Rabbi Ellen Bernstein founded Shomrei Adamah, Keepers of the Earth, the first U.S. Jewish environmental organization in 1988. She graduated one of the first environmental studies programs at U.C. Berkeley; co-directed Turtle River, a wilderness river company; helped develop the field of religion and ecology; and authored numerous articles and books on Judaism, Bible and ecology including The Promise of the Land: A Passover haggadah (2020, Behrman House) and The Splendor of Creation. Todayshe continues to write,teach and consult on the ecological dimensions of Judaism and the Hebrew Bible.
She says, “As a young person, I despaired of how the adult world conceived of progress: flattening landscapes for housing developments, polluting the atmosphere and ruining nature. It seemed to me that consumption was our national pastime and that most people were oblivious to our sentient world. Nature was my temple and nature literature was my sacred text. Yearning to preserve nature, I studied biology, led wilderness river trips, and taught life sciences. I began searching for a spiritual path that could integrate my ecological passion, and re-discovered Judaism. For more information visit www.ellenbernstein.org