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August 28, 2015 | 13th Elul 5775
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Food Day

On Food Day (October 24, 2012), celebrate your food justice work and take it a step further. Make food justice part of your fall holiday celebrations with this menu of programs.

What you can do:
  • Start a dining club to support local eateries serving sustainable foods
  • Host a Sacred Table party: discuss an essay from the Central Conference of American Rabbis' book on ethical eating
  • Check it out: visit a site on your food chain before the supermarket (seed supplier, cannery, trucking company)
  • Put it in writing: write a food justice article for your synagogue newsletter
Additional resources:
Rosh HaShanah

September 16-18, 2012

  • Can It! Kick off the holiday season with a healthy canned food drive. Encourage people to bring cans labeled low-sodium, no sugar-added and/or preservative-free labels for your High Holiday food drive
  • Pickin' Time: Visit a local apple orchard and donate your harvest to a local emergency food provider
  • Give Thanks: Eat with kavannah (intention) during your holiday meals with food blessings or by making a "food commitment" (like Meatless Mondays) for the new Jewish year
  • For the Kids: Donate tzedekah to an emergency food provider or teach religious school students about sustainable food systems with local apples and honey!
  • Suggested reading
September 30 - October 7, 2012
  • What is fit? Examine your synagogue's existing food policies - what is deemed "fit" to serve in a sacred Jewish space? Which environmental and ethical factors are considered? Study the sources and consider revising your congregation's food policies with our Guide to Creating Synagogue Food Policy
  • Cut it Out: As you decorate your synagogue sukkah, think about what food products you use and how food waste can be avoided in our daily lives
  • Foodie Films: Screen a food justice movie like FRESH, Food Inc. or Forks Over Knives and discuss the film's themes. For a FRESH discussion guide, visit
  • Sukkot Market: Host a Sukkot food carnival in your social hall or parking lot with local food, cooking demonstrations and discussions with local food justice organizations;
  • Fight for Food Justice from Farm to Table: Speak out for a more just and equitable Farm Bill
  • Share your harvest: Glean unharvested crops from a local garden or farm to donate to an emergency food provider, or start a "Satellite Synagogue Garden" program where congregants pick food from gardens at home and bring it to synagogue to donate as a collective. Pool your gleaned resources and honor the commandment from the Book of Leviticus to leave the corners of our fields to those in need! Learn more about gleaning from
  • Suggested reading
Yom Kippur

September 25-26, 2012

  • Preach it! As the community gathers to consider its intentions for the year ahead, and as you experience pangs of hunger, don't be afraid to talk about food justice. Find Sample Sermons on our resource page
  • Let's Discuss: During Torah study, review a chapter from the Food for Thought curriculum, invite a chef to speak, or host a food justice book discussion
  • Read all about it: Host a book discussion with works from Michael Pollan, Barbara Kingsolver, or Jonathan Safran Foer. You can even start a food book club for the year
  • Break the fast in style: Cherish that first bite at your break fast with a blessing, food justice discussion questions, and healthy and sustainably-produced foods
  • Suggested reading

Food Day Partner Spotlight: Women of Reform Judaism

Women of Reform Judaism (WRJ) encourages sisterhoods across North America to host their annual opening meals with programs focused on food issues and mindful eating, invite nutritionists or local emergency food service providers to speak and ask members to bring cans of healthful foods (low salt/low fat/ no high fructose corn syrup) in advance of events, use them to make table centerpieces and then donate the food to local providers.

WRJ's involvement in Food Day builds on decades of commitment to fighting poverty and promoting health and nutrition. Their 2004 Resolution on Obesity and Nutrition explains "it is incumbent upon the leadership of Women of Reform Judaism to encourage our sisterhoods to recognize the challenge of obesity and inactivity which threatens the health of ourselves, our families, and the people of our nation and to take action to reverse the trend by promoting awareness and improved dietary and physical activity practices." Their 2009 Resolution on Food Production & Distribution calls WRJ affiliates to advocate for legislation that promotes food safety, sponsor programs on healthy eating, create gardens and share produce with local food banks, and educate their members on fair trade foods.

WRJ sisterhoods have been working with food pantries and advocating for food justice for years. WRJ is excited to ally their efforts with the Food Day Campaign.


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