A Vision for a Better Food Future: Community Responses

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A Vision for a Better Food Future: Community Responses

When I first started dreaming about starting Jewish Food Hero in 2014, I felt an urgency to support the Jewish community in eating healthier food and a desire to be part of the solution in working toward food justice for people worldwide.

Food justice is defined in a variety of ways, depending on who you talk to. The definition I resonate with most is from the nonprofit Just Food which describes food justice as:

“… Communities exercising their right to grow, sell, and eat healthy food. Healthy food is fresh, nutritious, affordable, culturally-appropriate and grown locally with care for the well-being of the land, workers, and animals. People practicing food justice leads to a strong local food system, self-reliant communities, and a healthy environment.”

It feels as if there’s a shift right now with people starting to deal with this global problem of food and hunger. People are taking food justice on as their life’s work, offering their communities healthy alternatives and supporting sustainable agriculture.

I’m fascinated by purpose-driven people who are working to make a difference in the world. This post showcases the responses from a diverse group of people in a variety of locations and life phases about their food justice work.

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An Interview With Healthy Eating Expert Jeff Novick

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An Interview With Healthy Eating Expert Jeff Novick

When I began exploring plant-based nutrition in 2010, Jeff Novick’s name was prominent in many of the books and research I was absorbing. His approach to healthy eating made so much common sense, and he was an important source of education for me as I went on to receive a certificate in plant-based nutrition from Cornell University.

For those of you unfamiliar with Jeff, he is a dietitian and nutritionist. With over 24 years of experience in nutrition, health, fitness, and natural living, he offers expert health advice distilled into powerful, easy-to-understand language on a variety of current topics. His insightful and humorous approach to nutrition and health has helped thousands worldwide (myself included) make the transition to healthy living. Jeff holds both undergraduate and graduate degrees from Indiana State University in nutrition with minors in Exercise Science.

It’s with great honor (and excitement!) that I share this interview with Jeff. I spoke with him via phone, in between his work with Dr. John McDougall at a 10-day live-in program.

Enjoy this special interview!

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Chag Notebook: Sammy Samuels

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Sammy Samuels Chag Notebook

Sammy Samuels runs a travel agency in Myanmar, and is nicknamed the “Ambassador of Burma” by his friends. Throughout my adult life, I’ve been continually drawn to the stories of people living what many in the Western world consider the “less traveled path.” When an acquaintance at my synagogue in Phnom Penh mentioned the synagogue in Myanmar that Sammy and his family take care of, I connected with Sammy online and found his efforts at sustaining community to be so inspiring.

 

Let’s get to know Sammy and learn from him.

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How to Make 8 Nights of Lighting Candles Meaningful (Community Responses)

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How to Make 8 Nights of Lighting Candles Meaningful (Community Responses)

The very nature of holidays is personal.

We each experience the holidays differently depending on where we live, and we each have different emotional attachments (or not) to Chanukah.

I wanted to ask a diverse group of women in a variety of locations, life phases, and levels of observance about their Chanukah experiences and tips.

They responded to this question:

How do you make eight nights of lighting candles meaningful?

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My Five Tips for Mindful Shopping

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My Five Tips for Mindful Shopping

As Chanukah approaches, many of us are feeling the pressure of shopping for our loved ones.

It’s interesting how, especially in the U.S., gift giving for Chanukah feels like it is growing in intensity, both what we are expected to give others and what we expect to be given from others.

In fact, buying gifts is perhaps more (if not entirely) a reflection of the consumerism culture in which we live than an expression of the Chanukah narrative meanings or spirit.  

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Chag Notebook: Ruth Messinger

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Chag Notebook: Ruth Messinger

Ruth W. Messinger is president of American Jewish World Service (AJWS), the world’s leading Jewish organization working to end poverty and realize human rights in the developing world.

I first discovered American Jewish World Service during a talk on Shabbat at Congregation Bonai Shalom in Boulder (immediately after, I applied to be a volunteer and was accepted and served in Chennai, India!).

The thing I most admire about Ruth is the way she has taken her social justice values into public service to help so many people. Let’s get to know Ruth and learn from her.

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Building Community: My Practice of Inviting Non-Jewish People to Shabbat

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Building Community: My Practice of Inviting Non-Jewish People to Shabbat

When I moved overseas in my 20s, I willed myself to start having Shabbat dinners. I knew that repetitive action changes behavior, and I wanted to get better at creating community.

There was only one (admittedly big) challenge: There often weren’t many Jewish people in the places I was living.

Faced with the choice between isolation and community, I chose to start a practice of inviting non-Jewish people to the Shabbat table.

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