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Eco-Kashrut, also called the Eco-Kosher movement, is a movement to extend the Kashrut system, or Jewish dietary laws, to address modern environmental, social, and ethical issues, and promote sustainability.[1]

This movement began in the 1970s among American Reconstructionist Jews, and eco-kashrut or eco-kosher approaches enjoyed a resurgence in the 1990s with the work of Reconstructionist rabbi, author, and activist Arthur Waskow. A third wave of the eco-kashrut or eco-kosher movement began in the mid-2000s, spurred on in part by a series of kosher production facility scandals.[2]


Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, a founder of the Jewish Renewal Movement, is credited with coining and developing eco-kashrut in the late 1970s.[3] He articulated eco-kashrut as an evolving set of practices that extend beyond traditional kashrut by taking the human and environmental costs of food production and consumption into account when deciding what to eat or not eat.[3][4][5]

Contemporary movement

More recently the movement has been championed by other Kosher-keeping Jews who strive to eat only food that has been ethically and sustainably produced, and ideally, locally sourced.[6] Eco-Kashrut also finds expression in the sharing of sustainable shabbat meals.[7]

Eco-Kashrut is connected with Magen Tzedek ("Shield of Justice"), an additional certification for food advocated by the Rabbinical Assembly and others within the Conservative movement that aims to address health, safety, and other labor issues in food production.[6] Amid opposition from the Orthodox movement, no products have been certified to carry the seal as of August 2017.[8][9]

See also


  1. ^ Arthur O. Waskow, "Eco-Kashrut: Environmental Standards for What and How We Eat", MyJewishLearning, Originally Published in the Jerusalem Report.
  2. ^ Katz, Emily Alice (2011). "Ecokosher". In Adele Berlin; Maxine Grossman (eds.). Oxford Dictinoary of Jewish Religion (2nd ed.). Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780199759279. OCLC 714892003.
  3. ^ a b Kaplan, Dana Evan (2009). "Chapter 2: The Reengagement with Spirituality". Contemporary American Judaism: Transformation and Renewal. New York: Columbia University Press. pp. 57-106. OCLC 620044421.
  4. ^ Posen, Marie-Josee (Winter 2006). "Beyond New Age: Jewish Renewal's Reconstruction of Theological Meaning in the Teachings of Rabbi Z. Schachter-Shalomi". Jewish Culture and History. 8 (3): 87-112. doi:10.1080/1462169X.2006.10512059.
  5. ^ Schachter-Shalomi, Zalman (2005). Jewish With Feeling: A Guide to Meaningful Jewish Practice. With Joel Segel. New York: Riverhead Books. OCLC 55886356.
  6. ^ a b "Eco-Kosher", Schott's Vocab, New York Times, May 14, 2009.
  7. ^ "'Eco-kosher' Jews have an appetite for ethical eating", LA Times, May 8, 2009.
  8. ^ "For Customers". Magen Tzedek. Retrieved 2017.
  9. ^ Berkman, Seth (May 20, 2013). "Magen Tzedek, Ethical Kosher Seal, Stalled Amid Orthodox Opposition". The Forward. Retrieved 2017.

Further reading

  • Arthur Waskow and Rebecca T. Alpert, "Toward an Ethical Kashrut," Reconstructionist (March-April, 1987), pp. 9-13.
  • Arthur Waskow, Down-to-Earth Judaism: Food, Money, Sex, and the Rest of Life (New York: William Morrow and Company, 1995).

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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