The Week in Links: 10.19.15

Welcome to This Week In Links. This series is a place for us to share articles that our fellows and staff are reading to deepen their understanding of the context of their work. By linking to these stories, we are not necessarily endorsing the positions, but sharing interesting material for discussion and reflection. We invite you to share, comment, and discuss these stories, and also to share your top links from the past week!

Redefining “Rabbi” in Rockland County (NY): Pursuing Justice in Public Education

Mom: What should we teach our children about success in this dog-eat-dog world?
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October 2015 Social Good Roundup!

In addition to our monthly Newsletter, we are also bringing you a monthly round-up of our favorite programs from our partners and from across the web. The opportunities below are separated by long term (6+ months), short term (6 months or less) and ongoing service, social good, and travel opportunities.

Be sure to check back monthly for updates and new finds!

Commit…To Service!     (Long-Term Programs)

You Want To Go To There.      (Short-Term and Travel Opportunities)

Be Social. Do Good.    (Social Good Jobs, Events and Campaigns)

Tractors over Touchdowns: How One Football Player Became a Food Justice Hero

Football players, like most professional athletes, live glamorous lives. With contracts regularly topping 10 million dollars, they can afford to. But what if one of them decided to give up the cars, the glory, and the worship of thousands of fans to become a…farmer.

Meet Jason Brown. At the age of 29, after spending seven years as a professional football player, Brown decided to trade in his helmet for a bundle of hay. As self-taught farmer (he watched You Tube videos for instructions on the basics and consulted with other nearby farmers), he launched First Fruits Farm – a faith-based agricultural operation that grows food to be donated to food pantries. He has already given away tens of thousands of pounds of food and he has no plans for stopping soon. (If the notion of giving first fruits sounds familiar, it should – it is a concept found in the Torah.)

Brown and his family took an incredible leap of faith to make such a radical life change. Asked on CBS why, he said two beautiful things. The first: “When I think about a life of greatness, I think about a life of service.” And then, “Love is the most wonderful currency you can give anyone.” We kind of love this guy.

In other news, Brown also recently delivered his own baby when his wife went into surprisingly fast labor and the midwife couldn’t arrive in time. So, yeah he’s mensch.

Check out the video for more of his remarkable story.

This Week in Links: Oct 5, 2015

Welcome to This Week In Links. This series is a place for us to share articles that our fellows and staff are reading to deepen their understanding of the context of their work. By linking to these stories, we are not necessarily endorsing the positions, but sharing interesting material for discussion and reflection. We invite you to share, comment, and discuss these stories, and also to share your top links from the past week!

White People Explain Why They Feel Oppressed

Why Universal Childcare Isn’t a Perfect Solution

Race, the Jewish Conundrum and the Fierce Urgency of Now
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This Week in Links: 9.25.15

Welcome to This Week In Links. This series is a place for us to share articles that our fellows and staff are reading to deepen their understanding of the context of their work. By linking to these stories, we are not necessarily endorsing the positions, but sharing interesting material for discussion and reflection. We invite you to share, comment, and discuss these stories, and also to share your top links from the past week!

After years of cuts, school districts face teacher shortages

Panel Studying Racial Divide in Missouri Presents a Blunt Picture of Inequity

Are College Lectures Unfair?

One Way Forward for Ferguson Is Clear—And Still Impossible

Why Critics of the ‘Microaggressions’ Framework Are Skeptical

Readers Lament the Rise of ‘Victimhood Culture’

Microaggressions Matter
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Food Justice Resources for Yom Kippur

Yom Kippur is perhaps the best known Jewish holiday. It’s the biggie – the holiday of repentance when Jewish people across the country head to synagogue, even if it isn’t part of their regular practice. And, of course, it is a fast day. Unlike most other Jewish holidays, which are centered around what to eat, Yom Kippur is centered around not eating.

This ritual fasting is meant to help people focus less on the material world and more on spiritual matters – to purify the body in a way that makes it fit for the work at hand. But it also brings to mind the millions of people around the country and world who fast every day, and not by choice. This Yom Kippur, which falls during Hunger Action Month, take a little time during the holiday to think about food justice on a deeper level. Here are some great resources to get you started:

Isaiah and the Food Stamp Challenge This article, by Rabbi Edward Bernstein draws connections between the words of the Prophet Isaiah on fasting with the contemporary Food Stamp Challenge that many people are taking. It’s a compelling read!

Sacred Table: Creating a Jewish Food Ethic Put out by the Reform Movement, this anthology talks about the connections between faith, food, and justice. There are many fascinating essays specifically related to food justice, but we suggest reading the whole thing.

Food For Thought Hazon’s sourcebook on Jews, food, and contemporary issues would make great reading for Yom Kippur day.

Jewish Perspectives on Food Justice URJ has made available an interesting webinar all about ethical eating and how it relates to Jewish tradition. Download the full recorded session and the Power Point presentation that went along with it.

#TomatoRabbis T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights is well known for its activism around securing fair wages for tomato workers. Find out more about their great work, and download this handout of sermon topics.