CAJE Aug 10-14;
Shabbat/Tisha bAv Aug 8-10
Burlington Vermont

This is a work in Progress.

A sneak peak at all the CAJE 33 sessions is already on-line. The complete list is coming soon.


Shabbat and Tisha BAv Services
Rabbis Arthur Waskow & David Seidenberg will lead a Shabbat-morning davvening (prayer service) that--through breath and chant and a participatory entryway into the Torah and haftarah--brings the earth itself into the davvening as a participant, not merely an beneficiary of the prayers.
Rabbi David Seidenberg will lead an eco-responsive encounter with the book called EikhaLaments--which is what we read on Tisha B'Av to grieve over the exile of our people and the destruction of our land and Temple by domineering force. There is an ancient rabbinic teaching that the first Eikha--the first Lament came in the garden of Eden, when God asked Adam, the Human--"Ayekka?!--Where are you?!" after the humans had shattered their relationship with the earth. This was the first exile, repeated again in our own generation as we despoil our planet. So we will intersperse the chanting of Eikha with chant and meditation to help us encounter the grief of ruining our earth unless we turn toward God and holiness in our own lives, as the end of the Book of Eikha calls us to do.

Rabbi Arthur Waskow, The Shalom Center

1. Davening/Praying as if the Earth Mattered (Shabbat afternoon)
While it is increasingly common to weave themes about nature, the environment and tikkun olam (world repair) into worship services, it is all too rare that davening flows out of the actual connections between people and the Earth. Focusing on such liturgical moments as the second paragraph of the Shema, the Barchu, and the thematic thread of breath that runs throughout the morning service, this workshop seeks to actually enact this connection, to breathe new life into the ancient prayers.

2. Adult Education Programming on the Global Climate Crisis (Sunday afternoon)
Going beyond the usual care for the Earth teachings about Judaism and the environment, this workshop explores the deep roots for a Jewish environmental ethic. Through teachings about the relationship between human beings and the rest of Creation, it will lay an inspiring foundation for Jews to address one of the most pressing issues of our day, the global climate crisis. It will point us toward not only healing the earth, or even healing ourselves, but toward healing the relationship itself between all parts of Creation.

Rabbi Shmuel Simenowitz

The Maple Tisch
(Friday night must be seated around a BIG table and a row of chairs parallel to the chairs at the table 75 people capacity)
Tisch means Table in Yiddish. Enjoy a taste of Shabbos (and a taste of Vermont Maple Syrup of course) Join Rabbi Shmuel Simenowitz for a evening highlighting the sweetness of Shabbos, singing, storytelling and of course Sweet Whisper Farms very own maple syrup. Sweet Whisper Farms has been described as Vermonts only shomer shabbos, organic, horse-powered maple farm.

Environmentalism min haTorah Minayin? (Shabbat aft)
What does the Torah really say about environmental responsibility. Can Jewish and environmental values co-exist? What if they come into apparent conflict with each other? Do buzzwords like tikun olam and bal tashchit really mean what they purport to stand for? Discover a host of Jewish sources from the most unlikely textual sources to challenge and yet weave a rich tapestry of Torah-based environmental ethics and responsibility.

Sunday night: Tales of the Hasidic Masters
Evening campfire: 50-75 people max
Did you know that some of the great Chassidic masters were the original environmental cool Jews? Join Rabbi Simenowitz for a magical musical evening around the campfire with singing and stories, which convey the timeless wisdom of our predecessors.

Rabbi David Seidenberg

1. Animal Souls (Shabbat Afternoon)
It has been the norm in Jewish thought to believe that animals have souls. What kind of souls they have, and what happens to their souls, is a fascinating subject that appeals to children and adults alike. We'll look at the different answers to these questions given in Torah.

2. Radiant Earth/Enshrouded Earth (Sunday afternoon)
In the diversity of Chasidic thought, there are a number of rebbes that see the earth itself as one of the most profound manifestations of God's radiance or God's image..In the light of Tisha B'Av and mourning, we'll compare Kabbalah's that have been the consequence of our society's way of seeing the earth.

Hiking and Biking!!

Rabbi Mike Comins, Torah Trek,> and <

Pre-Shabbat Walk
The mystics of Sfat welcomed Shabbat by going out into the fields. In the same spirit, well combine a relaxing walk in the woods off campus with a bit of discussion and song, and lots of just being, to mentally and physically prepare for Shabbat.

Shabbat Hike
Join us in the beautiful Vermont wilderness for a day of hiking and Shabbat celebration. Expect easy meditative walking, prayer, discussion, songall along a gorgeous Vermont trail! Degree of difficulty: moderate. More information (what to bring, destination) will be made available later.

Tisha BAv Walk
Tisha BAv is a day of national reflection and soul-searching, as we mourn the tragedies that have afflicted the Jewish People on this day. Join Rabbi Mike Comins for study, discussion and song as we learn and reflect together while hiking near campus. The walking will be slow and easy.

Questions? You can contact Rabbi Mike Comins at

Dave Cohen, Earth Torah

From the seat of a bike it is possible to develop a great appreciation for the world while traveling in one of the most efficient and ecologically responsible methods available. Bicycling can also serve as a profound connection to many of our teachings relating to the cycles of our bodies, spirit, and creation, in addition to reminding us of the balance we need to be focused and unafraid to travel on what Rebbe Nachman described as "the very narrow bridge". Come join us to explore the beautiful countryside around Burlington by bike. Helmets required on all rides. Must be in good physical condition and have the ability to ride 20 miles for Friday and Sunday rides and 30 miles for the Shabbat ride. Bike rentals available at local bike shops at the rate of about $25/day and $50/3 days.

Questions? You can contact Dave Cohen at

Mellow 2-3 hour pre-Shabbat ride. Friday afternoon. 10-20 miles
6 - 7 hour ride. Along the way we will eat lunch, pray,
contemplate bicycle mysticism and engage in some learning from Perek Shira, Judaism's ancient Earth Wisdom text. For those with good physical endurance and must have the ability to ride approximately 25-30 miles.
Relaxing ride, Sunday afternoon; 2-3 hours; 15-20 miles

Main Conference AUG 10-14

Ellen Bernstein, founder Shomrei Adamah; faculty, Hebrew College

10:15-11:30 M-W
The Bible as Ecological Literature

1. The Seven Days of Creation (text and discussion)
The biblical creation story is the first environmental epic: light/energy is created on day 1; air and waters on day 2; earth on day 3; planets and time on day 4; fishes and birds on day 5, animals and humanity on day 6 and Shabbat on day 7. We will be studying the creations of each of the days and deriving an environmental ethic from this ancient story that is remarkably relevant today.

2. Adam and Eve and Cain and Abel (text and discussion)
The crux of both the Adam and Eve and the Cain and Abel stories is alienation. But few of us recognize that in both stories the characters suffer alienation from the adamah, the ground out of which the adam was originally formed. Come discover how these stories speak directly to the spiritual roots of todays environmental crisis.

3. Noah (text and discussion)
We all know that Noah saved the animals from the watery destruction. What we dont all know is the deep ecological wisdom that is embedded in the flood account. Come read the Noah story anew and explore its ecological roots. Show your students just how relevant their Torah is.

Ecology meets Jewish Education: Wednesday Dinner Conversation

Ellen & Ecotrack facilitators

How the Jewish environmental movement can help Jewish educators and how Jewish educators can help the Jewish environmental movement.

Keynote: Monday morning

Ellen Bernstein, Nigel Savage
Building Jewish Identity: How Ecology can attract and engage Jews
Growing up in an assimilated family, Ellen Bernstein found her way into Judaism through her connection to nature and environment. She will share her own experiences of founding and building the first Jewish environmental organization, Shomrei Adamah and powerful strategies for reaching and engaging Jews of all ages.

Dr. Natan Margalit, Hebrew College

From Waste to Wonder: A Jewish Vision of Zero Waste
Looking at the ecological landscape of Canaan and its neighbors through the lens of Tanakh, we can get a picture of the origins of our culture of waste in the great river valley civilizations of Egypt and Mesopotamia  and its opposite, a culture of no- waste in the small farming land of the mountains of Canaan. We can see how this ethos of no-waste is carried through in kabbalistic and Hasidic sources which speak of the spark of divinity in all of creation, even if presently hidden under a klippa or shell. Together these Jewish narratives give us a picture of a Jewish vision of zero waste.

Eco Systems and Jewish Texts: A Creative Nexus
Underlying our ecological crisis is a perspective that views the earth and her creatures as machines, running predictably, like clockwork. Such thinking has brought dramatic short-term gains. But the idea of forcing life into a straightjacket is a recipe for disaster because all living systems: cells, swamps, neighborhoods -- and even some texts, are organized in complex, dynamic, non-linear patterns. Understanding the old/new mode of thought contained in Jewish texts can lead us to a more natural way of thinking, one that reflects nature instead of strangling it, while understanding eco-systems can help us open up Jewish texts in a new, enlivened perspective.

Eco-Kashrut: From Priestly Code to Michael Pollen
What is the basis for kashrut? Is it a completely technical system divorced from moral concerns? Or are there hints in our texts that underlying the idea of kashrut is a deep respect for life and the web of relationships that bring our food to our tables? Michael Pollans influential book, The Omnivores Dilemma, looks at food not as a given, but as something with a history, and that history has moral, ecological and health implications. Does kashrut also ask us to think about the story behind our food and ask questions about its origins?

Dr. Jonah Chanan Steinberg, Hebrew College

2:15-5 PM (Monday Wed)
Eco Bet Midrash (Beginners and veterans; individual sessions or full series)
Torah and cosmos are deeply linked in Jewish sources from ancient to recent times. In the visions of our forebears, Torah shaped the world, and there was Torah to be discovered and applied in every nook and cranny of creation. How can our Torah be responsive to the state of the world around us, and how can we learn wisdom to survive our times from the sources of our heritage?
These Bet Midrash sessions combine havruta (partner learning) with group conversation. All sources will be provided in the original and in translation.

1. Wisdom and the World  Does Torah reside only in scrolls and books? In this session we will look into a book of classical midrash that suggests a much more sweeping canvas, and we will draw inspiration from the earliest rabbinic work of world-making. How can we begin to fathom, and practice, a Torah of our environment, according to the early rabbis?

2. The Divine Song of Life  How do Jewish sources teach us to attune our souls to the natural world around us, and what difference should such consciousness make? In this session we will explore biblical and Hasidic teachings that urge us to sensitize our hearts to the earth and its life, and we will consider how we might put these teachings into practice in our own times.

3. A Divine Environment  The Mishkan (tabernacle and temple) is the construction project par excellence in our traditional sources. Was it environmentally conscious? In this session we will ask what we can learn about building responsibly today from sources that speak of shaping a dwelling place for God.

Nili Simhai, Teva

2:15-3:30 M, T, W; 8:45-10,Th
1. Lovda uLShomra, An ethics-based Jewish environmental curriculum for the classroom - (for teachers of Middle School, Highschool and Adult)
The product of a partnership between the Teva Learning Center and Gesher Jewish Day School, the Lovda Ulshomra curriculum is geared to middle-school students and teaches Tanach, Rabbinics, Midrash, and modern Jewish philosophers. This session will highlight a lesson that explores humanitys role in Creation in a fun, experiential manner, using text from Breishit (Genesis). Come explore creative methods for interweaving elements of Jewish text, tradition, and folklore with environmental science, ecological awareness and human responsibility.

2. 10 tried and true Teva Triggers (All)
Ever feel like you've run out of creative, experiential teaching ideas? This session will present methods field-tested at the Teva Learning Center that can be used to teach any concept, lesson, or text.

3. Teva in congregational Settings ( Congregational teachers)
The environment is a hot topic, but how do you bring environmental education back to your community, synagogue or school. We will showcase three effective, family friendly, Jewish environmental education programs that you can bring back to your own synagogue.

4. Tefila bTeva Siddur Companion (a resource on prayer) (All)
Nili Simhai and Chana Rothman
Teaching students how to pray is a great challenge. The mechanics of prayer can be taught like most other skills but true connection requires inspiration as well. At the Teva Learning Center, we integrate our message of environmental awareness and awe for Gods Creation responsibility into our Prayer services.


When you pray, move your feet! Join Teva Director, Nili Simhai for a morning walk and experiential prayer.

Hitbodadut Walk. As the sun begins its descent in the sky, enjoy a walk in the woods combining the natural world and spiritual expression.

Evening Programs Monday night

Film, RENEWAL (not to be missed!)
Possible Guest speaker, film director Marty Ostrow
The first feature-length documentary to capture the breadth and vitality of America's religious-environmental movement. Veteran film producers Marty Ostrow and Terry Kay Rockefeller have crisscrossed the country to capture exciting stories of people whose passion and deep moral commitment are making a difference in a time of grave ecological threats. The film features a segment call Ancient Roots which discusses two programs (Teva and Adamah) that offer unique opportunities for Jewish environmental education.

David Arfa, Maggid, Storyteller, Environmental Educator

Tuesday (late AM and PM between 10:30-5)
1. Elves! Gnomes! Fairies! and Shretelech?
Together learn by doing as we walk outdoors in search of the Shretelech, the Yiddish word for the little people. Well explore the natural world through the eyes of a child, hear stories of the magical Shretelech, and build small twig shelters for them. In addition, well study Judaisms varied blessings honoring wonders of the natural world, and learn to reframe this activity for adults as a contemplative nature hike.

2. From Oy to Action: Honoring Personal/Communal Challenges while Greening.
Join this public conversation as we explore the personal and organizational challenges that may bog down the work of Greening. Topics invariably include an overwhelming personal paralysis upon learning ecological realities, and national partisan divisiveness that continues to keep important segments of our community from joining these unnecessary environmental projects. Together, we will form a circle of dialogue to explore hidden challenges and share solutions and non-threatening strategies to energize the greening of our diverse communities.

Nigel Savage, Hazon

1. Food For Thought
Launching Tuv HaAretz, the first CSA (Community-Supported Agriculture program) in the U.S. in 2004, Hazon now has 18 sites around the country, plus an annual food conference, a blog ( and two curricula on Jews, food & contemporary life. Food For Thought is a 130-page text collection in Hebrew and English, with questions and ideas for use in multiple settings. It includes sections on kashrut, brachot and relationship to land. Well learn some of these texts, give you a copy of the sourcebook, and encourage you to go back to your community and teach it.

2. Jews, Food & Earth: Jewish Community-Supported Agriculture
In 2004, partnering a synagogue with a local farm, Hazon launched Tuv HaAretz, the first Jewish CSA in North America. The intent is, on the one hand, to put Jewish purchasing power behind local organic farms; and on the other hand, to use connection to the farm to reframe Jewish relationships towards food and to deepen our sense of what it means to keep kosher in the broadest sense. In this session well talk about the underlying reasons for launching Tuv HaAretz, and lessons learned. And well invite you to consider joining 18 other communities and launching Tuv HaAretz in your own community.

3.Eco-Judaism & the Art of Bicycle Maintenance
In 2000, Hazon launched the first Cross-USA Jewish Environmental Bike Ride  a 3000-mile odyssey from Seattle, Washington, to Washington, DC  to raise environmental awareness and to renew Jewish life. Since then Hazons Jewish Environmental Bike Rides have involved thousands of people and have offered many lessons in Jewish living. They have served as a laboratory for volunteer engagement, immersion learning, and inclusive community. In this session well look at some of the lessons of the Rides  interspersed with stories from the Rides, and a whetting of your appetite for the Warsaw to Tel Aviv bike ride (in the works).

Dr. Alon Tal, The Blaustein Institute for Desert Research, Ben Gurion University, founder of the Arava Institute

(M afternoon; Tu morning)

1. Israel/Zionism and Environmentalism (Tues. aft)
The original Zionist impulse involved the Jewish peoples desire to reclaim their role as indigenous people, living harmoniously with their surroundings in their ancient homeland. In fact, Israels environmental record, while mixed, has produced a variety of ecological insults. Israels present environmental crisis is reviewed, its historic and intellectual antecedents discussed and visions of a sustainable Zionist vision for the future considered.

2. The State of Environmental Education in Israel (Monday aft)
In 2007 the results of a 3-year survey of environmental literacy among 6th and 12th graders was presented to the Knessets Education Committee. The studys findings will be presented by the study's director, after a description of the present state of environmental education in Israel. Recommendations by the Ben Gurion University research team for improving the effectiveness of present environmental educational programs in Israel will be described.

Keynote: Tues AM

Whats Jewish About the Environmentan Israeli Perspective
Environmentalism is a phenomenon which has begun to sweep the Jewish world and is manifested in new organizations, initiatives by synagogues and communities as well as extensive personal involvement by Jews around the world in environmental causes. The presentation consider whether there is anything uniquely Jewish about this phenomenon, suggesting six areas where Jewish environmentalism differs from other faith based environmental paradigms.

Green Politics in Israel: Monday Dinner Conversation: Alon and Friends


Noam Dolgin

M, T

1. Elijah's Covenant Between the Generations: A B'nai Mitzvah/Confirmation Program on the Global Climate Crisis (for Bnai Mitvah preparation through Confirmation students)
The prophet Malachi said: "Here! ­ I will send you Elijah the Prophet&so that he will turn the hearts of the parents to the children and the hearts of the children to the parents, lest I come and strike the earth with utter destruction." These words, traditionally read on the Shabbat before Pesach, call out to us also throughout the year, given the challenges we face. The Shalom Center has developed an intergenerational ceremony based on this passage for b¹nai mitzvah and confirmation services, and a four-session curriculum on what Judaism has to say about responding to the global climate crisis "lest the earth be utterly destroyed."

2. Joining the Green Menorah Covenant
Most people are now aware that we face a global climate crisis, but they dont know what to do about it. This workshop presents the Green Menorah Covenant, a program that provides education, texts, and organizational materials for addressing the crisis as a congregation. It will provide resources to synagogues that are appropriate for the religious school, for tikkun olam and environmental committees, boards and building adminstrators, to help congregants address the global climate crisis on individual, institutional and a public policy levels.

Liore Milgrom-Elcott, COEJL
W morning and afternoon

How To Be an Effective Advocate for Climate Change Policy
Last year, the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change declared that evidence of global warming is "unequivocal" and that most of the warming of the past 50 years is very likely due to human-made increases in greenhouse gases. Though it is clear that our government must impose firm limits on greenhouse gas emissions, it has yet to take decisive action. Our leaders rely on the letters, calls, e-mails, faxes and visits they receive to gauge how the voters in their districts are thinking. In this session, COEJL will take you through the steps of effective community organizing and persuasive public advocacy.

2. "Sustainable Synagogues and Institutions"
As we look inward to adjust our personal behavior in response to climate change, we hope that our synagogues and Jewish institutions can model and guide us towards Earth stewardship. In this session, we will delve into the fundamental goals and technical procedures of institutional greening.

Evonne Marzouk, Canfei Nesharim

Tu, W
1. Connecting the Environment To Jewish Holidays: Tu bShvat
For the last four years, Canfei Nesharim has provided model Tu b'Shevat seders (in a one-page format!) that have been organized around the world. Experience a traditional Tu b'Shevat seder with fruit, wine (or juice), and Jewish concepts that relate to the environment. Participants will also learn how to implement the program in their classroom or other community setting.

2. Connecting the Environment To Jewish Holidays: Sukkot
The Talmud says that a person who never saw the Simchat Beit Hashoeva (rejoicing of the water drawing) in the Temple on the holiday of Sukkot has never known true joy. What did our rabbis understand about water that made them express such true joy at something as simple and basic as water?

Wednesday = Jewish Farm Day!

Dr. Shamu Sadeh, Adamah Fellowship

W morning and afternoon
1. Gardening as a Religious Activity, A Jewish Farmer?
What are the religious and spiritual implications of plowing, planting and harvesting? We will look at Biblical and Talmudic texts that explore the religious nature of farming. Participants will have the chance to speak about their own religious experiences working the soil and learn how the Adamah Fellowship is growing Jewish farmer-activists

2. Giving Thanks, Eating and Loving our Neighbors: Global Climate Change
Want to get comfortable teaching Jewishly about climate change? We will cover the basics of what's happening to the climate, explore how Judaism informs a response, and learn about how one Jewish institution (Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center) is being "Greened".

Jakir Manela, Kayam Farm, Pearlstone Retreat Center

Tu aft, W noon
1. Jewish Educational Farms
Kayam Farm at Pearlstone models and inspires social and ecological responsibility by engaging the community in hands-on Jewish agricultural education. Jakir Manela, Kayam Farm Director, will present the origins of the farm, the development of the land, and the growth of Kayam's plethora of Jewish educational activities. Jakir will also teach on the Talmudic laws of Kilayim- mixing- of which the farm contains numerous halachic planting demonstrations.

Jakir Manela, Kayam Farm and Simcha Schwartz, Jewish Farm School

2. Jewish Farm School: Curriculum and Activities
Join the Jewish Farm School and Kayam Farm for an experiential session in Jewish agricultural education. Learn firsthand what innovative Jewish gardening curriculum is out there, and how you can apply it at your school and in your community.

Rabbi Micah Becker-Klein

(Wed) Exploring Eco-Schechitah
Explore the sources and challenges to the process of shechitah.Learn about one apporach to local, sustainable and values driven shecitah, or eco-shechitha. In 2002, while living in southern New Hampshire, I began working together with a Jewish family who were beginning to raise sheep and chickens for consumption. When approached to help bring shechitah/ kosher slaughter to their farm, we began a journey of studying traditional Jewish texts and techniques that led us, after a year of study, to shecht the animals on the farm. Together, we have been practicing eco-shechiatah together for 6 years.

Tuesday Dinner Discussion: Jewish Farmers and Farming
Come join Jewish farmers to discuss bringing Jewish farming to your community

Tues Evening Program: Teva Tunes

Jakir Manela, Simcha Schwartz, Chana Rothman, Nili Simhai
Enjoy the sounds of the Teva Learning Center. Learn the words, melodies and chords, to high-energy songs that will get you on your feet singing and integrate science and Judaic lessons. Tevas new Teva Tunes CD, which will be released in June of 2008, will also be featuring beautiful melodies from Jewish prayers.

Rabbi Mike Comins, Torah Trek

M Am & PM
1. God, Here, Now: A New/Old Jewish Theology for the Age of Global Warming
Just as it is better to help a person in need from a place of love and compassion rather than enlightened self-interest or some other mental abstraction, so too should our efforts to create a sustainable society root themselves in a loving relationship with the natural world. With Heschel and Buber, we explore a deep Jewish ecology. With our biblical ancestors and Jewish mystics, we look for transcendent God not above or behind, but in the world.
2. Jewish Wilderness Spirituality
Torah was given in the wilderness of Sinai. Is this coincidence, or is there a vital connection between Judaism and nature? Just as our ancestors found God before there were prayerbooks and Talmud commentaries, we too can nurture the direct sense of Gods presence in our lives by interacting with the natural world. In this session, we explore the connection between inner and outer geography through the study of traditional and innovative spiritual practices in nature.

Rabbi Shmuel Simenowitz

M: AM and PM
1. Composting with the Mishneh (outdoors at nearby intervael farms or at UVM composting facility  50 -75 people)
A look at the science and art of composting through the lens of the mishnah and Shulchan Aruch (code of Jewish Law  rediscover the wisdom of our ancestors and see how it can be applied to todays waste and energy issues.

2. Teaching how to Fish  primary grade educators  all levels
This workshop will take a close look at the cutting-edge school to farm and farm to school programs run by Project Yaaleh VYavo and will reverse engineer the programs to enable educators to develop their own environmental programming based on local issues and availability of resources and materials.

Rabbi Arthur Waskow, The Shalom Center

M: 11:40 session

1. Elijah's Covenant Between the Generations: A B'nai Mitzvah/Confirmation Program on the Global Climate Crisis (for Bnai Mitvah preparation through Confirmation students)
The prophet Malachi said: "Here! ­ I will send you Elijah the Prophet&so that he will turn the hearts of the parents to the children and the hearts of the children to the parents, lest I come and strike the earth with utter destruction." These words, traditionally read on the Shabbat before Pesach, call out to us also throughout the year, given the challenges we face. The Shalom Center has developed an intergenerational ceremony based on this passage for b¹nai mitzvah and confirmation services, and a four-session curriculum on what Judaism has to say about responding to the global climate crisis "lest the earth be utterly destroyed."

Rabbi Michael Cohen, Arava Institute for Environmental Studies

Say You Want A Revelation or Why Revelation needs a Desert
This session will look at matan torah, the giving of the Torah, and explore why the Torah was given in the desert as well as the other issues that point raises from an environmental perspective. Participants will be given concrete teaching ideas from this session that they can use back in their own classroom. This will be an interactive session that will take place in and outside of the classroom. Aides to the discussion will include Cecil B. DeMille, Charlton Heston, Steven Spielberg, Moses, Rashi, and the Talmud.