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Topic: Detroit

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Hazon Detroit: Ethical Meat Buying Club: Deadline to Order 4/7

Dear friends, At the core of Judaism is the sacred task of aligning our daily actions with our deepest values. And what daily action is more Jewish than eating?! So then what does it do to the joy of our Shabbat dinner or the holiness of our Passover seder, if we sit down to eat chicken that has been raised in a factory farm, or brisket from a cow that never saw the sun? It is hard to live in a world where the most common and readily available meat we can find almost always comes from sources that none of us would objectively support. It makes honoring ourselves, our families, the earth, all living beings, and the Jewish tradition eminently challenging. Luckily, we can take a step in right direction! Join aspirational eaters from across the metro-Detroit Jewish community in the launch of the Kol Foods Hillel Day School meat buying club, offering greater access to higher-welfare kosher meat that is 100% grass-fed, humanely raised on farms using regenerative farming practices, and ethically produced. As you may know, Hillel Day School switched over to this meat for its lunch program earlier this year. Now, the same items are available […]

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Hazon Detroit: Of Spirit and of Seed

Dear Friends, As you know, it’s been gray and rainy since November. Not as much snow as some years, but cold, drizzly, damp, and long. We’ve been cooped up indoors trying to find outlets for excess energy, and yet seasons are seasons and we can only do so much to buck the natural order of things. So for months now, we’ve been waiting around as the days grow darker and the nights grow longer, biding time patiently for the vernal release. And then, just like that we turned the clocks ahead and all of a sudden it’s light at 7:30pm and 32 degrees and sunny feels balmy and 40s and 50s are in the forecast and thank goodness, spring is coming! It’s in the full moon midst of this pent up vitality that Purim comes along with its burlesque theatrics and carnival conviviality, a cure for the common case of spring fever. We dance through distinctions and imbibe in creative intuition, recalling a fantastical and topsy turvy drama of inner-court intrigue and epic reversals of fate and fortune that cunningly parallel the natural world, paving the way for our people’s near-genocide to become our jubilant celebration of national triumph. In […]

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Hazon Detroit: Leaping Towards Connection

Dear Friends, We are now firmly in the month of February, a 28 day month in most years, that becomes 29 days in years that are multiples of four. Of course, this phenomenon is known as a “leap year.” And while 2019 is not a leap year in the Gregorian calendar, it is in the Hebrew calendar. Seven times every 19 years, the Hebrew calendar adds an extra month, known as Adar rishon (the first Adar), that precedes the standard Adar (which becomes Adar sheni, or the second Adar). Thus, Adar, the month that brings with it increased joy and the popular holiday of Purim, gets doubled up for double the joy over double the days. But why all the complicated math? Why do we have leap years in the first place? According to Wikipedia: “A leap year (also known as an intercalary year or bissextile year) is a calendar year containing…in the case of the Hebrew lunisolar calendar, a month added to keep the calendar year synchronized with the astronomical or seasonal year. Because seasons and astronomical events do not repeat in a whole number of days, calendars that have the same number of days in each year drift over time with respect to the event that the […]

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Hazon Detroit: Growth Ring Blessings

Dear Friends, At sunset this Sunday, January 20th, we will usher  in Tu B’Shvat, one of the four new years on the Jewish calendar. Just like our secular calendar has multiple year cycles—think calendar year, fiscal year, school year—so too, our Jewish calendar has multiple year cycles: birth of the world, birth of the Jewish people, the first of Elul, and Tu B’Shvat. Tu B’Shvat, named for its calendrical date – the 15th of Shvat – celebrates the birthday of the trees. Just like our birthdays mark a year of growth for us, in a symbolic way, Tu B’Shvat serves the same purpose for trees, marking another year of their growth. Regardless of when during the year a particular tree was planted in ancient times, its first birthday was always tallied on its first Tu B’Shvat. In this way, Tu B’Shvat might be considered the day when a tree symbolically forms its next ring. We have reached the cold months of winter when, like us, trees actually slow down for a period of internal hibernation. In cold winters, growth within a tree slows to a slogging crawl, before picking back up again when the temperatures rise. In fact, it is […]

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Light In The Dark | D’varim HaMakom: The JOFEE Fellows Blog

Ilana Unger – Pearlstone Center Parshat Vayeishev In parshat Vayeishev (Genesis 37:1-40:23), lands on the third Shabbat of Kislev, we connect deeply to this Jewish month of actualization and revelation. For example: Vayeishev is the Hebrew word for “and he lived” (actualization) and nine out of the ten dreams that we read in the Torah are in this month (revelation). To recap the many things that happen in this parsha: Joseph is exiled and sold into slavery in Egypt by his brothers. Joseph is then falsely accused of sexually assaulting Potiphar’s wife and is sent to the Pharaoh’s prison where he becomes an overseer in the prison. He is joined in prison by the Pharaoh’s butler and baker. They say they have had vivid dreams and are looking for an interpreter. Joseph interprets their dreams and accurately does so, predicting that the baker be hanged while the butler will be restored to his job duties. As Joseph is literally in a dark place in the prison, he is selfless and wants to hear and listen to how he can help the butler and baker. Kislev, which derives from the Hebrew word kesel (כֶּסֶל), means either “security,” or “trust.” Joseph seems to […]

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Detroit Newsletter: Drops of water

Dear Friends, Last night at sundown, we concluded the Jewish lunar month of Cheshvan, the first month following High Holidays and the only month on our calendar without a Jewish holiday. For this reason, there’s a tradition dating back to the Mishnah(~200 CE) of calling this month Marcheshvan, meaning “bitter Cheshvan” (mar like marror on Passover). This bitterness seems to have been reflected all around us these last thirty days. Here in Michigan, the leaves started turning, and then falling. We turned our clocks back, and all of the sudden it’s dark by 5:30pm. There’s a chill in the air we haven’t felt since the final snow melted late last winter. And most bitter of all, we’ve faced numerous heartbreaking tragedies as a Jewish community and a country. However, there is another interpretation of mar that may provide us some clarity and hope – mar can also mean “drop,” as in a drop of water. During this month, mar is our prayer for rain and the month when Noah’s flood swept through the land. When read with this in mind, we begin to understand that we must act and live with a sense of sacred responsibility, adding our drop to the turbulent waters of this historical moment, trusting that with enough drops comes […]

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Hazon Detroit at Interfaith Justice Speak-Out

Hazon Detroit is proud to have stood alongside so many powerful faith leaders on November 1, 2018 at the Islamic House of Wisdom in Dearborn to denounce white nationalism, show support for the Jewish community, and affirm solidarity for all those who are targets of hate. Praying for a time when these gatherings might be prompted not by hate, but only by love. To see more from the speak-out, click here or here, and read Rabbi Nate DeGroot’s full remarks below.   Thank you Imam Elahi and the Islamic House of Wisdom for having me here today. I wish I was here for a different reason – but we’re alive in this moment – And so I am grateful to be here with you this afternoon in heartbreak and solidarity And I am humbled to be up here, amongst such respected colleagues and fellow travelers. — I was asked today to speak on how the Jewish community is feeling in this moment, And I will do my best to articulate some of that. But capturing the sentiments of an entire people is an impossible task – Since I can only truly speak to how I am feeling, And even that […]

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Fear and light

by Nigel Savage Thursday, November 16, 2017 | 27 Cheshvan 5778 Dear All, It’s Rosh Chodesh Kislev this weekend. Light in the darkness. I say: Bring it on. That was my first thought. And my second was: What’s the line between cliché and language that is alive and real? I feel this at the moment. “Light in the darkness” is both incredibly clichéd, and also the most real and vital thing we need to hear right now. The present undercurrent, the theme tune to our lives, stronger each day, is fear. It manifests in all directions. Globalization and technology and jobs at stake, across the western world – thus fear of the future, fear for family finances, fears for retirement, fears for health. Climate change and the environment and all of that. Fears for and about Israel. The fear that an African American parent feels if their teenager gets pulled over by the police, and says the wrong thing. The fears of an Israeli soldier, manning a checkpoint, as a Palestinian comes towards him; and the fears of a Palestinian coming towards the Israeli soldier. The newish fear that we might have a war with or about North Korea. Fears […]

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When 6,500 people come together

by Judith Belasco September 7th, 2017 | 16 Elul 5777 Dear All, Dreams (and dreamers) are being seemingly pushed aside. Storms are raging wilder and fiercer as the climate changes. Difference is being aligned with fear. We must find ways to open our doors to each other even more widely. We need to create more entry points to connect with each other and with those whom we might think of as other. Last week, when 6,500 people came together in Detroit for the 2nd annual Michigan Jewish Food Festival, we aimed to let the whole community in. Here is more from Sue Salinger, Director of Hazon Detroit, about the festival. — As we do our inner preparations during Elul – our return-to-who-we-are, our repair work between each other – according to our teacher Reb Zalman zt’l, we’re already building the world to come: the world we want to live in. Sometimes if we pay enough attention, we get to catch a glimpse, a hint of that world. August 27, 2017 was the second annual Michigan Jewish Food Festival, and what a delicious taste we got of the world as it could be! An estimated 6,500 people came together from across Metro Detroit […]

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Reflection on Returning to Detroit

by Zoe McCoon, Hazon Detroit Summer 2017 Rabbinic Fellow After finishing my first year of rabbinical school, I had mixed feelings about leaving Jerusalem – a place I found filled with spiritual energy and fervor… and yet, I was counting down the days until I could be back in Detroit. Detroit itself has a special spiritual energy and flavor that I was craving to return to. Detroit, a place I often call “My family’s Jerusalem,” is the place my family settled to when they came from Europe, it is the place both my grandfather and my mom grew up, and it is a place that I keep finding myself returning to when I want to learn, grow, and ground myself. Having been a Hazon Detroit Fellow before entering rabbinical school, I had already fallen in love with the holy work Hazon Detroit does in Detroit and the Metro-Detroit area bringing people together through taking care of the Earth, being outside, and living Jewishly. I was especially enamored with Oakland Avenue Urban Farm – one of our close partner organizations. March 23rd marked one month since returning back to Hazon Detroit, and I continue to be excited about the work I […]

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Recycling at Adat Shalom

During their first year, Adat Shalom Synagogue in Farmington Hills, MI has proven itself to be a real asset to the Hazon Seal of Sustainability Cohort 2016! From their efforts towards implementing better recycling policies, to using only recyclable paper products at events, we’re excited to continue supporting their progress over the next year. Much of Adat Shalom’s sustainability work focuses on community participation and awareness.  “Our focus is to make members more aware of the importance of taking care of the environment in which we all share,” says Susan Shevrin, Congregation Liason.  Increasing awareness of recycling and improving recycling procedures throughout the entire building was not just a sustainable practice itself, but it provided learning opportunities for members of Adat Shalom.  During Adat Shalom’s Annual Volunteer Day in December 2016, the synagogue hosted Hazon representatives who worked with youth to create recycling boxes for every classroom. In addition to their exceptional recycling work, Adat Shalom is updating their lighting to run more efficiently, and they are hoping to replace all fluorescents and CFL lighting with LED and/ or energy cost saving lighting. Kol HaKavod to Susan Shevrin and the rest of the Green Team at Adat Shalom for their […]

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Green Kiddush at Shaarey Tzedek

Congregation Shaarey Zedek in Southfield, MI is setting the bar for sustainability high with their excellent work as a member of the Hazon Seal of Sustainability Cohort 2016! Between planning their first Green Kiddush, to using only glass mugs and recyclable paper products at events, there seems to be no limit on what they can achieve. After completing the Hazon Seal Audit, the Green Team at Shaarey Zedek immediately replaced all Styrofoam cups in the Berman Center of Education with glass cups that the congregation had in storage.  They also made sure that the congregation’s clergy team spoke about the Green Team and its work during a Shabbat sermon, to get everyone excited about greening and increase awareness of the important work the Green Team does. Shaarey Zedek’s Green Kiddush and Tu B’shvat Seder on the Shabbat of Tu B’shvat was also well-received.  Wren Beaulieu-Hack – Director of the Berman Center for Jewish Education at Shaarey Zedek – says that “The day we spent celebrating Tu B’Shvat, as a community was the most successful project we’ve completed thus far.  It was wonderful to see our congregants talking with each other about environmental issues through a Jewish lens and to see […]

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Grappling with the Ark of Responsibility – D’varim HaMakom: The JOFEE Fellows Blog

Bailey Lininger, Tamarack Camps – Bloomfield Hills, MI Parashat Noach Editor’s Note: Welcome to D’varim HaMakom: The JOFEE Fellows Blog! Most weeks throughout the year, you’ll be hearing from the JOFEE Fellows: reflections on their experiences, successful programs they’ve planned and implemented, gleanings from the field, and connections to the weekly Torah portion and what they’ve learned from their experiences with place in their host communities for the year. Views expressed are the author’s and do not necessarily represent Hazon. Be sure to check back weekly!  P.S. Interested in being or hosting a JOFEE Fellow? Applications for cohort two are now open for both prospective fellows and prospective host institutions and will continue to be reviewed as positions are available. Some days, my job makes me feel like Noah, stocking his Ark full of animals before the flood, the weight of the world’s responsibility on my shoulders. Let me explain: At Tamarack Camps, where I’m placed as a JOFEE fellow, I have the good fortune of being the supervisor of Tamarack’s brand new nature center: The Teva Center. Just finished in June 2016, we’ve slowly but surely been filling with new animal residents ever since. Our goal is a nature center filled with […]

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Upside Down and Open Hearted – D’varim HaMakom: The JOFEE Fellows Blog

Emily Glick, Hazon – Teva Programs Parshat Shoftim Editor’s Note: Welcome to D’varim HaMakom: The JOFEE Fellows Blog! Most weeks throughout the year, you’ll be hearing from the JOFEE Fellows: reflections on their experiences, successful programs they’ve planned and implemented, gleanings from the field, and connections to the weekly Torah portion and what they’ve learned from their experiences with place in their host communities for the year. Be sure to check back weekly!  P.S. Interested in being or hosting a JOFEE Fellow? Applications for cohort two are now open for both prospective fellows and prospective host institutions!  My debut expedition as Teva’s first JOFEE Fellow began in a transformational grease machine / holy mobile space most commonly known to the greater world as the Topsy Turvy Bus. Having just completed a three-week JOFEE Fellowship orientation and training intensive seminar, I was leading our seven-week Mayim l’Mayim themed bus tour fueled on used cooking oil, holy vibes, and Torah – not to mention the passion of our 5 radiantly unique bus educators, all of whom brought skills and essential senses of humor that our tour would not have succeeded without. Our team performed in camp talent shows; saw shooting stars; wrote songs about […]

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