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Aytzim Brief Statement Against Presidential Anti-Semitism

21 Aug. 2019 / 20 Av 5779

The anti-Semitic rhetoric of the 45th U.S. president — along with his other racist, xenophobic and belligerent speech and actions — are antithetical to Jewish values, and his hateful words have proven himself to be disloyal to America.

Rabbi Lawrence Troster, z”l

Some people try to change the world through education — sharing thoughts and ideas. Others work through action. Rare are those who aim to do both. Rare are those like Rabbi Lawrence (Larry) Troster, one of this country’s leading Jewish eco-theologians and religious environmental leaders, a member of Aytzim’s board of directors, and the director and cofounder of Shomrei Breishit: Rabbis and Cantors for the Earth, a joint project of Aytzim and GreenFaith. He passed away on Friday (May 24). We at Aytzim mourn him, and wish that his family and friends be consoled and comforted among the mourners of Zion.


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Aytzim Statement Against Anti-Semitic Terrorism

As advocates of sustainability, we at Aytzim realize that no progress can be made in creating harmony on the planet when there is not harmony between human beings, and that eradicating violence and anti-Semitism in all its forms goes hand-in-hand with eradicating violence to the planet. As Jews and as defenders of both human rights and the Earth, we were horrified this past Shabbat when a white-supremacist terrorist murdered 11 at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh.


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Aytzim Statement for Unity and Against Hatred

The Torah commands us over and over to pursue justice. So we shall not be silent. We can’t stand by idly. We will say what the president failed to say, but what should be patently obvious.


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Aytzim Statement in Support of Immigrants, the Climate and Civility

Aytzim has a long history of being a Jewish-environmental organization composed of people who care not just about Judaism and the Earth, but about the peace and wellbeing of all of our planet’s inhabitants, regardless of religion, ethnicity, gender or economic status. It is therefore with grave concern that Aytzim views the recent policy shifts by the new presidential administration in Washington.


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Shmita Revolution: The Reclamation and Reinvention of the Sabbatical Year


Jewish observance of shmita (alternatively spelled shemitah)—the sabbatical year, or seventh (sheviit) year—is changing. Historically rooted in agriculture, modern Jewish environmentalists are seizing upon the long-ignored environmental and social justice (tikkun olam) aspects of shmita as originally described in the five books of Moses, the Torah in the Hebrew Bible, the basis of Jewish law. Primary research was conducted through key-stakeholder interviews with leading American and Israeli Jewish environmentalists and thought leaders. They see shmita as a core Jewish value—one that, like Shabbat, the Jewish sabbath, has the power to transform society. Their work has brought shmita from an obscure law dealt with mainly by Israel’s Orthodox to a new Jewish ethos being discussed across the United States, Europe, Israel, and even on the floor of Knesset, Israel’s parliament. This article also describes shmita as delineated in the Torah and through the rabbinic canon of halacha (Jewish law), and explains shmita practice from biblical times to the present day.


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Success in Jerusalem! Shmita Planning and a Fracking Ban

The Zionist organizational world is saying hello to shmita and goodbye to fracking, thanks to two new laws that Aytzim’s Green Zionist Alliance passed at the World Zionist Congress in Jerusalem.


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First-Ever Green-Party Member Joining Knesset!

Yael Cohen ParanSome good things can come out of the politics of the World Zionist Congress: In the last Israeli elections, Yael Cohen Paran — co-chairperson of Aytzim's sister organization HaYeruka, Israel's green party — fell just short of election to the Knesset. But with the expected assent at this week's World Zionist Congress of a Knesset member to chairman of Keren Kayemet L'Yisrael / Jewish National Fund in Israel (KKL-JNF), and his corresponding resignation from the Knesset, Yael will be taking his place and becoming the first-ever green-party Knesset member!

We Need Green Rabbis

Which rabbinical school will lead the way by offering an academic focus in Jewish environmentalism? Which will be the first to eliminate landfill trash and recycle and compost all of its waste? And which will be the first to forsake fossil fuels and go carbon neutral?


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Introducing Aytzim: Ecological Judaism

Since our founding in 2001, the Green Zionist Alliance has successfully worked for the declaration of new nature preserves, the planting of millions of trees, and the construction of hundreds of miles of bike trails. But today we are proud to announce a large expansion in our work. And with that we have a new name: Aytzim: Ecological Judaism.


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Victory Against Fracking in Israel: David Beats Goliath

The Jerusalem District Committee for Planning and Building nixed a plan to exploit the oil shale of the Elah Valley, where David fought Goliath. The plan’s rejection serves to protect the water, land and air shared by Israelis and Palestinians.


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The Next Jubilee: A Vision for 2050

Theodor Herzl said that if you will it, it is no dream. What our Earth looks like in the next yovel, or jubilee, year will not happen by accident. Whether our Earth continues to heat up or whether we stem the tide isn’t predetermined — it’s actually up to us. While our present is what we make of it, our future, as Herzl taught us, will be what we make it to be. By our next yovel, if we choose, we can let climate change become the biggest problem ever faced in human history, or we can deal with it and assign it to the dustbin of history. The choice is ours.


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L’Dor V’Dor? Intergenerational Equity, Climate and the Jews

The Green Zionist Alliance this week joined five other faith-based environmental organizations, including GZA partner Interfaith Moral Action on Climate, in filing a friend-of-the-court brief in what’s known as the “Our Children’s Trust” case.


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What Would Herzl Do? Zionism and Muslim-Jewish Dialogue

What happens when Jews sit down in the same room with Muslims?


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Social Justice and Climate Change

When we think about climate change, we often think in terms of dramatic shifts in the natural world: melting glaciers, heat waves, tornadoes and earthquakes. One might think that changes in nature affect us all equally. But in fact, poor and non-white populations — both in the United States and around the world — disproportionately pay the price for our overuse of natural resources.


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The Science of Climate Change

Climate is the average of the weather over time and space. But taking the average of a constantly changing and location-specific phenomenon is complex. Are we talking about a monthly average? Seasonal? Yearly? Of a county? A state? The northern hemisphere, or globally? Climate depends on the temporal and spatial domain you’ve selected so there isn’t just one climate.


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Mideast Green News

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Copyright © 2020 Aytzim and its respective contributors. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced in any form without written permission. No quotes may be used in any media without attribution Aytzim. The opinions expressed and those of the authors do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of Aytzim, its staff or lay leaders.