As editor of the Jewish Vegetarians of North America newsletter, I often include items relating Jewish teachings to environmental threats. I have found Canfei Nesharim's material very valuable for this. I often read their divrei Torah related to the weekly Torah readings and their valuable holiday material. Their material on Ti B'Shvat has been helpful as I prepare for annual Tu B'Shvat seders.
I attended a Canfei Nesharim Shabbaton at a Chabad. Evonne Marzouk did a wonderful job laying out her case for the Torah values that show Jews should be living an environmentally-sensitive life. She did this in a way that was clear, concise and accessible to Orthodox Jews who may not have heard this information before. She also gave the audience concrete ways that they could make their way of life more environmentally-sensitive.
Canfei Nesharim has particpated with school and synagogue programs in Sharon, MA. The staff has ben personable and actively gathers feedback to is used to revise programs and services.
I have seen much of the education materials of Canfei Nesharim and they are approachable and stellar. Their presence on facebook has also kept me connected to all of the programming they do throughout the year and the resources they offer to individuals and synagogues. Their materials have inspired me to be more mindful about my footprint not only as a human being but as a Jew.
Canfei Nesharim is the finest organization I know which educates the public about Judaism and the environment. Their educational materials are superior, and their commitment to raising the level of sustainability in our planet is amazing. Rabbi Dov Peretz Elkins RabbiElkins@gmail.com 609-306-6082 Princeton NJ 08542
Caring for the environment and conservation are hot button topics in today's stressed out world. Resources and species are being exploited to depletion and extinction. Pollution is rampant. Many NGOs have keyed in on helping correct our excesses and their impact for our future on earth. Canfei Nesharim has courageously opened up and brought to our attention a "new" very important aspect - conservation and care for the world as a religious imperative. It is fundamental to our faith's dealing with the creations of the Lord. We are commanded not to waste. We are commanded in wartime to preserve fruit trees even when needed for battlefield implements. And we, in probably the first recorded ecology law found in the Five Books of Moses, are taught soldiers going into battle are required to carry and use a tool to insure personal hygiene by burying their waste products. Such consideration for the world is not new to Judaism! However, we have lost our position as Light unto the Nations. Ecology appears on the scene as a popular secular value when in fact it is of divine inspiration. Confei Nesharim re-acquaints us to our proper behavior, has assembled and developed many religious resources, and inspires us that it is not just another worthy popular cause. Tikun Olam - repairing the world - is a fundamental aspect of our Jewish heritage which we must rediscover in each of us. It is our responsibility as Jews. Confei Nesharim with its many imaginative outreach programs is majorly contributing to addressing environmental issues. And having us do so as proud contributing Jews.
I'm trying to learn how to be a leader in my personal communities -- the school where I work and the synagogue I attend -- and Canfei Nesharim helps push me to do that with both tools and encouragement.
They are very thoughtful and offer well researched materials related to Jewish learning and values regarding the environment. They understand that linking ideas and cultural/religious values to action can lead to real behavioral change, and are open to honest suggestions that help them do it better.
Canfei Nesharim has been able to take groups that are interested in the enviroment but do not know what they can do that will fit into their busy lifestyle. Many other organizations have big programs that need many people. This organization not only can tell you why you should care about the enviroment but easy ways to do it during each day.
Canfei Nesharim has dramatically expanded my understanding of how Jewish Values and Laws dictate environmental consciousness. The range of materials and programs that Canfei Nesharim produces, and the depth of analysis has greatly contributed to the integration of this perspective into my life and the daily life of many others in my community. I have been involved with this organization for over five years and have watched it grow into a powerful presence on the environmental and Jewish scene.
Canfei Nesharim reminds me of "The Little Engine that Could". They have managed with little funding and a small staff to make great strides. Canfei was founded by a small, passionate group who believe in the inherent link between religious Judaism and caring for the environment. Canfei Nesharim authored and published the most comprehensive and definitive writings on this topic and then proceded to organize simple campaigns of action that enable Jews to observe the mitzvot of protecting the environment. Canfei Nesharim works collaboratively with the rest of the growing Jewish environmental movement. They have an important niche to fill and they fill it well.