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Archive for : San Francisco

Repair Inspiration: Just Say No to Food Waste

When it comes to food in America, two things are clear: we love it and we love to waste it. Each year, American families waste an average of 25% of the food that they buy. That includes the carrot tops, bread ends, and other scraps not used while cooking, and the leftovers that go bad in the fridge before they get eaten. And this number does not even account for the tens of thousands of pounds of food thrown away each year by restaurants and other food service companies.

Now, two very different entities – a chef and a city government – are trying to change that. In Seattle, a new composting law slaps households that do not adequately compost their leftover food with a fine and red tag on their garbage cans. Meanwhile, in New York City, the innovative chef, Dan Barber, (of Blue Hill and Blue Hill at Stone Barns), is working on a high profile, temporary pop up restaurant where every dish will be made from leftovers – stems, peels, bones, and the like. The clever name for the pop up? WastED.

The New York Times reported about both of these compelling stories. Check out the excerpts below and read the whole articles at their website.

Starve a Landfill
By: Kim Severson

“SEATTLE — The nation’s first citywide composting program based largely on shame began here in January. City sanitation workers who find garbage cans filled with aging lettuce, leftover pizza or even the box it came in are slapping on bright red tags to inform the offending household (and, presumably, the whole neighborhood) that the city’s new composting law has been violated.

San Francisco may have been the first city to make its citizens compost food, but Seattle is the first to punish people with a fine if they don’t. In a country that loses about 31 percent of its food to waste, policies like Seattle’s are driven by environmental, social and economic pressure.

But mandated composting reflects a deeper shift in the mood of the nation’s cooks, one in which wasting food is unfashionable. Running an efficient kitchen — where bruised fruit is blended into smoothies, carrot tops are pulsed into pesto, and a juicy pork shoulder can move seamlessly from Sunday supper to Monday’s carnitas to a rich pot of broth for the freezer — is becoming as satisfying as the food itself.” Read more.

Chef Lineup Announced for Dan Barber’s Food Waste Pop-Up, Wasted
By: Florence Fabricant

“A high-profile experiment in wasting nothing will start on March 13 at Dan Barber’s Blue Hill restaurant in Greenwich Village. That’s when the restaurant will turn into a pop-up called wastED, to run through the end of the month, with a menu of dishes devised from leftovers like stems, peelings, rinds and bones, by a roster of guest chefs who will change each evening.” Read more.

Pride Month Events 2013

Not sure how or where to celebrate Pride Month this year? Repair the World has got you covered!

The festivities begin during the last days of May and continue throughout the end of June, and there are events going on all around the country. Check out our roundup of fun, fabulous (and in many cases free!) events, talks, film screenings, parties, marches and shabbat dinners celebrating LGBTQ rights during Pride Month.

May 31: Join Keshet for “Erev” Pride Week Shabbat services and dinner in Sommerville, MA.
June 1: Congregation Am Tikva in Brooklyn, MA is hosting a Pride Liberation Seder – aka a retelling of the story of the LGBT liberation following the Passover seder model.

June 22 and 23: Chicago’s annual Pride Fest helps kick off summer in the second city!
June 24: Congregation Or Chadash is hosting a beach-side BBQ and Shabbat service to launch the city’s Pride Week.

June 14: Shabbat services and a picnic lunch are at the heart of this Keshet-inspired Pride Month event.

Los Angeles
May-June: There are a ton of events going on in West Hollywood before and during Pride Month, from a discussion of LGBTQ rights around the globe on June 18, to the official LA Pride Parade on June 9. For more events in and around Los Angeles, click here.

June 5: Temple Israel of Greater Miami is hosting a ru’ach pride seder, celebrating the freedoms and remembering the challenges of the LGBT community.

New York
June 22: Congregation Beit Simchat Torah is hosting a multigenerational pride picnic in the park.
June 28: Join other New Yorkers for the Pride Week Kickoff Rally at Pier 26.

San Fran
June 9 Keshet is hosting a LGBTQ mixer and Pride Month picnic in Delores Park.
June 28: Join the Jewish Community Federation for a gay pride Shabbat celebration.
June 29-30 San Franciscans know how to party during their annual Pride festival.

June 28: JConnect in Seattle will host their annual Pride Shabbat with services, music, food and mingling.

Washington DC
May 29: Join in on the fun at the Big Queer Jewish Pride Kick Off Happy Hour event hosted at Mova Lounge.
June: The Washington DC JCC’s LGBT group GLOE is hosting several fun events, all worth checking out.
June 8: Join in the annual Capitol Pride Parade, and March with GLOE.

Did we miss a great Pride Month event? We want to hear about it! Share it below or tweet us at @repairtheworld #pridemonth.

Repair Interview: UC Berkeley Hillel’s Lisa Motenko on transforming the High Holidays into a season of service

Lisa Motenko is the program director at UC Berkeley Hillel. She’s also the campus point person for Repair the World. With Jewish volunteer credentials like these, it’s no surprise that, when the high holidays rolled around last year, Lisa was ready to transform them into a season of service.

The 10 days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur add up to one of the most important week and a half stretches in the Jewish calendar. Known as the Yamim Nora’im (Days of Awe), they offer a time for spiritual and personal reflection and repentance. Thinking about this, Lisa got the great idea to create opportunities for Berkeley’s students to volunteer every weekday of those 10 days, and also created the space for students to volunteer on Yom Kippur itself.

Below, Lisa tells Repair the World how the days of awe and volunteering went, the deep impact it had on students, and their plans for this year.

How did the program come about?
I was brainstorming with the director of Berkeley’s Hillel about organizing an alternative to the traditional Yom Kippur service. We decided that we would offer traditional services, and also an opportunity for students to head to a soup kitchen that day. That program got me thinking about how the 10 days after Rosh Hashanah are really important – they are the time when the book of life is still open, before it is shut on Yom Kippur. And I just thought, wouldn’t it be cool if we volunteered during those days?

So I contacted some organizations nearby, and we ended up working with a women’s shelter in Berkeley, serving dinner 3 of the days and playing with the kids who lived there another 2 nights. Then on Yom Kippur, we had about 10 people who came and fasted while serving people food at a soup kitchen in San Francisco. It was an incredible day.

It sounds like it!
On Yom Kippur we did a formal learning. We read the part of Isaiah that talks about what fasting really means, and then we went and served food for a few hours. The students got to walk around and talk to the customers, and many of them openly shared that it was Yom Kippur and talked about why they were doing this. Afterward, we discussed what we did and met with a representative from the organization and reflected about why it was meaningful to serve others on Yom Kippur – especially serving food while fasting. People really connected to that. Several of the participants said that it was the most meaningful Yom Kippur experience they had ever had.

Why do you think the impact was so powerful?
I think it made people think. A lot of the time you’re just sitting there in services and feeling quite passive, but this was an active experience. For a lot of the students, this was the first time they had thought about Judaism as being connected to ethics as well as traditions and rituals. Also, something about fasting and seving other people food really helped the students reflect on the value of food and nourishment in a different way. For lots of students, the fast was more meaningful to them than it had been in the past.

Are you offering the high holiday service program again this year?
We are. Last year we had about 40 people join in over the course of the week and on Yom Kippur. This year, we hope to keep spreading the connection between the high holidays and service to even more students.

To learn more about UC Berkeley Hillel’s high holiday volunteer program, or find out how to start something similar on your campus, contact Lisa at: lisa [@]