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Welcome to "The Vegan Shul", the first-ever online synagogue community for Jewish vegans and vegetarians

Jump to registration details:

Why a "Vegan Shul"?

Community is one of the most foundational pillars of Jewish life. It fulfills our natural desire and need to feel connected to other people with similar values and goals and with a similar life path.

A shul (Yiddish for "synagogue") helps to foster this by bringing Jews together in a diversity of ways: prayer, study, holiday and life-cycle celebration, guidance and support.

Many Jewish vegans and vegetarians today find it challenging finding a shul community where they feel seen and heard as well as included and supported in their food and lifestyle choices.

That's why I started "The Vegan Shul", to create a space for Jewish vegans and vegetarians of all backgrounds and demoninations and from all locations to come together and feel that connection, that community and that support as they engage in study, dialogue, prayer and celebration together.

What does being a part of The Vegan Shul include?

  • Weekly Torah classes

  • Weekly Pre-Shabbat music/ruach session

  • Q and A sessions with Rabbi Akiva Gersh

  • Membership in a private Facebook group to share ideas, recipes and teachings as well as to strengthen community connections.

  • Special programs for holidays

  • Occassional in-person meet-ups

  • And more!

Register

How do you become a member of The Vegan Shul?

It's very easy.

Register through the form below. You will receive an email confirming that you are on the wait list. (Check your Spam if you don't see it in your Inbox.)

"The Vegan Shul" opens August 1st!

Right before it does, you will be sent a link to make a payment and then you're in.

Membership is $36/month.

(If you want to join but are having financial difficulty, please be in touch with me privately at akivagersh@yahoo.com)

After August 1st you will receive an invite to join the private FB group and will receive links every week for the classes and programs.

If you have any questions, fill out the FORM below or contact akivagersh@yahoo.com

Organic Vegetables

ABOUT AKIVA GERSH- THE "VEGAN RABBI"

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Shalom and thank you for considering joining "The Vegan Shul".

Allow me to share with you a bit about myself and how Vegan Rabbi came to be.

 

I grew up in the suburbs outside of NYC, ate lots of meat, barely ate vegetables and had a very weak connection with Judaism. By time I was in high school I felt that Judaism was archaic, irrelevant to the world (and my life) and, most tragically, uninspiring.

During my first year at Brown University I had many realizations about the negative impact we modern-day humans are having on the world through our seemingly innocent everyday actions. By the end of that year I decided to major in Environmental Studies and became vegetarian (a huge change for someone who ate tons of meat and almost no veggies growing up!).

 

The following year I became vegan at the age of 19 and continued my studies as well as my activist work trying to inspire positive change in the world. 

 

Around that same time I began to discover teachings in the Jewish tradition that related to environmental ethics and animal welfare. I was absolutely in shock. I never kneW that Judaism focused on these issues and, yet, I saw that it has for thousands of years.

 

This inspired me to look deeper into my Jewish roots which turned into a journey that lasted a few years.

Eventually that journey led me to studying Torah in a yeshiva in Tzfat, Israel and it is there that I fell in love with and deeply connected to the Jewish path of life.

After about six months in Tzfat I returned to the U.S., continued my yeshiva studies and began my work in the field of Jewish Education, a field I continue to work in today over 20 years later. 

Over the years, in addition to other subjects and topics, I have taught extensively about the connection between Judaism and the environment, animal welfare and veganism to thousands of students through classes, courses and workshops.

 

(Along the way I got married to my wife Tamar in 2003, we moved to Israel in 2004 where we continue to live with our four kids, received an MA in Jewish Education from Yeshiva University and rabbinic ordination from Yeshivat Sulam Yaakov in Jerusalem.)

In 2020 "Vegan Rabbi" was born on Facebook and then Instagram and the response has been incredible and inspiring. So many Jews, from all different backgrounds and affiliations, are eager to learn more about the connection between Judaism, food ethics, animal welfare, environmental stewardship and human health.

And it's been an honor and a joy for me to share about this through social media posts, interviews, articles, lectures and webinars.

And now it is my honor and joy to start "The Vegan Shul".

Looking forward to connecting to you in shul!

Contact Form
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To be in touch or ask a question, please fill out the form below:

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