Please join me for—Just For A Day

jfadPlease join me, Rabbi Yonah, and 1000+ of my best friends in an amazing day to help heal the world, put together by Hillel, Jdub, UJC, AEPi, and many other groups.

JUST FOR A Day – Los Angeles is the first ever mass social action project created by Hillel. It all goes down on Nov. 12. Remember that day, and register right now! There are limited spaces.

Did you hear? More than 1,000 students who will take to the streets and beaches of Los Angeles on November 12 when Hillel launches JUST for a Day, a one-day social-justice blitz that will make a difference in lives of Angelinos.

Buses will pick up and drop off on campus. For information on buses, times, and meeting places on campus, please contact your local Hillel or me, Rabbi Yonah.

Meet students from all over the west coast, volunteer your time and learn about the issues affecting LA. Organizations with volunteer opportunities include:


T.H. (People Assisting the Homeless)
Heal the Bay
Los Angeles Regional Food Bank
Midnight Mission
Venice Family Clinic
Beit T’shuvah
Downtown Women’s Center
Children’s Hospital Los Angeles

And after all is said and done…

GUSTER and the LeeVees will perform a closed show for all JUST for a Day participants at the Henry Fonda Theatre in LA!!

So what on earth are you waiting for? Please go and register and tell them Rabbi Yonah sent you. Its a mitzvah!


The Gospel of Green

cizikImportant moral issues can make strange alliances. An article in todays LA Times highlights the mission of Green Evangelists to spread the Gospel of Green—That God’s world needs care and protection. Amen. Imagine — Rabbi Yonah and the most powerful Evangelical lobbiest have more in common that our love for Israel.

IN Hollywood, the white knight in the fight against global warming is Al Gore, whose film, “An Inconvenient Truth,” was received with great media hoopla when it arrived in theaters earlier this year. But in much of the rest of America, the man spearheading the battle against catastrophic climate change is someone you’d never see at the Ivy, hobnobbing with the Bush-hating, abortion-allowing, carbon footprint calculating nabobs of Hollywood elitism.

Going against the grain, and taking on many even in his own community, Rev. Richard Cizik of the National Assn. of Evangelicals, America’s most influential Christian lobbying group, representing 45,000 churches and roughly 30 million believers across the country, believes that the world better do something FAST about Global Warming.

So see the film A Great Warming, and see if that has more of an effect that Al Gore’s attempt to raise the public’s concern that we are roasting ourselves.  It features lots of Green Theists. (Any green Rabbis???)

He also thinks that “there won’t be a Republican running for the White House in ’08 who isn’t with us on this issue.” And that will be a huge revolution.

Whales 3 Japan 0

I have been following the issue for a while as Japan tries to buy out the whaling commission. It buys support from poor countries to pursue its whaling dreams – commercial whaling. The good news is that they have been snubbed three times this year already, as reported on the Greenpeace Blog.

16 June 2006Unexpectedly: The whales are winning!

by Andrew, at the Greenpeace office in Amsterdam

Japan has lost the secret ballot vote !!!!

From what I have heard, here is the full listing for the vote for Secret Ballots (I'll get our team on the ground to check these when they can):

YES = 30:

Antigua & Barbuda, Benin, Cambodia, Cameroon, China, Cote d'Ivoire, Dominica,
Gabon, Gambia, Grenada, Guinea, Iceland, Japan, Kiribati, South Korea, Mali, Marshall
Islands, Mauritania, Mongolia, Morocco, Nauru, Nicaragua, Norway, Palau,
Russian Federation, St Kitts & Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent & the Grenadines,
Suriname, Tuvalu

NO = 33:

Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Belize, Brazil, Chile, Czech
Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Ireland, Israel,
Italy, Luxembourg, Mexico, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Oman, Panama,
Portugal, San Marino, Slovak Republic, South Africa, Spain, Sweden,
Switzerland, UK, USA.

Abstentions = 1:

Solomon Islands

Read more

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Nestle, Slavery, and the Festival Of Freedom

Reprinted from

Even though we don’t go to brothels and don’t own our own slaves, in the global economy, none of us are as innocent or as removed from slavery as we’d like to think.

One of the more poignant examples of that is chocolate.

Most of the world’s chocolate is made in West Africa, with 43% of it coming from in the Ivory Coast.

not so sweet now, is it?
The majority of chocolate workers there are boys below the age of 16. A number of them are trafficked from neighboring countries with promises of good work and high wages. After being sold to plantation owners for around $30 US they are held against their will, working 80 to 100 hours a week. Violence or the threat of violence is omnipresent and they receive no money. One escaped slave, Aly Diabate has testified “The beatings were a part of my life, anytime they loaded you with bags (of cocoa beans) and you fell while carrying them, nobody helped you. Instead they beat you and beat you until you picked it up again.”

Dear Nestle,

As Jews worldwide observe Passover, the Festival of Freedom, it was brought to my attention the evils of slavery that still persist in the world. Children and others are caught in a web of slavery on cocoa plantations in Africa and elsewhere.

I have since learned that Nestle promised to make their product slave-free by 2005, and have not done so.  

Please heed the call of freedom. Stop purchasing cocoa from plantations that exploit and enslave children.  Invest in sustainable cocoa industries that heal not destroy lives.  Urge competitors to abide by anti-slavery commitments. 

I will inform all my congregants, thousands of people that read my websites and listen to my classes to avoid buying your products until Nestle takes action that is independently verified.

We must act now to stop suffering and make the world a better place.


Rabbi Yonah Bookstein