Action for Tu B'Shvat: Suggestions from COEJL

Action for Tu B'Shvat: Suggestions from COEJL

December 23, 2002

COEJL Community e-bulletin #2
Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life


TAKE ACTION: Not happy with the new fuel economy standards?
CELEBRATE: Host a Tu B'Shvat seder.
LEARN: Shabbat's environmental message.
GO GREEN: Which fish are friendliest?
SPOTLIGHT ON THE FIELD: NJEP's "Purchase with Prudence" Campaign


Tell the Administration 1.5 MPG Increase in Fuel Economy Isn't Good Enough!

On December 13, the Department of Transportation announced that it will seek an increase in average vehicle fuel economy standards by a mere 1.5 mpg by 2007. Yet average fuel economy is at its lowest level since 1980, and technology exists to increase it by 10 times as much as is being proposed! This negligible symbolic increase will only further delay meaningful action to address global warming and reliance on foreign oil. Write to U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta and tell him that the proposed increase is unacceptably low. Go to:


Turn Friday night into Tu B'Shvat.

This year, the Jewish New Year of Trees, is on Shabbat — Friday night January 17 and Saturday January 18. It's the perfect year to start the tradition of hosting a Tu B'Shvat seder — turn a Friday night or Saturday afternoon into an exciting Jewish environmental experience with family and friends. Go to: for everything you need to host a Tu B'Shvat seder this year!

Some COEJL Regional Affiliates with Tu B'Shvat events:
*COEJL of Southern CA: email —
*COEJL of Southern AZ:
*St. Louis JEI:


Shabbat's Environmental Message:

The weekly message of Shabbat rings with environmental import, if we but dare to understand it on its own terms...[T]o my mind, this profound and uniquely biblical institution is not intended to ennoble the human race but to humble it. With its incessant strictures against work, Shabbat reminds us of our earthly status as tenant and not overlord. To rest is to acknowledge our limitations. One day out of seven we cease to exercise our power to tinker and transform. Willful inactivity is a statement of subservience to a power greater than our own. — From "Tending to Our Cosmic Oasis" by Dr. Ismar Schorsch. Find the full text at:


Which fish is delish — and healthy?

In our quest to be healthy, many of us have increased our intake of fish. Yet, overfishing is endangering many fish species and mercury contamination endangers people — especially pregnant women and children — who eat certain fish. Luckily, watchdogs on the web can help us learn how to better protect our own health and that of the fisheries. (They even have wallet cards to carry around as a pocket reference next time you're out for a fish dinner.) As consumers, our buying power can encourage a sustainable marine market!

Monterey Bay Aquarium —
Audubon's Living Oceans —
Marine Stewardship Council —
Seafood Choices Alliance —


"Purchase with Prudence" to Protect the Environment and National Security

The Northwest Jewish Environmental Project (NJEP) organized a gathering in Portland, OR last month as part of the national Interfaith Clean Car Campaign. After sharing local success stories about reducing emissions,attendants were invited to test-drive alternative fuel vehicles and to learn about a car-sharing program. NJEP gave a congregational liaison training to help participants to take the message back to their synagogues and churches.


*News from the Interfaith Clean Car Campaign:

*Links to learn more about clean car

*New anthology "Judaism and Ecology" released by Harvard University Press.

*Sign up for Israeli Environmental Issues e-Newsletter

*COEJL Activist Receives Joshua Venture Grant

Jewish and Interfaith Topics: