In addition to this sampling, you can also view a YouTube playlist of Judaism and Ecology videos here.
Spotlights Clips 2.40, Shomreh Adamah (Keepers of the Earth), with Rabbi Ellen Bernstein
June 27, 2022
This clip is an excerpt of the Spotlights episode featuring Rabbi Ellen Bernstein. In this clip, she discusses her work with Shomrei Adamah (Keepers of the Earth), the first national Jewish environmental organization, which she founded in 1988. While Shomrei Adamah, the organization, closed in 1996, it touched the hearts and minds of tens of thousands of people, and its message continues to reverberate through its books and educational materials, and through the work of a new generation of Jewish educators, naturalists, environmentalists, farmers and artists. The Shomrei Adamah leadership believed that holiday celebrations, and in particular, Tu B’Shvat, the Jewish New Year for the trees, could provide opportunities for educating and organizing masses of people to care for the earth. More information about Shomrei Adamah can be found here: http://www.ellenbernstein.org/shomrei… Details for the full episode are available here: https://fore.yale.edu/blogs/entry/165…
Spotlights Clips 2.38, Ecology in Genesis 1 with Ellen Bernstein
June 13, 2022
This clip is an excerpt of the Spotlights episode featuring Rabbi Ellen Bernstein. In this clip, she discusses her ecological interpretation of the Bible, specifically the ecological implications of the first chapter of the book of Genesis. She wrote a wonderful book on the topic, The Splendor of Creation: A Biblical Ecology (Pilgrim Press). More information about the book can be found on the publisher’s website: https://www.thepilgrimpress.com/produ… Details for the full episode are available here: https://fore.yale.edu/blogs/entry/165…
Spotlights 2.37, Ellen Bernstein: Rabbi, Author, and Ecotheologian
June 6, 2022
This week’s episode of Spotlights features Rabbi Ellen Bernstein, a leader and pioneer in the field of religion and ecology. She discusses her work with Shomrei Adamah, Keepers of the Earth, the first national Jewish environmental organization, which she founded in 1988. She also talks about some of her work as an author and ecotheologian, focusing on the intersection of Judaism, Bible and ecology, including her ecotheology of Genesis 1 in The Splendor of Creation (2006), her ecologically centered Passover Haggadah in The Promise of the Land (2019), her ecological interpretation of the idea of dominion, her ecological guide for the Jewish New Year of the Trees (Tu B’Shvat) (1988), and more. You can learn more about her work on her website: http://www.ellenbernstein.org/
A Jewish Approach to Climate Change with Rabbi Yonatan Neril
October 8, 2021
Join Uri L’Tzedek and Rabbi Yonatan Neril for a Zoom webinar. A few weeks before the UN Climate Conference in Glasgow, Rabbi Yonatan Neril explores Jewish teachings that relate to climate change and why it’s so critical that Jewish communities mobilize to address the climate crisis.
Spotlights Clips ~ Episode 49, Rabbi Laura Duhan Kaplan, Animal Agency and the Mouth of the Donkey
August 23, 2021
This week’s episode of Spotlights is a short clip from our episode featuring Rabbi Laura Duhan Kaplan, PhD, Director of Inter-religious Studies and Professor of Jewish Studies at Vancouver School of Theology in British Columbia, Canada. In this clip, Rabbi Laura talks about the symbolic meaning of donkeys in the Bible as well as the question of animal agency or personhood, reflecting on her book, Mouth of the Donkey: Re-imagining Biblical Animals (Wipf & Stock, 2021). Watch the full episode here: https://youtu.be/OCY5Tl7_EBE You can learn more about her work here: https://vst.edu/people/laura-duhan-ka… You can find more information about the book on the publisher’s website: https://wipfandstock.com/978172525905…
Spotlights Clips ~ Episode 48, Rabbi Laura Duhan Kaplan on Humans, Animals, and Creation
August 16, 2021
This week’s episode of Spotlights is a short clip from our episode featuring Rabbi Laura Duhan Kaplan, PhD, Director of Inter-religious Studies and Professor of Jewish Studies at Vancouver School of Theology in British Columbia, Canada. Reflecting on her book, Mouth of the Donkey: Re-imagining Biblical Animals (Wipf & Stock, 2021), she discusses questions of anthropocentrism, the ethical treatment of animals, and the order of creation. Watch the full episode here: https://youtu.be/OCY5Tl7_EBE You can learn more about her work here: https://vst.edu/people/laura-duhan-ka… You can find more information about the book on the publisher’s website: https://wipfandstock.com/978172525905…
Spotlights ~ Episode 47, Rabbi Laura Duhan Kaplan, Vancouver School of Theology
August 9, 2021
This week’s episode of Spotlights features Rabbi Laura Duhan Kaplan, PhD, Director of Inter-religious Studies and Professor of Jewish Studies at Vancouver School of Theology in British Columbia, Canada. She discusses her professional and personal engagement in the intersection of religion and ecology, with particular attention to her newly released book, Mouth of the Donkey: Re-imagining Biblical Animals (Wipf & Stock, 2021). She provides a fresh, insightful, and accessible interpretation of humans, sheep, corvids, locusts, donkeys, and many more animals in the Hebrew Bible. You can learn more about her work here: https://vst.edu/people/laura-duhan-ka… You can find more information about the book on the publisher’s website: https://wipfandstock.com/978172525905…
Reading Jewish Texts in an Age of Climate Change: Grappling with Risk, Reimagining Hope
Stroum Center for Jewish Studies, University of Washington
May 25, 2021
How can Jewish texts help us to think through the social politics of the contemporary climate crisis? Bringing feminist disability insights to ancient Jewish narratives, Julia Watts Belser argues that Jewish stories about the destruction of Jerusalem can be a powerful companion for thinking about climate disruption and the contemporary pandemic. This talk will grapple with the politics of risk, examining how race, class, gender, and disability intertwine to force certain bodies to bear the brunt of the storm. It will also explore how these stories invite us to reconsider the spiritual work of navigating tumultuous change so that we can reimagine hope from within the heart of crisis.
2021 Jewish Science and Medical Group Conference, Session 3: Climate Change and Environmental Health
Arizona State University Jewish Studies
April 14, 2021
In a session of the 2021 Jewish Science and Medical Group Conference, three Jewish professionals—Bernice Reya Rosenzweig, PhD, Michael Kosoy, PhD, and Rabbi Nancy Epstein—present on climate change and environmental health. Specifically, their discussion touches upon climate change and cities; the inextricable connections between the health of animals, human beings, and our environments; and how public and environmental health relate to Judaism and the sacred.
“A Passover Earth Seder for Everyone”
With Rabbi Ellen Bernstein and friends
April 1, 2021
This ecologically sensitive Passover Seder led by Rabbi Ellen Bernstein is based on Ellen’s Passover haggadah, The Promise of the Land. The Seder illuminates the centrality of land/earth in Biblical and Jewish tradition. Ellen is joined by musician extraordinaire Rabbi Cantor George Mordecai, who performs Sephardic, Judeo-Arabic and Ladino versions of several traditional Passover songs. Many other musicians, performance artists, eco theologians from multiple traditions, Bible scholars, and leaders of interfaith and Jewish environmental organizations join Ellen and George to create an enchanting Passover Seder that everyone-regardless of religious background can enjoy. Participants include Victoria Hanna, Joy Ladin, Nigel Savage, Rabbi Arthur Waskow, Rabbi Daniel Swartz, Rabbi Shefa Gold, Rebekka Goldsmith, Hazan Diana Brewer, Nili Simhai, Shamu Sadeh and many more. This Seder was a benefit for EcoPeace Middle East.
Big Bold Jewish Climate Fest
January 31, 2021
Dayenu and Beth El Congregation
January 28, 2021
During the virtual Tu B’Shevat Seder of Beth El Congregation of Baltimore, Rabbi Dana Saroken invited Rabbi Jennie Rosenn (Founder and CEO of Dayenu) to discuss how we can confront the climate crisis with Jewish values and spirit.
FORE Spotlights Series ~ Ep2 Hava Tirosh Samuelson
September 28, 2020
You can also listen to an audio podcast of this episode here.
Scholar Hava Tirosh Samuelson, of Arizona State University, speaks about her work and the intersection of Judaism and ecology in our second episode of FORE Spotlights.
Ellen Bernstein on the Climate Emergency
Ecojustice for All/Temple of Understanding
Rabbi Ellen Bernstein, founder of the first national Jewish environmental organization (Shomrei Adamah), discusses her career of thinking about Judaism, the Bible, and ecology. This interview is conducted as part of Temple of Understanding’s Ecojustice for All interview series, which features perspectives on the climate emergency from international movers and shakers.
TorahTrek: The Center for Jewish Wilderness Spirituality eJournal
July 18, 2018
Follow link to view video
TorahTrek: The Center for Jewish Wilderness Spirituality eJournal
March 6, 2018
Rabbi Lawrence Troster: “Green Torah Wisdom: Becoming a Jewish Environmentalist”
The global environmental crisis is real and, posits Rabbi Lawrence Troster, Judaism holds the key to living a life in balance with the natural world. His concept of “Green Torah Wisdom,” outlined in this talk, combines environmental and social responsibility with core elements of Jewish tradition, bringing a deeper consciousness to our everyday lives.
Ellen Bernstein: “A Creator God and a Sense of Place: A Jewish Ecotheology”
2016 Interfaith Lecture Series
Ellen Bernstein, a Rabbi and Ecologist, is the founder of the first national Jewish environmental organization - Shomrei Adamah (Keepers of the Earth). Her presentation “A Creator God and a Sense of Place: A Jewish Ecotheology” outlines the necessity for balance between Man and Earth, and God’s oneness which connects them.
“The Abrahamic Response to Journey of the Universe”
Rabbi Lawrence Troster, Heather Eaton, and Safei Eldin Hamed
Journey of the Universe and Our Elegant Universe Symposium
Rabbi Lawrence Troster, Dr. Heather Eaton, and Dr. Safei Eldin Hamed offer responses from Jewish, Christian, and Islamic traditions to Journey of the Universe. Rabbi Troster, a late Jewish environmental activist, draws from the Books of Genesis and Isaiah to suggest that the science of the universe story is offering people a vision of a new heaven and a new Earth. Dr. Heather Eaton, a theologian at Saint Paul University, highlights the need for Christians to retrieve its focus on creation, to reinterpret justice as ecojustice, and to reconstruct theologies of incarnation to encompass the entire Earth community. Dr. Safei Eldin Hamed, a scholar of environmental planning at Chatham University, interprets the Quran to suggest that there is equality between all creatures and that Islam can offer a holistic and functional cosmology for our contemporary world.
Rabbi Ronen Lubitch: “The Spiritual Roots of the Environmental Crisis”
Interfaith Climate and Energy Conference
In this video, Rabbi Ronen Lubitch discusses the spiritual roots of the environmental crisis. These materials are posted as part of Jewcology’s “Year of Jewish Learning on the Environment,” in partnership with www.canfeinesharim.com. Rabbi Ronen Lubitch is Rabbi of Nir Etzion and a lecturer at Shaanan Religious Teachers College and at Haifa University.
A Sacred Duty: Applying Jewish Values To Help Heal The World
A Major Documentary on Current Environmental Threats and How Jewish Teachings Can Be Applied in Responding to These Threats. Produced by Emmy-Award-winning producer, director, writer, and cinematographer Lionel Friedberg, A SACRED DUTY will take its place alongside Al Gore’s AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH and Leonardo di Caprio’s THE ELEVENTH HOUR as another powerful expose of the dangers of global warming. However, it goes beyond the latter two films, by showing how religious responses can make a major difference and why a shift toward plant-based diets is an essential part of efforts to reduce global climate change and other environmental threats.
“Celebration matters, Tu B’Sh’vat, a New Year’s Festival for Trees”
This Tu B’Sh’vat seder takes place annually at Hampshire College and is a new version of Ellen Bernstein’s original seder (Philadelphia, 1988), which was the catalyst for Shomrei Adamah, the first national Jewish environmental organization. Tu B’Shvat is the new year for the trees according to Jewish tradition. In the 1600’s the Jewish mystics, the Kabbalists, who lived in Sefad, created a ritual—a seder—for Tu B’Shvat. The Kabbalists had a 4-dimensional view of life. They imagined that the cosmos operated according to 4 worlds: action, emotion, thought and spirit. For their seder they ate many kinds of fruits, drank concoctions of wine, made blessings, and read spiritual texts about nature. This seder that you are about to view is rooted in the four worlds of the kabbalistic seder. Here, action corresponds to earth, emotion corresponds to water, air corresponds to thought, and spirit corresponds to fire. You can think of the seder as a 4-course fruit feast. Each course is composed of readings from spiritual and contemporary sources, music, fruits, wine, and blessings. Four puppets signify the four different elements/worlds.
Rabbi Lawrence Troster: “Judaism and Ecology”
Lawrence Troster discusses Judaism and Ecology with Mary Evelyn Tucker. “Judaism and Ecology” is part of the larger “Conversations on World Religions and Ecology” project. Watch the whole “Conversations on World Religions and Ecology” series on the Forum on Religion and Ecology YouTube Channel.
Header photo: Leipnik Hagadah shel Pesaḥ by Joseph ben David, 1740 ©British Library