The Jew and the Carrot
A new J-blog has entered the scene: The Jew and the Carrot. Brought to us by the fine folks at Hazon, The Jew and the Carrot "features the intersection between Jews, food and contemporary life." Their aims include raising the quality of discussion about food issues in the Jewish community, conveying a sense of importance and joy around food, and challenging and inspiring readers to think deeply and broadly about our food choices.
One of the highlights so far is The View from Your Fork, an interview with Michael Pollan conducted by Leah Koenig who is one of my colleagues at Zeek. (I just read and enjoyed Pollan's The Botany of Desire last week, so this interview felt serendipitous.) Also don't miss Season Extension, the Festival of Spring, and Leviticus by Naf Hanau, the greenhouse manager for the Adamah program at Isabella Freedman -- good stuff about planting, and Torah, and spring.
Jews + food = lots to blog about. I look forward to reading more from these folks.
Counting the Omer with JRF
For the last few years I've searched for a good Omer study group, something to a) remind me to count and b) help me invest the counting with meaning. Last year I found the Jewish Reconstructionist Federation's Omer Count project after the counting had already begun. This year I'm psyched to be there from the start.
(Counting the Omer is the practice of counting the days between Pesach and Shavuot, an ancient way of linking both spring planting with spring harvest, and liberation with revelation. I blogged about it a few years back; here's the explanation on Wikipedia.)
The JRF kicks off the official program of study this year with an introductory video featuring Rabbi Shawn Zevit. (Reb Shawn is one of the teachers of the DLTI program I am loving so much, so seeing him on my screen makes me smile.) The theme for this year's learning initiative is environmental, social, political, and spiritual sustainability. Anyway, if this is your cup of tea, join the email list or subscribe to the RSS feed -- should be a terrific way to observe the practice of marking the days between one festival and the next.