As many of you know, award-winning documentary filmmaker Lionel Friedberg, in collaboration with Professor Richard Schwartz, president of Jewish Vegetarians of North America, recently released a film entitled A Sacred Duty - Applying Jewish Values to Help Heal the World. You can read a synopsis here: 

The film has just been uploaded and is now ready for viewing and downloading on the internet!

It is available on YouTube at: 

download as .flv file (143mb)
The JVNA encourages (and appreciates) wide viewing,
distribution and screening of the film.
The film can also be downloaded and burned to disc from this site:

After you've viewed the film, they would love to hear your comments.
Please feel free to post them at the sites that contain the film or leave a comment at:

A SACRED DUTY Can Now Be Seen On the Internet

Many, many thanks for vegetarian/animal rights activist Leonardo
Fishman for getting our movie on the following two sites: com/watch? v=Y9RxmTGHZgE

[*** Please visit this YouTube site, and register a positive opinion
about the movie. Doing this can help convince YouTube decide to put
the movie in a better location.
http://blip. tv/file/602351/

Interviews - at Three Animal Rights/Vegetarian Web Sites

Latest is at the web site of the European Vegetarian and Animal News
Agency (EVANA):
http://www.evana. org/index. php?id=29563& lang=en

Another is at the Humane Society of the US web site:
http://www.hsus. org/religion/ a_sacred_ duty_documentary _122007.html

Hi, all. I'm forwarding this to you at Richard Schwartz' request, since he isn't subscribed on either of these lists (and the emails bounced back to him).

From: RSchw12345@aol. com
Date: Wed, 9 Jan 2008 23:44:54 EST
Subject: Offer of a complimentary DVD that shows how religious values can help heal the world


Best wishes for continued success with your important activities for a better world.

Because of your dedicated efforts to help promote vegetarianism, I would like to send all of you a complimentary DVD with our recently released documentary A SACRED DUTY: APPLYING JEWISH VALUES TO HELP HEAL THE WORLD. (Please see the article below.) It has a universal message re global warming and other environmental threats,, health issues, the treatment of animals and much more. The movie is receiving a very favorable response (please see the blurbs under the article below).

If you are interested in receiving a DVD, please send me your mailing address. If you would like more than one free DVD, to share with others, please let me know.

Many thanks, and best wishes,

Richard Schwartz

President, Jewish Vegetarians of North America

Richard H. Schwartz

Because the world is heading rapidly toward an unprecedented catastrophe from global warming and other environmental threats, Jewish Vegetarians of North America (JVNA) has produced a documentary, A SACRED DUTY: APPLYING JEWISH VALUES TO HELP HEAL THE WORLD, to address these threats from a positive Jewish perspective. JVNA will send a free copy to anyone who will help arrange a screening or help promote the movie in some other way.

Almost daily there are reports of severe droughts, floods, storms or wildfires, of the melting of glaciers and polar icecaps and other indicators of global warming. It is frightening that, while these effects are due to an increase in temperature of less than 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit in the past 100 years, the Nobel Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a group composed of hundreds of the world's climate scientists, is projecting an increase of 3 to 11 degrees Fahrenheit in the next 100 years. Even more ominous is that some climate scientists, including James Hansen of NASA, are warning that global warming may reach a tipping point and spiral out of control within a decade, with disastrous consequences, unless major changes are soon made. Israel is especially vulnerable to global climate change, in terms of reduced rainfall, severe storms and flooding from a rising Mediterranean Sea.

A SACRED DUTY is a Jewish response to these realities. It reminds us that it is our sacred duty to become aware of current threats and our responsibility to apply Jewish teachings to how we obtain our food, use natural resources, and live among other creatures whom God created. It offers simple, practical measures for reducing our impact on the planet, including "an inconvenient truth" that even Al Gore has not yet acknowledged.

Produced by the highly acclaimed, multi-award- winning film maker, Lionel Friedberg, A SACRED DUTY reinforces the messages in Al Gore's AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH and Leonardo di Caprio's, THE ELEVENTH HOUR about the dangers of global warming. However, it goes beyond these films, by showing how religious responses can make a major difference and why a shift toward plant-based diets is an essential part of efforts to reduce global climate change and other environmental threats. It also challenges people to consider the many moral issues related to our diets, including Torah teachings on how animals are treated on factory farms and the effects on human health and the environment.

The documentary features interviews with leading Israeli and American environmental, health, vegetarian and animal rights activists as well as Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, Reconstructionist and secular leaders.

Interviewees include: Rabbi Shear Yashuv Cohen, Ashkenazic Chief Rabbi of Haifa; Rabbi David Rosen, Former Chief Rabbi of Ireland and International Director of Interreligious Affairs of the American Jewish Committee; Dr. Yeshayahu Bar-Or, Chief Scientist: Israel Environmental Ministry and many other rabbis and Jewish leaders and activists.
Biblical passages are read by the acclaimed Jewish star of Broadway and screen Theodore Bikel

Although it is primarily intended for a Jewish audience, A SACRED DUTY speaks to people everywhere about the ethics of our relationship to the natural world in which we live. The movie's universal message will appeal to anyone interested in such topics as biblical teachings, Israel, the environment, health, nutrition, vegetarianism, hunger and resource usage. The movie may be said to be like Levy's Jewish Rye bread - you do not have to be Jewish to appreciate it.

A SACRED DUTY and the many activities being planned around it have the potential to help move our imperiled world toward a sustainable path. But only if the movie is widely viewed and discussed.

So, please order your FREE copy and please consider taking one or more of the following actions after viewing the movie: have viewings for family, neighbors and friends; try to schedule showings at a local school, a synagogue and/or other houses of worship, a community center or other communal site, etc.; share the DVD with local rabbis and other religious leaders, teachers, politicians and other local influential people.

You can request a free DVD by sending your name and mailing address to JVNA's secretary/treasurer John Diamond (jdiamond4@cox. net). If you feel that you can profitably use more than one DVD, just let John know, with a brief description of how you plan to use them. Additional information about the movie may be found at www.asacredduty. com.

JVNA plans to build a major campaign around the movie to get tikkun olam (the repair and healing of the world) to become a central focus in Jewish life today, with a shift toward plant-based diets as an essential part of the changes that can help move our imperiled planet to a sustainable path. If you would like to be involved in the campaign or have suggestions, please contact Richard Schwartz at President@JewishVeg .com.

Blurbs Supporting A SACRED DUTY
A SACRED DUTY has received a very favorable response from the vegetarian and animal rights communities. Some blurbs are below. We would like to have an even wider variety of blurbs from key people, to help support and promote the documentary. Please let me know if you have suggestions re others whom we should contact re getting additional blurbs. Please feel free to use these blurbs and any other information in this or past or future JVNA newsletters to help promote A SACRED DUTY. Many thanks.


A Sacred Duty should be mandated viewing for all people on planet Earth. Great job!

Howard F. Lyman, the Mad Cowboy

"A Sacred Duty" is a tour de force. Anyone who watches with an open heart and an open mind will leave the theater deeply moved and called to action.
--Bruce Friedrich, Vice-President, PETA.

A Sacred Duty melds modern science with Jewish religious teachings to make a compelling case for vegetarianism that conscientious viewers will find hard to resist. A cheekier title might have been "What Would Moses Eat Today?" in the face of catastrophic global warming and environmental degradation, world hunger and needless violence to billions of helpless animals every year. I hope A Sacred Duty will help redefine kosher for the 21st century Jew, for vegetarianism - a diet infused with kindness and blessedly free of bloodshed - is our Biblical root ("behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed") and our moral destiny ("and the wolf shall dwell with the lamb").

Syd Baumel, writer and animal activist, publisher of

I can't find the words to tell you how deeply I was moved by A Sacred Duty. I've seen similar factory farming footage for decades, but in the context of this extraordinary film, it was particularly compelling--.very moving. Poignantly written, beautifully filmed and perfectly executed, it was enlightening without being admonishing. A truly monumental film not only for those of the Jewish faith, but for people of all faiths or none, and it will certainly benefit the animals. Another, very subtle impression was the fact that you were able to bring together representatives from all corners of the Jewish faith. While just by nature of their categories, there are things that separate them, their words around this topic had great unison, sounding as though they came from one voice. >From the first scene to the final word, this film is absolutely brilliant! Thank you, Lionel, Richard, and all who were involved, for the legacy of this contribution to our planet, its people and its animals.

Kris Haley
Manager of Multifaith Outreach/Animals & Religion
Best Friends Animal Society

A Sacred Duty makes a crystal clear argument for taking action to end factory farming. How could any person of faith and conviction remain indifferent after seeing this film? Humane Society Animals & Religion was created out of the belief that religious people can do much to end the current state of industrial animal agriculture in this country. At a time when people are searching for ways to apply their spirituality to their daily lives, what better cause than ethical, mindful, compassionate food choices?

Karen L. Allanach
Associate Director, Animals & Religion
The Humane Society of the United States

A SACRED DUTY is a wake-up call for Jews and all others who care about the fate of our planet. A deep love for Earth, for humanity, and for our animal cousins shines through it. This documentary shows how compassionate dietary choices can unite Jews and other people of faith in taking action to rescue and heal our precious, imperiled earth.

Gracia Fay Ellwood
A Quaker Online Journal

A SACRED DUTY is beautiful and poetic, inspiring and optimistic, good in all possible senses. The image of the tear shedding cow was so moving, that I couldn't restrain myself and burst out crying! The quotations from Tanach [the Jewish scriptures] were very wisely selected and inserted in well-suited places. Congratulations for all the team who prepared the movie. Keep on assuring a good distribution of it!

Luiza CAROL - writer, Israeli delegate of TEVA (Tutmonda Esperantista Vegetarana Asocio) (World Association of Esperantist Vegetarians)

Even knowing the issues and arguments, being a long-term environmentalist and vegetarian, I was taken in by the beauty and power of this remarkable film. A Sacred Duty is a must see and a must do, so that we and our children may live. I have already shared the film with rabbis and others and am in the process of scheduling screenings at my synagogue, other synagogues, the Jewish Community Center, and my local vegetarian society.-

--Dan Brook, Ph.D.
(The Vegetarian Mitzvah)

Dear Richard,
I enjoyed the video so much that I am planning to teach two courses on Tikun Olam next semester: one for a 4 part adult ed series and another for a 12 part high school program. Keep up the great work.

Rabbi Aaron Rosenberg
Temple Emanu-El
Waterford, CT

My gut feeling is that because of the major impression this video will make on the world the battle to save the lives of billions of animals has just turned in favor of the animals. The battle to reach the goal of shutting down animal factory farms and slaughterhouses is now clearly and really within reach, within a much shorter period of time then anyone thought possible.

In my opinion this is a "A MAJOR MASTERPIECE" and officially marks the real beginning of the end of animal factory farms and slaughterhouses throughout the world.

I cannot imagine any rational person in the world, no matter what his or her religious or spiritual beliefs may be, who will watch this video and not be extremely moved and strongly persuaded to stop eating animal flesh.

You only have to watch the film to understand and agree with my conclusion.

In my opinion, soon to be shared by millions of people, the film A Sacred Duty is the most brilliant, intelligent, thought provoking, and heart wrenching film ever produced for the benefit of humans, farm animals, the earth, and the earths atmosphere.

In only "one hour" because of the quality, the content, and the magnificent presentation, the film "A Sacred Duty" will reach out and grasp you in your heart and soul.

Because A Sacred Duty is such a powerful and convincing presentation it has the potential of persuading a large number of people throughout the world to become vegetarians or vegans soon. At least 90% of the people that initially watch the DVD will probably be extremely happy to promote it any way they can. For this important reason the DVD needs to be provided to many government leaders in every country. Several copies of A Sacred Duty should be provided to every high school, college, and church in the world, as well as a large number of newspapers. The video should be viewed by every man, woman, and mature child in the world.

Arthur Poletti, Author

Lionel, I salute you and then some. A Sacred Duty is a powerful piece of work, a magnificent achievement.

George Shea
Author/Screenwriter /Animal Activist
Chairman, Animal Welfare Committee
Studio City Neighborhood Council
Studio City, CA

I received my copy of the "Sacred Duty" DVD yesterday. My wife and I, along with my two youngest children (Sam and Jacob, 15 and 12) screened the movie last night. All four of us were deeply moved by the film. The impact of the material is unquestionably powerful from any perspective. We agreed in our discussion afterwards that we did not want anything to do with food whose source we could not verify as cruelty free. This morning, we discarded all the eggs and cheese in our refrigerator and replaced everything with locally farmed products whose sources we could actually visit and see with our own eyes.

I surely hope the publicity efforts will result in a large viewing audience. My entire family thanks you for your personal efforts to shift the world away from meat-based diets.

Steve Schuster, CEO
Rainier Communications - "Technology's Most Credible Voice"

In a message dated 1/9/08 8:40:03 PM, sue@episcoveg. com writes:

To "all that is, seen and unseen":
Bishop Marc Andrus is the one who coordinated a 5-day retreat on animals and spirituality at The Kanuga Center a couple of years ago.

Here's a little bit of news that made my day: press_releases/andrus010908.html
(Hat tip to Ann Fontaine for bringing this to my attention.)

And here's a very brief, but nice video of Bishop Andrus that is linked, but could easily be missed: 87934d2dd980981b3370ad304ea662adfd279a55

(If you live in California, or know anyone that does, maybe you can find a way to help support the initiative.)

Feel free to cross-post the Press Release, if you'd like.

Sue Grisham
(Episcopal Diocese of Chicago) 

"The creatures man uses and, so often abuses, are voiceless and helpless.
We are not. We have pens with which to write to politicians and retailers,
voices with which to speak out, shopping choices which can have a major impact. ..,

organisationsto join, even, on appropriate occasions, banners tocarry."
-- Rt RevRichard Llewellin, ret. Bishop at Lambeth

Richard H. Schwartz, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus, College of Staten Island
Author of "Judaism and Vegetarianism," "Judaism and Global Survival," and "Mathematics and Global Survival," and over 130 articles at www.JewishVeg. com/schwartz
President of Jewish Vegetarians of North America (JVNA) www.JewishVeg. com
and Society of Ethical and Religious Vegetarians (SERV)
Associate Producer of A SACRED DUTY (asacredduty. com)
president@JewishVeg .com

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