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Pardes Levavot

Pardes Levavot, “Orchard of Hearts,” was formed in the spirit of creating conscious holy community. Our name expresses the spiritual blossoming of each individual heart within an inspiring and nurturing orchard.

For information on our congregation please call (303) 563-2110 and leave a message or send email to info@pardeslevavot.org. To join our congregation, please print a copy of our membership form, fill it out, and send it to our Synagogue.


Pardes Levavot gratefully acknowledges Allied Jewish Federation of Colorado for their support of our Circle of Family Education program. Thank you!

ALEPH Embarks on Sacred Foods Project

ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal has received a $200,000 grant from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation to launch the Sacred Food Project, an interfaith effort designed to catalyze the power of faith communities to improve the social and environmental conditions of our nation's food system.

According to ALEPH Executive Director Debra Kolodny, "Twenty five years ago, the founder of the Jewish Renewal movement, Rabbi Zalman Schachter Shalomi coined the concept of eco-kashrut. In doing so he informed a generation about evaluating food and food production from a spiritual perspective for its healthfulness, its environmental impact, and its treatment of animals and workers."

"The Sacred Foods project takes this idea and expands it to all faith traditions. It says that as people of faith we have a moral obligation to be good stewards of the earth. We must make sure that the way we grow and distribute food honors the land, the water, the air, our bodies and our souls. This project will inform, inspire and enable leaders in faith-based communities to infuse our society with a better approach to food, focusing on the realms of sustainable and organic agriculture, sound treatment of animals and honorable treatment of workers in food production. We believe that faith-based recommendations rooted in morality and social justice and informed by scientific and political realities will influence policy makers, religious institutions and people of faith, thereby permanently changing our food system for the better," said Ms. Kolodny

The Sacred Foods Project reflects a growing interest in sustainably produced foods and the increasing importance of faith in the marketplace. The market for organic foods continues to increase almost twenty percent each year while more recently introduced Fair Trade certified products also are rapidly increasing in market share. Meanwhile, sales of kosher foods are projected to grow by 14% a year and 15,000 new kosher products were introduced between 2000 and 2002.

"These trends indicate that social and environmental concerns as well as our faith play a role in the many choices that influence our food system," said Ms. Kolodny. "The Sacred Foods project will work with every aspect of our food system, from farmers to manufacturers and institutional buyers as well as individuals."

The Sacred Foods Project involves the work of many organizations and faith leaders. Current project partners include the National Catholic Rural Life Conference, Faith in Place, and the Food Alliance.

National Catholic Rural Life is a key policy resource for the Roman Catholic Church in the United States. According to Br. David Andrews, CSC, its Executive Director, "Eating is a moral act" "Where our food comes from, how it is produced, the welfare of animals in food production, the impact of practices upon the environment, the availability of food for the poor, the common good... these are some principles for evaluating our food and farm system. I am delighted to be able to learn and discover with others the spiritual and moral dimensions of our food system from the perspective of faith."

According to Rev. Clare Butterfield, "Faith in Place is excited to have a role to play in this important conversation about how our most deeply-held religious values can help to preserve a kind of agriculture that is respectful of God's Creation, and of his people." Rev. Butterfield is the Executive Director of Faith in Place, a Chicago-based organization that works to integrate teachings of faith into economic and ecological practices. Faith in Place also runs TAQWA, a consumer cooperative that provides sustainably grown, fairly compensated meats that satisfy the dietary requirements of Islam and promotes a higher ethic for food production.

Scott Exo, Executive Director of the Food Alliance, said, "We are eager and excited to help connect farmers and ranchers who are good stewards with people of faith who embrace those same values." Food Alliance is a non-profit organization that promotes sustainable agriculture by recognizing and rewarding farmers who produce food in environmentally friendly and socially responsible ways, and educating consumers and others in the food system about the benefits of sustainable agriculture.

About ALEPH

ALEPH is a core institution in the Jewish renewal movement, dedicated to the Jewish people's sacred purpose of partnership with the Divine in the inseparable tasks of healing the world and healing our hearts. ALEPH supports and grows the worldwide movement for Jewish renewal by organizing and nurturing communities, developing leadership, creating liturgical and scholarly resources, and working for social and environmental justice. ALEPH's affiliated projects include the ALEPH Kallah, a biennial convocation; OhaLaH: The Association of Rabbis for Jewish Renewal; ALEPH's Rabbinic Studies Program; the Network of Jewish Renewal Communities; ALEPH's Sage-ing Program; C-DEEP (The Center for Devotional, Energy, and Ecstatic Practice); and The Shalom Center.

For twenty-five years, ALEPH has pioneered thought, dialogue, research, action and commitment within the Jewish community on the eco-kashrut issue, questioning what would constitute kosher or acceptable treatment of workers, new and potentially dangerous technologies and the subject of this grant, sacred food. ALEPH's conferences, communities and events all use the principles of eco-kashrut, as they work with vendors to ensure that they provide food produced in ways that minimize the use of energy and pesticides. ALEPH is poised to move to the next step of spreading the practice.

About the W. K. Kellogg Foundation

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation was established in 1930 "to help people help themselves through the practical application of knowledge and resources to improve their quality of life and that of future generations." Its programming activities center around the common vision of a world in which each person has a sense of worth; accepts responsibility for self, family, community, and societal well-being; and has the capacity to be productive, and to help create nurturing families, responsive institutions, and healthy communities.

To achieve the greatest impact, the Foundation targets its grants toward specific areas. These include: health; food systems and rural development; youth and education; and philanthropy and volunteerism. Within these areas, attention is given to exploring learning opportunities in leadership; information and communication technology; capitalizing on diversity; and social and economic community development. Grants are concentrated in the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the southern African countries of Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland, and Zimbabwe.

Additional Contact Information

National Catholic Rural Life
www.ncrlc.org
Media Contact:
Br. David Andrews
(515) 270-2634

Faith in Place
www.faithinplace.org
Media Contact:
Rev. Clare Butterfield
(703) 235-4640

Food Alliance
www.foodalliance.org
Media Contact
Scott Exo
(503) 493-1066