Putting Our Food Values into Action

Co-sponsored by Jewish Initiative for Animals, our educational sessions provided exposure to the variety of impacts and implications of our food choices, including the sourcing of animal products and repurposing of leftovers. Participants were connected with national and local resources, and enjoyed a community of peer learning and exchange of ideas. We are building a community invested in ethical food purchasing, consumption, and waste disposal in the greater Boston Jewish community that transcends denominational boundaries.

Developing an Ethical Food Statement

Hosted by Tremont St. Shul, Cambridge

When we gather in community, what we eat has the potential to promote animal welfare, slow down the negative effects of climate change, and build healthier food systems. Over the last few years, more Jewish communities than ever have committed to improve their food sourcing and leverage their buying power to promote more sustainable practices. These transitions come in parallel to larger institutional and corporate commitments.

Join us to hear from David Havelick, Sustainability Manager at Harvard University, who recently  implemented Sustainable Healthful Food Standards and is part of a growing wave of schools and businesses aligning their values with their food practices. In this workshop, you’ll gain a better understanding of food sourcing strategies and engage in discussion around how to develop an ethical food statement with your institution. We will share our experiences, ask questions, and brainstorm with fellow participants around ways to bring these tools back to our respective communities.

Sourcing Higher Welfare: Navigating food claims and choosing best options


Ever wonder what all those claims and labels on food containers mean? Which indicate good practices, and which are in line with your values? For example, some of the most confusing claims appear on animal products, most of which (including kosher) come from factory farms. How can understanding Jewish concepts inform our work in making ethical and responsible food choices, for ourselves and for our Jewish institutions? How can we source the most humane, sustainable food products for our communities, and develop long-term goals for building healthier food systems? How can we best leverage our buying power? Join our two-part webinar to learn about some of the truths about our current food system, and gain the tools to navigate it. 

Beyond Kashrut: Food Policies for Synagogues

Jewish Climate Action Network Conference: The Task is Great, The Time is Short 

When we gather in community, what we eat has the potential to promote animal welfare, stop climate change, and build healthier food systems. Beantown Jewish Gardens and Jewish Initiative for Animals present this session as part of an educational series that is building a community invested in ethical food purchasing, consumption, and waste disposal in greater Boston. Regardless of previous knowledge, participants will gain tools for creating food policies (commitments to sourcing better food as an ongoing practice) and how they can change the way our communities eat and farm.

This half-day conference brings the Jewish community together to explore surmounting challenges and mobilizing communities to act. Learn actions for individuals and congregations to take on the path forward in the coming years. Build connections. Learn from and with experts and leaders. Themes include: Sustainable Synagogues, Systemic Change Advocacy, Spirituality and Psychology, Food and Ecosystems, The Arts, Food Making, and Path for the Next 12 Years. A plenary session on “How Do We Engage Our Congregations in Climate Action?” will equip us to move forward.

Who does the labor? Who are the workers?


As you prepare for your Passover Seder, and consider ancient notions of slavery, gain insight into contemporary realities of those doing agricultural work today as well as ways to acknowledge and tie that into your celebrations. For example, did you know that a large portion of the meat on US grocery store shelves is processed by migrant workers, many of whom are undocumented? Have you ever thought about factory farming as a human rights issue? As we explore the connections between agriculture and labor, we’ll think about how we can work towards a food system that is more just for all living beings during our season of liberation.

In partnership with New England Jewish Labor Committee