Yours? Mine? Ours? Economies for a Sustainable Earth

By :  The Jewish Theological Seminary Posted On Apr 25, 2013 / 5773 | Challenges of the 21st Century | Natural World

Is the earth ours to “fill and conquer” (Genesis 1:28); or are we to “work and watch over it” (Genesis 2:15)? Is the fate of humanity that “there will never cease to be needy ones in your land” (Deuteronomy 15:11); or can it be that “there shall be no needy among you” (Deuteronomy 15:4)? JTS celebrated Earth Day 2013 with this thought-provoking panel discussion by noted experts in the economies of sustainability in the 21st century.

The Jewish Theological Seminary hosted a panel discussion titled “Yours? Mine? Ours? Economies for a Sustainable Earth” on Earth Day, Monday, April 22, at 7:30 p.m. The event was sponsored by the Louis Finkelstein Institute for Religious and Social Studies of JTS. 


Erik Assadourian is senior fellow at Worldwatch Institute, where he has studied cultural change, consumerism, economic “degrowth,” ecological ethics, corporate responsibility, and sustainable communities over the past 11 years. Mr. Assadourian has directed two editions of Vital Signs and four editions of State of the World, including the upcoming State of the World 2013: Is Sustainability Still Possible? He also directs the institute’s Transforming Cultures project.

Laura Berry is executive director of the Interfaith Center for Corporate Responsibility (ICCR). The organization emphasizes community, social justice, and responsible investing. After working for five years as a chemical engineer, Ms. Berry began a 17-year career as a large-market-capitalization value portfolio manager on Wall Street. In 2001, she began her nonprofit career as the director of the New London Development Corporation’s Community Development Initiative. She joined ICCR in 2007.

Alexa Bradley is program director at On the Commons, where she works to support community solutions rooted in the principles of collective stewardship and equitable use of resources. Her current work includes a focus on the Great Lakes Commons Initiative. Ms. Bradley has worked as an organizer, facilitator, trainer, and popular educator for more than 25 years, with a particular focus on linking community organizing to broader social-movement strategies.


Rabbi Nina Beth Cardin is the founder and director of the Baltimore Jewish Environmental Network, an organization dedicated to “greening” her local Jewish community; the founder and director of the Baltimore Orchard Project, an organization that grows, harvests, and gives away urban fruit; and a cofounder and chair of Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake, an interfaith organization that works on behalf of the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

This panel discussion was cohosted by the environmental organizations Worldwatch Institute, On the Commons, Baltimore Jewish Environmental Network, Hazon, and the Interfaith Center for Corporate Responsibility.