January 15, 2011

01/09/2011 JVNA Online Newsletter

Shalom everyone,

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

1. Material for Tu B’Shvat

2. Veganism On the Increase as More People Question Eating Meat

3. Collections of Jewish Statements on the Environment

4. The Environment in Jewish Thought and Law Published

5. Jewish Vegetarian Article Published in German/Awaiting Translation

6. VegFund Provides Help for Events That Promote Veganism

7. World Week for the Abolition of Meat Scheduled

8. Clean Air Law Goes Into Effect in Israel

9. Denmark Opposes Israeli anti-fur bill

10. Five-Part Series On Vegetarianism Scheduled for Fort Lauderdale, Florida

11. Tu B’Shvat Seders Scheduled by Israeli Jewish Vegetarian Society and by a New Israeli Group

12. Publicity for A Sacred Duty and Jewish Vegetarianism at California Rosh Chodesh Event With Showing of the Documentary

13. Climate Change Still Negatively Impacting Israel

14. Climate Change Negatively Impacting the Entire Planet

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. Material for Tu B’Shvat

The material below is forwarded from the Orthodox Jewish environmental group Canfei Neharim. For material on vegetarian connections to Tu B’Shvat, please see my articles in the holidays section at JewishVeg.com/Schwartz. Please work with rabbis and/or other Jewish leaders in your community to organize and carry out a Tu B’Shvat seder. Thanks.

= = =

Tu b'Shevat, the Jewish "New Year of the Trees," will take place this year on January 19-20, 2011. Don't miss this great opportunity to learn and educate your community about our Jewish responsibility to protect the environment!

Planning a Tu b'Shevat Seder? Looking for children's activities? Speaking to your community? Seeking in-depth teachings about Torah and the environment? Our 9th Annual Tu b'Shevat Learning and Action Campaign has resources to help you.

Canfei Nesharim's popular four-color, ecoprinted haggadot are back this year at discounted prices. Get up to 25 haggadot free with our new social media special! And use our eco-reminders to help community members bring the message home. Order by Sunday, January 9 to receive in time for Tu b'Shevat.

Celebrate Tu b'Shevat by planting a tree!
Honor a loved one and support Canfei Nesharim by planting a tree for Tu b'Shevat in our virtual forest.

New this year: Trees, Torah, and Caring for the Earth by Dr. Akiva Wolff and Rabbi Yonatan Neril

That the New Year of the Tree has come to be associated with sensitivity to and appreciation of the natural environment is not by chance. Many Jewish sources connect trees with our proper stewardship of the earth. Understanding these teachings on Tu b'Shevat can help us improve our relationship to G-d's creation, our world.

Additional New Resources
For Communities: "Trees in Jewish Thought" Study and Discussion Guide

For Speakers: Resources to help you organize a talk for Tu b'Shevat

For in-depth study: Comprehensive Torah teaching on Trees and the Environment

Lesson Plan: Trees in Jewish Thought

Experiencing Trees: Suggested Activities

Video Teaching on Trees in Jewish Thought

Check it all out in our 9th Annual Tu b'Shevat Learning and Action Campaign.

Like what you see? Support our work.

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2. Veganism On the Increase as More People Question Eating Meat


Thanks to author, educator and JVNA advisor Dan Brook for forwarding this link to us.

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3. Collections of Jewish Statements on the Environment

Thanks to author, educator and JVNA advisor Dan Brook for alerting us to this web site which has very good articles on Jewish environmental teachings, as well as statements by Conservative, Reform and Reconstructionist rabbinic groups.


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4. The Environment in Jewish Thought and Law

An interesting new book called The Environment in Jewish Thought and Law has been published by an Orthodox environmental group called Sviva Yisrael and co-sponsored by the Israel Ministry for Environmental Protection, Jerusalem District; Jerusalem Municipality, Dept. of Torah Culture; and Ramat Shlomo Community Council.


Thanks to author and JVNA advisor Rabbi Dovid Sears for sending us information about this book.

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5. Jewish Vegetarian Article Published in German/Awaiting Translation

Forwarded message:

this is the URL of Jüdische Zeitung for the article:

Macht euch die Erde untertan? Zwischen Vision und kollektiver Abwehr: Eine Fehldeutung verstellt den Blick auf das jüdische Tierrecht


More information concerning the activities and situation of "Trialog 4 Animals" and "Initiative Jüdischer Tierschutz"



Kind regards, Hanna Rheinz




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6. VegFund Provides Help for Events That Promote Veganism

Forwarded message form VegFund

Dear Animal Advocate,

Hi, I’m contacting you today because I wanted to let you know about a great resource called VegFund. VegFund is a non-profit organization that provides grants for vegan food samples, supplies, literature, and more. Here are just a few examples of how we can help:

1. For animal rescue/advocacy groups--VegFund would be thrilled to pay for vegan food at your next event. More and more rescue and animal advocacy groups are serving vegan food at their events, and by doing so are giving people the opportunity to see how delicious, convenient, and healthy a plant-based diet can be. To find out more, please email events@vegfund.org.

2. For vegan activists or vegan grassroots organizations-- VegFund has a variety of funding programs to support your outreach efforts, including Event Grants, Multimedia Outreach, Ask-A-Vegan, and Merit Awards. Please visit www.vegfund.org for more information.

Thank you for all the work you do to help animals! If you wouldn't mind, please pass this message along to other groups/individuals who might benefit from VegFund. Thanks again, and please don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.


Kimberly Dreher
VegFund Program Administrator

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7. World Week for the Abolition of Meat Scheduled

Forwarded message:

World week for the Abolition of Meat: January 24th to 30th, 2011

Please join activists worldwide for the World Week for Abolition of Meat from January 24th to 30th, 2011!

The past world days for the abolition of meat were a huge success. And as we know that this demand is a very important one we decided to hold this day on a more regular basis. So since September 2010 actions take place in the week of the last Saturday of January, May and September. This means the next action week will be from January 24th to 30th, 2011.

On past action days, various events were held in over 50 cities in the following countries: Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, England, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, South Africa, Switzerland and the USA.

Many thanks to all individuals and animal rights groups who raised their voices for the cause of oppressed animals and expressed the idea that our societies have to ban the killing of animals for food! It was really important for us to know that on the same day people in various places throughout the world were making the same political demand: we have to stop the mass murder of animals!

We believe it is time to make a public demand for the abolition of meat, not only 3 weeks a year, but with a growing number of local, national and international events.

It is also time to bring together our forces and make the suffering of animals as visible as possible to declare the goal that must be discussed publicly in our societies without any taboo: Abolition of breeding, hunting and fishing.

Let¹s hope that the number of individual actions keeps on growing in more and more places and the same should apply to our ever-growing determination, imagination and visibility.

If you plan to organise actions to raise public awareness please let us know and send your reports to contact(at)meat-abolition.org so that we can publish them on time.

Please support the movement for the abolition of meat:

If your group decides to support the movement for abolition of meat, please send us your logo and your web address and we will add them to the list on our web site. This will enormously help to gain more public attention and credibility.

Be part of the discussion group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/meatabolition

You can take part in the French discussion group here: http://fr.groups.yahoo.com/group/abolitiongroup/

Links :

International/English: http://meat-abolition.org/

http://en.m-eat.org/wiki/Main_Page http://groups.yahoo.com/group/meatabolition

Deutsch: http://www.abschaffungvonfleisch.blogspot.com; http://de.groups.yahoo.com/group/abschaffungvonfleisch/

Español: http://en.m-eat.org/wiki/FAQSP

Français: http://abolir-la-viande.org/CP/2009-01-26/journee-abolition-viande.html ; http://fr.m-eat.org ; http://fr.groups.yahoo.com/group/abolitiongroup/

Italiano: http://aboliamolacarne.blogspot.com

The beginning of the movement in France: the issue of the abolition of meat was debated for the first time at the ³Estivales de la question animale² (summer encounter on the animal issue) in August 2005:


Additional reflections in a personal blog:


Discussion group:


The first discussion group was followed by a similar list in English in 2007:


Meat abolition manifesto:

"Abolir la viande" : http://www.cahiers-antispecistes.org/spip.php?article363

or: http://www.cahiers-antispecistes.org/IMG/pdf/abolir-la-viande.pdf


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8. Clean Air Law Goes Into Effect in Israel


Thanks to author and JVNA advisor Rabbi Dovid Sears for forwarding this link to us.

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9. Denmark Opposes Israeli anti-fur bill

Next week the Danish ambassador in Tel Aviv will meet MK Gilad Erdan, to make the point that his new law proposal will have a detrimental effect on Danish fur industry.

Of all countries Israel is, once again, becoming the central focus for another debate on the fur issue. In September 2010 an anti-fur bill was halted in the last minute. After that, Gilad Erdan from Likud, has set up this proposal for a new bill that is aimed to protect wild animals. In the proposal is a paragraph that includes a ban on trading fur products.

The Danish fur industry noticed this long ago and the fur breeders fear that an Israeli fur ban can set an international precedent. As a result, Kopenhagen Fur which is owned by Danish Fur Breeders Association has come forward to ask the Foreign Ministry of Denmark to help influence the Israeli proposal(s) to ban fur products.

In a letter from Jan Lausten, CEO of Agriculture & Food (Danish lobby organization for all agriculture/farming), sent to Søren Kelstrup, who is head of “political trade office” in the Foreign Ministry, it says:

”The anti-fur bill is well advanced in the political process, and the fur industry in Denmark, EU and on a global scale is strongly concerned. Not because Israel is a crucial market, but because a trade ban is groundbreaking and could set a precedent. It’s self evident, that we do not want this to happen neither from the point of view of Agriculture & Food nor Kopenhagen Fur.”

This is where the Danish ambassador in Tel Aviv, Lise-Lotte Plesner, takes over. On Tuesday she will meet with Gilad Erdan along with the Canadian ambassador in Israel. Not to twist the arm of the Israelian politician, but to, as she says herself to Kristeligt Dagblad (this newspaper), take care of Danish interests.

”It’s important to me as ambassador to take care of the interest of Denmark and Danish companies. Perhaps it can be useful for Israeli politicians to hear the Danish viewpoint in this context. It’s a part of the issue, which they may not be aware of at this point,” Lise-Lotte Plesner says. She rejects that Denmark puts a pressure on the Israeli politicians behind the law proposals.

Søren Kelstrup confirms that the service the Foreign Ministry provides for the Danish fur industry, is part of the work that is being done to take care of the interests of Danish international trade.

The two law proposals against fur have an overwhelming support in Israel. It’s the International Anti-Fur Coalition, IAFC, that is spearheading this struggle against the fur trade. But polls show that around 80 percent of the Israeli population support both proposals. A support that gives reason to believe that the bills eventually will pass.

”We hope and expect that our government will protect the millions of suffering animals, brutally killed for their fur, and in this way rejecting the fur breeders and the fur trade’s bloody and cruel economic interests”, Jane Halevy from IAFC says.

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10. Five-Part Series On Vegetarianism Scheduled for Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Forwarded message:

Greetings Professor Schwartz,

Here is the program schedule for our five part series on Judaism and Vegetarianism. Perhaps you might like to forward it to your friends wintering in Century Village in Boca Raton.

Your book, Judaism and Vegetarianism, and your sincere thoughtfulness helped to make this program possible. Thank you so very much.

May 2011 bring you much health, happiness, and peace.


Bryan :-)


Congregation Etz Chaim invites you to attend a five part series on Judaism and Vegetarianism. This program is free and open to the public. All scheduled events will be held at the synagogue located at 1881 NE 26th St.100, Wilton Manors, FL 33305. For more information, please contact us at (954) 564-9232.

We hope you can attend.


Bryan D. Freehling
Program Coordinator

Tu B'Shevat Seder

Celebrate and savor the fruits of the trees, give thanks for the bounty we often take for granted, and rejuvenate our physical and spiritual bodies in pursuit of a more mindful and peaceful existence.

Date: Wednesday, January 19th, 2011
Time: 7:30 p.m


Guest Speaker: Rabbi Barry Silver

Barry Silver is the rabbi of Congregation L’Dor Va-Dor located in Palm Beach County. He is also a practicing vegetarian and environmentalist.. He will speak on Judaism and vegetarianism. Light refreshments will be served.

Date: Wednesday, January 26th, 2011
Time: 7:30 p.m.


Screening of A Sacred Duty: Applying Jewish Values To Help Heal The World

This documentary explores the connection between a potential future environmental catastrophe and one simple step that all people of good will can take to avert this- change to a plant-based diet and vastly reduce the use of animal products.

Date: Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011
Time: 7:30 p.m.


Guest Speaker: James Wildman

James Wildman is the Humane Educator of Animal Rights Foundation of Florida.

He will speak on the ecological, ethical and health related reasons for choosing a plant based diet. Light refreshments will be served.

Date: Wednesday, February 9th, 2011
Time: 7:30 p.m.


Screening of Meat The Truth

Meat The Truth starts where An Inconvenient Truth leaves off, that the American way of life, right down to what we eat, creates a larger carbon footprint than anywhere else in the world. Many international celebrities including Bill Maher, James Cromwell, Esai Morales, and Touriya Haoud Vaughan participated in the making of the international version of this film.

Date: Wednesday, February 16th, 2011
Time: 7:30 p.m.

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11. Tu B’Shvat Seders Scheduled by Israeli Jewish Vegetarian Society and by a New Israeli Group

Tu B'Shvat Seder at the Vegetarian Community Center in Jerusalem:

The Seder will be held on Thursday January 20th, at 7pm, 8 Balfour Street, Jerusalem

Be part of a joyous celebration of our Jewish tradition as it relates to the nature and vegetation of the land of Israel.

The Seder leader, Steven "Shaya" Kelter, invites participants to bring a rare fruit on which to say the "Shehechiyanu Bracha", as well as a song, poem, humor or brief story about trees, recounting of a Tu B'shvat custom you are familiar with, or other creative idea that can be shared with the

other celebrants. Let your imagination reach down to the roots or up to the tree tops! To discuss your ideas with Shaya in advance of the Seder contact him by email at kelter@netvision.net.il or by mobile phone 052-2873887.

The Seder will be held in English and Hebrew.

Admission: NIS 25

Admission includes food and beverages required for the Seder.


Forwarded message from vegetarian activist Janine Bronsome:

New group forming!

Tu Bishvat is just around the corner!

Announcing new pot-luck gathering in Netanya, Israel

Tu Bishvat Seder --- Day one of the Seven-Day-KOSHER RAW-VEGAN plan...

A Mystical Journey

15 Jan2011 Motzaei Shabbat Saturday night 6:00-9:00 PM

Please refer to Richard Schwartz' holiday section at:


Very Brief Summary:

1. The Tu B'Shvat Seder in which fruits and nuts are eaten, singing of songs biblical verses honoring trees and fruits, it is the only sacred meal where only vegetarian, actually fruitarian foods are eaten

2. Tu B'Shvat as the New Year for Trees every vegetarian saves an acre of forest per year --- plant trees!

3. Both Tu B'Shvat and vegetarianism are connected to today's environmental concerns. Many contemporary Jews look on Tu B'Shvat as a Jewish earth day! Modern intensive livestock agriculture contributes to many current environmental problems: soil erosion and depletion, air and water pollution, destruction of habitats, climate change, etc.

4. Both Tu B'Shvat and vegetarianism embody the important teaching that

"The earth is the Lord's" (Psalm. 24:1) and that people are to be stewards of the earth, to see that its produce is available for all God's children


Please contact Janine for more details


Mobile Telephone Number: 054-255-4121



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12. Publicity for A Sacred Duty and Jewish Vegetarianism at California Rosh Chodesh Event With Showing of the Documentary

The material below was posted at the event:

If you would like to help promote the message in the documentary, "A Sacred Duty"
and/or get free email JVNA newsletters, contact Richard Schwartz - president@JewishVeg.com.

For More Information: JewishVeg.com/schwartz

Richard Schwartz, Associate Producer of "A Sacred Duty," has 140 articles, 25 podcasts of his talks and interviews, and the complete texts of his books:

"Judaism and Vegetarianism" and "Judaism and Global Survival."

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13. Climate Change Still Negatively Impacting Israel

[This and the next item provide additional wake-up calls to try to make a difference in stabilizing climate.]

Drought hits Israel, Palestinian territories

2010 hottest year on record {for Israel]

Last Updated: Tuesday, January 4, 2011


CBC News

Israel's meteorological department has declared 2010 the hottest year since it began keeping records.

And it's been so dry that some Jewish and Muslim leaders are holding joint meetings to pray for rain.

The Israel Meteorological Service's year-end data showed temperatures were between two and 2.5 degrees above the long-term average, and 1.5 degrees above the previous record.

The average 2010 temperature in Jerusalem was 20.3 C, compared with the long-term average of 17.5 C.

And winter, the traditional rainy season, has seen only 15 per cent of the average annual rainfall.

The warm, sunny and dry weather has led to a change in the behaviour of some migratory birds, which usually fly to Africa from Europe. Now, they are staying in the region, said Amir Balaban, co-director of the Jerusalem Bird Observatory.

"It says that the habitat is under stress, it's changing rapidly," he said.

The drought has been linked with forest fires, including one that killed 41 people in December. There was a fire in Jerusalem's biggest park on Sunday, an unprecedented occurrence in Balaban's memory.

"I dream of rain," said Efi Cohen, standing by a wheat field near Jerusalem, where the plants are only a quarter of the size they should be. Zucchini are sub-standard, said Cohen, who is in charge of agricultural production.

Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2011/01/04/israel-drought.html#ixzz1AJi8P7LH

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14. Climate Change Negatively Impacting the Entire Planet

NOAA reports 2010 hottest year on record so far, while Arctic sea ice extent hits a stunning December low.


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