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Fair Trade Judaica website

Summer-fall 2011 Newsletter

  Elul 5771/September 2011

FTJ envisions a world in which Jewish consumers recognize fair trade as an expression of core Jewish values, seek out fair trade Judaica products, and use their purchasing power to support thriving communities of artisans around the world.

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Your tax deductible gift helps us provide assistance and support to fair trade artisans around the world, so that they, their families and communities can live with economic and social stability.


Sweeten Your New Year with
Fair Trade Organic Kosher Honey

Wholesome Sweeteners' honeysRosh Hashanah begins this year on WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 28 and you can celebrate by dipping apples into Wholesome Sweetener's Organic Raw and Amber honeys, certified kosher by the Orthodox Union. The honey comes from fair trade cooperatives in Mexico, so the farmers also get a "sweet" and fair wage. Wholesome Sweeteners' honeys are available in a variety of stores; to find a store near you, go to the Wholesome Sweeteners Store Locator.

Welcome Guests to Your Sukkah

with blessings of Peace, Compassion, Justice, Healing, and more with Fair Trade Judaica’s Jewish Blessing Flags based on ancient Jewish tradition, and handmade in Nepal.

Jewish Blessing Flags

Order a set on-line by October 6 to make sure they arrive on time.

Learn how Fair Trade Principles
Reflect Jewish Values

FTJ is pleased to share this new educational piece, Fair Trade Principles and Jewish Values (PDF), using traditional text sources that illustrate Jewish values and Fair Trade principles. Please let us know what you think – suggestions for other text sources, ways you’re using this at your synagogue or school, other ideas!

New Fair Trade Judaica Products

While some of us have had time off this summer, the artisans working with Mayan Hands in Guatemala have been working hard to bring us several new products. These include beautiful bags for carrying a tallit or tefillin. The bags are woven on back strap looms, and are available in a variety of colors.

Woven Tallit Bag Tefillin Bag

This colorful new Challah Cover from Mayan Hands will brighten up any Shabbat table. It is hand woven and lined with satin-like fabric.

Rainbow challah cover

Purchasing these products allows the artisans to earn a livlihood that empowers them, helps them raise their families out of poverty, and to continue with the Mayan culture that they love. These new products can be ordered at the Mayan Hands website.

From Hacky Sack to Kippa;
the Story Behind MayaWork’s Kippot


Behind the Maya Works kippotThe next time you see someone in your synagogue wearing a beautiful, richly colored crocheted kippah, think of an indigenous Mayan woman in Guatemala - she probably made it.

Behind every good product is a great story and here’s the one describing how Mayan artisans working with MayaWorks in Guatemala began making their hand crocheted kippot. You can read the full story on our web site.

Update on our Bean of Affliction:
Chocolate & Child Labor Campaign

Join the campaignThanks to everyone who supported and attended our San Francisco Bay Area, Boston, and Santa Cruz events, as well as those of you who we met at the National Havurah Institute and Hazon conferences, for your amazing support. With your help:

  • Over 500 people have learned about the role that children play in bringing chocolate to our tables
  • Hershey’s received over 250 personally signed letters, including students at Jewish day schools, encouraging them to begin sourcing fair trade cocoa beans. We are awaiting their response.
  • Several synagogues have begun the discussion to adopt fair trade purchasing policies, choosing only Fair Trade coffee/tea/cocoa
  • We have launched our new Fair Trade Kosher for Passover campaign. There is currently no Fair Trade Kosher for Passover chocolate available on the market. Please join our efforts by signing our petition to work with kosher manufacturers to assure that we have child labor-free chocolate next Passover.

Let us know if you’d like to become more involved in our Bean of Affliction program. We are starting to work on our 2012 campaign.

UpStart Fair Trade Judaica is a beneficiary of UpStart Bay Area.   Community Partners/Jumpstart Fair Trade Judaica is a project of Community Partners/Jumpstart.
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