Two exciting and innovative retreats on the relationship between Jews and the environment are being held next month at the Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center in Falls Village, Connecticut. (IFJRC is the home of the innovative Adamah Fellowship that integrates Jewish learning and spirituality with organic farming.) How I wish I could attend!
Sustainiable Zion: An Exploration of Israel’s Environmental Crisis and Our Spiritual and Personal Connection to the Land will be held from December 1st – 3rd, 2006 and is targeted to 20 - 36 year olds [so I'm too old to participate anyway, ah well]. It is co-sponsored by the Green Zionist Alliance and the Conservative movement [one of the less ho-hum outcomes of the elections for the World Zionist Congress last winter]. Tuition (all inclusive) is only $100, with additional scholarships available for those on extremely limited incomes. More details can be found here.
Then, from December 14-17 will be From Latkes to Lattes: Hazon’s Conference on Jews, Food, and Contemporary Life, which will examine the intersection of Jewish life and contemporary food issues. The family-friendly conference will include "hands-on" cooking sessions, "a diverse and inclusive Shabbat and Chanukah celebration" and "delicious, kosher, organic food." More info and registration, right here.
While we're on the subject of food, my graduate thesis from the Davidson School, Teaching Birkat Hamazon: The Grace After Meals, is available on-line as a .pdf file thanks to the Lookstein Center. In it, I tackle how the prayer expresses connections between Judaism, food, spirituality, and the environment - an idea brought to fruition in a series of lesson plans written by Daniel Rose that are also available through Lookstein.