After 40 Years, a New Name for a Transformed Organization
In a surprise announcement made at our 40th Anniversary Celebration in New York on Oct. 13, we rebranded ourselves as Jewish Veg, after we were known for 40 years as Jewish Vegetarians of North America.
Executive Director Jeffrey Cohan made the announcement at a celebratory fund-raising dinner held at Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion.
The name change, Cohan explained, was based on numerous considerations, including:
• Using the word “Vegetarians” in our name created some confusion, as our mission is to encourage and help people to reduce their consumption of all types of animal products, with veganism as the ultimate objective.
The word “Veg” encompasses vegans and vegetarians alike, furthering our objective of being an inclusive organization.
• The word “Veg” has a contemporary and positive connotation.
“The changing of our name is the latest step in the dramatic transformation of this organization,” Cohan told the audience.
For 38 of our 40 years, we were an all-volunteer organization. Over the last two years, the organization has added professional staff, built a strong Board of Directors, and assembled impressive Rabbinic and Advisory councils.
More importantly, Jewish Veg has greatly expanded its capacity and impact, creating a “Veg Pledge” campaign to help people adopt plant-based diets, forging partnerships with prominent Jewish organizations, and making numerous presentations in Jewish venues around the country, among other initiatives.
In fact, also at Tuesday night’s event, Jewish Veg announced that it is partnering with Hillel International to send Israeli vegan leader Ori Shavit to 10 college campuses across the country to speak to Jewish students this month and next.
Our mission is to encourage and help people to embrace plant-based diets as an expression of the Jewish values of compassion for animals, concern for health, and care for the environment. We are the organization working to uphold Judaism’s highest ideals.