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Aytzim Brief Statement for Reparations and Against Violence and White Supremacy

3 June 2020 / 11 Sivan 5780

The racist rhetoric and actions of white supremacists — including policemen who murdered George Floyd, and the U.S. president who threatens further violence against those who stand up for justice — once again leaves us stating the obvious: Caring for the Earth also means caring for its people, and the institutional racism built into governmental systems causes senseless death and suffering, as well as economic deprivation, traumatic stress and exposure to pollution that is inflicted from generation to generation. White supremacy should have been dismantled long ago and its stubborn persistence represents a blight on society. White supremacy is a systematic problem and it demands a systematic solution. As always, Aytzim stands against senseless violence and stands against racism and stands against white supremacy. And as always, Aytzim stands with the marginalized, the oppressed and their allies who shout for justice.

To that end, it is past time that America pays for its crimes of slavery. Reparations cannot heal the wounds of slavery, racism and white supremacy, but it offers the opportunity to help correct some of the economic injustices that have been institutionalized by governmental systems for generations. The Jewish laws of shmita dictate that it is not enough to free enslaved people, but that they must be compensated for their labor. They must be given reparations. Grounded in our Jewish values, Aytzim supports efforts to provide long-due reparations and we also support efforts to end police violence. As the Torah commands us (Deut. 16:20), we must pursue justice. Justice!

 
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.

 
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

NEW JOURNAL ARTICLE

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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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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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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Photo Slide Show of Samar Sand Dunes

Click here for a photo slide show of the Samar sand dunes

 

Israel's Sahara has been saved from destruction by the Green Zionist Alliance and its Israeli partners — check out the photo slide show of Samar!

 

CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT THE PHOTO SLIDE SHOW!

 
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Eco-Quote

"Woe to those who add house to house and field to field, till there is room for no one but you to dwell in the land."

- Isaiah 5:8

Did You Know?

Of the main tributaries to the Jordan River, only one - the Dan Spring - lies within Israel's pre-1967 boundaries. The Banyas Springs are in the Golan Heights and the Hasbani Spring is in Lebanon.

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.