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Hazon Seal of Sustainability

As we worked on the Hazon Seal, I was tremendously amazed by how our Hillel was able to find new students who had felt left out in other Jewish spaces because of their sustainable ideals. And as I learned more, I was personally surprised by the extent to which Jewish ideals really align with sustainability.
—Nevan Mandel, Student, Colorado State University Hillel
 

 

Would you like your synagogue’s weekly kiddush to be healthier, more delicious, and less wasteful? Want to cut the energy costs of an aging building? Advocate for clean energy in your community as part of an interfaith coalition? Or reignite students’ curiosity about Jewish tradition through hands-on, outdoor learning?

Many institutions want to engage in healthier, more humane, and more sustainable behaviors, but don’t know where to start. Others have already begun – be it starting a garden, composting food waste, or installing LED light bulbs – but don’t know how to keep up the momentum. The Hazon Seal of Sustainability provides a roadmap to advance sustainability-related education, action, and advocacy in the Jewish community and beyond.

From 2016 – 2018, the Hazon Seal of Sustainability engaged over five dozen organizations across the country. Synagogues, day schools, camps, social service agencies, Hillels, and other Jewish institutions each made meaningful, measurable steps towards increasing their sustainability.

Check back soon to apply for the Winter 2018-19 cohort of the Hazon Seal of Sustainability.

View application questions
 


Updates

 

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The Hazon Seal of Sustainability provides guidance and support to advance sustainability-related education, action, and advocacy in the Jewish community. Participating institutions receive:

  • A roadmap to healthier food, less waste, meaningful JOFEE education, a lower carbon footprint, and more
  • A network of Jewish and other faith-based organizations committed to sustainability, learning with and from one another
  • An annual certification to celebrate success and highlighting the progress of leaders in the field of sustainability

Why join the Hazon Seal?

  • Be at the forefront of a movement in the Jewish community and beyond towards a healthier and more sustainable world
  • Excite existing community members and bring new members in the door
  • Save money through increasing efficiency and attract new donors for sustainability work
  • Improve your organization’s brand through publicity, awards, and recognition

Frequently Asked Questions

What do organizations receive as part of the Hazon Seal?

  • Resources to help meet their improvement goals:
    • Access to our three innovative online audits
    • Consulting with national experts on food, facilities, and more
    • Discounts on green products, including compostables
  • Individualized support and planning with Hazon greening staff
    • Cohort training events, including webinars on greening topics
    • Scholarships to Hazon conferences
  •  A cohort of peers to learn with and from
  •  National publicity
  • Eligibility for Hazon Seal of Sustainability certification

What do organizations commit to when joining the Hazon Seal?

  • Publicly announce your participation in the Hazon Seal of Sustainability
  • Pay a sliding scale fee to Hazon to offset program costs
  • Build a Green Team or strengthen an existing team. The green team should include one specific Hazon Seal point person who is ideally a staff member
  • Complete at least 1 of the 3 Hazon Seal audits
  • Accomplish at least 3 substantive sustainability projects
  • At year’s end, commit to new sustainability projects for 2018

How much does it cost to participate in the Hazon Seal?

Institutions participating in the Hazon Seal pay a sliding scale fee based on their annual budget:

  • Institutions with budgets under $500,000 pay $180
  • Institutions with budgets $500,000 – $1 million pay $500
  • Institutions with budgets $1 million – $2.5 million pay $1000
  • Institutions with budgets over $2.5 million are determined in consultation with Hazon

However, cost should not be a barrier to participation. Scholarships are available to reduce or waive the fee if necessary. Contact seal@hazon.org if cost is a concern.

Who participates?

  • Rabbis, cantors, executive directors, programming directors, teachers
  • Board members and lay leaders

What institutions are eligible?

  • Non-profit Jewish communal organizations in the United States such as synagogues, JCCs, social service agencies, camps, foundations/federations, and schools.
  • Institutions that both own and rent their buildings/spaces.

Cohort Process

Timeline & important dates for sites applying to the Winter 2018 Cohort:

  • January 12: Applications close
  • January 22: Applicants notified of status
  • February 12: Deadline for returning signed LOA and payment
  • February 13, 3-4 PM Eastern: Orientation webinar
  • March 13: Deadline for first Green Team meeting
  • April 10: Deadline for taking an audit
  • February – March: First consulting call
  • February – December: Project implementation
  • October – December: Second consulting call
  • January 11, 2019: Deadline for submitting renewal forms

See below for a detailed explanation of the Hazon Seal certification process. We encourage you to read through all of this material.

Detailed Process

  • Pay a Sliding Scale Fee to Hazon to Offset Program Cost
  • Form a Green Team  – Build a green team, or strengthen an existing team. The green team should include one specific Hazon Seal point person who is ideally a staff member.
  • Choose an Audit – The green team and/or leadership choose which of the three audits (food, energy, or ecosystems) will be most helpful to the institution, based on its needs and goals. Of course, you may take two or three, but you are only required to take one.
  • Take an Audit  – The audit benchmarks the institution’s current performance and highlights its stronger and weaker areas, while providing ideas and inspiration for new sustainability projects. Each audit has 50-75 potential activities/projects.
  • Consulting Calls with Hazon staff – The organization participates in at least two phone calls with Hazon staff to review progress and receive support and resources.
  • Publicize your participation – An executive leader (rabbi, ED, principal, etc) announces participation in the Hazon Seal to members, the board, and other constituencies. Organization publicizes its participation and sustainability work, including posting the Hazon Seal logo, to community via social media, website, and/or newsletter. Organization commits to writing 1-2 blog posts for publication on Hazon website and beyond.
  • Implement three substantive sustainability projects – The green team, in conjunction with institutional leaders, commits to and executes at least three substantive sustainability projects.
  • Cohort training webinars – Join greening support and training webinars with other Seal institutions to learn about a variety of sustainability topics.
  • Track impact – Collect statistics on project impact, such as number of people affected, amount of food composted, etc. Document your work through photos and video.
  • Renewal and Evaluation  – Submit an end-of-year progress report (with photos) to confirm that you have successfully completed your projects, or made substantive progress in executing them. Your organization commits to three sustainability projects for the following year, and has the opportunity (strongly encouraged) to continue participating in the Hazon Seal of Sustainability.

Sample Projects

Institutions that take a Hazon Seal audit gain access to a menu of education, action, or advocacy project ideas. In order to receive Hazon Seal certification, institutions need to complete three projects with lasting impact on their institution. Sample project ideas include:

Food, Animal Welfare, & Food Justice

  • Hillel Day School (Farmington Hills, MI) is expanding their garden to provide fresh produce throughout the winter to supply their salad bar and feed the entire school population. Students and staff are working together to assemble the protected winter garden as a community-building exercise. The school received a mini-grant from Hazon to buy the necessary equipment, including seeds, soil, and pots and is receiving guidance with a nearby farm. The fruits of their labor will hopefully include local, organic spinach, lettuce, radishes, and even strawberries.
  • CSU Hillel squareColorado State University Hillel (Fort Collins, CO) is working to source the majority of its food, including eggs, from local farms — and their own backyard. They built a small vegetable garden and received a donated CSA share. Students are participating in trainings to prepare for building a chicken coop and raising egg-laying hens, with guidance  from the Jewish Initiative for Animals (JIFA). Over 300 students benefit from this more sustainable food served at Hillel meals…and the scraps end up in Hillel’s new composter. 
  • B’nai Jeshurun (Manhattan, NY) started hosting regular Green Kiddushes after Saturday morning services. They purchased reusable tablecloths, silverware, and dishware, which will save thousands of dollars and prevent the use of 26,000 disposable paper plates, 5,800 single-use tablecloths and 24,000 pieces of plastic cutlery from going to the landfill annually.  The purchase of the reusable items was funded by their sustainability-themed #GivingTuesday campaign, which was designed with input from Hazon staff. B’nai Jeshurun also completed an LED lighting upgrade.

Facilities & Energy

  • Adat Shalom Synagogue (Farmington Hills, MI) changed all the lights in their main sanctuary to LED bulbs, saving money, energy, and carbon emissions. To continue the upgrade, they will be swapping out the older energy-intensive lights on their Yizkor memorial wall to energy-efficient LEDs.
  • OFJCC recycling 2Oshman Family JCC (Palo Alto, CA) purchased all compostable utensils across campus, and created consistency among all garbage and composting receptacles. After learning about the importance of signage on a Hazon Seal webinar, staff and campers created catchy signs that encourage recycling and composting. These changes will allow them to properly dispose of compost during large-scale events on campus.
  • Greenburgh Hebrew Center built solar panels on-site as part of Hazon’s Jewish Greening Fellowship, thereby saving money, cutting its contribution to the climate crisis, expressing its commitment to Jewish values of stewardship, and setting an early example for families and other congregations.

Healthy Ecosystems

  • MoHoBo Biking 3Moishe House in Boulder, CO led a learning series for young Boulder Jews promoting biking as a sustainable form of transportation. The series included a “Bike for Beer” event in partnership with a local brewery, an event on bike safety and maintenance, and a “Tour de Boulder” which included a tour of the city to encourage biking.
  • Hebrew Institute of Riverdale’s (Bronx, NY) green team researched eco-friendly, chemical-free options in renovating their kids’ play areas. They provided their youth department with resources about purchasing green playground equipment, toys, and art supplies. They also hosted an e-waste collection event to help congregants responsibly dispose of toxic electronics and lightbulbs.
  • Hannah Senesh Community Day School (Brooklyn, NY) began its first-ever school recycling and composting program. Middle school students collect food waste at lunch and are responsible for processing the compost on site in a rotary composter in their back garden. Through the Hazon Seal, they are also working on creating a second, food-bearing garden to incorporate into their elementary and middle school curriculum.
  • Jewish Family Service of San Diego started exclusively using toxin-free green cleaning products across its facilities.
  • Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center (Falls Village, CT) created a “JOFEE” map for visitors to explore its beautiful campus, highlighting sustainability features like solar panels, barnyard, and hiking trails. Isabella Freedman is also installing insulation in the attics of several buildings to reduce energy use.

 2016 Sites

  • Adat Shalom Synagogue, Farmington Hills, MI
  • B’nai B’rith Beber Camp,  Mukwonago, WI
  • B’nai B’rith Perlman Camp, Lake Como, PA
  • Camp Zeke, Lakewood, PA
  • Congregation Bonai Shalom, Boulder, CO
  • B’nai Jeshurun, New York, NY
  • Congregation Shir Tikvah, Troy, MI
  • CSU Hillel, Fort Collins, CO
  • Congregation Shaarey Zedek, Southfield, MI
  • Eisner Camp, Great Barrington, MA
  • Habonim Dror Camp Galil, Ottsville, PA
  • Hazon, New York, NY
  • Hillel Day School, Farmington Hills, MI
  • Hillel DU, Denver, CO
  • Hebrew Institute of Riverdale, Bronx, NY
  • Hannah Senesh Community Day School, Brooklyn, NY
  • JCC of Staten Island, Staten Island, NY
  • Jewish Family Service of San Diego, San Diego, CA
  • Moishe House Boulder, Boulder, CO
  • Oshman Family JCC, Palo Alto, CA
  • Pearlstone Center, Reisterstown, MD
  • Ramah in the Rockies, Denver, CO
  • Yad Ezra, Berkley, MI

Spring 2017 Sites

  • B’nai Havurah Denver, CO
  • Congregation Nevei Kodesh Boulder, CO
  • Congregation Shir Shalom of Northern Westchester and Fairfield Counties Ridgefield, CT
  • The Emanuel Synagogue Hartford, CT
  • Congregation B’nai Moshe Bloomfield, MI
  • Isaac Agree Downtown Synagogue Detroit, MI
  • Jewish Ferndale Ferndale, MI
  • Temple Beth El Bloomfield Hills, MI
  • Joyce and Irving Goldman Family Foundation New York, NY
  • CSI – Briarcliff Briarcliff, NY
  • Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion New York, NY
  • Makom Hadash New York. NY
  • Moishe House Upper West Side New York, NY
  • Moishe House Park Slope Brooklyn, NY
  • Repair the World NYC Brooklyn, NY
  • Beth Sholom Cherry Hill, NJ
  • Congregation Kol Ami Elkins Park, PA
  • Congregation Ohev Shalom Wallingford, PA
  • Mishkan Shalom Philadelphia, PA
  • Oregon Hillel Foundation Eugene, OR
  • Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta Atlanta, GA
  • Jewish Community of Louisville Louisville, KY
  • Kenesset Israel Torah Center Sacramento, CA

Fall 2017 Sites

  • Allegheny College Hillel Meadville, PA
  • Ben Porat Yosef Paramus, NJ
  • JDC New York, NY
  • Kibbutz Detropia Detroit, MI
  • Mechon Hadar New York, NY
  • SAR Academy Bronx, NY
  • Shalom Institute Malibu, CA
  • Temple Beth Shalom (FL) Vero Beach, FL
  • Temple Sinai Saratoga Springs, NY
  • Temple Solel Hollywood, FL
  • UVM Hillel Burlington, VT
  • Weber School Atlanta, GA

Winter 2018 Sites

  • Edlavitch JCC Washington, DC
  • Temple Beth Hatfiloh Olympia, WA
  • Congregation Har Shalom Potomac, MD
  • Congregation Ohav Shalom Albany, NY
  • UChicago Hillel Chicago, IL
  • Hillel Community Day School Rochester, NY
  • Hillel at Virginia Tech Blacksburg, VA
  • Detroit Jews for Justice Detroit, MI
  • Temple Kol Ami West Bloomfield Township, MI
  • Repair the World Detroit Detroit, MI