance for those who come after them.
In partnership with COEJL and JCPA, our hope is to motivate and educate our congregations in sustainable practices, with the goal of reaching 100 percent participation in the years ahead. Building upon the resolution on the environment passed by JRF in 1990, our movement continues to labor towards facilitating a globally sustainable approach to living in faith community.
During this second week of Omer teaching, we are highlighting these many environmental sustainability initiatives taking place ...
Below, as an attachment, you will find a PDF resource packet and the recording from our environmental sustainability - PEARL tele-conference call, featuring:
As you read through the teaching, feel free to add comments on this page about your own experiences or use the listserve or web page to ask questions.
April 29, 2008 - 2:18pm — Rabbi Shawn Zevit Questions for Sustainability
On Mon, Apr 28, 2008 at 12:07 PM, Rabbi Shawn Zevit wrote:
Q. 1) If you imagine yourself at the end of this year, what action(s) do you most want to change in your personal lifestyle to include a
sustainability consciousness? What about as a faith community?
Q. 2) What ideas included in the Sustainability packet inspire or challenge your current personal and communal way of life and your impact on the local and larger eco-systems of which you are a part?
For additional resources on the Omer Learning Initiative or Greening Synagogues, go to our environment page at http://www.jrf.org/climate
During our first week of Omer teaching, we are highlighting the efforts and energy within our congregations engaged in congregation-based community organizing (CBCO). As you read through it feel free to add comments on this page about your own experiences in community organizing or use the listserve or web page to ask questions.
Below as an attachment, you will find a PDF resource packet and the recording from our Community Organizing and Congregational Advocacy - PEARL tele-conference call, featuring:
From Seedtime to Harvest:
From the values and spirit of tikkun to community building and sustained action read more »
Beginning on the eve of the second day of Pesach, we are instructed by our tradition to count the days of the “Omer” until the fiftieth day, which is when the first barley crop would be harvested. It is also the Jewish holiday of Shavuot when, according to our tradition, the Jewish People received the Torah at Mt. Sinai. The counting of the Omer is a bridge between Pesach and Shavuot – between a moment of liberation and a moment of self-definition and direction at the beginning of our evolution as a religious civilization. It is an opportunity to deepen our study and close the gap between ideas and action for the tikkun (rebalancing, repair) of the challenges we face in our world.
In 2007 our focus was on Sustainability (balancing environmental, social, economic and spiritual life in our congregations and larger communities). See the text packet atached to this post.
Rabbis, Hazzanim (cantors), Educators and members of JRF congregations commented on classic Jewish texts in the light of the sustainability work being done in their congregations.
Is it not enough for you to graze on choice grazing ground, but you must also trample with your feet what is left from your grazing? And is it not enough for you to drink clear water, but you must also muddy with your feet what is left? – Ezekiel 34:18 read more »
These words prophesied by Ezekiel are spoken on behalf of God to the people Israel. Israel is likened to a flock of sheep or cattle that has abused the natural resources that God has provided. Just as Israel has acted as habituated animals who themselves are out of sync with their own natural order and have trampled the earth and muddied the water, so too are we, today, leaving behind a dirty footprint in the environment.