Rabbinical School of Hebrew College and the Hebrew College Center for Global Judaism
Tikvah: The Jewish Eco-Ritual Lab, a joint project of the Rabbinical School and The Center for Global Judaism, seeks to address the issue that while there are now several effective local and national Jewish environmental initiatives, little attention has yet been given to the training of rabbis as environmental leaders as well as the production of high quality ritual resources for various sectors of the American Jewish community.
Hebrew College recognized that while some resources are already available for communities and leaders who wish to integrate Judaism’s ecological wisdom into the yearly holiday cycle, almost no materials have been developed for those who seek to heighten environmental awareness and activism at key moments in the Jewish life cycle. Through Tikvah, a set of liturgical and ritual resources will be developed that foster and deepen environmental awareness and activism at key moments in the Jewish life cycle. Brit milah and naming ceremonies, b’nai mitzvah, hanukat bayit rituals, wedding and commitment ceremonies, conversions, ethical wills, and funeral/mourning practices all provide opportunity for families to ground themselves in the natural world through activism, prayers, ritual, and service. These life cycle moments provide important opportunities to touch and transform hearts and minds, and offer people ways of giving ritual expression to their longing to link their own lives to the future of all life on earth.
Resources specific to each of these life cycle moments will be developed and disseminated across denominations to rabbis, cantors, and family educators in congregations and communities throughout North America.
A major marketing campaign will employ social media outlets, the Hebrew College website, on-line Jewish learning and environmental forums, and related eco-Jewish ritual resources. The marketing campaign will be used to pilot the materials and encourage their use in life cycle moments. Materials will also be disseminated through alumni of the Hebrew College Rabbinical School and the School of Jewish Music, and as well as through the denominational rabbinic associations.
Hebrew College will also host a training in which rabbinical/cantorial students and clergy in the field will learn about the rituals and liturgy, practice together, and workshop how to implement the new resources in their communities.