And Don’t Miss Blogmeister: Leah Koenig, 25

Editor of “The Jew and the Carrot” (, the “front page and voice of the emerging Jewish food movement,” a project of Hazon (

Cyberspace Jews really want to eat less passively, to know where their food comes from, how healthy it is, whether their consumption is ethical, what Judaism has to say about genetically modified food. We see Judaism as having a very rich history of eating communally — Jews eat! And we deeply understand how eating together creates community. Unlike our grandmothers, many of us work full-time and have a broader definition of “family” — we don’t generally live near our biological ones, we truly celebrate “difference,” and we have non-Jews around our dinner tables.

Recently we’ve been cyber-debating about whether to shecht [to kill in accordance with kashrut] a goat at Hazon’s upcoming annual food conference. Vegetarians are against it, but meateaters are divided. Some want to be in touch with taking a life, some fear being that in touch, some wonder whether such an experience will turn them into vegetarians.

We love making Shabbat dinner — the smell of challah wafting through the house, the surprise of what’s in a weekly haul of CSA vegetables. Bok choy? Turnips? We find the improvisatory aspect of cooking from whatever the Earth serves up that week very exciting. Personally, my cookbook “bibles” are Madhur Jaffrey’s World Vegetarian and Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. What runs through my veins? Kale. Sauté it with garlic, soy sauce and ginger. Put it in a frittata. Grate it (raw and fine) into salads. The Jew and the Carrot’s cyber community wants the larger Jewish world to eat together more — especially on Shabbat — and to eat increasingly “sustainably.”

We Now Extend the Invitation to You!

Whom would you like to bring into Lilith’s sukkah?
Who has been a significant eco-role-model for you?
What shakes your lulav?
The Earth is a fragile sukkah — what one act of repair can you offer?

In thinking about Eco-Ushpizin, three Jewish ethical principles are useful to know:
Bal Tashchit: Do Not Waste Nature’s Resources.
Tzaar Baalei Chayyim: Refrain from Hurting Animals.
Shmirat HaGuf: Treat Your Body — and the Earth’s — as Sacred.

May we dwell in balance in the coming year.
May we give thanks for all that we have reaped.
May we sustain the Earth as She sustains us:
With abundance.