January 14, 2008

1/9/2008 JVNA Online Newsletter

Shalom everyone,

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

1. Happy Tu B’Shvat/Environmental and Vegetarian Connections

2. Update Re A SACRED DUTY

3. Declaration of Animal Rights Signed in the Israeli Knesset

4. Update on New Jewish Vegetarian Web Site ShalomVeg.com

5. Action Alert: Helping End Cruelty to Farm Animals in California

6. Update on Animal Rights Group Directed by JVNA Advisor David Cantor

7. DVD Provides Encyclopedic Information on Raw Food Diets

8. Update on the Best Friends Animals Network’s Proclamation on Animal Compassion/How to be a Signer

9. New Book Indicates That Diabetes Can Be Reversed/Book Release Scheduled in NY City

10. Israeli Educator Tours US, Speaking on Maimonides’ Teachings On Nutrition and Health

11. Action Alert: Reducing Animal Abuses in Israel

12. Article in Los Angeles Jewish Journal Mentions A SACRED DUTY

13. Material on Tu B’Shvat From the Shalom Center

14. Charming YouTube Cartoon With a Vegetarian Theme

15. PCRM Report: Meat Consumption Increases Risk of Breast Cancer

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 the kashrut, Shabbat observances, or any other Jewish observances, 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. Also, JVNA does not necessarily agree with all positions of groups whose views are included or whose events are announced in this newsletter.

As always, your comments and suggestions are very welcome.



1. Happy Tu B’Shvat/Environmental and Vegetarian Connections

Tu B’Shvat starts after sundown on Monday January 21 this year. I am scheduled to lead Tu B’Shvat seders that evening at the Staten Island JCC and on Tuesday for senior citizens at another branch of the SI JCC.

Tu B’Shvat is a great time to bring up environmental issues. Please visit the holiday section at the JVNA web site JewishVeg.com/Schwartz for my article relating Tu B’Shvat and vegetarianism.

Below is my letter that I sent to editors re Tu B’Shvat. Please use the material in my article and my letter to compose your own letters and for talking points. Thanks.
Dear Editor:

Many contemporary Jews look on Tu B'Shvat (January 21-22 this
year) as a Jewish ‘Earth Day,’ and use Tu B'Shvat seders as occasions to discuss how Jewish values can be applied to reduce many of today's environmental threats.

While Judaism teaches that "The Earth is the Lord’s" (Psalms
24:1), and that we are to be partners with God in preserving the environment, there are daily news reports about global warming, water shortages, air and water pollution, rapid extinction of species, and other environmental threats. Tu B'Shvat is the New Year for Trees, the date on which the fate of trees is decided for the coming year. Hence, it is an ideal time to consider the rapid destruction of tropical rain forests and other environmental problems.

In view of the above and much more, I urge Jews to use Tu B’Shvat
to start making tikkun olam, the repair and healing of the planet, a central focus in Jewish life today. Tu B’Shvat can be a great opportunity for education about environmental crises locally, nationally, in Israel, and internationally. This can also help energize our congregations, show the relevance of our eternal values and bring many Jews back to greater Jewish involvement.

For a complimentary copy of our new documentary A SACRED DUTY: APPLYING JEWISH VALUES TO HELP HEAL THE WORLD for possible use for an environmental program, please contact me at president@JewishVeg.com.

Very truly yours,

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2. Update Re A SACRED DUTY

We have decided to start trying to get A SACRED DUTY onto the Internet, YouTube, etc., so that it will be able to be viewed as widely as possible. If you have suggestions re this or can help, please let me know. Many thanks.


Superb Review of A SACRED DUTY in “Vegetarians in Paradise” Los Angeles Vegetarian Internet Magazine

While this review was also included in the special JVNA newsletter with strategy ideas about A SACRED DUTY, it is our first review and I think important enough to be included here again. Please share the review with others who might find it of interest. Thanks.

A Sacred Duty:
Applying Jewish Values to Help Heal the World

Produced by Lionel Friedberg & Prof Richard H. Schwartz
Written, Directed, Photographed, and Narrated by Lionel Friedberg

Presented by Jewish Vegetarians of North America
Available free at http://www.jewishveg.com

Review by Reuben and Zel Allen

Don't look behind you, Al Gore. You may have that Nobel Prize, but there's one area you haven't dared to broach: livestock production and the havoc it creates in the environment and with human health. If you do look behind you, you'll find Professor Richard Schwartz who has been delivering the message for many years in books like Judaism and Vegetarianism and Judaism and Global Survival.

But reading the message is not like seeing it on the screen, as Gore learned with An Inconvenient Truth. Now Schwartz has found the person who can transfer to film the thoughts he and others have been trumpeting for years. The filmmaker is Lionel Friedberg, an award-winning documentary cinematographer and director.

In making the film, Friedberg interviewed prominent rabbis,
environmentalists, and activists, but the emphasis was on A Sacred Duty of Jews to apply Jewish teachings in obtaining food, conserving natural
resources, and protecting non-human creatures.

Although the film emphasizes Judaism and Jewish teachings, the information and call to action are universal. Among the rabbinical leaders participating are Rabbi Shear Yashuv Cohen, Ashkenazic Chief Rabbi of Haifa, and Rabbi David Rosen, Former Chief Rabbi of Ireland.

A Sacred Duty begins and ends with a biblical statement from Deuteronomy 30:19 read by Theodore Bikel:

"I call heaven and earth to bear witness against you today. I have
placed before you life and death, blessing and curse, and you shall choose
life, so that you may live, you and your offspring."

As Rabbi Yonassan Gershom tells viewers, this choice is represented
symbolically. Life is seeing our planet from outer space as one globe with
no national boundaries. Death is revealed in the mushroom cloud of an atomic bomb explosion. Both choices affect the entire planet. What happens in one part of the world affects everyone on earth.

The filmmaker chooses to focus on Israel because that tiny country is a
microcosm of the earth itself. In this relatively small nation are many of
the natural features found on the entire earth. A burgeoning population has led to pollution as revealed in scenes showing litter in the countryside as well as despoiled rivers, none safe for swimming or drinking water, and a Dead Sea that is rapidly dying, starved by a trickle of water from the
Jordan River.

Like so many countries of the world, Israel has serious environmental
problems, most noticeably air pollution. Quite startling is to learn that
17% of children have asthma. One in seven women in Haifa are plagued by breast cancer.

The heart of the film presents information that many vegetarians are
cognizant of, the toll of animal agriculture on the health of the planet and
the people inhabiting it. Referenced is the statement by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization that 18% of the greenhouse gases are from animal livestock production. The film also emphasizes the cruelty involved in factory farm food production in footage that makes necessary the cautionary note at the opening that there are graphic scenes that may be disturbing for some viewers.

Truly remarkable is the amount of information and ideas presented in this
documentary that is slightly less than one hour in viewing time. Friedberg
has assembled colorful footage that is highlighted by a stirring musical
score, composed and conducted by Andrew Keresztes

Combining his writing, photographic, and narrative skills, Friedberg has
created a visual message that convincingly reveals that vegetarianism can play a vital role in alleviating global warming and pollution. A Sacred Duty
emphasizes the need to apply Jewish values and teachings in the production of food and the utilization of natural resources. This film dares to tread where so many environmentalists fear to go -- recognizing that using animals for food is wasteful and cruel and is responsible for the destruction of the planet and human health at the same time.

A Sacred Duty is a tribute to Professor Richard Schwartz who is a living
incarnation of Jewish values. He has worked tirelessly and diligently for
many years to bring the information in this film into public consciousness.

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3. Declaration of Animal Rights Signed in the Israeli Knesset

Thanks to Vegetarian activist Jana Kohl for forwarding the following article to us:


January 3, 2008

Knesset backs animal rights, but doesn't roll out the red carpet

[I m planning to offer a complimentary copy of a SACRED DUTY to all the Israeli Knesset members and other governmental officials.]

By Shahar Ilan Tags: Haim Oron, Shelly Yachimovich

The doctrine of natural rights: "Out of an ethical recognition of the fact that animals undergo unlimited experiences ... suffering and pleasure, fear and joy ... I think we, as human beings and as a society, are obligated to act to defend their basic rights. These rights include, among other things, the right not to suffer from violence, from hunger or from thirst."

Thus reads the Declaration of Animal Rights, signed in the Knesset Tuesday by the initiative of Anonymous for Animal Rights, on Animal Rights Day.

In light of this, who said Labor MK Shelly Yachimovich can withstand pressure? She had not planned to be one of 30 MKs to sign the Declaration of Animal Rights (only 14 of whom actually did, led by MK Yoel Hasson of Kadima, who heads the Knesset's animal lobby).

It is no secret that human rights are more important to Yachimovich than animal rights. But her 12-year-old daughter Rama, a student at the Open School in Jaffa and a tireless collector of abandoned animals, won the battle. Rama's class was invited to the signing ceremony, and she successfully pressured her mother to sign the document. That's what you call intensive lobbying.

The animals, meanwhile, stayed outside. It was impossible to ignore that the Declaration of Animal Rights was signed without any animal representation.

When Hasson tried to bring in his family's dogs for a photo-op for the daily Maariv, he was told the cats that are sometimes photographed walking around the cafeteria were all the Knesset could handle.

Knesset policy is that seeing-eye dogs are allowed in, while other animals are not. But special requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis, said Knesset director general Avi Balashnikov. He said he did not receive any such requests.

The Knesset cafeteria marked a day without meat yesterday. When Yossi Beilin, the outgoing chairman of Meretz-Yahad, discovered he had to choose between lasagna and stuffed peppers, he suggested taking protest action.

Haim Oron, a candidate for taking over Beilin's position, also took it hard, but said he was prepared to suffer for one day. United Arab List-Ta'al chairman Ibrahim Sarsur became nostalgic about his childhood when the Friday meals were considered a celebration.

An interesting coalition in favor of animal experiments for the purpose of saving lives has developed between the scientists and the ultra-Orthodox. Balad chairman Jamal Zahalka, a pharmacist, said there is no way to develop painkillers without causing animals terrible pain.

Yehuda Avidan, a strategic consultant close to Shas, thinks the whole event is "hypocrisy of the first degree," saying that developing anticancer drugs justifies animal experiments. "The Weizmann Institute is doing sacred work," he said.

This week saw the continuation of a conflict between the ministerial committee for legislation, which refuses to discuss bills for special days in the Knesset that are dedicated to specific topics, and MKs who think the special days are a great opportunity to advance related legislation.

Hasson and MK Dov Khenin (Hadash) submitted a proposal to have animal rights' groups monitor the experiments.

MK Yuli Edelstein (Likud) proposed making it illegal to kill animals for inappropriate purposes.

A compromise was finally reached because Hasson is also acting coalition chairman: The laws were proposed in the Knesset plenum, but the vote will take place another time.

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4. Update on New Jewish Vegetarian Web Site ShalomVeg.com

This is an e-mail from the 'ShalomVeg.com' web site by coordinator Boris Golgin:


I would like to personally welcome you to the ShalomVeg community, and thank you for joining and registering on the site. Since the site officially went online a few weeks ago, over 30 visitors have registered, and hopefully more are on the way.

I hope you have had time to explore all of the features on ShalomVeg, including the recently updated learning section with a growing collection of articles, essays and videos. As mentioned in the registration email, there is also a recipe database, and a classified ads and forum section. Additionally, you have the ability on most sections of the site to leave your comments and share your views with others (this can be done anonymously if desired).

Recently we have added a "What Do You Think" discussion section to the site, where you can share your views on questions and issues relevant to the community, and see how others respond. This month's first discussion is on how best to respond to questions about our eating choices, and how to inform other Jews about vegetarian and animal issues in the most productive way. See the front page for more details.

Since one of the main goals of ShalomVeg is to provide a way for members of our community to get to know each other, please take a few minutes to add information to your profile so other users can know who you are. This feature is great for networking and finding other people in your area to work on projects, share activism ideas or even become friends. You can add as little or as much information as you want, and only other registered members who have been approved by the administrator can view the profiles. You can also add a photo--of yourself, or any other photo you choose--so you have a "face" on the site. The more profiles and photos that are up, the more useful the site can be for everyone.

To make changes to your profile, simply log on, go to "Go To My Profile" in the user menu, click the "Edit" tab and then update your profile info. To add an image, go to "Edit" and then "update your image". To see other member's profiles, go to the user menu and click "search profiles".

We are adding more articles to the site on a regular basis, and will be adding other features such a poetry/creative writing section and chat in the near future. If you have any of your own writings you would like to share with the community, you can submit them too. Again, please let us know if there is anything that you would like to see on the site, or if you would like to help in any way.

Thanks again for joining, and I look forward to seeing you on ShalomVeg!

Boris Dolin,
Director, ShalomVeg.com

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5. Action Alert: Helping End Cruelty to Farm Animals in California

Forwarded Message:
From: Humane Society of the United States

Forwarded by A SACRED DUTY producer Lionel Friedberg

Subject: Calling all Californians: help end cruelty to farm animals

Your help is urgently needed to end three of the worst abuses animals endure on factory farms!

Thousands of California citizens are volunteering their time to collect 650,000 signatures from other Californians to place the Prevention of Farm Animal Cruelty Act <https://community.hsus.org/ct/h11XIH41KzoJ/>; on the November 2008 ballot.

This common-sense ballot measure will reduce a tremendous amount of suffering and intensive confinement. It requires that animals be able to turn around and extend their limbs, meaning that it would prohibit battery cages for egg-laying hens, veal crates for calves, and gestation crates for breeding pigs. Please take a moment to check out a new campaign video! <https://community.hsus.org/ct/h11XIH41KzoJ/>; about this historic initiative.

We still need to gather hundreds of thousands of signatures before the end of February! But we can only do this with your active participation! As a California resident and voter, you can volunteer to help place this critically important measure on the ballot. We really need your help. Will you help us and volunteer to collect signatures <https://community.hsus.org/ct/h71XIH41KzoK/>; to help us reach our goal? It's simple, fun, and rewarding -- and this measure alone will reduce the misery that 20 million farm animals endure in the state in cramped cages and crates on factory farms. And please also tell your friends and family ; how they can get involved in the signature gathering effort. If you are already a volunteer, thank you! If you haven't been involved, now is the time! With your help, we can win an enormously significant victory for farm animals in California. Sincerely, Wayne Pacelle, President & CEO, The Humane Society of the United States. P.S. Please make sure to check out HumaneCalifornia.org

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6. Update on Animal Rights Group Directed by JVNA Advisor David Cantor

Forwarded message from David Cantor:

Responsible Policies for Animals Update - Circulate Freely


I hope 2008 has started well for you!

Many thanks to all who donated to Responsible Policies for Animals near the end of 2007! You're making possible all the more groundbreaking animal advocacy -- not to mention encouraging me and RPA's other Board members. Like other primates, we're social animals, too!

And RPA members will get more member benefits this year! RPA's New Year's resolution is to put out more issues of Thin Ice in 2008. You've been patient about only receiving one in 2006 and one in 2007. But there's much more to tell you -- about RPA's activities that you make possible, ways you can advance RPA's creative campaigns, and useful knowledge for educating others.

If you haven't yet seen the February 2008 issue of VegNews, have a look! I think you'll like Responsible Policies for Animals' display ad! It's in the Marketplace section, on page 95.

With a circulation of 60,000 and an estimated 180,000 readers, describing itself as "Vegetarian NEWSPOLITICSFOODTRAVELBUZZ," VegNews magazine does a very professional job of popularizing plants-only eating and debunking misconceptions that humans have a natural need to eat anything from animals.

The new issue includes a special feature on extreme vegan athletes. Many people still think athletes need meat in order to have "enough protein." But it's long been known that plants-only eating provides more stamina -- and "[t]oo much protein will, in fact, hinder athletic performance." Not surprising -- after all, humans are natural herbivores. If you're still not sure, you might be surprised at some of the article's amazing athlete profiles!

Eating plants only isn't one and the same as advancing humane treatment of animals as society's norm -- that is, animal rights. But to accept humane treatment as public policy rather than just personal choice, the vast majority must understand plants-only eating is not only possible but preferable -- due to powerful, misguided and misleading social, political, and institutional influences. VegNews is very good at communicating that.

RPA will run ads in all six 2008 VegNews issues! To make VegNews' affordable ad rates all the more economical, we'll run the current display ad in three alternating issues and run a (less-expensive) classified ad in the intervening issues.

Like the current display ad, I think you'll like the clever classified ad we've devised!

Not-ta-worry! In case you don't subscribe to VegNews or can't conveniently locate a copy, we'll show you both ads in future e-mails. But you'll enjoy them more in the magazine!

Meanwhile, discuss RPA's work with me anytime, let me know if you'd like to do more to advance RPA's campaigns, visit www.RPAforAll.org and www.ExpertsOfConscience.org if it's been a while, tell friends about RPA, have a great January, and watch for more Updates and Thin Ice before long!

Best wishes,

David Cantor
Executive Director
Responsible Policies for Animals, Inc.
P.O. Box 891
Glenside, PA 19038

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7. DVD Provides Encyclopedic Information on Raw Food Diets

Forwarded message from the DVD producer Mark Pearlmutter:

[I am including this because I think that environmental sustainability requires a major shift toward raw food diets.]

“Raw for Life”


the definitive “Why To Go Raw” DVD

This DVD is an invaluable tool for life change. It’s an encyclopedia of raw lifestyle with 30 medical experts and celebrities such as Woody Harrelson, Anthony Robbins, Morgan Spurlock (creator of "Super Size Me"), Rev. Michael Beckwith (featured in the "The Secret" and “Oprah”), Gabriel Cousens MD, David Wolfe and others. These leaders in the movement explain in simple terms how and why raw is so beneficial to us and the environment.

Chapters include “Optimal Athletic Performance”, “Health and Wellness”, “Wisdom of Eating Raw”, “Rejuvenation and Longevity”, “Spiritual Aspects”, “Detox and Cleansing”, “Nutrition”, “Weight Reduction”, “Beating Diabetes”, “Starting Out”, and “Recipes From Leading Chefs”.

It is perfect for advocates of health, weight control, peak performance, animal rights, vegetarian eating, ecology -- or for diabetics wishing to find a natural treatment and possible cure. It is available online and at select retailers.

It contains 2 discs and is designed to help you reach your loved ones with convincing information from recognizable and respected faces. It offers a credible message pointing toward the healthiest possible life for anyone willing to change.


Encyclopedia of Raw Lifestyle—“how to” and “why to”
30 leading experts and celebrities explain the benefits of raw
Famous chefs prepare signature recipes
Perfect gift — order online for direct shipping to family and friends
Use For House Parties and screenings

Available at HYPERLINK http://rawforlifedvd.com/

Mark Pearlmutter

Material from the “Raw for Life” web site:

"Raw For Life" is an A-to-Z encyclopedia of Raw Food, perfect for beginners and Raw Food enthusiasts. This two-disc DVD inspires people with the Raw Food philosophy, the wisdom of eating a raw food diet, important medical facts and nutritional information.

We have combined the expertise of Doctors and Nutritionists with testimonials from celebrities, athletes, and chefs who live the Raw Food Lifestyle. Our goal was to create a product that would empower people to take control of their health and happiness. In "Raw For Life", you will find everything you need to transition to a healthier state of being.

This DVD is perfect for Vegetarians, Vegans, and Raw Food Vegans looking for new recipes and resources; someone coping with diabetes, heart disease, or excess weight, those seeking to reverse their aging process; athletes looking to improve their performance; actors, dancers, and other performers looking for a healthy way to maintain their weight and image; anyone looking to live longer, be stronger, perform at their best, and get their nutrition on the right track!

"Raw For Life" is ready to ship out. Buy it as a gift, for your friends, family, or yourself. This is the perfect gift for loved one for the holiday season.


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8. Update on the Best Friends Animals Network’s Proclamation on Animal Compassion/How to be a Signer

Forwarded message from Best Friends Animals Network:

Welcome to a community designed to share how kindness and respect for animals is being embraced by a broad denominational spectrum of people and leaders of faith. The Animals & Religion Network Community is designed to provide information and resources, for you and your religious or spiritual organization, that illustrate our spiritual connection with animals and how this connection can be better understood and embraced in religious circles.

A Religious Proclamation for Animal Compassion

Sign the proclamation!

For more information, or to sign the proclamation, please visit:

http://network.bestfriends.org/Petitions/Detail.aspx?gu=religion&pn=6&g=922d350e41804f64aa372d2805b912c1 (petition link)

Download the proclamation

Send to a friend

There are currently 6713 signatures!

View Proclamation Signatures

Help us achieve One Million Signatures in Support of Compassion for Animals!

On November 7, 2007, Best Friends Animal Society hosted a historic gathering of people of many diverse faiths in Washington, D.C. United by their compassion for animals, the diverse group came together to witness the unveiling and signing of 'A Religious Proclamation for Animal Compassion.' This important document, created by a group of clergy representing more than 20 of the world's religious traditions, issues calls to action for people of all faiths to reclaim a commitment to animals.

We invite you to become a part of this movement for animals by adding your name to this important document and, in doing so, renewing your commitment to compassionate living.

Help Best Friends collect one million signatures from people of all faiths who are committed to making this world a kinder place for animals. Be part of this historic movement by adding your name today!

A Religious Proclamation for Animal Compassion

Purpose Statement

As people from diverse religious traditions, we are united in our belief that animals have intrinsic value as part of God’s creation and are entitled to live lives free of cruelty and exploitation. We therefore invite and encourage people of all faiths to speak with one voice on behalf of those who cannot speak in an effort that will define our legacy as stewards of God’s creation.


In a world of increasing violence towards others, ourselves, and our environment, we believe it is essential to reclaim and recover a commitment of compassion for all of life. We believe that a commitment to compassion begins with the most vulnerable among us, which includes animals. Therefore,

We Proclaim:

that creation is a gift of love;

that we have been especially entrusted by God to care for this creation;

that as an integral part of creation, farm, wild, and domesticated animals depend upon us, both directly and indirectly, for their welfare;

that as heirs of their respective traditions, religious communities bear a special responsibility for the welfare of these animals;

and that as ambassadors of compassion, religious communities should extend compassion not only to the human family, but to animals and to all of creation.

Five Calls to Action

As concerned people of faith and in response to these proclamations, we make the following five calls to action in five arenas that directly impact the quality of animals' lives: Pet Overpopulation and the Plight of Homeless Pets; the Meat and Fur Industries; Animals in Sports and Entertainment; Medical Research and Experimentation on Animals; and Wildlife Preservation and Protection.

I. Whereas millions of animals are killed each year and many more are left homeless due to a) aggressive for-profit breeding programs that add to an already massive pet overpopulation crisis, b) the reluctance or unwillingness on the part of some pet owners to spay or neuter their pets, and c) “No Pets” restrictions in common interest housing areas such as apartments and condominiums;

We therefore call upon all people of faith to promote legislation and educational programs designed to prevent further animal cruelty, abuse, and overpopulation; spay or neuter all pets; adopt animals from shelters rather than purchase them from breeders or pet stores; and advocate for more inclusive policies in all common interest housing agreements.

II. Whereas the increasing commercialization and commoditization of animals for the purpose of human consumption and comfort causes untold suffering upon animals each year in factory farms, the commercial fishing industry, and the fur-trade;

We therefore call upon all people of faith to make conscientious food and clothing choices by reducing meat consumption and refusing to wear fur; buy from local farms that implement humane practices; and actively support all local, regional, and national businesses, organizations, and causes that promote and encourage the humane treatment of animals.

III. Whereas tens of thousands of animals are exploited each year in various sporting and entertainment venues for the purpose of providing entertainment, amusement and, in some cases, profit, and who are then often disposed of or abandoned when they fail to adequately entertain, amuse, or provide sufficient financial gain;

We therefore call upon all people of faith to reject any form of entertainment that harms and/or exploits animals and, instead, to choose venues that benefit animals and provide opportunities for education and animal protection.

IV. Whereas thousands of animals continue to be bred for and used in medical and commercial research and experimentation, often for dubious and medically unnecessary reasons and which, in many cases, cause pain, anguish, and suffering, often in spite of alternative methods that have been scientifically proven to be as effective or more humane;

We therefore call upon all people of faith to contact their elected leaders to request their support and/or sponsorship of legislation that demands an end to medically unnecessary animal testing and commercial animal research that cause undue pain and suffering; to promote efforts that seek to find alternative methods to animal testing and research; and to educate themselves and others regarding current methods and practices in order to increase awareness of the deplorable conditions that continue to exist for countless animals.

V. Whereas urban expansion and over-aggressive land development continue to encroach upon wildlife populations and habitat and many species are being threatened or completely destroyed as a result;

We therefore call upon all people of faith to refrain from consuming or purchasing any threatened species and to boycott companies that profit from wildlife eradication and environmentally unsustainable deforestation.


As leaders of different religious and faith traditions, we recognize the unique opportunity we have been given to effect profound and lasting change for the sake of animals. As stewards of God’s creation, we accept and embrace our duty, responsibility, and moral obligation to both protect the lives of animals and assure that those lives reflect the respect and dignity they are to be afforded as part of God’s creation. We therefore invite all people of faith, under the guidance of their various faith traditions, to take up the mantle of compassion towards all of life and recognize that, as human beings, we are only part of God’s creation and cannot presume to be all that matters in it. Indeed, because animals are an inextricable part of our social and natural environments, we therefore affirm that any lasting effort for change on any level will only be complete insofar as it pays attention to and advocates for animals and their well-being. Finally, we call upon religious leaders of all traditions to honor and encourage those in their faith communities who make compassionate food and clothing choices and who work for the benefit of animals.

Sincerely, Sign this proclamation To read the full assessment report, click on the News tab above.

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9. New Book Indicates That Diabetes Can Be Reversed/Book Release Scheduled in NY City

Forwarded message from Michael Bader of the Tree of Life Institute:

Dear Dr. Richard Schwartz,

Shalom! Hope I may serve you today!

I would like to offer you, for JVNA and Interfaith Vegetarians, one of the select spots on the table for Gabriel Cousens, M.D.'s book release in NYC on January 15, and to ask you to making a special announcement to your entire NYC-area mailing list about this:

Rebbe Gabriel Cousens, M.D., is speaking in New York City. He is speaking for a culture change. His breakthrough in reversing diabetes naturally, which affects over 21 million with diabetes and 54 million with pre-diabetes in the US, shows that we can shift as a culture at large to a Culture of Life and Liberation, through waking up to how we are living.

Gabriel is releasing the hot new book, There Is A Cure for Diabetes: The Tree of Life 21-Day+ Program, imbued with massive information, inspiration, research, science, and experiences many can relate to and use to transition to a way of wellness, intention, and healing in your life.

Gabriel invites you to learn there is a cure for diabetes. And the cure is the Culture of Life and Liberation lifestyle and cuisine!

He is speaking at 55 Broad St. in NYC on January 15. 7:00 to 9:30 pm.

The website to register for the event, and for full information about the breakthrough presentation, is: www.21daycure.com

Price includes your copy of There Is A Cure for Diabetes, signed! $20 in advance, $30 door.


Thank you for your consideration - we hope to have your materials out, and have you attend on behalf of JVNA as our guest.

Best regards

Michael Bedar
Tree of Life Rejuvenation Center
Assistant to Gabriel Cousens, M.D., M.D.(H)
Retreat Planning, Promotion, and Media Supervisor
email: michael@treeoflife.nu
phone: 520-394-2520 x209
fax: 415-598-2409
web: www.treeoflife.nu

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10. Israeli Educator Tours US, Speaking on Maimonides’ Teachings On Nutrition and Health

Forwarded message from Chana Bracha Siegelbaum

“Rambam: Character development, Nutrition & Health”
Based on HaYad Hachazaka –Hilchot Deot Chapter 4

Learn from the wisdom of the Rambam to develop healthy life habits conducive to vitality and longevity. “Whoever lives in accordance with the directions I have set forth has my assurance that he will never be sick… or need a physician” (Hilchot Deot, 4:20)

More than 800 years ago, the Rambam instructed us that preventative medicine is the most efficient medicine. Discover how Rambam’s holistic outlook is applicable for guarding your health today. Selected sources from the Rambam’s teaching on Nutrition & Health in Hebrew/English accompanies the learning.

Rebbetzin Chana Bracha’s USA Speaking tour Feb 3-18

She will be visiting, NY, Boston, Baltimore, LA, San Jose, Dallas, and Florida

For more information please contact Elana Roth, mishpacharoth@yahoo.com

With Blessings of the Torah & the Land,

Chana Bracha Siegelbaum

Midreshet B'erot Bat Ayin
(972-2) 993-2642
Director@berotbatayin.org http://berotbatayin.org/

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11. Action Alert: Reducing Animal Abuses in Israel

Forwarded message:

Please crosspost:


Tell the Weizmann Institute to Stop Torturing Monkeys and Cats

The American Committee for the Weizmann Institute of Science (ACWIS) is responsible for securing funding for the Weizmann Institute of Science
in Rehovot, Israel, where cruel experiments on cats and monkeys were
recently exposed in an undercover investigation.

An October 2007 undercover investigation by the Israeli organization Let
the Animals Live documented cruel experiments that involved the

* Drilling holes in animals' skulls in order to expose their brains

* Attaching chambers and silicone disks to animals' skulls

* Subjecting them to daily water deprivation

* Immobilizing animals in restraint chairs
and inserting electrodes directly into their brains

* Forcibly keeping animals' eyes open for
hours while they watch patterns on screens

The investigation also documented that after tests were completed, all
cats and some monkeys were killed by experimenters and had their brains
removed for further examination.

Watch the video and take action here:


Bruce Friedrich
Vice President, International Grassroots Campaigns

Take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence
encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.

-Elie Wiesel

* Please watch, download, and distribute this free and uncopyrighted
video <http://www.meat.org/> .

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12. Article in Los Angeles Jewish Journal Mentions A SACRED DUTY

Below are links to material on greening in the Los Angeles Jewish Journal -- one main article, two sidebars and a small calendar of upcoming events.





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13. Material on Tu B’Shvat From the Shalom Center

A Prophetic Voice in Jewish, Multireligious, and American Life

Tu B'Shvat is coming -- the evening of January 21. It celebrates the rebirthing of trees in the midst of winter, and in the mystical tradition of Kabbalah, also the reawakening of Divine energy with God seen metaphorically as the Tree of Life, with Its roots in Heaven and Its fruit, ourselves -- the universe.

At www.shalomctr.org/node/1328 you will find the text of a pamphlet that you can download as a supplement for you to use in holding a Tu B'Shvat Seder or giving a sermon on the Birthday of the Trees. Click here for a PDF file that you can download and print as a four-page pamphlet.

Ancient rabbis taught that Tu B'Shvat represented the fiscal New Year for trees, in regard to tithing their fruit. Kabbalists in 16th century Tzfat in northern Israel modeled a sacred meal for that day on the Passover seder, celebrating in their meal God's flow of natural abundance through four courses of wine and fruit.

Today that flow is most threatened by the global climate crisis. The comments in our supplement are keyed for your use in each of the four Seder courses, to address the climate crisis in thought and action.
The Tree imagery reminds us that the Temple Menorah was patterned after a tree, with branches, leaves and almond blossoms (Ex. 25:31-40, 37:17-24). The original menorah was a Tree of Light -- truly a green menorah. Our Green Menorah Covenant campaign is a year-round effort, not for Hanukkah only.

Please contact us to learn more about becoming a partner in the Green Menorah Covenant, bringing us to speak, and supporting our work.

For an anthology of Jewish thought and practice on trees and Tu B'Shvat from the earliest biblical days till now, see Trees, Earth, & Torah, edited by Ari Elon, Rabbi Naomi Mara Hyman, and Rabbi Arthur Waskow (Jewish Publication Society, 1999).

The Green Menorah work has been generously supported by the Arnow family foundations, Rita Poretsky Foundation, ALEPH Alliance for Jewish Renewal, the New World Foundation, Hazon, & Shalom Center members.

Regards, shalom, salaam, peace -- Arthur

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14. Charming YouTube Cartoon With a Vegetarian Theme


Thanks to Vegetarian Activist Luiza Carrol for forwarding the following message to us:

"The Little Fish" is a charming 9 minutes cartoon, with strong vegetarian message and beautiful music. It contains only a few words, spoken in Russian and written in Esperanto, but its message is clear enough even without any words. Here is the address of the cartoon:


Enjoy yourselves!


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15. PCRM Report: Meat Consumption Increases Risk of Breast Cancer

Thanks to Israeli vegetarian activists Yosef and Hadassah Harrell for forwarding this article:

Breaking Medical News

Meat Consumption Increases Risk of Breast Cancer

A substudy of the Diet, Cancer and Health study, a prospective cohort study established to evaluate the role of diet and cancer among 24,697 postmenopausal Danish women, was set up to evaluate the relationship between meat consumption and risk of breast cancer. This nested study looked at 378 women who developed breast cancer and matched them to controls who did not develop breast cancer. A higher intake of meat (red meat, poultry, fish, and processed meat) was associated with a significantly higher breast cancer incidence rate. Every 25 gram increase in consumption of total meat, red meat, and processed meat led to a 9, 15, and 23 percent increase in risk of breast cancer, respectively. However, the degree of risk may depend on genetics. Certain genes activate the carcinogens (heterocyclic amines) found in cooked meat. The study showed women with genes that rapidly activate these carcinogens are at particular risk of breast cancer if they eat meat.

Egeberg R, Olsen A, Autrup H, et al. Meat consumption, N-acetyl transferase 1 and 2 polymorphism and risk of breast cancer in Danish postmenopausal women. Eur J Canc Prev. 2008;17:39-47.

For information about nutrition and health, please visit www.pcrm.org/.

Breaking Medical News is a service of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, 5100 Wisconsin Avenue, N.W., Suite 400, Washington, DC 20016.

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