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Lawrence Troster

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Rabbi Lawrence Troster is Director of the Fellowship program and Rabbinic Scholar-in-Residence for GreenFaith, the interfaith environmental coalition in New Jersey. Rabbi Troster co-chairs the Interfaith Partnership for the Environment of UNEP (United Nations Environment Program). He is also pursuing a D. Min. in Ecological Ministries at Drew Theological School.

Rabbi Troster also teaches in the Florence Melton Adult Mini School of the UJA Federation of Northern New Jersey. Previously he was the Jewish Chaplain of Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson and an Associate of Bard’s Institute of Advanced Theology. He was also the Rabbinic Fellow of the Coalition On the Environment and Jewish Life (COEJL), the Advisor to Students and Adjunct Lecturer in Professional Skills in the Rabbinical School of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, Program Officer/Educator at the Jewish Life Network, a Steinhardt Fellow at CLAL, and has served as the rabbi of several congregations in New Jersey and Toronto, Canada.

Rabbi Troster was born in Toronto, Canada in 1953. He received his B.A. from the University of Toronto and his M.A. and rabbinic ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in New York City.

He is also member of the editorial boards of the journals Conservative Judaism, Judaism, and is a member of the Board of Directors of CrossCurrents. He has published numerous articles and has lectured widely on theology, environmentalism, liturgy, bioethics and Judaism and modern cosmology.

Rabbi Troster has appeared on television and radio and in newspapers. He was recently one of the keynote speakers at the Interfaith Creation Festival in Seattle, WA, and in May 2005 presented a paper at a UNEP conference in Tehran, Iran entitled, “The Mountain and the River Valley: Environmentalism as the Foundation of Dialogue Between Civilizations.” (available at [1]) He has also been featured on Air America’s environment program “Eco Talk.”

See also

Selected Publications

“Healing Sacred Earth in Judaism,” Sacred Journey: The Journal of Fellowship in Prayer, Volume 60, #1, Autumn 2009.

“Not Just a Symbol: Neil Gillman’s Theological Method and Critical Realism,” Conservative Judaism, Volume 61, Nos. 1-2, Fall/Winter 2008-2009 [This is a special issue that Troster guest edited honoring Neil Gillman on his retiring from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America][2]

“The Promise of Creation: A Jewish Environmental Theology of Redemption,” in: Studies in Jewish Civilization 20: “‘The Mountains Shall Drip Wine’: Jews and the Environment”. Edited by Leonard J. Greenspoon, and et al. (Omaha: Creighton University Press 2009).

"Tikkun Olam and Environmental Restoration: A Jewish Eco-Theology of Redemption", Eco-Judaism-Part II, Jewish Educational News, Fall, 2008, [3]

“God Must Love Beetles: A Jewish View of Biodiversity and the Extinction of Species,” Conservative Judaism, Volume 60, No. 3 (Spring 2008).

“Caretaker or Citizen: Hans Jonas, Aldo Leopold and the Development of Jewish Environmental Ethics,” in: Hava Tirosh-Samuelson & Christian Wiese, editors, Judaism and the Phenomenon of Life: The Legacy of Hans Jonas—Historical and Philosophical Studies, (Leiden: E.J. Brill,2008)

"Beyond Personal Virtue," Sh'ma, June, 2008, [4]

“Hearing the Outcry of Mute Things: Towards a Jewish Creation Theology,” and “Cries of Creation, Ground for Hope: Faith, Justice, and the Earth Interfaith Worship Service, [with Jane Ellen Nickell]” in: Laurel Kearns and Catherine Keller, eds., Eco-Spirit: Religions and Philosophies for the Earth, (New York: Fordham University Press, 2007).

Review of: Bill McKibben, The Comforting Whirlwind: God, Job and the Scale of Creation, Biblical Theology Bulletin, 38:2 (2008): 91-92 [5]

“The Order of Creation and the Emerging God: Evolution and Divine Action in the Natural World,” in: Geoffrey Cantor & Marc Swetlitz editors, Jewish Tradition and the Challenge of Darwinism, (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2006)

“Ten Jewish Teachings on Judaism the Environment,“ [6]

“The Mountain and the River Valley: Environmentalism as the Foundation of Dialogue Between Civilizations,” Proceedings of the International Conference on Environment, Peace and the Dialogue Among Civilizations and Cultures, May, 9-10, 2005 Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran. Published by the Department of Environment, Islamic Republic of Iran and the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP). A version of this is published online at [7].

“From Apologetics to New Spirituality: Trends in Jewish Environmental Theology,” [8], November 2004.

“Hans Jonas and the Concept of God after the Holocaust,” Conservative Judaism, Vol. 55, No. 4, Summer 2003.

“Cross Generational Retribution and Genetic Engineering: Reflections on Chance and Freewill,” Conservative Judaism, Vol. 54, No. 3, Spring 2002.

“Tzedek or Triage: Restoring the Balance of Creation,” Conservative Judaism, Vol. 53, No. 1, Fall, 2000.

‘In Your Goodness , You Renew Creation’: The Creation Cycles of the Jewish Liturgy” & “The Blessings of Holiness,” in: Ecology and the Jewish Spirit: Where Nature and the Sacred Meet, edited by Ellen Bernstein, Jewish Lights, Woodstock, VT., 1998 .

"From Big Bang to Omega Point: Jewish Responses to Recent Theories in Modern Cosmology," Conservative Judaism, Vol. XLIL, No. 4, Summer, 1997.

"Journey to the Center of the Earth: Birkat Ha-Mazon and the Quest for Holiness," Conservative Judaism, Vol. XLVII, Number 2, Winter 1995.

“Jewish Roots of Environmental Concern,” Proceedings of “A Just and Sustainable Community” A Conference on Environmental Values, June 1-2, 1995.

"Created in the Image of God: Humanity and Divinity in an Age of Environmentalism,"Conservative Judaism, Vol. XLIV, Number 1, Fall, 1991. Reprinted in Judaism and Environmental Ethics: A Reader, edited by Martin D. Yaffe, Lexington Books, Lantham, Maryland, 2001. Reprinted also in Environmental Ethics: Divergence and Convergence, Third Edition, by Susan J. Armstrong and Richard G. Botzler, 2004.

"Chaos and Creation: A Review Essay," The Reconstructionist, Vol. LVII, No. 1, Autumn 1991. Reprinted in Joel Lurie Grishaver, Learn Torah With... 1994-1995 Torah Annual: A Collection of the Year's Best Torah - Year 5755, (Los Angeles: Aleph Design Group: 1996)

"To the Mountain: A Rationale for the Mitzvot in Three Parts," Conservative Judaism, Volume 41, No. 3, Spring, 1989.

"The Love of God and the Anthropic Principle," Conservative Judaism, Vol. 40, Number 2, Winter, 1987.

“The Definition of Evil in Post-Holocaust Theology,” Conservative Judaism, Volume 39, No. 1, Fall, 1986.

"Asymmetry, Negative Entropy and the Problem of Evil," Judaism, Vol. 34, No. 4, Fall, 1985.

"Kayla's Prayer," Conservative Judaism, Vol. 37, Number 4, Summer 1984. Reprinted in: Wrestling With the Angel: Jewish Insights on Death and Mourning, edited by Jack Reimer, Schocken Books, New York, 1995; Anita Diamant, Saying Kaddish, Schocken Books, New York, 1998; Nina Beth Cardin, The Tapestry of Jewish Time, Behrman House, Springfield, NJ, 2000.

"Therapy or Engineering: Jewish Responses to Genetic Research," The Reconstructionist, Vol. XLIX, No. 6, April-May 1984.


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