Archive for : Sukkot

Repair the World Launches “Act Now for Racial Justice” Campaign

Offering opportunities to stand against racial injustice through service, Repair the World today launched Act Now for Racial Justice, a campaign that coincides with the Jewish High Holidays and that will continue through MLK Day and Passover in 2017. The campaign includes resources for young adults to learn how racism permeates economic, social, and criminal justice systems; to host meals and discussions with peers exploring how our food systems perpetuate racial injustice; and to take action and serve with communities to move closer to racial justice.

“Like in the Black community, young adults are leading our Jewish community in creating change; and, by standing in solidarity, they are making a meaningful difference, sending an important signal, and building deep relationships across racial lines,” said David Eisner, CEO of Repair that World. “Our Jewish values compel us to stand for racial justice and to right the wrongs we see nearly daily; this feels especially urgent right now, as we look to understand where we’ve fallen short over the past year, and to mark the New Year by resolving to do better. Act Now for Racial Justice offers our community tools to take action through service in a Jewish context, and to address important inequities in our communities.”

The meals hosted during the campaign will be part of Repair the World’s Turn The Tables initiative, and will include educational materials, including discussion guides. A portion of the meals are supported by OneTable.

Learn more at werepair.org/high-holidays, including information on service opportunities around the country to counteract racial injustices in food and educational equity. Follow #ActNowForRacialJustice on Twitter for stories and interviews with Jews of color and others standing against racial injustice Act Now for Racial Justice will continue to offer service and reflection opportunities year-round, including on MLK Day and Passover 2017.

To stand as allies with victims of racial injustice, Repair will send a Jewish delegation to Facing Race, November 10-12 in Atlanta, GA. Facing Race is a collaborative endeavor to grow the racial justice movement and the largest multiracial, intergenerational gathering for organizers, educators, creatives and other leaders.

“Meaningful service in solidarity with communities of color is a powerful way to take a stand against racial injustice,” Eisner adds. “We are all part of America’s racial justice journey and young adults often look for activeroles they can play to positively impact this journey. Frankly, each of us already play a role in the racial justice journey of our community and our country.  The question we each need to ask is whether we are satisfied today with what that role has been.”

Jumpstart Shelter Related Projects in Honor of Sukkot

The spirit of Sukkot is in the air. And for those of us who have sat in a sukkah in the last week (a temporary outdoor shelter built during the holiday of Sukkot), the scent of Sukkot – pine boughs or bamboo, gourds and pumpkins, apples and citrusy etrogim – is in the air too.

That’s why in this month’s installment of Repair the World’s ongoing crowdsource funding series, we scouted some shelter-related projects that are currently campaigning for support. They’re all totally different from one another, and all really inspiring. We don’t know the people involved in these projects personally, but we think the work they are doing is worthy of some serious attention. We hope you do too!

Families of Color Seattle This awesome organization is building an intergenerational gathering space for families that perpetuates a culture of inclusivity, community building and play-centered learning. Help them build their Cornerstone Cafe!

Clarity Hamlet Help build an eco-friendly, straw-bale home for Buddhist nuns in California. The project is hoping to fund the creation of three dormitories for the sisters called Clarity Hamlet. Their sustainable cred includes passive solar design, recycled steel roofs, grey water recycling, and straw bale walls made from agricultural waste of from local growers.

Wood and Stone Retreat Help save and refurbish a historic property in Maryland, and reenergize the economy of a town. Two good deeds for the price of one!

Awesome Sukkot Events, 2014

This year, Sukkot begins on Wednesday, October 8, at sundown. It brings with it a focus on harvest, hospitality, the gift of shelter, and an abundance of good food. Meanwhile, when it comes to connecting to social issues like hunger, sustainability, and housing rights, Sukkot is ripe (pun intended!) with possibility.

Each year, congregations and communities around the country find ways to make those connections explicit. Join in the fun by checking out one of these creative and inspiring Sukkot events:

Sharing the Faith – Sukkot
October 10 and 15, Chicago
Join the Niagara Foundation in exploring Sukkot, while offering interfaith educational opportunities. From a Shabbat service, to a conversation about homelessness on Sukkot, it promises to be a worthwhile event.

Eat, Pray, Lulav: A Sukkot Harvest Festival
October 12, Berkeley, CA
Join Urban Adamah for their fourth annual harvest festival complete with opportunities to harvest fall crops, build a cob oven, take a farm tour, and enjoy live music. Bring a canned food item to donate.

Aztec-Jewish Harvest Festival at Proyecto Jardin
October 12, Los Angeles, CA
The congregation IKAR and their urban sustainable garden partner, Proyecto Jardin, are teaming up for a unique, cross-cultural Sukkot event.

Hazon Jewish Food Festival
October 12, Encitas, CA
Spend Sukkot on an honest-to-goodness Jewish ranch, and join nutritionists, chefs, farmers, rabbis, educators, and food enthusiasts in celebration of the values of the Jewish Food Movement.

Sukkot Harvest Celebration
October 14, Boston, MA
Celebrate Sukkot with the Jewish garden, Ganei Beantown, The Riverway Project and the Moishe Kavod House in Temple Israel’s organic vegetable garden and sukkah. Prepare a meal together, learn Torah, and join in an open mic.

DIY Sukkah: Make it Green and Awesome

With all due respect to Tu Bishvat (aka the Jewish Arbor Day), Sukkot is the Jewish calendar’s eco-friendly poster child.

For starters, the week long holiday celebrates the harvest. Throughout the week Jews celebrate by dining, star-gazing, and sometimes even sleeping in a handmade, outdoor hut made from natural materials called a sukkah. Furthermore, they carry around an etrog (a fragrant, lemon-like citrus fruit) and a lulav (a bundle of date palm fronds and other branches), which they wave around at services and inside their sukkah.

With so many natural green connections, it is a no-brainer to celebrate Sukkot with sustainability and the environment in mind. Here are some ideas to keep your holiday green and awesome:

Decorate Local Farmer’s markets are brimming with squash, gourds, dried corn, dried flowers and other autumnal goodies this time of year. So forget the plastic fruit and stock up on beautifully, locally-grown decorations.

Recycled Chic Back in the 1990s, trendy decorators strung unwanted CDs from their sukkahs like tiny, flat disco balls. Bring back that retro idea and add to it: string together corks from old wine bottles, or make a chain out of toilet paper tubes painted in different colors.

Educate, Beautifully Paint your favorite environmental quotes on recycled paper and hang them around the sukkah. Or, make a 350.org banner to spark conversation about climate change in the sukkah.

Sustainable Supper Once you are all decorated, invite your friends over for a vegetarian potluck meal. Invite people to bring a plate to reduce waste, or if you must go disposable, use compostable dishes.

Donate, Donate. Invite friends to bring canned goods and other non-perishables to dinner and set up a collection box inside your sukkah. Bring donated food to a soup pantry after the holiday.

Talk Green. Start an environmental discussion at your Sukkot table. Bring printouts of texts and resources to get you started.

Find more sustainable Sukkot tips on Hazon’s website. How are you adding DIY or eco-friendly touches to your Sukkot celebration?

Donate Fresh Produce to Your Local Food Pantry with Care to Share (Video)

File this under awesome: Hazon, AmeriCorps, The Met Council and the UJA Federation are teaming up to help bring more fresh produce to local food pantries and to combat food insecurity this Sukkot with their Care to Share program.

From now through Oct 18, gardeners, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) members, and anyone with good access to fresh produce in the New York area is invited to share a portion of their produce for distribution to a local food pantry. It’s as easy as finding a drop-off site near you, and bringing in your veggies.

Judaism has a tradition of “gleaning.” Back in the day, farmers would leave the four corners of their fields unharvested from which the needy could glean with dignity. Today, food deserts pervade our country. In many cities  including New York, low-income communities tend to have far less access to healthy fruits and vegetables than other neighborhoods. In some communities, there are literally no grocery stores, making it all the more challenging to feed healthy food to one’s family.
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