Home    Jewish Vegetarianism    Online Course    FAQ    Jewish Recipes
What You Can Do    Links    Feedback    Media    Newsletter

A Sacred Duty: Applying Jewish Values to Help Heal the World

Applying Jewish Values To Help Heal The World

A Major Documentary on Current Environmental Threats and How Jewish Teachings Can Be Applied in Responding to These Threats

What People are Saying
Haaretz review
Jerusalem Post review
The Peaceable Table review
Vegetarians in Paradise review
Heeb'n'Vegan review
Bella Online review
EVANA interviews Richard Schwartz
Watch film with foreign subtitles:

Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Our planet is imperiled as perhaps never before by global warming and other environmental threats. It is urgent that steps be taken immediately to avoid the unprecedented catastrophe toward which the world is rapidly heading.

Jewish Vegetarians of North America (JVNA) has produced a major documentary about how Jewish teachings can help address current environmental crises.

While this one-hour documentary -- entitled A SACRED DUTY: Applying Jewish Values To Help Heal the World -- is especially suitable for synagogues, temples, JCCs, Jewish schools and other Jewish institutions, its universal message also makes it appropriate for showings at Christian, other religions' and secular institutions, and at film festivals. A SACRED DUTY speaks to people everywhere about the ethics of our relationship to our natural world and why it is imperative that we respond quickly to help shift our imperiled planet to a sustainable path.

Key climate scientists, including James Hansen of NASA, warn that we may reach a tipping point within a decade after which global warming could spiral out of control, with disastrous consequences. Recent reports, including the landmark "Livestock's Long Shadow," by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, highlight the disastrous contributions of modern, intensive animal-based agriculture to this crisis. Israel's special vulnerabilities to global climate change, in terms of reduced rainfall, severe storms and flooding from a rising Mediterranean Sea make this documentary urgent and timely.

A SACRED DUTY is a Jewish response to these issues. It reminds us that it is our sacred duty to become aware of these realities and our responsibility to apply Jewish teachings to how we obtain our food, use natural resources, and live among other creatures whom God created. It offers simple, practical measures for reducing our impact on the planet.

Produced by Emmy-Award-winning producer, director, writer, and cinematographer Lionel Friedberg, A SACRED DUTY will take its place alongside Al Gore's AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH and Leonardo di Caprio's THE ELEVENTH HOUR as another powerful expose of the dangers of global warming. However, it goes beyond the latter two films, by showing how religious responses can make a major difference and why a shift toward plant-based diets is an essential part of efforts to reduce global climate change and other environmental threats.

The documentary includes interviews with:

Chief Rabbis

Rabbi Shear Yashuv Cohen -- Ashkenazic Chief Rabbi of Haifa
Rabbi David Rosen -- Former Chief Rabbi of Ireland; International Director
of Interreligious Affairs of the American Jewish Committee

Other Rabbis

Rabbi Michael Cohen - Director of the Green Zionist Alliance (GZA) and a
teacher at the Arava Institute in Israel
Rabbi Fred Scherlinder Dobb, Adat Shalom Reconstructionist Congregation; environmental activist
Rabbi Adam Frank - Congregation Moreshet Yisrael, Jerusalem, the largest Conservative synagogue in Israel
Rabbi Yonassan Gershom - A Breslov Chassid and author
Rabbi Simchah Roth - Torat Hayyim, Herzilia
Rabbi Warren Stone - Temple Emanuel, greater Washington, D.C.; Chair,
Central Conference of American Rabbis' Environmental Committee

Israeli Environmentalists

Dr. Yeshayahu Bar-Or - Chief Scientist: Israel Environmental Ministry
Raanan Boral - Director: Environmental Protection Division of the for the
Society of Protection of Nature in Israel (SPNI)
Samuel Chayen - Israeli environmental activist
Yael Cohen Paran, Yair Cohen and Eren Ben Yaminy - Leaders of Green
Course, an Israeli university-based environmental group
Eli Groner - Teacher of environmental studies at the Arava Institute
Alon Tal - Leading Israeli environmentalist; founder of the Israel Union for Environmental Defense: author of Pollution in a Promised Land.
Yael Ukeles - Director: Derech Hateva, Jerusalem

Prominant Activists

Dr. Joel Fuhrman, M.D. - A leading author and physician with a specialty in natural healing
Roberta Kalechofsky - Founder and director of Jews for Animal Rights (JAR) and Micah Publications; author, editor and publisher.
Richard H. Schwartz - Author of Judaism and Vegetarianism and president of Jewish Vegetarians of North America (JVNA)
Jonathan Wolf - Founder and first president of Jewish Vegetarians of North America (JVNA)

Lionel Friedberg, producer/director/writer/cinematographer: 18 feature film credits as Director of Photography. Awards include A Primetime Emmy, a National Emmy, the American Association for the Advancement of Science 'Westinghouse' Award for Science Programming, three Columbus and three Golden Eagles for Best Documentaries, and various awards as a dramatic and episodic TV director. Watch The Film World of Lionel and Diana Friedberg.

To obtain a free DVD copy of the movie, please contact us. As a non-profit organization, JVNA will make the movie available free of charge to religious groups, educational institutions, environmental organizations, cultural clubs, the media, Jewish Film Festivals, and others who will arrange showings.

Presented by Jewish Vegetarians of North America (JVNA)