Community by Design: Judaism and the Torah of Place

How can we connect Judaism to the natural world around us? Weaving together mystical stories about the creation of the world with his experiences as a child and environmental educator, Yoshi Silverstein illustrates new ways of applying Torah and traditional Judaism to daily life. He argues that by applying, for instance, traditional blessings and Kabbalah to composting, we strengthen our relationships to both Judaism and the natural world.

Yoshi Silverstein is Director of the JOFEE Fellowship, Hazon’s training and certification program for Jewish outdoor, food, and environmental education professionals; and founder of Mitsui Design, which strengthens Jewish connections to nature through landscape design and community engagement. A landscape designer, writer, and educator with over thirteen years of experience in JOFEE and related fields, Silverstein holds an MA in Landscape Architecture from the University of Maryland and a BA in European Cultural Studies and Near Eastern/Judaic Studies from Brandeis University. Previously, Silverstein was Education Director at the Pearlstone Center and has taught throughout the U.S. and Israel, including several seasons as a Teva educator, and stints at Camp Wise in Cleveland and Camp Solomon Schechter in Olympia, WA.

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