Human Composting: What is a Jewish View of Natural Organic Reduction?

Earlier this year I was honored to be a part of the Big Bold Jewish Climate fest, speaking about Jewish views of human composting, along with another rabbi, Adina Lewittes. Our presentation was also part of a live podcast recording through Evolve: Groundbreaking Jewish Conversations, a project of Reconstructing Judaism.

Now that Washington State as legalized Natural Organic Reduction, I was invited to think about what might be a Jewish response by a member of Temple Beth Hatfiloh. That thinking turned into an essay, Human Composting: A Reconstructionist Rabbi’s Response, and then the podcast episode. You can listen here:

Episode 30: Warm and Welcoming? Evolve

Have you ever heard a Jewish organization refer to itself as “warm and welcoming” but, on some level, fail to live up? Walked into a Jewish space and felt like you might as well have been invisible? Or yearned to see LGBTQ Jews, Jews of Color, interfaith families, those with disabilities and so many other fully embraced and at home in Jewish communities? Then listen to Bryan's conversation with Miriam Steinberg-Egeth and Warren Hoffman, Ph.D., about their book “Warm and Welcoming: How the Jewish Community Can Become Truly Diverse and Inclusive in the 21st Century.” The two, longtime friends and collaborators, explain how the book came together and what they hope it accomplishes. The authors argue that “warm and welcoming” is not a state to achieve but a constant process. Theme song, “Ilu Finu” by Rabbi Miriam Margles. Her album This is the Day is available for purchase at CDBaby: Visit our home on the web — Evolve: Groundbreaking Jewish Conversions: Subscribe by Email at Read these show notes on the web at This podcast is produced by Reconstructing Judaism. Visit us at ( Special Guests: Miriam Steinberg-Egeth and Warren Hoffman.
  1. Episode 30: Warm and Welcoming?
  2. Episode 29: Special Live Episode: Addressing Global Climate Disruption Through Torah
  3. Episode 28: Ben & Jerry’s, Amnesty International, and the Debate Over Boycotting Israel
  4. Episode 27: Beyond Antisemitism
  5. Episode 26: The Reconstructionist

One thought on “Human Composting: What is a Jewish View of Natural Organic Reduction?

  1. Can we experiment with Ted Cruz? Asking for a friend. I mean, the Hebrew Bible includes human sacrifice in many places. Is it time to reinstate an ancient tradition?


Thanks for continuing the conversation!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s