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Save the Date: Joel Pedersen Lecture to Welcome Professor Jo Handelsman 

09/22/2023 10:15:04 AM


On Sunday morning, February 25, 2024, Professor Jo Handelsman, director of the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, will be our 2024 Joel Pedersen Lecturer in Tikkun Olam and the Environment. This annual lecture is sponsored by the Torah Study Group and the Environment and Climate Change Action Team.

In preparation for her talk, on January 22, 2024, we will lead a book discussion of Dr. Handelsman’s book A World Without Soil. The book, a manifesto on environmental action published in 2021, is available at local public libraries and for purchase at bookstores and online
We invite you to join us on Zoom for lively conversations on the fascinating and precarious world beneath our feet.

Yale University Press describes the book as follows:

This book by celebrated biologist Jo Handelsman lays bare the complex connections among climate change, soil erosion, food and water security, and drug discovery.
Humans depend on soil for 95 percent of global food production, yet let it erode at unsustainable rates. In the United States, China, and India, vast tracts of farmland will be barren of topsoil within this century. The combination of intensifying erosion caused by climate change and the increasing food needs of a growing world population is creating a desperate need for solutions to this crisis.
Writing for a nonspecialist audience, Jo Handelsman celebrates the capacities of soil and explores the soil-related challenges of the near future. She begins by telling soil’s origin story, explains how it erodes and the subsequent repercussions worldwide, and offers solutions. She considers lessons learned from indigenous people who have sustainably farmed the same land for thousands of years, practices developed for large-scale agriculture, and proposals using technology and policy initiatives.

Save the date for this important lecture, and begin reading the book soon! Sign up for the Zoom book discussion here

December 10, 2023 27 Kislev 5784