Hazon Seal Summit 2021

Oct 21, 2021 - 12:30 pm EDT - 5:15 pm EDT

Thank you for attending our 2nd Annual Hazon Seal Summit on Thursday, October 21, 2021!

Climate Change & Mental Health: Building Resilience for Ourselves and Our Planet

Thank you for joining us at our 2nd Annual Hazon Seal Summit, a virtual conference that brought together active Hazon Seal of Sustainability organizations, prospective sites, and any and all individuals passionate about environmental stewardship. During the Summit we engaged in deep learning, resource-sharing and community building! The theme this year was Climate Change and Mental Health: Building Resilience for Ourselves and Our Planet and together we unpacked how to take care of the earth as well as our mental and physical wellbeing.

If you or someone you know, did not register for the Summit, but would like to receive recordings of all the sessions, please use the registration link below and you will be sent recordings as soon as they are available!

register here for recordings!

2021 Speakers

Abby Bresler, Jewish Youth Climate Movement Coordinator
Akello Karamoko, Farmer at Keep Growing Detroit
Alaura Carter, Program Manager at The Climate Reality Project
Anna Dubey, Former JYCM Leadership Board Member | Freshman at Brown University | Amitim College Fellow
Becca Gan Levy, Farm and Sustainability Director of Milk and Honey Farm, Boulder JCC
Becky O’Brien, Director of Food and Climate, Hazon
Brian Kateman, President and Co-Founder of Reducetarian | Director of Meat Me Halfway
Caity Blum, Assistant Director of Youth Education & Curriculum and Programs Coordinator of Rodef Shalom
Rabbi Claudia Kreiman, Senior Rabbi at Temple Beth Zion
Cyril John May (Cyril the Sorcerer), The Resourcerer of Better World Magic
Faye Wolf, Board of Trustees Third Vice President at Congregation Beth Ahm, MI
Hannah Fine, Community Organizer for Climate Justice, Hazon Detroit
Dr. Jack M. Gorman, CEO and Chief Scientific Officer, Franklin Behavioral Healthcare | Green team member of Hebrew Institute of Riverdale
Jakir Manela, Chief Executive Officer of Pearlstone and Hazon
Jill Leaness, Director of Climate Speakers Network at The Climate Reality Project
Dr. Joan Plisko, Director of Community Sustainability at Pearlstone Center
Josh Gold, Executive Director of Rodef Shalom
Rabbi Josh Weisman, Co-Founder of the Big Bold Jewish Climate Fest, and Senior Program Officer at the San Francisco-based Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund
Leah Wiste, Executive Director, Michigan Interfaith Power and Light
Liana Rothman, National Programs Manager
Keynote SpeakerDr. Lise Van Susteren, General and Forensic Psychiatrist | Author
Dr. Mirele Goldsmith, Co-Founder of Jewish Earth Alliance
Randy Gavorin, Senior Director Information Technology at Jewish Community Center of Metropolitan Detroit
Rabbi Ruth Sohn, Director of the Leona Aronoff Rabbinic Mentoring Program | Rabbi of the Lainer Beit Midrash
Russ Bellant, Licensed Detroit Water Plant Operator, Retired
Scott Lewis, Co-Chair of the Temple Solel Tikun Olam Committee
Scott Sklar, President of The Stella Group, Ltd | Former Executive Director of Solar Energy Industries Association
Thomas Mastronarde, Former Director of Engineering for Gemma Power Systems

click here for schedule at a glance

2021 Session Descriptions

The Emotional Toll of the Climate Crisis and What We Can Do About It
Keynote Speaker – Dr. Lise Van Susteren
We know what climate change is doing to our planet, to our homes, to ecosystems and animals, but do we actually know what climate change is doing to our minds? With parts of the world on fire and forests burning, extreme high temperatures, flooding and stronger, more destructive hurricanes and natural storms, we are experiencing destruction that is impacting more and more individuals. As environmental stewards it is easy to feel overwhelmed with the work we do and the progress we’re fighting for, which inevitably affects our mental health. Our keynote speaker, Dr. Lise Van Susteren, general and forensic psychiatrist, will provide a psychological perspective on the effects of climate change. She will discuss the problems and provide solutions to avoid burnouts, heal our minds, and maintain resilience as we continue to fight this climate crisis.

Climate Action and Advocacy
Dr. Mirele Goldsmith

Studies have shown that taking action can be an antidote for reducing one’s anxiety and stress about climate change. Are you looking for ways to take action on climate change that reflect your Jewish values? Do you need ideas for what your members can do? Learn about several successful campaigns that have energized and mobilized congregation members to sign up to purchase solar energy, switch to a socially responsible credit card, and lobby Members of Congress. Learn from Dr. Mirele Goldsmith, environmental psychologist and activist. Mirele led Hazon’s Jewish Greening Fellowship which mobilized 55 synagogues, JCCs, day schools, and social service organizations to respond to climate change. Share your campaign ideas and get started on your own strategy for impactful community engagement and motivation to make change.

The Power of Jewish Youth for Climate Justice: A Conversation with Jewish Youth Climate Movement
Abby Bresler and Anna Dubey
From striking in the streets to starting movements for change to speaking on the international stage, youth are rising up to fight for climate justice. Why are youth-led movements for climate justice important? What does it mean to be a Jewish youth-led movement? Join Abby and Anna from Hazon’s Jewish Youth Climate Movement (JYCM) to learn more about JYCM, understand how we make change, and why equity and inclusion are so important to our movement. In this session, you will learn about how to get involved in our Shmita Campaign, how to start a Kvutzah (local chapter) or support the young people around you to do so, and what actions you can take to join or support Jewish Youth Climate Movement. Open to all ages.

Solar Energy: The Power of the Sun
Thomas Mastronarde and Scott Sklar

John Denver once sang “Sunshine makes me happy.” We all know about the importance of the sun for our planet: it radiates light and heat and makes it possible for life to exist on Earth. Using solar energy is nothing new as our early agricultural practices developed around the position of the sun. And, as if the sun didn’t provide enough already, the vitamin D that humans get from sunlight has proven to help individuals with depression and even some chronic illnesses. So it only makes sense for us to harness the sun’s power to create sustainable solutions for our homes and businesses. This session will address the challenges, opportunities, and benefits of switching to solar energy for your organization and your home. Thomas and Scott will share about the different options available, the questions you should be asking, and ways you can try to harness the power of the sun.

Water: Abundance, Scarcity, Equity
Hannah Fine, Leah Wiste, Russ Bellant, and Akello Karamoko
Water issues, either too much or not enough, have become an increasingly impactful concern across the country. As the climate changes, it is important that we know how to cope with the changing water patterns and inequitable systems that exacerbate the problem. This session will use Detroit as a case study of the impact of flooding on personal, organizational, and societal levels, including its impact on mental health. We will hear from those on the ground and hear from an expert on the infrastructure needed to keep the city above water.

The Power of Storytelling Workshop
Alaura Carter and Jill Leaness

Learn how to use your faith and personal experiences to create and share stories that compel others to act for climate. During this workshop participants will learn the elements of creating a climate story and how to make a compelling ask that will encourage others to take action for the climate and environment. There will be discussion and practice time as you’re guided through this workshop by Alaura Carter, Program Manager at The Climate Reality Project and Jill Leaness, Director of Climate Speakers Network at The Climate Reality Project. The Climate Reality Project was founded by former Vice President Al Gore, to bring the world together to solve the climate crisis and make a sustainable future a reality.

How to Use Jewish Environmental Inspiration to Create Change
Dr. Joan Plisko (Moderator), Rabbi Claudia Kreiman, Becca Gan Levy, and Rabbi Josh Weisman
Jewish, Outdoor, Food & Farming, Environmental, Education (JOFEE) experiences connect people to Judaism, community, and the natural world through hands-on, thoughtful and engaging Jewish programming. People engage in JOFEE activities every year, from learning about Jewish harvest rituals, to composting, to eating more sustainably or starting a CSA; from transitioning facilities to greener initiatives, or standing up for our environment, to praying outside. JOFEE creates entry points to Jewish life and social action across the globe. Learn from JOFEE experts on how to use Jewish environmental inspiration to strengthen your organizations, including your Hazon Seal of Sustainability annual projects. You will hear four different examples of how JOFEE resources helped shape and build Jewish organizations, supported programming, and engaged the community. We welcome Becca Gan Levy, Farm and Sustainability Director of Milk and Honey Farm at Boulder JCC; Rabbi Claudia Kreiman, Senior Rabbi at Temple Beth Zion; Rabbi Josh Weisman, Senior Program Officer at Jewish Community Federation; and Dr. Joan Plisko, Director of Community Sustainability at Pearlstone Center, who will be the moderator for this panel.

Meat Me Halfway
Brian Kateman and Becky O’Brien (Moderator)

If the industrial meat system is broken, how can we fix it? Some argue for investing in food technology or more humane and eco-friendly practices; others advocate for leaving meat off our plates entirely. But if we are to develop and deliver effective solutions, the engagement of stakeholders representing all motivations and areas of expertise is critical. Join Brian Kateman, lead producer of Meat Me Halfway (a documentary about finding common ground at the dinner table) and co-founder and president of the Reducetarian Foundation, to learn better ways to talk about and take action on reducing consumption of animal products. At its core, this talk explores how we can unite diverse perspectives with emerging tools to create a more equitable, compassionate, and sustainable food system, including through our personal and institutional food choices. And, we can celebrate the small changes that can collectively have an impact and make significant differences in the world. It’s not all-or-nothing!

Hazon Seal Site Spotlights
Scott Lewis, Caity Blum & Josh Gold, and Randy Gavorin

Finding effective ways to motivate people is important in generating positive outcomes and satisfied participants. Come learn from fellow Hazon Seal Site members about their amazing projects from this year! In spite of COVID restrictions, these three organizations continued their hard work in three different ways. Scott Lewis joins us from Temple Solel to share about the Higher Ground Initiative and all the work they’ve done to combat sea level rise. Caity Blum and Josh Gold from Congregation Rodef Shalom will share about the process and journey to start their Community Roots Memorial and Learning Garden. And Randy Gavorin from The Jewish Community Center of Metropolitan Detroit will be sharing about the process and benefits of installing automatic faucets in their early childcare center to reduce water waste. We hope you join eager to learn more from your peers and to ask questions!

Seal Team Engagement: Grounding In Judaism
Rabbi Ruth Sohn, Dr. Jack Gorman, and Faye Wolf
It can be challenging to stay motivated and engaged as we fight this climate crisis; green team members may start to experience burnout and the sustainability work begins to feel overwhelming. Join Rabbi Ruth Sohn, director of the Leona Aronoff Rabbinic Mentoring Program and Rabbi of the Lainer Beit Midrash, as she discusses the importance of grounding ourselves spiritually through our sustainability work. Rabbi Sohn will help participants tune into the moment to help harness possibilities, focus on Jewish mindfulness and being compassionate to ourselves. She will be joined by three other Hazon Seal Site representatives, Dr. Jack Gorman from Hebrew Institute of Riverdale, NY, and Faye Wolf from Congregation Beth Ahm, MI. They will share about the ebbs and flows of their green teams, what has worked and what hasn’t, and how they’ve remained resilient despite obstacles and challenges.

The Hazon Seal of Sustainability is a roadmap for Jewish institutions to become healthier and more sustainable through education, action and advocacy. Learn more here.