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Five Jewish Things You Can Do to Celebrate Food Day

Five Jewish Things You Can Do to Celebrate Food Day

October 24th is Food Day, a nationwide celebration of the movement for sustainable, healthy, affordable food. Food Day envisions food that is healthy, affordable, produced with care for environmental sustainability, farm animals and the farmers and laborers who grow, harvest, and serve our food. Food Day’s themes also touch on public health, food education and economic inequality.

As Jews, we join in Food Day because of the Jewish obligation to consume ethically and responsibly, which is integral to our tradition. We are told in Isaiah 58:7: “Share your food with the hungry and the homeless,” reminding us that we have a responsibility to make choices that reflect the needs of those less fortunate than ourselves. We are also told not to corrupt the world, Bal Taschlit, “for if you corrupt it, there is no one to set it right after you” (Midrash Ecclesiastes Rabbah 7:28). Food Day is set aside for us to reflect on our eating choices and ensuring that we are making decisions with our food that affect the people around us, our communities, our earth and our bodies in the most beneficial way.

Looking for something to do this Food Day? Here are a couple of ideas:

  1. Print out these Food Day table tents and set them up at your family’s Shabbat dinner table or in your congregation’s Oneg Shabbat. Use the facts about food and Jewish values to start a conversation about ethical eating.
  2. Take action! Urge your Senators to support The Summer Meals Act of 2014 (S. 2527) to ensure that more children have access to these healthy foods.
  3. Watch this webcast discussion of “eco-kashrut” by Seth Goldman, CEO of Honest Tea, and Rabbi Mary Zamore, editor of The Sacred Table: Creating a Jewish Food Ethic.

  4. Share your harvest! Donate to an emergency food provider, or volunteer at a soup kitchen. Find more information here.
  5. Study up, take a look at "Food for Thought: A URJ-Hazon Curriculum Guide on Ethical Eating."

Already working on an event for Food Day or want to find one in your area? Check out the national Food Day map.

Liya Rechtman is a 2014-2015 Eisendrath Legislative Assistant at the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism. Liya graduated in 2014 from Amherst College, and is originally from Brooklyn, N.Y., where she is a member of Brooklyn Heights Synagogue.

Liya Rechtman
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