Animals

Tza’ar baalei chayim, or prevention of unnecessary cruelty to animals, is a core concept in the Torah. The resources below are great tools to explore our relationship to animals, and to discover ways to look at our treatment of animals through a Jewish lens.

“Source Sheet: Jewish Perspectives On Animals” provides Jewish texts and rabbinical perspectives on eating animals in the modern world. Click here to access this resource. 

“The Ark Project” is a b’nai mitzvah curriculum from the Jewish Initiative for Animals that contains a wealth of activities to explore human-animal relationships. Click here to access this resource.

“The Meat Reduction Rap” is a fun activity that allows for a creative way to explore the environmental effects of eating meat, specifically beef. Click here to access this resource.

“To Raise Animals: Animals and US” is a chapter from Min Ha’Aretz, a forthcoming Hebrew School curriculum. The objective of the chapter  is to spark discussions around the ethical treatment of animals based on Jewish and secular,  ancient and contemporary texts. Click here to access this resource.

“Jewish Animal Ethics: A Jewish Educator’s Guide” is a brief guide to primary sources helpful in doing programming that addresses Jewish animal ethics at Jewish camps and beyond! The first three sections focus on pointing you to Rabbinic and Biblical Jewish texts and the final section points to contemporary news articles and select online sources. Click here to access this resource.

Did you know that Judaism has a New Year for the Animals? It’s called Rosh Hashanah La’Behemot, and it falls on Elul 1. Rosh Hashanah La’Behemot is a time for us to honor our relationships with behemot, the animals in our lives. Learn more about how to celebrate this great holiday.