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Jewcology

Aytzim: Ecological Judaism
Long Beach, New York United States
Leadership team

Rabbi Michael Cohen, president emeritus
Dr. Mirele Goldsmith, board member
David Krantz, president and chairperson
Susan Levine, volunteer and intern coordinator
Dr. Richard H. Schwartz, project manager of Aytzim's Green Zionist Alliance Israel Environmental Forum
Pesach Stadlin, goodwill ambassador
Dr. Alon Tal, board member
Rabbi Lawrence Troster, board member

Organization website
In collaboration with

Jewcology began as a collaboration between 19 members of the Schusterman Foundation's ROI Community. Today it is run as a project of Aytzim: Ecological Judaism, an all-volunteer 501(c)3 nonprofit based in New York.

Prize category
National/International
Operational
5+ years
Target audience
20s & 30s, Adults, Baby Boomers, College Students, Disabilities, Early Childhood, Educators, Elderly, Families, GLBTQ, Interfaith, Jewish Professionals, Multi-ethnic, Teens, Unaffiliated, Women & Girls
Categories
Advocacy, Arts & Culture, Coexistence, Community Building, Environment/Outdoor Education, Interfaith, Israel, Jewish Education, Media & Technology, Outreach & Engagement, Ritual, Social Justice, Spirituality, Text Study

Jewcology.org features about 1,300 blog posts, 600-plus resources, 750-plus users and a map of 175 Jewish-environmental initiatives, most of which are in the United States but also are based in Israel and Europe. As a user-driven, open-source website, Jewcology offers more Jewish-environmental information online than anywhere else on the Internet.

What Jewish wisdom do you use in your work?

Jewcology uses the environmental wisdom of the Torah to help Jews connect with God and Judaism. For example, Jewcology provides a Jewish-environmental dvar Torah for every Jewish holiday and every weekly Torah portion. And most Jewcology resources and blog posts are sorted according to 25 Jewish themes.

How does your program work to make that wisdom accessible and directly applicable to your audience's lives?

In addition to sorting Jewcology resources and blog posts by Jewish themes, they also are sorted according to 18 different types of audiences and 33 different types of environmental issues. The roughly 2,000 different Jewish-environmental materials available on Jewcology are available to anyone in the world with access to the Internet.

What impact has your program had on your participants?

Since Jewcology is run by Aytzim, which is an all-volunteer nonprofit, it so far has lacked the resources to conduct a formal impact assessment. However, the strongest evidence for Jewcology’s impact is that the entire site is user-contributed content. If people and organizations weren’t using Jewcology, then the site would be empty. But instead, 700-plus users around the world have contributed more than 2,000 pieces of Jewish-environmental content to create an online Jewish-environmental community.

What have you learned about applied Jewish wisdom that contributes to your success?

The biggest lesson from Jewcology is to open-source knowledge sharing. Everything on Jewcology is user-contributed knowledge, and because the website’s user base spans Judaism’s religious, political and geographic spectra, the resulting website provides a wider range of perspectives on Jewish wisdom than any individual or single organization likely would develop on its own.