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December 2008 Newsletter

December 2008  

An on-line Jain Community for Jains and Jain Centers

JainLink is an on-line community developed in collaboration with JAINA, Jain Centers, and YJA.


Jain Festival Dates and

Panch Kalyanak Pratistha Mahotsav - The Jain Center of Greater Phoenix's  Panch Kalyanak Pratistha Mahotsav will take place from December 20th - December 26th, in Phoenix, Arizona. [more]




Jai Jinendra @@first_name@@

I was in China last month.  It seemed that the concept of vegetarianism was unknown.  Through my Chinese speaking colleagues, it took minutes of animated discussion and negotiation to explain to the waitress (and her manager and her manager's manager) that I don't eat meat, fish, eggs, or food with any fish sauce.  We all have heard about animal rights and abuse.  But as Jains, how many of us have really taken any action - or even donated to the cause?  In this JainLink newsletter, Professor Gary Francione and Ruth Eisenbud share their thoughts on animal compassion and call to action.  (Editor, Yogendra Jain, JAINA/Long Range Planning Committee).

 Meet Professor Gary Francione 


I am a law professor. My primary area of scholarship has involved the moral and legal status of nonhuman animals. I have been a vegan for 26 years. The basis of my veganism has always been spiritual; I reject violence against all sentient beings. I have long accepted that Ahimsa should be the guiding principle of all human behavior. You can read more about my views on animal ethics at my website:


I am presently working with Pravin Shah of the Federation of Jain Associations in North America on a new edition of The Book of Compassion. I teach about Jainism in my course, “Human Rights and Animal Rights.” I believe firmly that the doctrines of Ahimsa, Anekanta, and Aparigraha are more relevant than at any time in human history. These doctrines provide clear answers speak to all of the pressing issues of our time: war, poverty, violence, and ecological destruction.

JAINA's New Headquarters and New Manager

JAINA's new headquarters have moved to Jain Center of America temple location in New York.  Also, we have a new manager, Ashvin Mehta.  The address is: JAINA HQ, 43-11 Ithaca Street, Elmhurst, NY 11373, 718 606-2885 , Please feel free to contact him if you need any information and support from JAINA.


Jain Scholar Program Hires Part-Time Adminstrator

The international Summer School for Jain Studies (ISSJS) which sponsors up to 30 international students free of cost to study Jainism in India has hired a part time adminstrator.  Her name is Meetu Jain and she can be contacted at Also, if you are a you are a student or an instructor at a university or research institution, please let your colleagues in department of religion and related departments know about this opportunity.   [more]


Note From Ruth ...

 (Note to our Readers : Ruth is of Jewish background but has passionately adopted and practices Jainism.  She is a member of the Jain Center of Boston)


Jai Jinendra!

As Jains are concerned with minimizing harm to all living beings, the following information may be a useful guideline for those purchasing clothing with fur labeled as synthetic. If you feel it is appropriate, please distribute this information to your Jain Center community.

Due to non-existent labeling laws in China, fur trimmed items exported to the west may be labeled as fake ("faux"), but in reality are real and in many cases dog or cat fur. The import of dog and cat fur is banned in the USA. Recently the Humane Society of the United states filed a law suit against six retailers who were found selling deceptively labeled garments containing the banned fur..

If you are concerned about an item you have purchased, which is labeled 'fake' fur, the following is a guide on how to identify the real thing:

 The flip side of the fur industry is dog meat consumption, which because of superstition abuses the animals prior to slaughter in order to render the meat more potent. This industry takes the lives of 16 million dogs a year in official slaughter houses and an untold number as dogs are routinely killed in private homes and in restaurants throughout China:


Thank you for considering this issue.



 Ruth Eisenbud


YJA East Coast Winter Retreat

Skiing!  Snowboarding!  Learning about Jain concepts in a brand new fashion!  Vegan smores!  If any or all of these appeal to you, then come to the 2009 YJA East Coast Winter Retreat at the Poconos Mountains in eastern PA (near New York City and Philadelphia).  This educational and fun-filled retreat is for youth between 14 and 29 and will be happening on February 14-16. 

Presenters from Jain centers across the eastern seaboard will present their perspectives on Jainism as well a surprise guest speaker or two!  Get ready to learn, engage, and be challenged.

In addition, fun activities such as icebreakers (a double meaning, really!), snowtubing, skiing, snowboarding, and other fun games are planned as well.

Cost is $140, please visit the website and the Facebook event page for more information. Register ASAP because seats are filling up fast!

You've never had more fun or learned this much about yourself, others, and Jainism within a 48-hour period.  We guarantee it.


When Someone asks you "What is Jainism" (The Elevator Pitch!)
For thousands of years, Jains have been practicing vegetarianism, yoga, meditation, and environmentalism. Jains have three core practices: Non-Violence, Non-Absolutism, and Non-Possessiveness (Ahimsa, Anekantvad, and Aparigraha
- AAA).
Non-Violence is compassion and forgiveness in thoughts, words, and deeds towards all living beings.  For this reason, Jains are vegetarians.

Non- Absolutism is respecting views of others. Jains encourage dialog and harmony with other faiths.
Non-Possessiveness is the balancing of needs and desires, while staying detached from our possessions.

Jains believe in the existence of a Soul
- in each living being - which is eternal and divine. 
JAIN WAY OF LIFE (JWOL) respects and honors all living beings through the practice of
Non-Violence, Non-Absolutism, and Non-Possessiveness.  We are all interdependent and, by living a JAIN WAY OF LIFE (JWOL), we can bring peace and spirituality to our lives and to those around us. [more]

If you would like to volunteer your time for Jain projects, please contact us at

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