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Joel Pedersen Memorial Lecture with Jo Handelsman

Sunday, February 25, 2024 16 Adar I 5784

9:30 AM - 11:45 AMSwarsensky Social Hall & Zoom

Professor Jo Handelsman will be our 2024 Joel Pedersen Lecturer in Tikkun Olam and the Environment. She is director of the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and a former science advisor to Barack Obama. 

Her talk will focus on “A World Without Soil,” her recent book on the "past, present, and precarious future of the earth beneath our feet.” This manifesto is an eye-opening delight to read and one that will inspire us to action. You also can preview some of Prof. Handelsman's ideas in a YouTube video, "Science for Change: Why Soil Matters with Jo Handelsman."

This lecture series was created to honor Joel Pedersen, who passed away in June 2022 after a battle with brain cancer. Joel was a vital member of the Torah Study group and the Environment and Climate Change Action Team at TBE. As a faculty member at the University of Wisconsin, Joel was an extraordinary environmental scientist focusing on how we adapt to an ever-warming planet, one who shared his profound decency and an often ironic playfulness as he debated passages from the Torah and their insights into how we should approach our own dilemmas. The lectures are intended to further his mission to understand and communicate how science and Judaism can together help improve the world, particularly with regard to the effects of climate change. 

Find our accessibility measures and visitor guide on our in-person information page.


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June 16, 2024 10 Sivan 5784