Qabbalat Shabbat: Friday, 6:00 p.m. Torah Study: Saturday, 9:00-11:00 a.m. Weekday Minyan: 6:15 p.m.

Burstein Scholars-in-Residence Weekend 2017

Every time Jews pray in community, we say Aleinu – it’s incumbent upon us to continue the work of creation. For centuries, human industry has disregarded the environment we are spiritually tasked to “till and tend.” Now, we find ourselves in a critical moment, when our practical activities need to align with our deepest values in order to protect and preserve the world we have inherited. Join us November 17-19, 2017 as we learn about the crisis, consider important solutions, and wrestle with our responsibility.

Friday, November 17 at 6:00 p.m.

 Qabbalat Shabbat featuring Peter Fox-Penner

Peter Fox-Penner

Peter Fox-Penner is a Professor of Practice in the Questrom School of Management and the Director of Boston University’s Institute for Sustainable Energy. His research and writing interests are in the areas of electric power strategy, regulation, and governance; energy and climate policy; and the relationships between public and private economic activity. He is the author of Smart Power, a book widely credited with foreseeing the future transformation of the power industry now used and cited all over the world, as well as other books in this area. He also teaches courses on sustainable energy and electric power in the Questrom School of Business. In addition, he is Chief Strategy Officer of Energy Impact Partners, Academic Advisor to The Brattle Group, and on the Advisory Board of EOS Energy Storage.

 

Childcare will be available. Please register here.

Saturday, November 18, 9:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.

A Day of Learning and Action 

Beginning with an environmental Torah Study, we will spend the day together learning and connecting. Our program features two plenary sessions, first with author Mitchell Thomashow, and then, after lunch, with Reverend Mariama White Hammond of Bethel AME Church. We will carry our inspiration into two blocks of excellent workshops, and the day will conclude with Havdalah. Childcare will be available on Saturday afternoon – please register here.

Mitchell Thomashow

Mitchell Thomashow devotes his life and work to promoting ecological awareness, sustainable living, creative learning, improvisational thinking, social networking, and organizational excellence. In January 2016, Thomashow accepted a fellowship at Philanthropy Northwest. The fellowship promotes awareness of sustainability, community, and place. The emphasis is on building social capital, intellectual leadership, and organizational effectiveness in promoting sustainability, community engagement, ecological awareness, diversity and inclusion, place-based solutions, public education, and the arts. His latest book, published in March 2014, The Nine Elements of a Sustainable Campus (The MIT Press) provides a framework for advancing sustainable living and teaching in a variety of campus environments.

Mariama White Hammond

Rev. Mariama White-Hammond was born in Boston, MA in 1979. The child of two preacher-doctors, Rev. Mariama grew up with an understanding that God calls us all to serve our fellow man. She serves on the ministerial staff at Bethel AME Church where she is the Minister for Ecological Justice and the Interim Youth Pastor. In May 2017 she graduated from Boston University School of Theology with a Masters of Divinity.

Rev. Mariama challenges the Christian church to embrace a more radical understanding of the life and mission of Jesus Christ. She believes that the church must be responsive to issues like street violence, mass incarceration, climate change, AIDS, food security, and human rights. She is actively engaged on social justice issues ranging from immigration policy to fair wage issues. She is a leader in the Massachusetts Moral Revival, the local branch a national faith-based intersectional movement for justice led by Rev. William Barber. She was the MC for both the Boston Women’s March and Boston People’s Climate Mobilization.

Rev. Mariama is very committed to engaging the faith community, and particularly Black church on climate change and ecological justice issues. She speaks throughout the country and serves on both local and national boards and committees like the New England Grassroots Environmental Fund, Clean Water Action and Green the Church. In addition to her work at Bethel AME Church, Rev. Mariama is also a fellow with the Green Justice Coalition, a collaborative of People-of-Color-led environmental groups.

Detailed Schedule:

  • 9:00 - 11:00 a.m. - Torah Study

    With Rabbi Zecher, Rabbi Jacobson, and Cantor Einhorn

  • 11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. - Plenary Session with Mitchell Thomashow: Wonder Reciprocity and Response: How Heschel’s Depth Theology Provides Guidance for Environmental Challenges

    Environmental challenges such as climate change, species extinction, and threats to biodiversity raise fundamental questions about human survival, meaning and purpose. Environmental and social activists, in living with these challenges navigate four existential tensions: the relationships between creation and extinction, hope and foreboding, wonder and indifference, faith and doubt. Heschel’s “depth theology” offers extraordinary insight into these psycho-spiritual questions. His notions of reverence, awe, wonder, reciprocity, and response provide activists and educators with remarkable spiritual support and guidance. This talk will explain why and how Heschel’s work is vital for contemporary environmental thought.

  • 12:15 - 1:00 p.m. - Lunch

  • 1:15 - 2:15 p.m. - Plenary Session with Reverend Mariama White Hammond of Bethel AME Church: Answering the Call - The Faith Response to the Ecological Crisis

  • 2:30 - 3:30 p.m. - First block of workshops (See below for full descriptions & bios)

    Workshop Options:

    1. Singing for Our Lives: The Power of Prayer & Song in Climate Action (Rabbi Shoshana Friedman).

    2. Analysis of Hope: How We Can and Will Solve the Climate Problem (Harvey Michaels and Susan Israel).

    3. The Three R's and How to Make them as Easy as ABC in Your Life (Sharon Bort).

    4. Heschel's Aphorisms and What They Can Teach Us about Caring for the Earth (Mitchell Thomashow).

    5. Greening your Congregation (buildings and members) or Business: A TI Case Study (Leon Glicksman, Marc Maxwell, and Dan Deutsch).

    6. Our Relationship to the Land (Leora Mallach and Rabbi Katy Allen).

  • 3:45 - 4:45 p.m. - Second block of workshops (See below for full descriptions & bios)

    Workshop Options:

    1. Ask the Experts: Green Electricity, Electric/Hybrid Vehicles, LEDs, MASS SAVE Audits, Sea Level Rise, Solar Power, and More! (David Lowe, Andrew Klein, Sharon Bort, Harvey Michaels, Jen Bender, and Nichole Wissman Weber)

    2. Breaking through Gridlock: Communicating Climate to Bridge the Divide. (Jason Jay and Susan Israel)

    3. From Genocide to Ecocide: Learning from the Holocaust (Roger Gottlieb)

    4. Getting Unstuck: Using our Faith and Community to Move Past Despair (Rabbi Shoshana Friedman)

    5. How You Can Influence State and Federal Climate Change and Clean Energy Policies (Nancy Israel)

    6. Water in Watercolor: Connecting to Our Natural World Through Hands-On Artwork (Lisa Goren)

  • 4:45 - 5:30 p.m. - Snacks, followed by Havdalah

    Led by Temple Israel Clergy

Workshop Descriptions & Instructor Bios

2:30 - 3:30 p.m.

First Block

Singing for Our Lives: The Power of Prayer & Song in Climate Action. In this workshop we will learn and sing group songs that bring spirit and strength to climate change marches, protests, gatherings, and other actions. We will also explore the role of prayer and liturgy in inspiring and uplifting those involved in direct action for a livable climate.

Taught by Rabbi Shoshana Friedman

 

Analysis of Hope: How We Can and Will Solve the Climate Problem. With the help of cities, states, businesses, and individuals, it is possible that the U.S. will be able to compensate for the current administration’s refusal to acknowledge climate science. As a result of this coalition, our country may meet its carbon reduction goals despite the government’s withdrawal from the Paris Accords, but this will require both political will and collective action from all stakeholders. Hope is essential to maintaining progress, and faith communities can nurture it, both for individuals and collectively. Hope requires a positive framing of information, empowering people, and inviting them in as participants. Come learn about and experience some very creative ways to engage people and communities in hope and action using the MIT Climate Interactive system, and Climate Creatives’ participatory design and art programs.

Taught by:

  • Susan Israel
  • Harvey Michaels. Harvey Michaels is a Lecturer on the emerging Energy and Climate Solution Economy in collaboration with the International Urban and Regional Studies Program (SPURS) at the MIT Sloan School of Management. Harvey also directs the Energy Democracy Project within the MIT Sloan Sustainability Initiative, in affiliation with the MIT’s Media Lab and Energy Initiative, where he served on the faculty team for The Future of the Grid research study. Harvey founded two leading energy management companies:  Aclara Software, which provides analytics for electric grid market operators, utilities, customers; and XENERGY (now DNV-GL), which innovates in efficiency services, financing, and analysis systems. He also serves on the US DoE Energy Systems Integration Advisory board, and was previously a board member for EMeter/Siemens Digital Grid and CSG/ClearResult.  Harvey has degrees in Engineering and Environmental Planning from MIT.

 

The Three R’s and How to Make them as Easy as ABC in Your Life No matter what city or building or venue you are in recycling is never clear and easy! 1 bin, 4 bins, or none at all! How does it all work and where is your waste going? In this fun and informative workshop, Sharon Bort will shed a whole new light on Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, help attendees develop systems to facilitate their implementation, and find answers for your trickiest of questions.

Taught by Sharon Bort

 

Heschel’s Aphorisms and What They Can Teach Us about Caring for the Earth. This workshop will be organized around various aphorisms and passages from Man is Not Alone, each providing guidance for personal and collective wisdom. These poetic, deeply philosophical aphorisms, serve as “mantras” of environmental awakening. We’ll interpret them collectively in workshop and discussion format.

Taught by Mitchell Thomashow

 

Greening your Congregation (buildings and members) or Business: A TI Case Study. This session will describe some of the things that Temple Israel has done to green its building, improve its sustainability practices, and educate its congregants about what they can do to reduce their carbon footprints. There will be generalizable strategies for helping individuals, houses of worship, businesses, and other organizations replicate what we’ve done here.

Taught by:

 

Our Relationship to the Land. Through study and reflection we’ll consider our relationship to the land. With Biblical ties to the land of Israel, and contemporary grounding in New England, how do we attune to the rhythms of nature within Jewish tradition? Come consider how this relationship influences our connections and interactions with the land that sustains us.

Taught by:

  • Rabbi Katy Allen 
  • Leora Mallach. Leora Mallach is the director of Ganei Beantown (Beantown Jewish Gardens), a nonprofit whose mission is the building of community through experiential food and agriculture programming rooted in Jewish text, tradition and culture.

3:45 - 4:45 p.m.

Second Block

Ask the Experts: Green Electricity, Electric/Hybrid Vehicles, LEDs, MASS SAVE Audits, Sea Level Rise, Solar Power, and More! This is your session! Come with questions about anything you’ve always wanted to know but didn’t know where to ask, and we will do our best to provide answers.

Taught by:

  • Jennifer Bender
  • Sharon Bort
  • Andrew Klein
  • Nichole Wissman Weber
  • David Lowe. David is a longtime conservationist and energy and climate activist who recently became the proud owner of a clean car–a plug in electric hybrid (Chevy Volt). He has handouts about the current incentives and makes a compelling case for financing an electric car lease by selling one’s used car. David is a founding member of TI’s Green Team, the Brookline Town Meeting’s Green Caucus, an advisor to the Jewish Climate Action Network, and a board member of Massachusetts Climate Action Network and Climate Action Brookline, which he led for two years.
  • Harvey Michaels. Harvey Michaels is a Lecturer on the emerging Energy and Climate Solution Economy in collaboration with the International Urban and Regional Studies Program (SPURS) at the MIT Sloan School of Management. Harvey also directs the Energy Democracy Project within the MIT Sloan Sustainability Initiative, in affiliation with the MIT’s Media Lab and Energy Initiative, where he served on the faculty team for The Future of the Grid research study. Harvey founded two leading energy management companies: Aclara Software, which provides analytics for electric grid market operators, utilities, customers; and XENERGY (now DNV-GL), which innovates in efficiency services, financing, and analysis systems. He also serves on the US DoE Energy Systems Integration Advisory board, and was previously a board member for EMeter/Siemens Digital Grid and CSG/ClearResult.  Harvey has degrees in Engineering and Environmental Planning from MIT.

 

Breaking through Gridlock: Communicating Climate to Bridge the Divide. This workshop will focus on how to talk about climate change, and, more specifically, how to engage in dialogue with those who disagree with us. Jason Jay’s critically acclaimed book Breaking through Gridlock: The Power of Conversation will serve as the springboard for the discussion.

Taught by:

  • Susan Israel
  • Jason Jay. Jason grew up in Boulder, Colorado, where he lived in awe of snowy mountains and watched his parents build a business that improved people’s lives. He moved to Boston and fell in love with his wife, Alaka, and life in a coastal city. Alaka’s family in India made him their own and helped him see the world as fundamentally interconnected. He grew to understand how all these places he loves are fragile and committed himself to seeing them flourish for his children, Vikram and Uma, to enjoy with their children. Today, Jason is a senior lecturer and the director of the Sustainability Initiative at the MIT Sloan School of Management. He teaches courses on strategy and innovation for sustainable business to hundreds of leaders every year. Through his writing, teaching, and community building, he empowers business leaders to help their organizations thrive while tackling the tough social and environmental challenges of our time. Before he began teaching, he ran an Internet start-up, traveled around the world, taught kindergarten, received a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s in education from Harvard University, worked as a consultant with Dialogos International, and earned a doctorate in organization studies from MIT. Find Jason on Twitter and LinkedIn.

 

From Genocide to Ecocide: Learning from the Holocaust. Jewish identity derives not only from texts and institutions, but from historical experience. In the last century, nothing has shaped our understanding of our identity, and the nature of human beings, more than the Holocaust. Does this event—in its use of modern technology, its insane and self-destructive beliefs, its arousal of denial and avoidance, its revelation of deep flaws in the advanced cultures of modernity—hold lessons for the environmental crisis now threatening humans and all other forms of life?

Taught by Roger Gottlieb

 

Getting Unstuck: Using our Faith and Community to Move Past Despair. The climate crisis is overwhelming for the mind and soul. Many of us struggle with a sense of despair, unsure how we can be of service at this time of existential threat. Rabbi Shoshana will lead a discussion drawing on her own experience and the ideas of other climate activist faith leaders, and will offer ways of moving through from despair to love and action.

Taught by Rabbi Shoshana Friedman

 

How You Can Influence State and Federal Climate Change and Clean Energy Policies. Do you want effective public policies on climate change?  Whether your interest is public health, environmental justice, or economic growth and job creation, we will discuss specific actions you can take to advocate for the state and federal clean energy and climate policies you support.

Taught by Nancy Israel. Nancy Israel is a renewable energy attorney for National Grid and also an insurance/reinsurance and business lawyer and clean energy advocate.  Currently a sole practitioner, she has been a law firm managing partner, international counsel and partner in Ernst & Young and a member of the Harvard General Counsel’s Office.  She also worked for Ceres, a nonprofit that mobilizes the capital markets to act on climate change.  Outside of work, Nancy advocates for state and federal public policies to accelerate the transition to a clean energy economy as a New England Chapter Director of Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2), a national, nonpartisan group of business leaders who advocate for policies that are good for both the economy and the environment.  Nancy graduated from Harvard College and Harvard Law School.  She has been a member of Temple Israel since second grade.

 

Water in Watercolor: Connecting to Our Natural World Through Hands-On Artwork. What better way to (almost) end the day than by learning about the synergies between art and science. Creating art is a powerful and therapeutic way to express our feeling about geography, plant-life, animal-life, and about our love and fears for the earth. Art is also a meaningful way to educate about both the magnificence of our planet and the perils that threaten its survival.

Taught by Lisa Goren. Lisa Goren’s watercolors show an unfamiliar landscape in a new light. By using vibrant colors and taking risks with different surfaces, she makes the viewer reevaluate their understanding of both these landscapes and their beliefs in the potential of the medium. Her works create questions about the nature of abstraction and our planet as many of her pieces are representations of unfamiliar, threatened terrains. She was awarded a place on the 2013 voyage of The Arctic Circle, an artist residency sailing near the North Pole. This “trip of a lifetime” was chronicled in an article she wrote for the New York Times and led her to her next phase of her Polar work.

Sunday, November 19, 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Explore these themes through art and have the opportunity for community and conversation.

(In the accordion below, click on each artist’s name to learn more.)

Artists

Ellen Alt is a mixed media artist. She has exhibited her work in the U.S, Israel, Germany, Russia, China and England. One of her pieces was presented to Hillary Clinton on the occasion of the peace treaty between Israel and Jordan and is in the collection of the White House. Ms Alt holds an MA in studio art from New York University and a BFA in art education from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design.

Lisa Goren’s watercolors show an unfamiliar landscape in a new light. By using vibrant colors and taking risks with different surfaces, she makes the viewer reevaluate their understanding of both these landscapes and their beliefs in the potential of the medium. Her works create questions about the nature of abstraction and our planet as many of her pieces are representations of unfamiliar, threatened terrains. She was awarded a place on the 2013 voyage of The Arctic Circle, an artist residency sailing near the North Pole. This “trip of a lifetime” was chronicled in an article she wrote for the New York Times and led her to her next phase of her Polar work.

Ian Todreas is a Boston-based artist who sketches and paints to capture the color and character of the world around him. Working primarily in watercolor, he is especially inspired by local landscapes unblemished by modernity. Ian has enjoyed solo exhibits in Boston and Washington, D.C., and has been honored by local arts organizations.

Deborah Putnoi is a visual artist, educator and researcher. Putnoi has an M.Ed. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, a 5th Year Graduate Degree from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts and a B.A./B.F.A. from Tufts University and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts (joint degree program). She has shown her work in solo and group exhibitions nationally to critical acclaim and her work is included in many significant collections. She has taught in many settings over the past ten years including elementary and secondary schools, universities, and community outreach organizations. Putnoi also worked for many years as a researcher with Howard Gardner at Project Zero working on research projects focusing on community art centers, museums and school learning. Putnoi is the author of The Drawing Mind and is currently producing a film series to accompany the book.

About the Burstein Scholars-in-Residence Program

In 1979, Maxwell and Bobbie Burstein endowed an annual Scholars-in-Residence program to broaden the temple’s educational program, recognizing the importance of knowledge to the continuity of the Jewish people. The lecture series brings outstanding Jewish scholarship to Temple Israel and the Greater Boston Jewish community.

Co-Sponsors

Ganei Beantown: Beantown Jewish Gardens

Hebrew College

Temple Beth Zion, Brookline, MA

MA Interfaith Power & Light, Inc.

Jewish Climate Action Network

Bethel AME Church Boston

Urban Farming Institute