Archive for May, 2011

Here Comes The Sun

May 31, 2011

This post first appeared as “Counting Down to ‘Ben-Gurion’s Solar Revolution'” on The Shmooze blog of The Forward.

The homepage of the Arava Power Company’s website shows a clock counting down the days, hours, minutes and seconds to “Ben-Gurion’s Solar Revolution.”

On June 5, in celebration of World Environment Day, the company will inaugurate Israel’s first commercial solar field at Kibbutz Ketura in the Arava Valley. The Arava Power Company is a privately held partnership, owned by Global Sun Partners, Siemens, and KKL-JNF. It is the only public-private partnership in the solar market in Israel.

The solar power field uses photovoltaic (PV) technology, which produces no emissions, makes no noise and uses no water. The backers of the venture hope that increased use of solar energy will reduce the need for new coal plants in Israel. In November of last year, Israel’s Infrastructure Ministry signed a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement worth NIS 250 million with the company, allowing it to supply power to Israel’s electrical grid.

Click here to read more and view the cool video invitation to the inauguration.

© 2011 Renee Ghert-Zand. All rights reserved.

Sharing In The Bounty

May 31, 2011

This post first appeared as “12 Tribes: A New Kind of Farm to Table” on The Jew and the Carrot blog of The Forward.

Rabbi Rebecca Joseph at work at the 12 Tribes Foods kitchen

Rabbi Rebecca Joseph changed one letter and started a business.

Last August, she launched the first kosher and sustainable CSD — Community Supported Dinnerculture project— a tasty riff on a CSA (community supported agriculture project). Community supported dinnerculture, like its agricultural counterpart, involves buying shares of a company and sharing in the profits. Members pay a lump sum at the beginning of a season and then pick up a freshly prepared, ethically sourced, kosher dinner for their family to enjoy at home each week.

Joseph’s CSD, called 12 Tribes Foods, runs on a seasonal cycle, with members buying shares – basically a subscription – for three months at a time. However, with its summer season beginning June 1st, 12 Tribes is experimenting with month-to-month subscriptions to accommodate people’s erratic summer schedules.

Having been a founding member of Hazon’s first CSA at Ansche Chesed in New York almost a decade ago, Joseph is well acquainted with how alternative food networks work. A year ago, she decided to apply this knowledge by giving the CSA concept a new twist and starting her own CSD.

Click here to read more, including a 12 Tribes recipe for the upcoming Shavuot holiday.

© 2011 Renee Ghert-Zand. All rights reserved.

Kugel and Kimche

May 30, 2011

This interview was first published as “On Raising Asian-Jewish Children” on The Sisterhood blog of The Forward.

Sociologists Noah Leavitt and Helen Kim and their son Ari

The recent Forward article “Raising Children on Kugel and Kimchi, and as Jews” centered on a new study that found that many families in which one parent is Jewish and the other is Asian are raising their children as Jews. The research was conducted by a married couple of sociologists, Helen Kim, who is of Korean descent, and Noah Leavitt, who is Jewish. Having written a post for The Sisterhood about the stereotypes about Jewish men and Asian women that are found in popular media — a post that garnered quite a few pointed comments — I was eager to get a behind-the-scenes look at Kim and Leavitt’s methodology and findings. The researchers spoke recently with The Sisterhood.

Renee Ghert-Zand: How did you end up choosing the specific 37 couples that ended up being the sample in your study?

Helen Kim: We worked with Be’chol Lashon. They helped us send out a screening survey. There were waves of responses. We recruited people based on where they were in the queue of 250 or so responses as they came in. We also chose couples so there was a wide range of different demographic variables: ethnicity, religious affiliation and religiosity, kids or no kids, age. For instance, we didn’t want to have an overrepresentation of Chinese-Americans.

Click here to read the rest of the interview.

© 2011 Renee Ghert-Zand. All rights reserved.


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