Thursday, December 14, 2006

Ultra-Orthodox Integrate Bible and the Environment

For the third year in a row, the Israeli Ministry of Environmental Protection co-sponsored a Torah essay competition on "The Environment in Jewish Law and Thought." Hundreds of submissions were received, and 26 will be published and available for download. The Ministry encourages the competion as a way to introduce environmental concerns to the ultra-religious community.

Shomera, one of the main sponsors of the competition, was founded in 1988 and runs a number of environmental projects in Jerusalem and its environs with the ultra-Orthodox community, as well as projects for special needs groups such as the disabled and youth at risk. The organization, which integrates Jewish and conventional sources while seeking solutions to environmental challenges, has won national acclaim for many of its projects, including its efforts to defend the Jerusalem Forest from urban encroachment.

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