Rabbi Ellen Bernstein

Rabbi Ellen Bernstein in 1988 founded Shomrei Adamah, Keepers of the Earth, the first national Jewish environmental organization, after finding her way back to Judaism through her interests in wilderness and ecology. She has been dubbed the "birthmother of the Jewish environmental movement" and "a pioneering thinker who helped define modern Jewish environmentalism." She has published numerous articles on the topic of Bible and ecology and is author/editor of three books on Judaism and Ecology: Let the Earth Teach You Torah (1992), Ecology & the Jewish Spirit (1998) and The Splendor of Creation: A Biblical Ecology (2006). Ellen wrote the first ecological haggadah for Tu B’Sh’vat, A New Year for the Trees (1988), and she has popularized Tu B'Sh'vat as an ecological festival through her large-scale inter-spiritual Tu B'Sh'vat arts and music seders. She has taught graduate level courses in Reading the Bible Ecologically, and has presented her work on biblical ecology in universities, synagogues and churches. Most recently, she was a featured speaker at the Religions for the Earth conference, at the final ceremony of the 2014 Peoples' Climate March, and at the 2015 Parliament for World Religions. She has consulted with numerous non-profit organizations, coached many young Jewish leaders, and served as chairperson of the Adamah Advisory Council. She was named a Women of Distinction by Women's League of Conservative Judaism. Currently she is developing her eco-theology, writing a commentary on Song of Songs from an ecological perspective, and working as a Spiritual Advisor at Hampshire College.Rabbi Bernstein graduated from U.C. Berkeley in Conservation of Natural Resources, one of the first environment programs in the U.S., in 1975, received a M.A. degree in Biology from Southern Oregon State University in 1981, an M.A. in Jewish Studies from Hebrew College in 2007 and rabbinical ordination from the Academy of Jewish Religion in 2012.