ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal
PO Box 35118
Philadelphia, PA 19128
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
[PHILADELPHIA, PA | April 22, 2020] ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal is excited to welcome Organic Torah as an official program. Focusing on wholeness, integration and wisdom, Organic Torah works to plant the seeds for a renewed Tree of Life. Organic Torah will extend and expand ALEPH’s current offerings, which include programs such as C-DEEP, Tikshoret Connections, Beloved Land: Israel and Palestine through the Kaleidoscope, the Kesher Fellowship, and Kallah.
Founded in 2011 by Rabbi Natan Margalit, Organic Torah is both a project and a way of being/thinking that integrates ancient Jewish wisdom with new directions in modern thought such as ecological and systems thinking which emphasize networks of relationship, context and patterns of connection.
As a project of ALEPH, Organic Torah will continue to offer publications, conferences, retreats and workshops. In addition, plans are in place to integrate Organic Torah into ALEPH’s existing offerings as well as develop new programming.
“We’ve already been working in close partnership with Rabbi Natan Margalit,” says SooJi Min-Maranda, ALEPH’s Executive Director. “We’re looking forward to learning and growing Organic Torah together.”
Rabbi Natan Margalit currently serves as the Project Director for ALEPH’s recently launched Earth-Based Judaism certification program for clergy and leaders. He is also on the faculty of the ALEPH Ordination Program and a member of the Va’ad, which is an academic council comprised of core AOP faculty and directors of studies.
“ALEPH has already been a wonderful partner with Organic Torah on retreats and programs designed for young adults seeking to deepen their connection to Judaism through ecology, farming and wilderness experience,” says Rabbi Margalit. “So, it only makes sense to expand this collaboration. ALEPH’s goals and values align with those of Organic Torah and joining ALEPH means we can greatly expand our capacity to do the work that we already do, reaching a wider audience and working with some of the best people in the Jewish non-profit world.”
Rabbi Margalit was raised in Honolulu, Hawaii. As a young adult he lived for twelve years in Israel and received rabbinic ordination at The Jerusalem Seminary in 1990. He earned a Ph.D. in Talmud from U.C. Berkeley in 2001. Natan has taught at Bard College, the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College and the Rabbinical School of Hebrew College. He is currently a member of the Va’ad (steering committee and core faculty) of the Aleph Ordination Program, and serves as Chair of their Rabbinic Texts department. He is also the Director of the AOP’s new Earth Based Judaism Track. Natan is Founder of Organic Torah, a non-profit which fosters holistic thinking about Judaism, environment and society. Natan is also Director of the Open Circle Jewish Learning program at Hebrew College. He lives with his wife, two sons and their dog, Pele (named for the Hebrew word for wonder, and also the Hawaiian goddess, not the soccer player) in Newton, MA.
Founded in 1993, ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal envisions a contemporary Judaism that is joyous, creative, spiritually rich, socially progressive, and earth-aware. ALEPH brings spiritual vitality and passion into the daily lives of Jews through programs that empower leadership, build communities, and generate powerful experiences and practical resources. ALEPH currently has about 40 network affiliates/communities located both in the US and abroad.
For more information, please reach out to SooJi Min-Maranda, Executive Director of ALEPH, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (215) 247-9700 ext. 240 or Rabbi Dr. Natan Margalit, Founder/President/Principal Teacher of Organic Torah at email@example.com or (617) 894-0105.