Sweet Responsibility

Sweet Responsibility

Dear Friends,

Happy New Year! It’s here! Yes, the chai secular year of the century: 2018! We love the numerical equivalent of life and how sweet it is that this month’s unit is Achrayut, which literally means responsibility.

In between your dozens of appointments and zipping your children around from one frenzy of activity to another, you might be wondering, “What’s so sweet about responsibility?  It’s important to keep commitments, yes, but sweet?”

Well, at ShalomLearning we strive for our children to become mensches IN ACTION; thus, we define our values with a bit of a drash (interpretation) for their central role in the ongoing Jewish tradition of living a purpose driven life. Achrayut charges us to be responsible and to “leave the world a better place.” It is no accident that this value times in alignment with the upcoming (January 30th)  Tu B’shvat holiday.

Tu B’shvat, also called Rosh Hashanah La’ilanot, is the new year (birthday) of trees. This holiday  grows more important every year. These days, we are subjected to the highest levels of corporate greed and grossly funded agendas to convince people that they are part of a system that they can not change.

That is not the Jewish way. We are the original activists. We strive to make the world better, our relationships stronger, and our spirits unbreakable in our connection to the sacred. We have a holiness code, and love is at the center of it. (That is another article, but check it out in Leviticus 19:18). Love is the ultimate value, and yes, we take one day a year to officially hug some trees, and if you have a sedar, it  always opens deep conversations.

James Cameron is releasing a new film this week:, “The Game Changers.” It exposes the horrendous exploitation of the agribusiness and environmental impact of meat production, but more importantly it offers a profound solution for both our bodies and the environment by switching to a plant based protein diet.

It’s a great example of the social consciousness of the next generation and reminds us all to keep a lookout for things that this wonderful generation will be leading the charge, as we break away from the grip of the dark side of the status quo.

Many are taking action to improve the way we grow and consume food recognizing that we are the caregivers for the planet and stewards of the environment. I hope you have a chance to host or attend a Tu Bishvat seder with your family and friends. Look for links and resources in this issue. Chag Sa’ma’ach!

 

Gratefully Yours,

 

Joshua Troderman

ShalomLearning CEO

Josh Troderman

About Josh Troderman

Joshua Troderman, CEO of ShalomLearning has been a passionate innovator of Jewish education for the last 19 years. Josh has held teaching and administrative positions at a number of Jewish day schools, synagogues, and summer camps, including The Rashi School, The Rodeph Shalom Day School, The Kesher Community Hebrew School, The Rebecca and Israel Ivry Prozdor High School, Congregation Kehillath Israel, Camp Ramah, Camp Edward Isaacs, and Storahtelling. Since 2009, Josh has also directed JChoice.org, a giving platform that empowers Jewish youth to learn about and experience the mitzvah of Tzedakah. Josh holds a master’s degree in Jewish Education (2005) from The William Davidson Graduate School of Jewish Education. He lives in Brookline, MA with his wife and two children, and can be seen playing keyboards and singing on Thursdays with his soul and funk band called The New Mother Earth.