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Frequently Asked Questions

What will you receive as part of your participation in the Hazon Seal?

Resources to help meet your goals

  • three innovative online audits
  • a rich and searchable Resource Bank
  • discounts on green products, including compostables

Expertise

    • individualized support and planning with Hazon staff
    • consults with national experts on food, facilities, and more

Learning opportunities

    • training events and webinars
    • scholarships to Hazon conferences
    • a network of peers to learn with and from

PR opportunities

    • national publicity
    • eligibility for Hazon Seal of Sustainability certification

Individualized support and planning with Hazon greening staff

    • Cohort training events, including webinars on greening topics
    • Scholarships to Hazon conferences

What do organizations commit to when joining the Hazon Seal?

  • Publicly announcing participation in the Hazon Seal of Sustainability program
  • Writing 1-2 blog posts about your work
  • Paying a sliding scale fee to Hazon to offset program costs
  • Building a Green Team or strengthening an existing team. The green team should include one specific Hazon Seal point person who is ideally a staff member
  • Completing at least 1 of the 3 Hazon Seal audits
  • Accomplishing substantive sustainability projects
  • At the end of the year, reporting on your work and renewing commitments to new sustainability projects for the following year

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 is on the Green Team?

  • Rabbis, cantors, executive directors, programming directors, teachers
  • Board members and lay leaders
  • Any members of the community who are interested in greening your institution
  • Students, school kids too!

The more diverse the team is – the better.

What institutions are eligible?

  • Non-profit Jewish communal organizations in the United States such as synagogues, JCCs, social service agencies, camps, foundations/federations, Hillels, and schools.
  • Institutions that both own and rent their buildings/spaces.
  • Communities that don’t have a specific space but still have an environmental footprint through food, events, and simchas, etc.

What is Jewish about greening?

Judaism has always been concerned with what we now describe as building a “sustainable” society and addressing social, environmental, and economic concerns. Through participation the Hazon Seal of Sustainability, we invite individuals and communities to explore how essential Jewish teachings can inform our pursuit of a healthy and just world in balance with nature. Here are some examples of Jewish teaching connecting to the environment and sustainability: tzedakah (the pursuit of justice), gemilut chasadim (our responsibility to perform acts of loving kindness), tzaar baalei chayim (a moral imperative that forbids causing animals unnecessary suffering), and bal tashchit (the commandment to avoid waste). Jewish traditions and rituals, many of which have roots in the ancient agricultural practices, provide meaningful opportunities to educate both youth and adults about our connection the earth and the impact we have on it. If you would like to read more on how Judaism and the environment connect, read this article.

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 extremely high levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere. The following are side effects of climate change: damage to coastal habitats and infrastructure due to sea levels rising, increased food prices, declining drinking water quality, increased agricultural costs, and degradation in air quality, to name a few. Often, those affected the most by climate change are those that have contributed the least. Click here to learn more about the local impacts of climate change. You can also use this tool from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to see how various side effects of climate change can impact your community. Be sure the change the transparency on the bar below to the check mark so you can see both your community and the effect you have chosen. This map from the University of Maryland shows what the temperature in major US cities will look like in the year 2080 and can help you understand the effect climate change will have. 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 cases of climate change.