Contemporary Environmental Concerns

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Policy arguments from a Jewish perspective may be made in favor of many other environmental concerns, too, such preserving biodiversity and fostering sustainable development.

Putting into practice the ecological awareness fostered by Jewish teachings depends first of all on education and is thus the mandate of schools and homes. Environmental education in some Jewish schools is integrated with the study of relevant Jewish texts and even with experiences of worship and celebration.

For parents, the challenge of raising environmentally conscious Jewish children can elicit a Jewish response. Environmental concerns can be addressed in the observance of Shabbat, a day when we refrain from tampering with nature and turn our attention from exploitation to appreciation. Some observances, such as the Israeli tradition of bonfires on the holiday of Lag Ba'Omer, present a challenge to Jewish families trying to balance continuity and tradition with environmental sensitivity.

For individual Jews and Jewish organizations alike, "going green" in a public way can be another avenue in which they endeavor to apply their Jewish commitments to the way they conduct their everyday affairs.

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