September 21st, 2020


Shana Tova! With this upcoming Rosh Hashanah, we hope that you are staying healthy and finding ways to celebrate the joy of this holiday. We know that it will look different this year and we wish for our community that it will still be a time for reflection, renewal, community and celebration. As we celebrate the birthday of the world, may we work together collectively to better our world and make it a more just and equitable one.

We had a great time learning and connecting with so many of you through our Plant-Based Summer Speaker Series. If you missed the webinars and would like to watch them now, they can be found on our website. Many people were very excited to learn more about how to replace eggs in recipes with Chef Megan. You’ll be hearing more below about our upcoming webinar for Sukkot – Growing in Temporary Spaces: A Sukkot Writing Workshop and Discussion. We hope you’ll join us!

So many of us would love to hear our congregations discuss what is so often on our minds and that is the relationship and responsibility we have towards the animals that we share this planet with. There is one more week for submissions for our Animal Welfare Sermon Contest and we hope that you’ll bring it to your rabbis or lay leaders and encourage them to participate! You’ll see more information below.

We look forward to continuing to engage with you and get to know you as we put together more remote content and programming to support our growing community. We’d love to hear from you. If you have any questions or comments, be sure to reply to this email.

Wishing all of our friends and community many blessings for this Rosh Hashanah and always – with ardent wishes for a sweeter year ahead. Shana Tova Umetuka!

Animal Welfare Sermon Contest

Throughout the month of Elul, we are accepting entries for our Animal Welfare Sermon Contest!

Shamayim: Jewish Animal Advocacy invites Rabbis and lay speakers to compose and deliver a sermon focused on our responsibilities to animals through the lens of Jewish traditions and ethics.

On September 30th we’ll be selecting one winner to be awarded $500!

Submissions must include:
1) Full name and role of submitter
2) Where (synagogue name and city) and when (date within the month of Elul) sermon was delivered
3) How many were in attendance to hear sermon
4) Type of service or program where sermon was delivered
5) A PDF copy of the sermon

Please submit your sermon to here by September 30, 2020. By entering the contest, you give Shamayim permission to use your submission on our website, blog, and in learning materials.

If you’re looking for inspiration, the Jewish Initiative for Animals (JIFA) has some resources and a study guide for texts about Jewish Animal Ethics. If you have any questions, email


Synagogue Vegan Challenge Communities

Shamayim is proud to announce the SEVEN communities participating in the fourth cohort of our Synagogue Vegan Challenge:

Beth Chayim Chadashim
Congregation Shaaerei Kodesh
Monmouth Reform Temple
Prospect Heights Shul
Temple Chai
Temple Solel
The YM and YWHA of Washington Heights and Inwood

With the generous sponsorship of VegFund, these Jewish communities will spend the next year incorporating vegan food and education into their monthly programming. This will introduce hundreds of people to delicious plant-based food that is better for us, the animals, and our planet!

Stay tuned for profiles on each community and behind-the-scenes into their experience with this opportunity!


Campus Fellowship Participants

We’re happy to announce that 8 college students have been selected for our 2020-2021 campus fellowship program!

Starting this fall, these students will be engaging the communities on their campuses to think more about their food choices. Fellows will host 5 events throughout the school year, such as vegan Shabbat meals and documentary screenings, with guidance and resources from Shamayim. They will be doing virtual and remote programming through education sessions, film screenings, and cooking workshops while the pandemic continues to require distancing.

Through this fellowship, students will be equipped with the tools they need to make positive, lasting change towards kinder and more sustainable eating in their community.


Sukkot Webinar

Sukkot is a harvest festival. It is also a time of transition, a festival of liminality and transformation. This year, these themes are especially poignant as we grapple with an undeniably altered world.

Join us for an hour of reflection, discussion, and writing exercises as we explore our relationships with animals, the earth, and the nature of change. Bring your paper and pencil!

Join Jewish Veg, Shamayim, Jewish Initiative for Animals (JIFA), and Hazon on Wednesday, October 7th at 9 AM PST/12 PM EST for a free 1-hour workshop.

We can’t wait to see you there!


Join our #jewishvegan Community

We’ve loved getting to shout out members of our community on social media! Especially when they share pictures of themselves with their animal friends, too.

#jewishvegan is our opportunity to increase the visibility of and dispel any stereotypes about those who make up our vibrant community. We want people to know that veganism and Judaism often co-exist! And that behind the hashtag, there’s some phenomenal people.

Want to get featured on our pages? Send us a message! We’d love to feature you and any Jewish vegans you’d like to share with us.


Six-Word Memoir Ā® Projec


Have you taken part in our Six-Word Memoir project yet? The beautiful stories above come from our community! Six-Word MemoirsĀ® are the creation of Larry Smith of SMITH Magazine.

When Shamayim asked the question of what it’s like to be Jewish and veg, you responded with touching, lighthearted and honest responses of what it’s like to be both Jewish and an advocate for animals.

We want to hear your story of the intersection of your Judaism and your plant-based eating. 


Shamayim: Jewish Animal Advocacy Podcast

The Shamayim: Jewish Animal Advocacy Podcast is back!

Hosted by Alex Weisz, our latest episode features an interview with Rabbi David Rosen, former Chief Rabbi of Ireland & head of the AJC’s Department of Interreligious Affairs. Rabbi Rosen is an outspoken critic of animal consumption, a leading Orthodox voice in this matter. They discuss his rabbinic argument that questions the kashrut of any factory farmed animal products, the pushback he has received from the Kosher meat industry in response, and Rabbi Rosen’s raising this issue to Pope Francis himself in their meetings at the Vatican.

Subscribe through Apple Podcasts or Spotify to be the first to know about new episodes.

Know someone who would be a great guest? We’d like to hear about them! Please email with any suggestions.


What We’re Reading: 

What We’re Cooking:

  • Recently someone sent us a link to Jamie Geller’s Vegan Holidays E-book. We have loved trying the recipes in this book and appreciate the effort that went into it. The challah recipe made the most delicious challah we’ve ever baked at home.

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