July 27, 2005

7/28/05 JVNA Online Newsletter

Shalom everyone,

This update/Jewish Vegetarians of North America (JVNA) Online Newsletter has the following items:

1. We Are Planning to Move Forward With the JVNA Video/Suggestions Welcome

2. Encyclopedia of Nature and Religion Published

3. Another Article on Vegetarianism from a Jewish Perspective/My Letter to the Editor

4. My letter Is Among Five in Newsweek Responding to George Will’s Column

5. Who Are We to Challenge the Jewish Establishment?

6. Florida Jewish Radio Station Actively Supporting Jewish Vegetarianism

7. The Animals and Society Institute Announces the Publication of the "Policy Papers"

8. How factory Farming Threatens Workers and Our Environment

9. Another Article in Yosef Hakohen’s Series on "Relating to Other Creatures"

10. Green Zionist Alliance (GZA) Announces Launch of Campaign for World Zionist Congress Elections.

11. More on the Threat of a Global Flu Pandemic

12. Vegetarian Kabalat Shabbat in NY

13. Action Alert: Opposing a Harmful Energy Bill

Some material has been deferred to a later update/newsletter to keep this one from being even longer.

[Materials in brackets like this [] within an article or forwarded message are my editorial notes/comments.]

Opinions expressed do not necessarily represent the views of the JVNA, unless otherwise indicated, but may be presented to increase awareness and/or to encourage respectful dialogue. Also, material re conferences, retreats, forums, trips, and other events does not necessarily imply endorsement by JVNA or endorsement of kashrut, Shabbat observances, or any other Jewish observance, but may be presented for informational purposes. Please use e-mail addresses, telephone numbers, and web sites to get further information about any event that you are interested in.

As always, your comments and suggestions are very welcome.


1. We Are Planning to Move Forward With the JVNA Video/Suggestions Welcome

I want to update you on the proposed JVNA video, previously mentioned in the July 14, 2005 JVNA newsletter.

I am very happy to announce that Lionel Friedberg, a Jewish vegan activist with a very wide background in producing documentaries and other videos, an Emmy award winner, is VERY eager to help us at a very low fee, basically to cover his costs. His very impressive resume is below after my message.

There are a number of additional positive factors that should be helpful:

1. The Christian Vegetarian Association (CVA) has produced a very effective video "Honoring God’s Creation." I have seen it and I believe that it has great potential as an outreach tool. The key people behind the production of the video have enthusiastically offered to help us in the production of our video, and I think their experience could be very valuable. I have sent Lionel a copy of the video and other background material re Judaism and vegetarianism that might help him in producing our video.

2. I believe that my "Judaism and Vegetarianism" CD provides a rough script, and that, along with fact sheets and other material at JewishVeg.com/schwartz, is the basis for my outline draft below. Later, I plan to write a script and to send it this group and Lionel for suggestions.

3. Here is an outline of topics, which parallels the topics in my book "Judaism and Vegetarianism." (Please keep in mind that this is just some preliminary thinking and nothing is definite at all yet.)

a. Torah Teachings re Vegetarianism
b. Health
c. Compassion toward Animals
d. Environmental Preservation
e. Conservation of Resources (bal tashchit)
f. Helping the Hungry
g. Pursuing Peace and Non-violence
h. Questions and Answers
i. Personal Statements (if time permits – I think the video tape should be no longer than 30 minutes (the CVA video is just over 26 minutes). This means about 3 minutes on average for each topic listed. I think this can be done if the video is relatively tightly scripted.)
j. Resources for further information (on screen before credits)

In sections b-g, I suggest a division into 2 parts: (1) discussion of Jewish teachings followed by (2) a discussion of how the realities of the production and consumption of meat violate those teachings. Background material for this is in the fact sheets on the various issues at JewishVeg.com/schwartz.

4. I also envision some of the leading Jewish vegetarians, including Rabbi Shear-Yashuv Cohen and Rabbi David Rosen making statements re the topics mentioned above. As indicated in the outline below, there are a number of other Jewish vegetarian activists who can also give brief presentations related to the topics above. So, there would be no need to hire actors, etc.

5. As indicated above. I plan to write a script for the video that would be sent to this group and to Lionel for approval. Each speaker would be able to suggest modifications in their presentations for our review.

6. Here are some initial thoughts re the topics to be covered:

* Torah Teachings

One possibility is:
a. Rabbi David Rosen discussing God’s first dietary regimen (Genesis 1:29)
b. Rabbi Shear-Yashuv Cohen discussing Rav Kook’s view that the Messianic period will be vegetarian, based on Isaiah’s prophecy re the wolf dwelling with the lamb, etc.
c. Another rabbi speaking between the 2 rabbis above re other Torah teaching re vegetarianism: permission reluctantly given to eat meat, the incident with the quails and the "Graves of Lust. etc." If we could get Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, Chief Rabbi of the UK to take this part, we would be leading off with 3 chief rabbis – giving a strong indication that vegetarianism is certainly an option for Jews.

As in other segments, there should be appropriate background scenes, such as pictures of "the lion and the lamb," when discussing Isaiah’s vision of a “Peaceable Kingdom, etc.
Next, I would briefly indicate that Jews have a choice in their diets, but that choice should be made based on basic Jewish values, that Jewish vegetarians believe that animal-based diets and agriculture violate 6 basic Jewish teachings, and that we are next going to discuss these 6 teachings and how the production and consumption of animal products violate them.

* Health

Once again, the material in the facts section at JewishVeg.com/schwartz which gives Jewish quotes/teachings, followed by realities that contradict the Jewish teachings can be a basis for this section and the following 5 sections.

We could have Jewish vegetarian activist Jay Lavine, M.D., who has written widely on nutrition, speak on Jewish teachings on health, with health-related scenes shown.

Then, I think it would be valuable to have one of the leading vegetarian doctors (for example, Dr. Michael Klaper or Dr. Michael Gregor) speak on the negative health effects of animal-centered diets.

Rabbi David Rosen has a good quote re his view about the negative health effects making the meat halachically unacceptable. We could end this segment with that quote.

* Compassion toward Animals

We have Roberta Kalechofsky, founder and director of Jews for Animal Rights and Nina Natelson,, founder and director of "Concern for Helping Animals in Israel” (CHAI), two JVNA advisors who have been very active in applying Jewish teachings re the proper treatment of animals, who could speak -- one on Jewish teachings about animals and one about the abuses of animals on factory farms. Rabbi David Rosen also has a good quote re his view about the mistreatment of animals making the meat halachically unacceptable, which could end this segment.

* Environmental Preservation and Conservation
Jonathan Wolf, a long-time Jewish vegetarian and environmental activist and founder and first president of JVNA. could speak here re Jewish teachings on environmental stewardship.

Then, we could have a vegetarian environmental activist, such as Rabbi Barry Schwartz (no relation) or Warren Stone or Fred Dobb speak about the negative environmental effects of animal-based diets. Having some of these rabbis would help re outreach to non-Orthodox communities.

* Conservation of resources (bal tashchit)

Perhaps two of the rabbis mentioned in the previous section (or others) could speak on (1) the Jewish teachings and (2) the waste of grain, land, water, and other resources associated with animal-centered diets.

* Helping the Hungry
Some possibilities here are Noam Mohr, aaron Gross, Rabbi David Golinkin, and Rabbi Hillel Norry

if not here, some of these people could take part in the question and answer section or the personal statements section.

* Pursuing Peace and Non-violence
I could speak here and use my joke re "Give PEAS a chance, among other things (it always gets a laugh and it would be tied in with the Jewish sages view that a lack of grain and other resources makes war and violence more likely). Long time peace activist Rabbi Yonassan Gershom could also discuss connections between vegetarianism and the potential for a more peaceful world. Since he is a Breslov Chassid, this will help us in reaching out to chassidic Jews.

* Questions and Answers
My book "Judaism and Vegetarianism" has many questions and answers, We could have someone ask a few and have some of the Jewish vegetarian activists respond. We could indicate many more questions and answers are at the JVNA web site.

There might not be time for more than perhaps 3 questions and answers. One should be, I believe, don’t Jews have to eat meat to celebrate Shabbat and Yom Tov? Another could be, “Aren’t we trying to be more righteous than God, since God gave permission to eat meat”?

Another might ask about vegetarian connections re Israel and give us a chance to show scenes from the vegetarian moshav Amirim, the Jewish Vegetarian Society in Jerusalem, various vegetarian restaurants, a vegetarian home for Israeli children who have family problems, etc.

* Personal Statements

This depends on how we are doing re time. As indicated, the video should not be longer than 30 minutes.

We could ask some people to briefly state how they became a vegetarian, why it is important to them, why it is important to the world, and anything else personal that they wanted to state. This would provide much material for potential editing.

It would be nice, I think, to have a young person speak, an elderly person whose health greatly improved after shifting to a vegetarian diet speak , …
* Resources for further information

Just before the credits roll, we could give information re the JVNA web site, our free booklet, our CD, and some of our vegetarian books, etc.

Of course, this is just a first draft, but I wanted to present an outline to start some discussion. I hope this provides a good starting point.

Below are excerpts from two messages from Lionel Friedberg and his resume.

Dear Richard,

As an ardent animal rights supporter, long-time vegan and (pardon the ego) Emmy Award-winning TV & film producer, I would very much like to be part of the video project.

I'd love to work on the video project with you.

Many thanks.


Lionel’s second response:

Hi Richard,

I find this very, very exciting. Your thoughts on the structure of the
Video are great. I think this will be something that we as Jews have needed for a long, long time. Even if I'm not personally involved with the production of the project I will do whatever I can to help you promote it. This is something whose time has come. Mazel tov on initiating it.

I would certainly leap at the opportunity to work on this with you, believe
me. So please, please keep me in the loop.

I eagerly look forward to talking to you about this in greater detail as
soon as you're ready.

Many thanks, and all good wishes for bringing this to fruition.

Kindest regards,

Lionel Friedberg (Resume)
Supervising Producer • Producer • Director • Writer

With an initial background in cinematography – including 18 feature film credits as Director of Photography – I have worked all over the world on both dramatic and non-fiction productions. For the past 25 years I have concentrated on supervising, producing, writing and directing documentaries, reality, investigative report and educational programs. I have won a Primetime Emmy, the American Association for the Advancement of Science ‘Westinghouse’ Award for Science Programming, three Columbus and two Golden Eagles for Best Documentaries, and various awards as a dramatic and episodic TV director.

05/04: Growing Up. Series Producer. (11 one-hour shows) Animal Planet. Arden Entertainment.
World on a String – The Tiny Mighty Bead Zepra International Inc.
Across the Lake – Non-fiction book about African shamanism

2003: Growing Up. Series Producer. Animal Planet. Arden Entertainment.
World on a String – The Eternal Bead Zepra International Inc.
Developed Ice Age Mega Bear. Discovery Channel/Channel Four. Arden Entertainment.
Various documentary and writing projects on animal rights issues.
Wrote book on history of apartheid and colonialism in Africa.

2002: The Great Slave Revolt. Letters from the Roman Front. (Moments in Time series.) Contributing writer. Discovery Channel. Terra Nova Television.
Developed script and shot survivor interviews for Without Remorse: The Armenian Holocaust. Theatrical feature-length documentary. Morningstar Entertainment.
The Enforcers. Learning Channel. Morningstar Entertainment.
Developed series template for Strange Days on Planet Earth. PBS. National Geographic/Sea Studios Foundation.

2001: Greek Gods & Goddesses. History Channel. FilmRoos.
Future Guns. Discovery Channel. Alexander-Enright/Present Tense Prods.
Sangoma! A Shaman’s Journey. Video teaching series. Inward Bound Productions.

2000: The Shape of Life. Two one-hour episodes of eight-part series. PBS.
National Geographic/Sea Studios Foundation.

{Many more are listed from 1965 to 1999.]

2005: Silver Screen Award World on a String – The Eternal Bead
1997: Golden Eagle Award The Bible’s Greatest Mysteries.
(Supervising Producer)
1996: Nominee. Cable Ace Award Mysteries of the Bible
(Supervising Producer)
1996: Public Information Radio & Television Educational Society
Buccaneer Award Windows Through Time
1995: Nominee. Cable Ace Award Mysteries of the Bible
(Supervising Producer)
1994: Ohio Governor’s State Award Mysteries Underground
1993: National Primetime Emmy Award Mysteries Underground
1993: Columbus International Chris Award Mysteries Underground
1993: Eastman Kodak Award Mysteries Underground
1991: Columbus International Chris Award Sail On, Voyager!
1991: Golden Eagle Award Sail On, Voyager!
1991: Birmingham International Environmental Electra Award
Crisis in the Atmosphere
1990: Golden Eagle Award Crisis in the Atmosphere
1990: American Association for the Advancement of Science
Westinghouse Award The Great Dinosaur Hunt
1990: Columbus International Chris Award The Great Dinosaur Hunt
1985: Argus Star Tonight Award Hell on Earth
1985: Eastman Kodak Visible Spectrum Award A Delicate Balance
1984: Argus Star Tonight Award Then Came the English
1978: International Anthropological Festival Grand Prix du Festival
The Cultural Identity
1977: Argus Star Tonight Award The Tribal Identity


Writers Guild of America
American Academy of Television Arts & Sciences
South African Society of Cinematographers
PEN International

Location Production Experience:
United States, Canada, Chile, Brazil, Antarctica, Australia, Mauritius, Malagasy, Reunion, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Zaire, Kenya, Tanzania, Angola, Namibia, Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland, Mozambique, Ivory Coast, Marion Island, Cape Verde Islands, Egypt, Israel, Italy, Greece, Spain, Holland, Switzerland, France, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, England, Ireland, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan

Once again, your input re any phase of this proposed project that has so much potential is very welcome.

If you would like to contribute toward the production of this video and/or any other JVNA activities, please send a (tax-deductible) check made out to JVNA or Jewish Vegetarians of North America to

Israel Mossman
6938 Reliance Road
Federalsburg, MD 21632

With, if you wish, a brief note that it is for production of the JVNA video.

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2. Encyclopedia of Nature and Religion Published

A very comprehensive two-volume “Encyclopedia of Nature and Religion” (ENR) has just been published. It thoroughly covers many religions’ teachings on nature, environmental issues, animals, and related issues, with many sections on Jewish teachings. I Have three articles in the encyclopedia: “Judaism and the Population Crisis;” “Tikkun Olam – a Jewish Imperative;” and “Vegetarianism, Judaism, and God’s Intention.” Unlike most encyclopedias, ENR has some articles that are advocacy or opinion articles, so I took advantage of this. JVNA member and environmental teacher and activist Rabbi David Seidenberg has 5 articles in ENR, including: “Animal Rights in the Jewish tradition;” “Jewish Environmentalism in North America;” and “Kabbalah and Eco-Theology.”

This is a very valuable resource for people interested in Jewish and other religious teachings on vegetarianism, animal issues, nature, the environmental issues, etc. However, it is extremely expensive – well over $100. (My 3 articles enabled me to get the 2 volumes without paying a fortune.) I suggest that you recommend that your local college and public and other libraries order a copy. The more people that become educated on the issues in ENR, the better, I believe. The ISBN is 1 84371 138 9. Thanks.

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3. Another Article on Vegetarianism from a Jewish Perspective/My Letter to the Editor

JEWISH CHRONICLE JULY 22 2005 26 The Weekly Review Judaism

No meat today
Simon Rocker on Jewish vegetarianism

JEWISH CHRONICLE JULY 22 200526The Weekly Review Judaism

In one of the novels of Isaac Bashevis Singer, a character thinks to himself, “In their behaviour towards creatures, all men were Nazis.” The late Nobel laureate was notthe only famous Jewish writer to become a vegetarian. So was another Nobel winner, Shmuel Yosef Agnon, the Yiddish writer IL Peretz and, the most influential of all, Franz Kafka. Leading rabbis also adopted the green mantle, including the first chief rabbi of pre-state Israel, Rav Avraham Kook; the author of the Torah commentary known as the Kli Yakar, Rabbi Shlomo Ephraim Lunshitz; and founder of a New York rabbinical seminary, Rav Shraga Feivel Mendlowitz, who believed that after the Second World War “there has been enough killing in the world.”

All these examples are cited in a new 30- page pamphlet, “A Case for Jewish Vegetarianism,” produced by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta). Peta’s tactics have sometimes brought it into conflict with the Jewish community: its “Holocaust on your plate” campaign drew protests here last year. But this publication comes with the endorsement of such figures as the veteran American Jewish veggie Professor Richard Schwartz, author of “Judaism and Vegetarianism.” [Note that PETA had no influence on the actual content of the bulletin – they are only very generously distributing free copies. For free copies to distribute, please contact us.]

The desirability of a vegetarian diet is stressed in the story of Creation, the pamphlet argues, when God informs Adam and Eve that fruit and herbs have been given for their food. The text then describes His handiwork for the first time as “tov meod,” or very good, rather than just “good” as He had before.

Modern factory farming also offends the principle of tsa’ar ba’alei chaim, prevention of cruelty to animals. According to the former Chief Rabbi of Ireland, David Rosen, animals are now reared in such cruel conditions that this makes consumption of their meat “halachically unacceptable.”

Apart from traditional sources, the pamphlet also quotes practitioners of “eco-kashrut” and lists health and environmental reasons for giving up meat and fish.

“All of us, as we stand with the refrigerator open or stare at our menus with grumbling stomachs, are required to make a decision,” it concludes, alluding to Moses’s famous injunction to the Israelites, “Choose life.”

July 25, 2005

Editor, the Jewish Chronicle

Dear Editor:

As president of the Jewish Vegetarians of North America (JVNA), I was pleased to see Simon Rocker's thoughtful article, "No Meat Today" (July 22 issue), which discussed the new booklet "A Case for Jewish Vegetarianism." Readers can download a free copy at
www.goveg.com/feat/jewishveg/jewishvegbooklet72.pdf, or order a free copy by sending a request at http://GoVeg.com.

I hope that Mr. Rocker's article and the booklet will lead Jews to consider a switch toward vegetarianism, because animal-based diets and agriculture violate at least six basic Jewish teachings:

1. While Judaism stresses that people should be very careful about preserving their health and their lives, numerous scientific studies have linked animal-based diets directly to heart disease, stroke, many forms of cancer, and other chronic degenerative diseases.

2. While Judaism forbids tsa'ar ba'alei chayim, inflicting unnecessary pain on animals, most farm animals -- including those raised for kosher consumers -- are raised on "factory farms" where they live in cramped, confined spaces, and are often drugged, mutilated, and denied fresh air, sunlight, exercise, and any enjoyment of life, before they are slaughtered and eaten.

3. While Judaism teaches that "the earth is the Lord’s" (Psalm 24:1) and that we are to be God's partners and co-workers in preserving the world, modern intensive livestock agriculture contributes substantially to soil erosion and depletion, air and water pollution, overuse of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, the destruction of tropical rain forests and other habitats, global warming, and other environmental damage.

4 While Judaism mandates bal tashchit, that we are not to waste or unnecessarily destroy anything of value, and that we are not to use more than is needed to accomplish a purpose, animal agriculture requires the wasteful use of grain, land, water, energy, and other resources.

5. While Judaism stresses that we are to assist the poor and share our bread with hungry people, over 70% of the grain grown in the United States is fed to animals destined for slaughter, while an estimated 20 million people worldwide die because of hunger and its effects each year.

Very truly yours,

Richard H. Schwartz, Ph.D.
[I also sent a shorter version of this letter.]

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4. My letter Is Among Five in Newsweek Responding to George Will’s Column

Dear Editor:

Kudos to George Will for discussing conservative Matthew Scully’s challenging writings on current massive abuses of animals on modern “factory farms” (“What We Owe What We Eat,” July 18 issue). What makes the situation far more scandalous is that this widespread mistreatment is to create a product that is contributing to an epidemic of disease, and its production contributes significantly to many current environmental threats. Hence a switch toward plant based diets is not only an individual choice today; it is also a societal imperative, necessary to help shift our imperiled planet to a more sustainable course, and a religious imperative, because the production and consumption of meat contradict basic religious mandates to preserve our health, treat animals with compassion, protect the environment, conserve natural resources, and help hungry people.

Very truly yours,
Richard H. Schwartz, Ph.D.

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5. Who Are We to Challenge the Jewish Establishment?

[The following D’var Torah (Torah “Word” or teaching) from last week’s Jewish Chronicle (UK) helps answer this question. I am certainly not advocating that anyone perform a specific action in any way similar to that of Pinchas, but I hope that the broader lesson that every individual can make a difference in the d’var Torah is instructive.]

A s the grandson of Aaron and the great-nephew of Moses, one could naturally have assumed that Pinchas was a man of stature, a natural leader. Presumably he was also among the more learned of the children of Israel. The Midrash Tanchuma, however, recounts that Pinchas was in fact the youngest of his house, so not exactly a natural leader. The Talmud, in tractate Eruvin, dispels the idea that Pinchas was a great Torah scholar. Moshe received the Torah from God, taught it to Aaron and then to Aaron’s sons Eleazar and Itamar; next to learn the Torah were the 70 elders of the community and only at the end did the rest of the people, including Pinchas, learn its laws in detail.

So Pinchas was no greater than anybody else. In fact, there was a whole class of natural leaders ahead of him. And yet we see that he, and he alone, acted when he saw that action was necessary to restore God’s glory, by killing an Israelite sinning with a Midianite woman.

What an awesome responsibility for this regular Jew. Something terrible is happening and no one is reacting. Not only that, his grandfather and great-uncle, Aaron and Moses, respectively, the natural leaders of the people, seem to be stricken with some sort of debility.

To Pinchas the response was clear. He had been taught along with everybody else the “law of the zealot”: action was called for. How often do we excuse ourselves from acting, just because no one else is, including those above you?

The Midrash says that God orchestrated the situation to give Pinchas the chance at receiving the covenant of everlasting peace and priesthood. He did not fail. He had learnt the law and therefore knew the correct action to take.

Our responsibility is clear: we are obligated to educate ourselves, so that when the occasion arises, we do not hesitate.

[A similar lesson is in Megillat Esther. When Queen Esther hesitates to take action when the Jewish people are threatened with destruction, Mordechai informs her that perhaps she was put into her position as Queen to be able to act at such a critical time.]

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6. Florida Jewish Radio Station Actively Supporting Jewish Vegetarianism

The following messages are from Moshe ben Levi, the owner of a Florida Jewish radio station.

Subject: Jewish World Radio presents Judaism and Vegetarianism

Boker tov Richard,

Thanks for the material you sent me. The books are great. We just recorded the CD [our “Judaism and Vegetarianism” CD] and divided it in 3 major parts for an hour program in the mornings at 8:00 AM. We also prepared a radio spot advertising the program.

We just sent a couple of press releases, English and Spanish [they are a multi-lingual station], to the Jewish media, presenting our radio station and our programs, including yours.

It will be released July 23, per PRWeb Press Release Newswire. Right now your photo is in the first page of our website.

Included is our banner, so youu can place it at your convenience at your website.

Thanks in advance for your educational material and look forward to work together for the progress of Judaism.

Moshe ben Levi

Message 2:

Shalom Richard,

We are very blessed by the books you sent us. I feel that my life have been close to your comments in the Global book. Thanks to HaShem to guide me in the right track.

WE will talk more abd will do a short program about "Judaismo y el Vegetarianismo" in Spanish based on your book comments. This is a great material.

Moshe ben levi

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7. The Animals and Society Institute Announces the Publication of the "Policy Papers"

Forwarded message:

The purpose of the ASI Policy Papers series is to shape the U.S. political landscape by providing elected representatives, government officials, scholars, media and both animal protection and corporate stake-holders with the research analysis and data they need to inform the public policy debate on animal protection.

Through the Policy Papers series, the Institute provides a unique venue where investigators can develop positions on current policy issues related to human-animal relationships. Authors use existing scientific and theoretical literature to present the pros and cons of particular practices involving our treatment of nonhuman animals, framing their scientifically and theoretically grounded analysis and commentary in terms of changes in practice through regulation and legislation.

The ASI invites proposals for the ASI Policy Papers. Authors whose proposals are accepted are offered a $500 stipend to produce a manuscript of not more than 20,000 words. Each accepted policy paper will be published as a separately bound monograph. [Please consider applying.]

The scope of the papers is any topic in the fields of Human-Animal Studies and Animal Science that has policy implications for our treatment of nonhuman animals. Examples include:

* Virtual hunting
* Cloning animals
* Animals as property under the law
* Foie gras production methods
* Spay and neutering companion animals
* Legal standing for nonhuman animals
* Forced molting

Proposals consist of a letter of inquiry of not more than five double-spaced pages containing the following information:

1. Author's name and contact information
2. Biographical notes and areas of expertise
3. Summary of proposed policy paper

Submit proposals by electronic attachment to Ken Shapiro and Kim W. Stallwood, coeditors:

If accepted by the coeditors, author(s) are provided with a style-guide and invited to submit a manuscript. Each manuscript will be reviewed blind by two individuals with expertise in relevant subject areas.

Kim W. Stallwood
Co-executive Director
Animals and Society Institute
Email: kim.stallwood@animalsandsociety.org
(410) 675-4566

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8. How factory Farming Threatens Workers and Our Environment

Forwarded message from JVNA advisor and JVNA founder and initial president Jonathan Wolf:
I received this email a while ago from the United Farm Workers. It reminds us that factory farming of animals, environmental destruction, and dangers to the health of workers and of people who live nearby are all closely related and, especially in the Bush era at EPA and USDA, hardly regulated.

We should pursue alliances and education campaigns about this--
Help farm workers fight toxic waste!
Date: Tuesday, June 28, 2005
From: United Farm Workers (UFW) ufwofamer@aol.com

Help farm workers fight toxic waste!
Tell the Department of Environmental Quality to make Threemile Canyon Farms clean up its act

What would major cities be like without waste water treatment plants? While the law requires cities to treat human waste, industrial factory farms routinely deal with animal waste by digging a hole and filling it with raw feces and urine.

Threemile Canyon Farms, in Boardman, Ore., is the nation's largest dairy with more than 55,000 dairy cattle just five miles from the Columbia River. Those 55,000 cattle produce about the same waste as a city with 1.2 million people. Instead of treatment plants, the dairy stores this toxic waste in two giant uncovered pits totaling 32 acres.

Threemile Canyon Farms recently reported that on a yearly basis, it is the source of a staggering 5.6 million pounds of ammonia gas--more than double that of all Oregon's remaining industries combined and the third greatest reported source of ammonia in the nation.

Workers and neighbors can become sick when exposed to these toxics. Ammonia and 159 other known toxins are in raw animal waste. Exposure to high levels of these toxins can irritate the skin, eyes, throat and lungs, cause coughing and swelling of the respiratory tract as well as nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, loss of consciousness and death.

Currently the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality does not regulate the air at Threemile Canyon Farms because the operation is classified as agriculture. As a result workers and neighbors have no idea what types of hazardous gases they are being exposed to or what the levels of exposure are.

Take action today. Join United Farm Workers, Sierra Club and neighbors of Threemile Canyon Farms in calling on the state to protect workers and neighbors by monitoring hazardous gases at Threemile Canyon Farms and making it comply with the same laws other Oregon industries must follow.

Go to: www.unionvoice.org/campaign/toxicwaste/wgnduwzl76jk5n?

Tell-A-Friend: Tell your friends about this campaign. Go to:

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9. Another Article in Yosef Hakohen’s Series on "Relating to Other Creatures"

[Due to space limitations. The JVNA newletter has published only a select number of letters from Yosef Hakohen's excellent ongoing series on relating to other creatures. To view the other letters in this series, you can visit the archive (bottom section) at: Hazon - Our Universal Vision: www.shemayisrael.co.il/publicat/hazon/]

The Journey to Unity - 125
The Call to the Winds: The Song of the Garden of Eden

"Awake from the north and come from the south! Blow upon My garden, let its spices flow. Let my beloved come to his garden and eat its precious fruit." (Song of Songs 4:16)

According to Jewish tradition, the "north wind" represents the human desire for physical pleasure and gratification, while the "south wind" represents the soul's longing for spiritual fulfillment. The human being's mission is to unite the two winds – the physical and the spiritual - by using the physical to serve the highest spiritual calling. Adam and Eve were given the Garden of Eden, the perfect setting for this task. They failed and were banished from the Garden. But the Garden remains in the Divine plan, and we will yet combine the two winds and enjoy the ultimate aroma and fruits of holiness. (Based on the ArtScroll Commentary)

Dear Friends,
It is fascinating that the ancient work "Perek Shirah" lists the Song of the Garden of Eden, long after we were expelled from the Garden. This seems to indicate that the Garden of Eden is still present, even though it is hidden from us. In fact, Maimonides writes in his introduction to Perek Chelek (Sanhedrin):

"The Garden of Eden is a fertile and rich place, the finest part of the earth. It has many rivers and fruit trees. God will reveal it to humankind in the future and will also show them the way to reach it, so they will enjoy it."

The book "Nature's Song" by Rabbi Nosson Slifkin cites another interpretation of the Garden's song: According to the commentary of Kenaf Renanim, the Song of the Garden of Eden is sung by lush gardens on earth with beautiful and aromatic flowers; moreover, these gardens are visited by beautiful songbirds and bees. They are not the Garden of Eden itself, yet they represent a small but significant taste of that spiritual paradise.

It is possible that the Song of the Garden may also be referring to the hidden potential within the world to become the Garden of Eden. It is this potential which is singing the song. For as the above ArtScroll commentary states, "The Garden remains in the Divine plan." And as we shall explore in future letters, the Torah indicates that we can recreate the Garden of Eden. This song is therefore to remind us of the potential of the world to return to the ideal state of the Garden of Eden, where all creatures dwelled in peace and harmony, and where the physical and the spiritual were united.


Yosef Ben Shlomo Hakohen (See below)

Related Comments:
1. An English translation of the introduction of Maimonides to Perek Helek (Tractate Sanhedrin) is found in the book, "Maimonides' Commentary on Pirkei Avoth", by Paul Forchheimer (Feldheim: www.feldheim.com). The commentary of Maimonides on Perek Helek contains his explanation of basic Jewish beliefs, including beliefs regarding the messianic age and the resurrection of the dead.

2. ArtScroll published, "Perek Shirah" – The Song of the Universe, Translation and Insights by Rabbi Nosson Scherman. For information on this work, visit: http://artscroll.com/linker/hazon/ASIN/PSHH

3. Another book on Perek Shirah is "Nature's Song" by Rabbi Nosson Slifkin (Targum/Feldheim). For further information on this work, visit: www.feldheim.com

Hazon- Our Universal Vision: www.shemayisrael.co.il/publicat/hazon

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10. Green Zionist Alliance (GZA) Announces Launch of Campaign for World Zionist Congress Elections.

Forwarded message:



NEW YORK, July 25, 2005 - The Green Zionist Alliance (GZA)
(www.greenzionism.org) announces the launch of its campaign for the 2006 World Zionist Congress elections.

To gear up for the election, the GZA has hired a new Executive Director, Hal Klopper. Mr. Klopper has been involved in international education for many years, both with the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and, most recently, as Director of the New York Office for Tel Aviv University.

The GZA, the first environmental Zionist party to run for a Zionist Congress, was founded in 2001 with the goal of securing an activist environmental presence within the Zionist movement and won its first seat to the 2002 World Zionist Congress, represented by Rabbi Michael M. Cohen, Executive Director of the North American office of the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies and co-founder of the GZA.

Through an agreement between the GZA and Mercaz Olami, the Zionist arm of the Conservative Movement, two "Green" representatives were appointed to board of Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael, the JNF in Israel: Dr. Eilon Schwartz, Director of the Heschel Center for Environmental Leadership, and Dr. Alon Tal, founder of the Israel Union for Environmental Defense and the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies. The two were subsequently appointed to head a new sub-committee for Sustainable Development.

The GZA's goal for the upcoming elections is to bring environmental concerns to the forefront of Zionist consciousness through a series of what it believes to be initiatives that are vital to Israel, the Middle East, Judaism, and Zionism. Highlights include:

1) Create a position of Environmental Officer in the Jewish Agency with extensive authority to review the ecological implications of Zionist-funded activities and require full environmental impact statements for new projects.

2) Bolster policies to encourage and support the Jewish National Fund to preserve open spaces, protect threatened species, confront Israel's water crisis, promote river restoration, reduce pesticide use, and adopt a transparent, open and democratic decision-making process regarding all environmental initiatives and policies that include all of Israel's citizens.

3) Encourage regional environmental policies, reflecting the reality that our environment is shared, not limited by political boundaries.

4) Encourage all Zionist educational institutions and programs to integrate ecological education topics into their curricula and programs.

5) Establish coalitions with other Zionist parties that support religious pluralism, civil and human rights, the peace process, and policies to forge harmonious relationships among all sectors of Israel's diverse society.

Registration to vote for the American delegation to the 2006 Congress will run through the fall. The election will be held from mid-December 2005 through mid-February 2006. The GZA is aiming to be the third largest delegation from the United States for the 2006 World Zionist Congress.

For additional information, contact:
Rabbi Michael Cohen
Green Zionist Alliance
T: (802) 384-4488
E: hdk@greenzionism.org
W: www.greenzionism.org

From: azm@azm.org (American Zionist Movement)


Have a Voice in decisions that Affect You, Your Family and Your Heritage

The World Zionist Organization's 35th Congress

Every four years, delegates from over 40 countries meet to decide on issues you care deeply about: the education and safety of Jews everywhere; the values, the well-being, and the future of the State of Israel.

These delegates are selected by voters like you. They range from college students to seasoned vets, religious to secular, liberal to conservative.

You don't have to join or attend anything. If you're American, Jewish, reside in the US and agree with the Jerusalem Program, you can register. You can do it online, or download a form. The American Zionist Movement expedites the U.S. registration and voting.

When you ballot arrives, you simply choose the delegate slate that most closely represents your views.

This is an important time for the Jewish People. Please register, vote and have your say.

It's Like No Other Vote in the World.

Download a mail-in form here.

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11. More on the Threat of a Global Flu Pandemic

Forwarded by Pamela Rice:

[EXCERPT: THE RISK of a global flu pandemic should have been, but wasn't, at the top of the Group of Eight's agenda in Scotland last week. ... The outbreak of SARS, or severe acute respiratory syndrome, in 2003, which killed fewer than 1,000 people but cost Asia $40 billion in economic losses, should have served as a warning of the devastating effect an infectious disease can have even when loss of life is relatively small.]

A flu nightmare
July 13, 2005

THE RISK of a global flu pandemic should have been, but wasn't, at the top of the Group of Eight's agenda in Scotland last week. The world is ill prepared for the millions of deaths and economic dislocation that could occur if a lethal strain of avian flu virus in southeastern Asia mutates into a strain that is easily transmitted from person to person.

Each winter, flu kills on average 36,000 Americans, most of them frail and elderly. The nightmare is that a new and much more dangerous flu strain could emerge, like the one that killed at least 50 million people worldwide in 1918-19. The victims in that pandemic were mostly young adults who had not been exposed to earlier outbreaks of similar flu strains and thus had no natural immunity. The avian flu type that scientists are now concerned about, H5N1, gives signs of being even deadlier than the 1918 virus.

To reduce the toll of a new pandemic, governments and international health organizations must improve surveillance methods so that, if a lethal flu virus emerges, it can be quickly identified and isolated, though the latter is difficult with a disease as contagious as flu. In 2003, the US government adopted several measures to strengthen the nation's capacity for dealing with a pandemic, including the awarding of contracts to vaccine makers to develop an investigational vaccine for a strain of the H5N1 virus.

But immunization is a far-from-perfect solution to pandemic flu because development of a vaccine can begin only when researchers have identified the exact strain of flu virus. Using traditional production methods, the preparation of flu vaccine doses can require as much as six months, an unacceptably long time when billions around the world are being exposed to a deadly virus.

Also, flu vaccine makers worldwide have the capacity to provide vaccine doses for fewer than 500 million people, according to Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota. That capacity must be increased at the same time that governments subsidize efforts to develop faster methods of flu vaccine production.

Antiviral medications like Tamiflu can strengthen people's resistance to the virus before vaccines become available. The US government is creating a stockpile of Tamiflu, but Osterholm writes in Foreign Affairs magazine that orders that have been placed globally suffice for just 40 million people.

The outbreak of SARS, or severe acute respiratory syndrome, in 2003, which killed fewer than 1,000 people but cost Asia $40 billion in economic losses, should have served as a warning of the devastating effect an infectious disease can have even when loss of life is relatively small. The response of world leaders has been inadequate to the challenge.

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12. Vegetarian Kabalat Shabbat in NY

Forwarded message from the Alok Holistic Health Community (info@alokhealth.com)


We at the Alok Holistic Health Community are organizing
vegetarian Shabbat events in NY. You can see example for the next Kabalat Shabbat we are holding at http://www.alokhealth.com/shabbat.html

We will be happy if you can help us spread the word about the vegetarian Shabbat events (or give us ideas on how to reach even more people so the Jewish vegetarian movement will keep growing).

[As indicated in the introductory material in each JVNA newsletter, material re conferences, retreats, forums, trips, and other events does not necessarily imply endorsement by JVNA or endorsement of kashrut, Shabbat observances, or any other Jewish observance, but may be presented for informational purposes. Please use e-mail addresses, telephone numbers, and web sites to get further information about any event that you are interested in.]

URL: http://www.alokhealth.com

With warm regards
Zemach Zohar

Alok Holistic Health Community

[Here is some material from their web site re the vegetarian kabbalat Shabbat:

An Oasis in Time - Shabbat Ceremony and Feast
Friday, July 29, 2005

Shabbat is considered the holiest day of the week, and we are enjoined to celebrate and sanctify it with gourmet foods, rich wine, our most beautiful clothes, romantic intimacy, and relaxation. It is the time for experiencing pleasure and getting into spirituality by making these acts Divine; in fact, Shabbat is a taste of Heaven.

Meet beautiful new friends and share in this special community celebration. Join us as we welcome the Shabbat Queen with song, ceremony, delicious vegetarian foods and stimulating discussions.

Everybody is welcome to come with an open mind, questions, reflections, and your favorite vegan, vegetarian, raw-food dish and/or wine to a unique and memorable Friday evening with Zemach Zohar, Dages, Isaac Tapiero, and other friends from the Alok Holistic Health Community and Earthmatters.

Please arrive at 7:30 PM before the Shabbat enters.

Cost for covering expenses:
$5 (plus a vegan/vegetarian dish to share)

If you don't have time to prepare a vegetarian/vegan dish, you can buy one at Earthmatters which offers big selection of vegetarian and vegan dishes. If you'd like to purchase food from Earthmatters, please arrive before 7:30 PM so we are ready to begin before the Shabbat arrives.

Earthmatters (on the third level roofed balcony and garden)
177 Ludlow St.
Between Houston St. & Stanton St.
(F/V train to "Second Avenue" Station)
East Village, Manhattan

Please confirm your participation by sending email to info@alokhealth.com and put "Shabbat" in the subject line.

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13. Action Alert: Opposing a Harmful Energy Bill

Forwarded message from: info@saveourenvironment.org

Dear Richard,

Congress has finally finished its work on the Energy Bill, and they're expected to vote on it as early as tomorrow (Thursday) or Friday.

We need your help to stop this dirty, short-sighted bill! Use this link now to send a message to your members of Congress asking them to vote NO on the Energy Bill before it's too late.

This bill would do nothing to lower gas prices or to decrease our dependence on foreign oil. Instead of putting proven clean energy solutions to work, big oil and gas companies like ExxonMobil pressured Congressional leaders to include dangerous loopholes that threaten our waters and lands with irresponsible energy production.

Among other things, the bill could speed oil drilling off of the California, Florida, North Carolina, and other coasts. It would also allow oil companies to pollute rivers and drinking water
with toxic wastes.

At the same time, the Energy Bill ignores high gas prices, dependence on foreign oil, renewable energy, and global warming. In fact, it would actually weaken existing fuel economy

We must stop this Energy Bill from becoming law. Please join us in contacting your members of Congress right now to urge them to vote against this bill.
Click here now to send your free message.

In addition, the Energy Bill would give billions of dollars in subsidies and tax credits to big oil, nuclear and other energy companies for their pet projects while providing relatively little to energy efficiency and renewable energy.

In short, this bill is a disaster that will make our nation dirtier while ignoring practical solutions to looming energy crises.

That's why it's so important that your Senators and Representative hear from you today! Please take a minute to urge that they oppose the Energy Bill.

Click here to send a free message to your Senators and your Representative now.

Once you've taken action, please forward this email to your friends, family and coworkers to urge that they join in the effort to stop this anti-environmental Energy Bill.

Thank you so much for your help!

Katelyn Sabochik
Online Campaign Manager

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