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for Shawn of JRF, Stacey and Fletcher of GreenFaith, and anyone else interested –I’m using wordpress as a file-sharing tool to put out my draft of tonight’s webinar…. thanks…. FSD for JRF-GreenFaith 2012 2
Registration is now rolling, through mid-March. Pictures are in the previous post; details are HERE. Hope you’ll join us July 8-20 or 8-22! Most of what you need to know is below; more, including detailed itinerary, is at http://www.adatshalom.net; register soon at http://www.keshetisrael.co.il/forms/keshet-groups-registration…
Please join Rabbi Fred, the wonderful folks of Keshet Israel Tours,
and each other, for Adat Shalom Reconstructionist Congregation’s
2012 Israel Trip –
for Adults & for Families
including family & friends of Adat Shalomers;
including members of other JRF & area shuls!
July 8th-22nd (or 8th-20th), 2012
Why THIS Israel Trip?
• A tour guide and a youth counsellor ensures a rich experience for adults and kids alike
• Tour guide, youth counsellor, and Rabbi will ensure multiple perspectives and insights
• We’ll cover a lot of the land, rural to urban, desert to forest, while keeping costs down
• A great trip for first-timers, covering many highlights, without sacrificing depth
• Great for Israel returnees as well, with many new angles, locales, and experiences
• Insights on key social and political issues, along with deep Jewish history and text
• We know and trust Keshet Tours, and it will be great
• No time like the present!
Where Will We Go?
• Two nights in Ein Gedi, exploring the Dead Sea, oases, Masada, desert hikes, and more
• One night in Beersheva, seeing that vibrant metropolis as well as Sde Boker, Bedouin communities, etc
• Three nights in Tel Aviv, seeing the wonder of modern Israel, including fabulous new experiences
• Two nights up north, by the Galilee, exploring Tzfat, the Golan, Israel-Arab issues, meeting pioneers, and more
• Two nights in Jerusalem, covering some less obvious and newly-opened sites, plus old favorites
• Optional final two more nights in Yerushalayim, exploring the New & Old cities with Rabbi Fred
How Much Will the Trip Itself Cost?
• Basic Land Package for July 8th-20th, per-person with double-occupancy, is $2159
• Add about $300 per-person for additional meals, gratuities, incidentals
• We need 40 paying participants to keep that price; it goes up with fewer, to cover fixed costs
• Adults & teens are priced the same; 3rd adult or teen in a room is $130 off
• A child age 2-12 accompanying two adults is $375 off
• Families of four have options, depending on kids’ ages, usually ~$400 off
• Limited single supplements are available for those interested, for $600 more
• Final 48 hours in Jerusalem, at the lovely Mt Zion Hotel, $280 per person* including shabbat dinner
• (*Single supplement $160; 3rd child discount $140; 3rd adult discount $60; Quad discount for 2 children ages 2-12 $140 per family)
What About Airfare?
• Group airfare, on El Al from JFK to TLV (and American for DCA-JFK), is $1830 per person
(Well-timed flights, landing at Ben Gurion at 12:25pm on July 9th, and leaving at 1:00am (just after shabbat) July 20th or 22nd)
• If you have frequent flyer miles and can use them, do! Many folks have done so successfully
• Feel free to find your own itinerary – individuals and families can often find less expensive flights
(just land by 12:30 on the 9th – cheaper itineraries available if you’re flexible, especially on Turkish Air, or flying from JFK…)
What are the Next Steps?
• Ask any questions you have of Rabbi Fred, or the Israel Connection Committee
• REGISTER ONLINE at http://www.keshetisrael.co.il/forms/keshet-groups-registration
• Registration is rolling, through mid-March; until then, all but $100 of deposit remains refundable
• Reconstructionist folks, local shul members, and family and friends of Adat Shalomers, are welcome too!
• Register soonest to reserve your place; don’t wait for March 16th, or after the bus fills, when registration closes…
• Plan now! Next year in Israel!
TAR SANDS, CLIMATE, and ELUL: how a destructive source of oil and dangerous pipeline violate basic religious and human values; why stabilizing the climate is a moral imperative
(from Fred as an individual and as a Religious Witness for the Earth co-Chair, not from Fred as rabbi of any given Bethesda shul or leader of any particular NGO…
As we parted ways in the late 1980’s, my high school friends thought to set up a betting pool — when would Fred first get arrested in some protest? To everyone’s surprise, it took until a decade ago, at the dawn of the Bush Administration’s tragic inaction on climate change and short-sighted desire to drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, with my colleagues from Religious Witness for the Earth. Later today, the RWE banner again unfurls in Washington, and I will risk arrest for a second time — again with a huge contingent of faith leaders; again for the sake of the Earth and all its inhabitants.
This time, it’s over the destructive Keystone XL Pipeline project, slated to carry toxic ‘bitumen’ (a low grade of oil extracted out of tarry earth) from the Tar Sands region of Alberta Canada, south across the great plains and the vital Ogallala aquifer, all the way to the Gulf Coast near Houston.
Yes, the mining of the bitumen devastates the boreal forest (a key carbon sink and important ecosystem), along with the First Nations people who live in the Tar Sands region. Yes, this pipeline is likely to spill on its route (its smaller predecessor pipeline has spilled almost monthly in its first year), with profound impacts. Yes, our group will be chanting “heal the planet…stop the pipeline”.
Oil production and transport is not my field; faith is. Though I’m no fan of the proposed pipeline, my own personal witness is against the larger scourge of climate change – and the sad reality that most of us are complicit in it, aware of the damage we’re doing yet unwilling to make major changes in our lifestyle. I risk arrest to rededicate myself to doing the right thing, and hopefully to help motivate others to do more for tikkun olam (repairing the world), as well.
In political terms, the narrow issue is tricky: geopolitically, Canadian oil beats that which we still import from the Middle East in vast quantities. But from a sustainability standpoint, the entire status quo is untenable, un-sacred. The Keystone XL Pipeline will only exacerbate matters, since getting usable oil out of bitumen is over three times more carbon-intensive than the standard ‘drill baby drill’ stuff. Literally tons of earth must be moved and processed to get just one barrel of oil from the tar sands.
Maybe we’ll stop the Pipeline – as you can see at www.tarsandsaction.org, the effort is mammoth. And it’s promising, since the decision to allow it lies solely with this Administration (thus our chant across from the White House will include “keep your promise”). I pray that we succeed: NASA climatologist James Hansen, who plans to join the faith contingent today, claims that the XL Keystone’s steady flow of tar sands oil would be all but ‘game over’ for efforts to curb climate change before catastrophic ill effects begin. You can help by signing the petition at http://act.350.org/sign/tar-sands/ — please do.
And perhaps, despite our best efforts to hold President Obama to his pledges to turn around the juggernaut of climate change on his watch, we won’t succeed. Maybe the pipeline will be built over the uniform objection of the environmental community. But even if so, this enormous wave of environmental civil disobedience will still have upped the ante, establishing that inaction too carries a price, and demonstrating the resolve of those who actually oppose the decimation of our global life support system.
That’s why I’ll be standing in front of the White House with Sister Marie Dennis of the Maryknoll Office on Global Concerns, who says “I’m risking arrest because I owe it to my children and grandchildren” (http://blog.sojo.net/2011/08/24/hubble-hubble-climate-trouble/). That’s why I’m following Lawrence MacDonald (not the only member of Temple Rodef Shalom in Falls Church VA arrested earlier this week), who like me holds that “the details of the Tar Sands and the XL Pipeline matter less than the urgent need to shift to a post-carbon energy future. The Tar Sands XL Pipeline sit-ins at the White House this month are an opportunity to finally begin to match my knowledge about climate change with action” (http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/08/14/1006884/-Stop-Tar-Sands:-While-I).
And that’s why I urge everyone to join the effort – stopping this pipeline, sure, but more so our entire approach to energy, our insatiable appetite for that which destroys at it powers. (As a friend from synagogue who used to be in the oil industry notes, best of all for the environment “was the recent deal the Obama Administration made to increase vehicle mileage standards; that will do more long term to help the planet than [stopping] all the tar sands projects put together. We need more of that…” Amen.)
It’s fitting that our party of over 40 faith leaders (along with scores more risking arrest today) will, if all goes well, be released late this afternoon or early this evening. With sundown tonight we enter Rosh Hodesh Elul, the Jewish festival celebrating the arrival of the penitential month. Elul readies us for the season of tshuvah – of repentance, turning, change – that follows. Tonight marks one month to go until Rosh Hashanah, forty days until Yom Kippur.
Change, repentance, is needed all around. Where we have over-consumed, let us scale back. Where we have ignored the cries of Creation, let us now heed them. Where we have failed to ‘love our neighbor as ourselves’ – including our impoverished global neighbors who live near sea level with no defense against rising oceans and increased storms – let us re-align our actions with this excellent biblical advice. Where we have chewed through the planet’s resources and absorptive capacity with no regard for the future, let us now take seriously our responsibility to be stewards of Creation l’dor vador, from generation to generation. Only by seriously starting our sustainability efforts will we inscribe others into the Book of Life – and only then will be deserve to be written into that good book ourselves.
– Rabbi Fred Scherlinder Dobb is a Co-Chair of Religious Witness for the Earth (www.rwearth.org). He is also, for identification purposes only, Rabbi of Adat Shalom Reconstructionist Congregation in Bethesda Maryland (www.adatshalom.net); chair of Greater Washington Interfaith Power and Light (www.gwipl.org); and on the Governance Committee of the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life (www.coejl.org). Like Sister Marie, he is doing this for Sara and Gili, ages 6 and 2, and all who may come after them.
HAPPY UPDATE LATER THAT DAY:
In a beautiful ceremony, 138 climate change activists were arrested today in front of the White House, with hundreds more attending in solidarity. And with credit to the talented National Lawyers’ Guild, the kind and thoughtful-as-possible US Park Police, and the fabulous Tar Sands organizers, all of us (minus one who chose otherwise) were out well before 5pm… As I offered at the interfaith service before our rally/witness, we should be grateful for all that we have (and committed to extending it to others in turn), including the relative freedoms in this land whereby most of us can risk arrest without personally risking all that much, unlike so much of the rest of the world.
The quote of the day comes from Sam Novey, cited on his sister (and my colleague & friend who was also arrested today) Joelle’s facebook page: “It was kind of intense when the police started coming toward us, but I was standing between two Franciscan friars, a rabbi, and [NASA climate scientist] James Hansen. I thought, ‘I am definitely right on this one.’” How honored I am to have been that rabbi
Bottom line: this civil disobedience action went unbelievably well; except for 90 minutes handcuffed in the police wagon, which even then was meaningful and connective, nothing was at all uncomfortable or challenging. We don’t deserve any particular kudos for ‘putting ourselves on the line’; we risked arrest, paid $100 each, and were home well before dinner. The value in this action lies primarily in the re-dedication it sparks in the participants, the witnesses, and in you who hear the story to do a bit more to conserve, to advocate, to move our lives and our world a bit closer to sustainability and sacredness.
A huge shout-out to Rose Berger of Sojouners and Tim Kumfer of Church of the Savior — they had an inkling to organize an interfaith contingent at the Tar Sands action, and made it happen, and it was amazing. What an honor to have done this with fellow GW-IPL (like Father Jacek from St Camillus and Pam Spaar from the UU community) and local Jewish (like Laura Bellows of the Teva Learning Center and Reb David Shneyer of Am Kolel) folks… and thanks too to all the wonderful supporters in the crowd, whose presence and song and witnessing-our-witness were so meaningful… Keep up the good work, everyone!
Thanks much to GW-IPL’s Josef Lorentz for these photos, too:
So our great goal to keep this site updated failed miserably once paternity leave ended and parenting began in earnest — now, after a crazy long hiatus, finally a few favorites from 2011 so far:
Recent highlights included Colonial Williamsburg with our MSP family:
Installing solar panels on our roof at Adat Shalom (at 43kw, the largest array on any religious building in Metro DC!):
And a few quiet days in a rented cabin in WV before returning to a routine of hurricanes, earthquakes, and High Holy Day prep:
Blessings on you & yours!
Nearly 5 months now, and hale and healthy — Gili is beginning to get into a developmentally-appropriate routine of eating, burping, eating more, smiling and cooing, getting fussy, then falling asleep, with cycle repeating on average every four hours (a bit longer if we’re lucky at night, with some diaper changes thrown in for good measure). Mostly he’s just a great baby with a good disposition; it’s amazing to look at the old posts when his medical situation was at the fore, since that has so receded. Some recent pix:
“Sustained Sustainability: Eco-Judaism in the Pulpit, Enriched with Interfaith Intersections” — at long last, it’s done, and this thesis now makes me a ‘Doctor of Ministry’ (graduation photos below!). It covers a lot of ground, and pieces of this will hopefully get reworked toward publication. But meanwhile, there should be useful nuggets here for those interested in eco-Judaism and eco-religion, so I’m happy to post it (chapter-by-chapter, below; press CTRL-click over each hyperlink). Highlights and ‘conclusions’ are in Chapter 10, a good place to start, which you can read here:
Should you want still more information, Chapter 1 gives guidance about where to go within the thesis, based on your interest — for instance:
if you want ready-to-go handouts/shiurim/study-sheets, go right to Appendices B & C (12 FSD Thesis APPENDIX B — GREEN CONG DOCS (pp 271-307), 13 FSD Thesis ECO-SHIURIM w mirror margins (but without page numbers; pp 309-377));
for details on green buildings, Chapter 8 (8 FSD Thesis GREENING CONGREGATIONS (pp 153-192));
for an overview of Jewish-ecological values and texts, Chapter 4 (4 FSD Thesis TEXT-THEOLOGY (pp 57-72));
for nuanced metaphorical eco-theology built around the Hebrew calendar’s cycle of holidays, Chapters 5 & 6 (5 FSD Thesis METAPHORICAL ECO-THEOLOGY 1 (pp 73-94), 6 FSD Thesis METAPHORICAL ECO-THEOLOGY 2 (pp 95-128));
for an annotated bibliography of key Jewish, Christian, and interfaith ecological works, Chapter 3 (3 FSD Thesis LIT REVIEW (pp 21-55));
….and so on…. The entire (way-too-long!) thesis is posted below, after the photographic proof (soft-sided hexagon cap and all) that I’m now “Doctor Rabbi”… Please let me know if you’re able to make use of any of this! Thanks for your interest in religion and sustainability — enjoy…
…and it’s amazing how normal things are! Gili is over 8 pounds, and gaining steadily, even if he does linger on each bottle (by falling asleep mid-feeding); Sara is going semi-pro as a burper, feeder, and entertainer; Minna and Fred are in a rhythm of sorts of who gets less sleep on which nights; etc. And a week goes by without the burning need to document his every expression in megapixels! So below, a few highlights from his naming and bris on his 8th day in the Scherlinder household, 4/13/09:
Ceremony text at Brit Ben for Gilad Martin Scherlinder — 4-13-2009
A picture is worth a thousand words, we’re told, so here’s 10K’s worth…. visual proof that we’ve sprung baby Gili from the hospital, transported him across state lines, had his ecstatic big sister feed him his first bottle at home, and already begun not sleeping well! A brilliant pre-Pesach miracle. (The current plan is to “bless the son” at shul next Monday, his 8th full-day with us, around 3:30pm; email us for details)…..
That’s us — “all four Scherlinders” (yes we’re running!), and two Helpers, out and about for the first time ever. And below is the ‘discharge’ photo:
We love the connection Sara has with Gili. Witness:
And the same goes for his grandparents, Nana & Papa:
Much more to be said, but we’ll do it down the line. For now we look forward to thinking in 3-4-hour intervals, being zonked out tired between feedings, reveling in the sweet cuteness of our infant son, paying extra attention to our super Sara, and having the time of our lives….