Tour of Hurricane Sandy Impacts on Lower Manhattan - JGF Training Day May 2013
PCM JCCC - edited
JR looking over solar panels
Bronx House Teens Farmers Market - edited
Shofar on Mountain

Jewish Greening Fellows learn about the impact of climate change during a tour of Lower Manhattan after Hurricane Sandy.

Jewish Greening Fellowship institutions were among the first organizations to sign on to the People's Climate March, the largest climate demonstration in history.

JR Rich, Greening Coordinator and Assistant Director of Marketing at the JCC of Staten Island, inspects the JCC's newly installed solar panel system.

Teens at the Bronx House Farmers Market sell fresh, locally-grown produce.

The Jewish Greening Fellowship seamlessly fuses Jewish life with environmental stewardship.

Overview

The information I am learning and the programming the Jewish Greening Fellowship inspires has had a greater impact on my community and my personal life than any other kind of management oriented training I have had before. It has inspired me to action, and to bring others to action, and it has made me a better citizen of the Earth.
—Lisa Feinman, Asst. Executive Director, JCC On the Hudson
 
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Click on the video to meet Jewish Greening Fellows and learn what your community can gain from greening!


Climate change presents one of the greatest challenges to Hazon’s vision of creating a healthy and sustainable future.

As individuals what each of us can do to address climate change is a drop in the bucket. But as communities working together we can fill the bucket.

Since 2009, more than 55 JCCs, camps, schools, congregations, and social service organizations participating in the Jewish Greening Fellowship have cut their energy use,  reduced waste and pollution in operations, and engaged their constituents in Jewish environmental education.

With the generous support of the Jewish Community Development Task Force of the Commission on Jewish Identity and Renewal of UJA-Federation of New York, Jewish Greening Fellows at these institutions received intensive training in environmental change leadership and their organizations received funding to achieve their greening goals.

Going green enriches Jewish learning and living, builds community, and strengthens operations. Your community can do it too. We invite you to learn from our experience and start filling up the bucket.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I get started on greening my Jewish organization?

Visit our Getting Started checklist Get started by forming a Green Team with people who have different roles in your organization and have different kinds of knowledge. Identify areas you would like to work on and set measurable goals. Try to find some projects that you can implement quickly and that are highly visible, to generate momentum. There are many tools, like audits, that can help you and your Green Team assess your organization’s current practices, evaluate environmental impacts, and identify opportunities to improve. All JGF organizations complete an energy audit and the Hazon Food Audit.

Can my organization apply to participate in Jewish Greening Fellowship? Can I apply?

The JGF is an 18 month program that is open to Jewish organizations. Fellows are nominated by their organization. The most recent JGF cohort was launched in February 2013. Sign up here to receive information about applying to participate in a future cohort.

What geographic areas do you serve?

The JGF is currently open to JCCs, summer camps, synagogues, health and human service organizations, and day schools, as well as national organizations with New York City offices, operating in the UJA-Federation of NY catchment area of the 5 boroughs of New York City, Long Island, and Westchester. But the resources and knowledge base on this website are available to all.

What is Jewish about greening?

While the challenges we face today are unprecedented, Judaism has always been concerned with what we now describe as building a “sustainable” society integrating social, environmental, and economic concerns. In the Jewish Greening Fellowship, we explore how essential Jewish ideas such as tzedakah (the pursuit of justice), gemilut chasadim (our responsibility to perform acts of lovingkindness), and bal tashchit (the commandment to avoid waste), can inform our pursuit of a healthy and just world in balance with nature. Jewish traditions and rituals, many of which have roots in ancient agricultural practices, provide meaningful opportunities to educate about our connection to the earth. As individuals we may feel that our actions are insignificant. But if we act together as Jewish communities, we have the power to implement constructive solutions. Engaging with greening can enrich our experience of Judaism as it offers opportunities to find new meaning in ancient rituals and to put our values into action.

How is climate change influencing my community?

Climate change is already having an impact on our health, economy, and security in diverse ways. Perhaps the most visible impact involves the increase in extreme weather events. Hurricanes, blistering heat waves, and frozen winters are linked to the levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere. You may be noticing the following in your community: damage to coastal habitats and infrastructure due to sea levels rising, declining drinking water quality, increased agricultural costs, and degradation in air quality. Click here for more about the local impacts of climate change. Jewish organizations can play an important role in fostering the resiliency that communities will need to cope with these changes and in encouraging action to address the causes of climate change.

Can I participate in the JGF if I am not a Greening Fellow?

We welcome you to get involved as an individual or by forming a Green Team in your community. Good starting points are to sign up for the JGF newsletter and attend a Greening Seminar co-sponsored by the JGF and the Wiener Educational Center of UJA-Federation of New York. Explore this website — it is full of resources to help you get started on greening! You can also email jgf@hazon.org for more information. Hazon also sponsors many events at which you can learn more about the connection between Judaism and environmental sustainability and about how to green your community.

The following organizations have made a commitment to environmental change leadership and Jewish values of stewardship by participating in the Jewish Greening Fellowship:


Becca Linden   Associate Director of Thought Leadership and Capacity Building

Becca is thrilled to come to Hazon having most recently worked as the Chief Operating Officer of Eden Village Camp, in development for the Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding, and as a researcher for the Natan Fund and the Jewish Teen Funders Network. After spending two years studying at the Pardes Institute for Jewish Studies in Jerusalem, Becca recently founded a democratic giving circle philanthropy for her extended family of 150 people through the PresenTense Fellowship, and serves as the co-chair of its board. She graduated from Wesleyan University with High Honors, and completed an MPA at the Wagner School for Public Service and an MA in Jewish Studies at NYU. A native of Charlottesville, Virginia, Becca now lives in Riverdale, where she loves to explore farmers markets with her husband Ari and son Hodi.

New York, NY | 212.644.2332 x319 | becca.linden@hazon.org
Hody Nemes   Program Associate

Hody Nemes joined Hazon after working as a reporter for The Forward’s news and digital teams. A graduate of Yeshivat Maale Gilboa and Yale, he was the advocacy co-chair of the Yale Student Environmental Coalition and a research associate for the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication, which studies public perceptions of climate change. He assisted in the execution of the Limmud NY 2014 conference, and previously served as a communications intern for Hatenuah Hayerukah, Israel’s green party, which regrettably did not improve the party’s electoral fortunes. In his spare time, Hody plays xylophone and steel pan and worries about climate change. He originally hails from St. Louis, Missouri.

New York, NY | 212.644.2332 x326 | hody.nemes@hazon.org