Eco-Kashrut: Food, Jews, Justice

Thursday, July 23, 7:00 – 8:00 PM MDT

Many people think of kosher food—food prepared in accordance with traditional Jewish dietary rules—as being more “moral” or “clean” than non-kosher food.  However, recent exposés have shown that this is not always the case and that Kosher certification does not necessarily mean that the food is humanely raised and slaughtered, obtained by just labor practices, or prepared in a hygienic environment. In fact, there are times when the mandate to keep kosher and the desire to treat the animals and the planet in an ethical manner may come into direct conflict. 

Many Jewish environmental organizations are seeking to address these problems and are focused on linking Jewish dietary rules with other green and ethical practices, promoting vegetarianism and veganism, and, in support of these efforts, are seeking new types of kosher certifications. 

Professor Samira Mehta, in conversation with Professor Elias Sacks, Director of the Program in Jewish Studies at CU-Boulder, will explore these emerging efforts to blend kosher practices, environmentalism, and ethics—often known as “eco-kashrut”—and consider the ways in which many Jews are incorporating secular ethical considerations into their moral lives as Jews.

This is a free program, but registration is required. Please go to:

For additional information, you may go to You may also email your questions to .

Samira Mehta is an Assistant Professor of Women and Gender Studies and of Jewish Studies. Her research and teaching focuses on the intersections between religion, culture, and gender, including the politics of family life and reproduction in the United States. Her first book, Beyond Chrismukkah: The Christian-Jewish Blended Family in America was a National Jewish Book Award finalist. Mehta’s current project, God Bless the Pill? Sexuality, Contraception, and American Religion, examines the role of Jewish and Christian voices in debates about contraception, population control, and eugenics, from the mid-twentieth century to the present. She holds leadership positions in organizations which include the American Academy of Religion and the Association for Jewish Studies.

This program is a part of the University of Colorado Peak to Peak series, which brings CU Boulder scholars into conversation with audiences and communities across Colorado and beyond, and the Boulder JCC is a partner in promoting the series.  Exploring influential historical figures and events and enduring human questions, these online learning opportunities are offered through the CU Boulder Program in Jewish Studies in partnership with the Office for Outreach and Engagement Arts and Humanities Initiative and communities and organizations across Colorado including Corazón de Trinidad Creative District, Garfield County Public Library District, Trinidad Carnegie Public Library, Western Colorado University, Aspen Jewish Congregation, Boulder JCC, and Temple Aaron in Trinidad.

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