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Earth Month 2021

In April, 2021, BI's adult education committee organized a series of classes and discussions connected with the themes of earth month. You can find the resources and recordings below.

Audio Recordings are available to logged-in members of Beth Israel.  Please log in and then return to this page, and the Recordings section will then be visible.

Creating your own Jewish ecotheology with Rabbi Nathan

April 4 & April 18, 2021

Ecotheology explores our relationship to the planet and the divine. This series will focus on looking at  some of the paradigms of this relationship in Jewish tradition -- both historical and contemporary. You will have the opportunity to begin to discover and develop your own eco-theological perspectives.

Session 1

Session 2

How does the past shape our responses to global warming and species extinction today?

April 11, 2021

Julian Yates in collaboration with Jeffrey J. Cohen, Dean of the Humanities, Arizona State University, has embarked on a book titled, Noah’s Arkive: On Ecology of Refuge, which examines the way contemporary initiatives to combat the effects of global warming and the emerging genre of Cli(mate) Fi(ction) engage with the story of Noah’s Ark. The book traces the way the elements of the flood story as they have been transmitted by medieval and early modern traditions in art, text, and music shape writing and thinking that plot a response to anthropogenic climate change. They contend that the rich medieval and early modern afterlife of the Genesis narrative offers forgotten strands of thought, forgotten elaborations of the story, written from the perspective of Noah’s wife and family, the animals on the ark, and crucially those excluded and so left behind to die, that speak more eloquently and compellingly to the ethical and political burdens of living through the Anthropocene than otherwise routine invocations of the flood story in contemporary culture and science evince. Noah’s Arkive recovers these forgotten strands; charts where and how they resurface; and considers how they might lead us to imagine a more capacious and hospitable discourse of refuge.

Beth Israel member Julian Yates is H. Fletcher Brown Professor of English and Material Culture Studies at the University of Delaware. His books include: Error, Misuse, Failure: Object Lessons from the English Renaissance (2003), which was a finalist for the Modern Language Association’s Best First Book Prize; What’s the Worst Thing You Can Do to Shakespeare? (2013) co-authored with Richard Burt; Object-Oriented Environs in Early Modern England (2016), co-edited with Jeffrey J. Cohen; and Of Sheep, Oranges, and Yeast: A Multispecies Impression (2017), which was awarded the Michelle Kendrick Memorial Book Prize by the Society for the Study of Literature, Science, and the Arts. 

If you would like to find out about some of our recent research trips to modern-day arks, you can do so via these online photo essays from our visits:

Discussion of documentary Film "Kiss the Ground" with Steve Linville, Rabbi Nathan, and others

April 25th, 2021

Kiss the Ground, is a film that is featured by Interfaith Power and Light (IPL) as part of its Faith Climate Action Week programming. The film focuses on the opportunities around transitioning to regenerative agriculture and improving our soils, an important part of our global response to climate change.  

We are pleased to have Steve Linville, owner of Linvilla Orchards, our next-door 300-acre family farm neighbor, join us for our conversation. He will offer some of his reactions to the film and reflections on his work around soil regeneration as a local farmer. 

Thu, November 30 2023 17 Kislev 5784