September 17, 2009

9/17/2009 JVNA Online Newsletter

Shalom everyone,

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

1. Shana Tova/Best Wishes for a Wonderful New Year

2. My Article On Kapparot (Kapparos) In Response to Rabbi Shafran’s Article/Comments By Rabbi Yonassan Gershom

3. My Other Op-Ed Article on Kapparot

4. Documentary Produced for Youth on Renewable Energy

5. Campaign for Healthy School Food

6. Excellent Analysis of the Environmental Impacts of Animal-Based Agriculture

7. Environmental Educator Offering Educational Opportunities

8. Latest Podcast in Series

9. Roberta Kalechofsky Reading of Her New Book Scheduled

10. Interview On How Cattle Grazing is Despoiling Western Lands

11. Lantern Books, Publisher of Environmental, Animal Rights, Vegetarian, Spiritual Books Celebrating Its Tenth Anniversary

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. Shana Tova/Best Wishes for a Wonderful New Year

Once again, I want to wish everyone a very happy, healthy, peaceful, compassionate, environmentally sustainable New Year. Many thanks for your suggestions and support during the year. Let us hope that this year there will be major changes of consciousness and that people will recognize the urgency of shifts to plant-based diets to avoid the unprecedented catastrophe the world is rapidly approaching.

As indicated, there are articles relating Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur and all of the Jewish festivals in the festivals section at Please use these articles as background for your letters to editors and talking points. Many thanks.

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2. My Article On Kapparot (Kapparos) In Response to Rabbi Shafran’s Article/Comments By Rabbi Yonassan Gershom

Please use the material below for your letters and talking points:


Richard H. Schwartz, Ph.D.

In presenting a justification for using chickens in the pre-Yom Kippur Kapporus ritual in his article, “Wings and Prayers,” [His article is directly under my article.] Rabbi Avi Shafran, director of public affairs for Agudath Israel of America, correctly points out that “Jewish practice is laden with profound significance that speaks to us plainly and powerfully, if only we choose to listen, to confront our spiritual selves, to do teshuva …” However, he ignores the many Jewish teachings that are overlooked or contradicted by using chickens for Kapparos.

For example, by treating chickens as just a means to an end, in a custom that Rabbi Shafran admits can be carried out using money rather than chickens, are we listening to the following statements in the daily synagogue prayers:

“Blessed is the One (G-d) Who has compassion on all the creatures.”

“G-d is good to all, and His mercies are over all He has created.”

“The souls of all living beings shall praise thy Name, oh L-rd, our G-d.”

“Every soul shall praise G-d.”

It is good that after many years of abuses, many of which are captured on videos, and complaints, nearly thirty leading Orthodox rabbinical authorities have recently issued a proclamation urging their followers to patronize only approved vendors of Kapparos. This should help if properly supervised. But even if conditions during Kapparos are ideal, the process still involves physical and mental pain for the birds. And far worse are the conditions on the factory farms where the chicken were raised under very unnatural, crowded, filthy conditions.

Jews are to be rachmanim b’nai rachmanim (compassionate children of compassionate ancestors”), and we are to imitate G-d’s positive traits, including compassion. Is that consistent with the killing of over 250 million male chicks immediately after birth in the US alone at egg laying hatcheries, because they can’t lay eggs and have not been genetically programmed, as “broiler” chickens have, to be able to produce much meat, or with the debeaking of chickens without anesthetic, to prevent them from pecking and harming other chickens in the very unnatural conditions under which they are raised? Is ignoring these and the many other daily, systematic abuses of animals on factory farms consistent with the teaching that “The righteous person considers the lives (souls) of his or her animals?” (Proverbs 12:10)

At a time of year where we fervently pray for G-d’s compassion, why not use money for Kapparos, rather than a method that may harm chickens who have already been badly mistreated for weeks on factory farms?

In addition, the Kapparos ritual, which is associated with the slaughter and eating of the chickens, implicitly ignores violations of basic Jewish mandates. These include. in addition to that to treat animals with compassion, to:

· preserve our health (animal-based diets have been linked to heart disease, several forms of cancer and many other chronic, degenerative diseases. And the mass production of animals under very unsanitary conditions increases the risks of many diseases, including swine flu and bird flu, that can cause pandemics);

· protect the environment (the raising of 60 billion animals worldwide for slaughter annually is a major contributor to deforestation, soil erosion and depletion, water pollution, rapid species extinction and many other environmental threats; also, a 2006 UN report indicated that ‘livestock’ agriculture emits more greenhouse gases (in CO2 equivalents) than all the cars, planes ships and other means of transportation worldwide combined (18 percent vs. 13.5 percent));

· conserve natural resources (animal-based agriculture requires far more water, energy, land and other resources per person than plant-based diets; for example, it takes up to 14 times as much water per person for a typical animal-based diet than for a completely plant-food diet);

· help hungry people (while an estimated 20 million people worldwide (mainly children) die of hunger and its effects annually and over a billion of the world’s people are chronically malnourished, over 70 percent of the grain produced in the United States and over 40 percent produced worldwide are fed to animals destined for slaughter.

Taking all of the above and much more beyond the scope of this article into account, it is clear that there is a need for a major reconsideration of current dietary and agricultural practices. Kapparos has been practiced for many years, but it is not even mentioned in the Torah or the Talmud and it has been condemned by many Jewish scholars. One should not easily dispense with long-time traditions, but here we are dealing with pikuach nefesh (the mandate to save lives) for both individuals and all of humanity, and this mandate overrides all other commandments except these involving avoiding idoloty, murder and sexual immorality.

Respectfully and with an awareness of my own shortcomings and need for teshuvah, I believe that, considering the many moral issues related to Kapparos and the consumption of animal products in general, Rabbi Shafran and other Jewish leaders would do a tremendous kiddush Hashem (sanctification of G-d’s name) by promoting the ritual and dietary changes advocated in this article. This could help revitalize Judaism by showing the relevance of our values to current problems, end the current epidemic of diseases in the Jewish community and help move our imperiled world to a sustainable path, rather than its current path to an unprecedented catastrophe from global climate change and many environmental threats.


Rabbi Avi Shafran

From the flurry of e-mails and calls to Agudath Israel and other Orthodox Jewish organizations, it seems that some advocates for humane treatment of animals have concerns about the pre-Yom Kippur custom of Kapparos.

They are troubled by the fact that many Orthodox Jews – predominantly in the haredi, especially the Hassidic, world – use chickens in the ceremony, during which the bird is lifted and waved around the head of a supplicant. (Many Orthodox Jews use money instead of birds.) The advocates say that chickens are mistreated before and after the ceremony and that the ceremony itself abuses the birds. They are not happy either, with the ultimate fate of the chickens, which are slaughtered and given to the poor.

As it happens, while a chicken is not injured or traumatized by being held and waved, there have indeed been situations where chickens, before or after the Kapparos ceremony, have not been treated with the sensitivity to animals’ comfort that halacha mandates. That is inexcusable; and concern that birds used for Kapparos be treated properly was one of the reasons nearly thirty leading haredi rabbinical authorities issued a proclamation two years ago enjoining their followers to patronize only approved vendors of Kapparos.

One of the recurrent themes of the anti-chicken-Kapparos crowd’s communications, though, is that the custom itself is “primitive.” The activists assume – and it is an assumption mistakenly made by many others (including The New York Times a few years back) – that sins are somehow transferred from the supplicant to the bird.

Ah, were expiation of iniquity only so simple.

Even when actual animal sacrifices were a mainstay of Jewish life, when the Holy Temple stood in Jerusalem, the cancellation of sin still required teshuva, repentance. It still does.

There are, unfortunately, no shortcuts when it comes to taking responsibility for our actions. Repentance is the only effective remedy for sin, though it is an amazing one. For it accomplishes much more than a simple apology; it has the power, Jewish sources teach, to actually reach into the past and change the nature of what we may have done. As such, we are taught, teshuva is a “chiddush,” a concept that defies simple logic and expectation. And for erasing iniquity, it is indispensable.

So what’s with the chickens?

Well, the definitive primary Jewish legal text, the Shulchan Aruch, notes the custom of Kapparos, but disapproves of its practice. The authoritative glosses of the Rabbi Moshe Isserles, though, which present normative Ashkenazic practice, note that the custom has its illustrious defenders, and maintains that where it exists it should be preserved.

The custom’s intent and meaning are elucidated in the widely accepted commentary known as the Mishneh Brurah, written by the renowned “Chofetz Chaim,” Rabbi Yisroel Meir Kagan. Citing earlier sources, he explains that when one performs the ritual, he should consider that what will happen to the bird – its slaughter – would be happening to him were strict justice, untempered with G-d’s mercy, the rule. As a result, the supplicant will come to regret his sins and “through his repentance” cause G-d “to revoke any evil decree from him.”

So it seems that the Kapparos-custom is essentially a spur to meditation on atonement, intended to stir feelings of repentance and recommitment to the performance of good deeds.

Similar to Kapporos is the Rosh Hashana custom of Tashlich, which is likewise commonly misconstrued as a magical “casting away of sins.” The practice of visiting a body of water and reciting verses and prayers, however, has no such direct effect. It, like Kapporot, is an opportunity for self-sensitization to our need for repentance. The verse “And cast in the depths of the ocean all of their sins,” prominently recited in the prayers for the ritual, is a metaphor for what we can effect with our sincere repentance and determination to be better in the future.

As Rabbi Avrohom Yitzchok Sperling writes in his classic work known as the “Ta’amei Haminhagim,” or “Explications of Customs,” Tashlich reminds us that the day of ultimate reckoning may be upon us far sooner that we imagine, just as fish swimming freely in the water may find themselves captured suddenly in the hungry fishmonger’s net – and that we dare not live lives of spiritual leisure on the assumption that there will always be time for repentance when we grow old.

All too often we moderns tend to view ancient Jewish laws, customs and rituals as quaint relics of the distant past evoking, at most, warm and nostalgic feelings of ethnic identity.

But, as a closer look at Kapporos and Tashlich suggest, there is a world of difference between Tevya’s celebration of “Tradition!” for tradition’s sake and the deep meanings that lie in the rites and rituals of Jewish religious life.

Jewish practice is laden with profound significance that speaks to us plainly and powerfully, if only we choose to listen, to confront our spiritual selves, to do teshuva – with or without the help of chickens or rivers.

[Rabbi Shafran is director of public affairs for Agudath Israel of America.]

All Am Echad Resources essays are offered without charge for personal use and sharing, and for publication with permission with the above copyright notice appended.

This essay, in a different form, was first published in 2002.


Here is what Rabbi Yonassan Gershom wrote on the PETA action page to send to the rabbis in question:

I am a Breslov Hasid who uses MONEY for kappores, not live chickens. When we lived in stetls and chickens were a part of our daily lives, it was humane to take a chicken from one's own flock, walk with it to the shochet, do kappores, and give the meat to a local poor family. But trucking in chickens from miles away -- without food or water on the journey -- then just dumping them in a box to rot after shechting or even worse, abandoning them live in tiny cages in a warehouse without food or water over Yom Kippur itself -- violates tzaar baalei chayim and negates the ceremony, because you cannot commit an averah to do a mitzvah. Giving money is more humane and halachically acceptable.

We also must question what effect this cruelty has on our children, who only see live chickens once a year under such horrible conditions. Again, when chickens were part of daily life, things were different. But exposing kids to a bloody sacrifice that seves no real purpose -- given that a perfectly acceptable humane alternative is available -- is baseless cruelty and a waste of living things in God's creation.

Rabbi Yonassan Gershom
Minnesota, USA

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3. My Other Op-Ed Article on Kapparot


By Richard H. Schwartz, Ph.D.

The period before and during Yom Kippur, Judaism’s holiest day, is one in which Jews ask for God’s compassion so that we will be forgiven for our transgressions during the previous year and granted a happy, healthy, peaceful year. Yet, many Jews perform the rite of kapparot (in Ashkenazic Hebrew kappores or in Yiddish, shluggen kappores) in the days before Yom Kippur, a ritual which involves the killing of chickens.

Kapparot is a custom in which the sins of a person are symbolically transferred to a fowl. First, selections from Isaiah 11:9, Psalms 107:10, 14, and 17-21, and Job 33:23-24 are recited; then a rooster (for a male) or a hen (for a female) is held above the person's head and swung in a circle three times, while the following is spoken: "This is my exchange, my substitute, my atonement; this rooster (or hen) shall go to its death, but I shall go to a good, long life, and to peace." The hope is that the fowl, which is then donated to the poor for food, will take on any misfortune that might otherwise occur to the one who has taken part in the ritual, in punishment for his or her sins.

There seems to be an inconsistency here because of Judaism’s strong teachings about compassion to animals and because the rite can be carried out in a rabbinically approved way without using and then slaughtering chickens.

The psalmist indicates God's concern for animals, for "His compassion is over all of His creatures" (Psalms 145:9). And there is a mitzvah-precept in the Torah to emulate the Divine compassion, as it is written: "And you shall walk in His ways" (Deuteronomy 28:9). Perhaps the Jewish attitude toward animals is best summarized by Proverbs 12:10: "The righteous person considers the soul (life) of his or her animal."

Moses and King David were considered worthy to be leaders of the Jewish people because of their compassionate treatment of animals, when they were shepherds. Rebecca was judged suitable to be a wife of the patriarch Isaac because of her kindness in watering the ten camels of Abraham's servant Eliezer.

Many Torah laws involve proper treatment of animals. One may not muzzle an ox while it is working in the field nor yoke a strong and a weak animal together. Animals, as well as people, must be permitted to rest on the Sabbath day. The importance of this concept is indicated by the fact that it is in the Ten Commandments and by its recitation every Sabbath morning by many Jews, as part of the kiddush ceremony.

In summary, the Torah prohibits Jews from causing tsa'ar ba'alei chayim, any unnecessary pain to living creatures, even psychological pain. Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch, an outstanding 19th century philosopher, author, and Torah commentator, eloquently summarizes the Jewish view on treatment of animals: “Here you are faced with God's teaching, which obliges you not only to refrain from inflicting unnecessary pain on any animal, but to help and, when you can, to lessen the pain whenever you see an animal suffering, even through no fault of yours.” (Horeb, Chapter 60, #416)

In view of these strong Jewish teachings, fortunately there is a substitute kapparot ceremony that is widely practiced by many observant Jews. Money, perhaps equal to the monetary value of the fowl, is substituted for the rooster or hen. The money is put into a handkerchief which the person swings three times around his or her head while reciting a modified saying: "This money shall go to charity, and I shall go to a good, long life, and to peace." Hence, the heightened sense of repentance can be kept, and perhaps even enhanced, since no bird has to lose its life or suffer for our sake. This substitution, which maintains the tradition of giving charity (the substituted money) to the poor, has been endorsed by many rabbis and is mentioned in many prayer books, including the Artscroll Siddur, which is used in many Orthodox synagogues.

Some additional considerations pointing toward shifting toward the use of money rather than chickens are:

* Kapparot is not mentioned in the Torah or in the Talmud. The custom is first discussed by Jewish scholars in the ninth century.

* According to the Encyclopedia Judaica (Volume 10, pages 756-757), several Jewish sages strongly opposed kapparot. Rabbi Solomon ben Abraham Aderet , one of the foremost Jewish scholars during the 13th century, considered it a heathen superstition. This opinion was shared by the Ramban (Nachmanides) and Rabbi Joseph Caro, who called it "a foolish custom" that Jews should avoid. They felt that it was a pagan custom that mistakenly made its way into Jewish practice, perhaps because when Jews lived among pagans this rite seemed like a korban (sacrifice) to some extent However, the Kabbalists (led by mystics such as Rabbi Isaac Luria and Rabbi Isaiah Horowitz) perceived in this custom mystical significance which strongly appealed to many people. This greatly enhanced the popularity of the kapparot ritual down to the present day.

* Some Jewish leaders opposed kapparot because they felt that people would misunderstand the significance of the ritual. The belief that the ceremony of kapparot can transfer a person's sins to a bird, and that his or her sins would then be completely eradicated, is contrary to Jewish teachings. For, if the ritual could remove a person's sins, what would be the need for Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement?

* The birds may suffer while they are handled. In some places in Israel and the United States, chickens are sold on street corners for this ceremony, and not every merchant takes sufficient care of the chickens during this period. The birds are frequently cooped up in baskets, and some merchants neglect to give them sufficient food or water. In recent years communal and rabbinic leaders were placed in the position of publicly apologizing for the mistreatment of chickens used for kapparot and the wastefulness of slaughtered chickens sometimes discarded on the eve of Yom Kippur. It should also be noted that the chickens have generally been raised under cruel conditions on modern factory farms.

Hence, while the Jewish tradition is filled with concepts, prayers, and actions during the Rosh Hashanah-Yom Kippur period that relate to the importance of rachamim (compassion and sensitivity), the message of kapparot to those who take part and those who view it (including children) may be just the opposite in some cases, a lesson of insensitivity to the feelings of other living creatures.

* Acts of kindness and charity are consistent with God`s "delighting in life" on Rosh Hashanah, since, unlike the kapparot ceremony using chickens, they don’t involve the possible cruel treatment and death of animals.

* Finally, consistent with the Rosh Hashanah - Yom Kippur period as a time when Jews are to "awaken from slumber" and mend our ways, using money rather than chickens for the kapparot ritual shows that we are putting Torah teachings about compassion into practice.

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4. Documentary Produced for Youth on Renewable Energy

Forwarded message from one of the directors Daniel Califf-Glick:

[I have seen the documentary and I think it is well done and that it is valuable, especially for young people, its target audience. However, plant-based diets are not considered.]

“To defuse the global warming time bomb, we must phase out coal use rapidly and find alternatives to other fossil fuels. Unlimited provides a great introduction to the clean energy sources we need.” - James Hansen, Climate Scientist, NASA


My name is Daniel Califf-Glick. I am one of the directors of Unlimited: Renewable Energy in the 21st Century. It is a 26 minute documentary about renewable energy and other alternatives to fossil fuels.

I am contacting you because I think the film might be of interest to your organization. We (OneLight OneCamera Productions) made this film as a passion project with the goal of providing an introduction to the major solutions to global warming. It is ideal for middle and high schools (4th graders and up), but is appropriate for all ages. It is an excellent resource to spark awareness and a conversation about what energy sources we need to move towards.

It features a group of passionate 6th graders calling for adults to take action and address global warming. It also includes global warming and energy experts talking about various promising technologies such as solar, wind and tidal power, transportation and the issue of food as it pertains to energy consumption.

The film was just recently completed and we are now starting our campaign to distribute it as widely as possible. In a time when the seriousness of the threat of global warming has just begun to enter the public's awareness our aim with Unlimited is to educate about the solutions to global warming and help move this country forward on the issue of renewable energy. We hope to have the film shown in classrooms, communities, churches and more.

You can watch the entire film at

If you are interested in ordering DVDs, with or without accompanying lesson plans for classroom situations, you can make a donation online at our website of $10 per DVD (or $12 for a DVD plus lesson plans) to “IH Center/Unlimited”. All donations are tax deductable.

We are looking forward to hearing from you and hope you enjoy the film!


Daniel Califf-Glick

Co-Director, Unlimited: Renewable Energy in the 21st Century

More praise for Unlimited:

“As the planet cries out for protection against the assault from our burning of coal and oil, this vibrant film shows that the greatest source of planetary renewal – and of our own human hope – is the renewable energy of our kids.” – Ross Gelbspan, author, “The Heat is On” and “Boiling Point”

“Here’s a message coming from the people who are going to deal with this tragedy the longest, unless we get our acts together now. It will move you to action!” – Bill McKibben,

“A fun and thoughtful film to spark one of the most important conversations that students, and all of us, need to have: how clean, renewable energy can replace fossil fuels as the energy source that powers our society.” – Jared Duval, former National Director, Sierra Student Coalition Unlimited is a project of the International Humanities Center, a 501(c)3 based out of California.

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5. Campaign for Healthy School Food

Forwarded message:


We have been volunteering this summer with New York Coalition for Healthy School Food ( We are having an online charity auction at There are 14 items on which to bid, everything from dancing with the stars to staying in a great spa in California and much more. Please visit the site and consider bidding on one of these fun items. Many more items will be added to the auction over the next week, so please check back at the end of next week on the auction to see what has been added.

We are having a fall benefit on October 14th in Manhattan at the Peter Max Art Studio, with incredible plant-based food and great gift bags. You can see all the details at – just look in the What’s Happening section of the home page and click there for more details.

If you are unable to bid on our charity auction or attend our benefit, please visit and learn about the vital work being done to reform the school food environment. It's not just about changing the school lunch program. We've created educational materials, posters, and how to create change guidelines, even a fun children’s CD about healthy nutrition. The website itself is a work of art.

We hope you’ll make a donation. Just click on the donation button on the home page.

We would appreciate all the help we can get, and your donation, no matter how small, will help.

With all the debate over health care reform, we have to get real about what kids eat. There is no way to bring down costs if people are growing up obese, diabetic and at higher risk of heart disease, stroke and cancer. It all starts with kids, parents and you. Help us help them.


Deer and Justice Fields
Volunteer Development Director
New York Coalition for Healthy School Food

Check out our new website:

The New York Coalition for Healthy School Food (NYCHSF) is a statewide nonprofit that works to improve the health and well-being of New York's students by advocating for healthy plant-based foods, including local and organic where possible, farm to school programs, the elimination of unhealthy competitive foods in all areas of the school (not just the cafeteria), comprehensive nutrition policy, and education to create food- and health-literate students.

Sign up for our email list from our homepage to be kept up to date on Healthy School Food Happenings and join as a member - it's free.

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6. Excellent Analysis of the Environmental Impacts of Animal-Based Agriculture

Thanks to JVNA advisor Ronald Landskroner for forwarding this link to us:

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7. Environmental Educator Offering Educational Opportunities

Forwarded message from Noam Dolgin:

[I have known and worked with Noam for many years on many environmental and vegetarian projects and I have always had positive experiences. He is very committed to applying Jewish values to environmental stewardship, conserving resources, treating animals compassionately, responding effectively to global climate change, etc.]

Fall is Upon Us, Book your Environmental Programming Now.

Bring innovative Jewish environmental or Israel environmental programming to your community, school or synagogue with leading Jewish environmental educator Noam Dolgin.

Noam's Upcoming Schedule

Find out when Noam will be in your city and reserve programming time, or

book him for a visit if he's not already coming. Still lots of availability!

Oct 16 - 26: Northampton MA, Philadelphia PA and Washington DC

Nov 16 - 22: New York NY

Nov 23 - 30: Toronto

Jan 27 - Feb 2: San Diego CA and Las Vegas NV

and many more dates!

click here for more information

Year Round Programs on Topics Including:

* Awe, Appreciation and the Natural World

* Ecological Systems and the Interconnectedness of All Life as seen from a Jewish perspective

* Food, Food Production Technologies and Jewish Thought

* The Unnatural Jew: Our Relationship to Land in Canada, the United States and Israel

* The State of Israel's Environment and What we Can do to Help

* Greening your Synagogue, School or Community Building

* And Much More!!

Noam’s teaching has been described as “inspirational”, “motivating”, “down to Earth”, “approachable”, “eye opening” and just plain “fun.”

Click here for a full list of Noam’s program topics and details.

What is Jewish Environmental Education?

Jewish environmental education can take many forms including classroom activities, prayer, retreats and personal practice. It can center on a particular holiday or celebration, or can be part of daily Jewish life and education. Topics are appropriate for participants of all ages: children, teens, adults and intergenerational groups. 

If you are looking for something specific, Noam can design a program customized to your needs. Noam is a leader in developing new Jewish environmental programming, and can design a program specific to your school, synagogue or community group.

Noam Dolgin is an expert Jewish environmental educator with more than 12 years experience developing and executing environmental programming for the North American Jewish community. With Noam as their guide, your students or congregants will explore how ancient and modern Jewish teachings help us understand and respond to these vital concerns.

Click here for more on Noam's work

Noam Dolgin, BSc (Environmental Sciences)
Jewish Environmental Educator, Organizer and Advocate


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8. Latest Podcast in Series

This time we have one new Audio Presentation for the VSSE podcast:

Living On Earth - Ellen Silbergeld "Farming The Flu":


Speeches entitled "Harvesting animals and consuming the planet" by Jamie Rivet are ready on the website at Many many thanks to Jamie Rivet for his work on this project.

Are there any other speech writers in the group? Let's continue assembling an archive of "Ready To Go" speeches that anyone can use to further the cause. Email me at:


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9. Roberta Kalechofsky Reading of Her New Book Scheduled

Forwarded message:

NEAVS Book Fair and Author Reading
Thursday, October 1st, 7:00 pm
NEAVS office
333 Washington Street, Suite 850, Boston
(near Downtown Crossing & Park Street)

Roberta Kalechofsky, Ph.D., writer, speaker, and publisher of vegetarian and animal rights books (Micah Publications) will give a reading and book-signing from her new book, "The Poet-Physician and the Healer-Killer," which explores the relationship between animal and human experimentation, the anti-vivisection and women's movements in the Victorian Age, and other important ideas. NEAVS will receive 20% of the profits from sales of her book that evening ($17 for NEAVS members).

Additional books, including latest animal rights titles and old favorites from former NEAVS' President Cleveland Amory and others, will also be for sale, with all proceeds to benefit NEAVS.

If you would like to attend, please RSVP by September 28th by emailing info@neavs.orgA or call 617-523-6020 ext 10.

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10. Interview On How Cattle Grazing is Despoiling Western Lands

Forwarded message from environmental activist and author Mike Hudak:

I'm today announcing an Internet-radio interview I did with Caryn Hartglass, Executive Director of EarthSave International. Caryn interviewed me back in July, but due to summer distractions, I thought it better to wait until now to make the announcement.

Among the interviews that I've done since publication of book, this one is unique in a few ways. It's longer than most--a full hour. Caryn and I had no communication in advance of the interview about the questions that she'd ask me. And most of the interview is NOT about my book Western Turf Wars.

In examining the roster of guests that Caryn has interviewed for her show since last spring, I have to say that among them I'm fairly exceptional in the type of activist that I am. Most of her other guests are educators, authors, and motivational speakers. Basically, they're activists who are trying to change the world one person at a time. In contrast, the field of activism within which I've worked since 1997 really only has a political solution. And what public education I've done has always been for the purpose of laying the foundation for political change. My "unsugarcoated" answers to Caryn's questions reflect the hard realities of my personal experiences.

Anyway, I invite you to listen to the interview at

You can view the entire archive of Caryn's shows at

And, of course, my having written Western Turf Wars was probably a major reason why Caryn asked me to do the interview. So, please check out the book's website:

Comments about my interview? Email me at


Mike Hudak, PhD

Chair, Sierra Club Grazing Committee

Director, Public Lands Without Livestock


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11. Lantern Books, Publisher of Environmental, Animal Rights, Vegetarian, Spiritual Books Celebrating Its Tenth Anniversary

Forwarded message from Lantern Books:

[Full disclosure: Lantern published my two Judaica books, “Judaism and Vegetarianism” and “Judaism and Global Survival.” I strongly recommend them. They have been very helpful in publishing many books that support our causes.]

Lantern is 10 Years Old!

We made it through the terrible twos, past the seven year itch, and this fall, Lantern Books will celebrate a full decade in the publishing business.

In those ten years, the "baby" of Gene Gollogly and Martin Rowe has employed, published, used the services of, provided services for, and sold to untold numbers of people, all who've helped step their vision of a more peaceful and sustainable planet forward.

We'll be celebrating our anniversary and launching an exciting, new book on Thursday, October 8th, 6:30 to 9 p.m., at Jivamukti Yoga, near Union Square in Manhattan.

PLEASE JOIN US while we toast our successes, launch this beautiful new book, and look forward to our next years in the publishing business.

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