I was introduced to my guest today, Rabbi Jonathan Jaffe Bernhard by Richard H Schwartz who I had the pleasure of speaking with in E842. Both men are dedicated to sharing with love and compassion the alignment between Jewish values and a vegan lifestyle.
After 25 years at a wonderful congregation, Jonathan decided it was time for a change and a different way of serving the Jewish and broader Los Angeles community. As an independent rabbi, he looks to lead people through their lifecycle events with warmth and wisdom.
In addition, Jonathan now works as the Executive Director of the Jewish Initiative For Animals.
Via education and expert consultation the Jewish Initiative For Animals collaborates with Jewish nonprofit organizations, institutions and community to: “spark inquiry into how Jewish values should interact with how we treat animals.”
In this conversation Jonathan and I discuss: What makes something truly kosher and how our current system of factory farming is completely incompatible or not “fit” to be termed Kosher. We also cover Kosher Humanewashing and the huge environmental impact of animal agriculture that is in conflict with the Jewish imperative to protect our Earth and avoid destruction / waste.
In this conversation we cover:
- Jonathan’s becoming vegan story.
- The alignment between Jewish values and a vegan lifestyle.
- Jonathan’s work as the Executive Director of the Jewish Initiative For Animals.
- What makes something truly Kosher?
- How our current system of animal agriculture is compatible (or not!) with that?
- The Jewish religion recognises: eating meat is a “concession” not an “ideal.”
- The campaign to End Kosher Humanewashing.
- Veganising Jewish staples!
On the purely food related aspect of a vegan lifestyle, something Jonathan has said that rings super true is: “It’ll taste good enough and it does more than good enough.”
As holiday season is upon us, no matter our religion or faith or community, the vegan alternatives we make for our loved ones can be powerful, impactful and of course delicious.
I have so many new recipes I want to share! I keep changing my mind on the main event for our family gathering on December 25th however I feel very confident that if I make something with love and share it with compassion, that intention and attitude will be reciprocated.
It might not taste EXACTLY like the old dishes however it certainly will taste and DO more than good enough.
To connect with Jonathan and learn more about JIFA I will have you linked up in the show notes below.
Also via the main website, https://www.jifanimals.org
That’s it for this week in Healthification.
However, have you checked out my Plant Positive Journal yet?
I am so very proud of this stunning journal. There is now also a fillable PDF version available for immediate download so wherever you are in the world you can still get Plant Positive with me!
If you are plant-based curious. Or already vegan and need a healthier approach to the lifestyle.
In this daily journal you will learn how to consistently prioritise food, exercise and other healthy habits that build on each other to have a compounding and lasting effect.
To help you create a BODY and LIFE you LOVE by successfully managing your TIME and your MIND.
It makes a great gift to YOU!
Or, for the loved one who is plant-based curious or who has been a valuable vegan ally to you.
You can check out the printed version HERE:
Plus, the fillable PDF HERE:
Importantly, the journal follows a twelve month format however is not dated so it is perfect to use at ANY time of the year.
With love and gratitude plant friends.
If you liked “Rabbi Jonathan Jaffe Bernhard and the Alignment Between Jewish Values and a Vegan Lifestyle.” you’ll also like Richard H Schwartz and Applying Jewish Values to Help Heal Our Imperiled Planet.
If you liked “Rabbi Jonathan Jaffe Bernhard and the Alignment Between Jewish Values and a Vegan Lifestyle.” you’ll also like E653: Debunking Religious Justifications To Eat Animals: Main Street Vegan Is Introducing Vegan Living To People Of Faith.
If you liked “Rabbi Jonathan Jaffe Bernhard and the Alignment Between Jewish Values and a Vegan Lifestyle.” you’ll also like Dr Sailesh Rao, Healing The Earth’s Climate and Creating A Vegan World 2026.