Hazon, the leading Jewish sustainability organization in North America, has teamed up with The Humane Society of the United States to further farm animal welfare education and advocacy within the Jewish community in time for Food Day 2015 this Saturday, October 24th, an event that inspires Americans to reflect upon their diets and food choices.

Christine Gutleben, director of Faith Outreach at the HSUS said: “Hazon’s work to provide transformative experiences in food education aligns with our work to promote more compassionate food choices among faith communities. Together we can help Jewish communities reduce their meat consumption and avoid purchasing animal products from factory farms.”

The two organizations are working together on a range of initiatives, including a camp program for Jewish youth that explores the practices of industrial animal agriculture along with what Jewish tradition teaches about animal welfare and environmental sustainability.

Becca Linden, associate program director at Hazon said: “The pilot program we ran this summer was a huge success. Over 1,000 campers participated in our creative games, thought deeply about their values when interacting with our educational materials, and had vigorous debates in their dining halls about whether, when, and how we should eat animal products—all informed by Jewish tradition. This is where ground-level change begins—with our youngest generations. We are excited to celebrate Food Day, having taken these steps to make a meaningful and lasting difference.”

Programs within Jewish summer camps are just a starting point for the two groups, which hope to broaden food justice to include animal issues in a variety of Jewish contexts. Together, Hazon and the HSUS will be working on co-branded programming and materials for synagogues—including a “Green Kiddush Guide,” and extending resources to professionals at religious schools, adult education programs, youth groups, synagogue clergy and lay leaders.

In keeping with Food Day’s theme of being a year-long catalyst for healthier diets and a better food system, the joint Hazon and HSUS projects will be a major theme at Hazon’s annual Food Conference from December 29th-January 1st, where rabbis, animal advocates and food enthusiasts will unite to discuss how we should approach food in a changing climate.

The HSUS advocates for the Three Rs: “reducing” or “replacing” consumption of animal products and “refining” our diets by choosing products from sources that adhere to higher animal welfare standards.

This work is being supported by a grant from Emanuel J. Friedman Philanthropies, which supports innovative programs that promote compassion for animals.

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