Application Process & FAQ

Cohort Process

Detailed Process

Getting started:

  • Apply Here!
  • Complete your Registration – This will entail submitting the signed letter of agreement and a board resolution indicating your organization’s commitment to the program and the board’s support. This step is very important to your success! In addition, depending on your organization’s annual budget, you will be requested to pay a sliding scale fee to Hazon to offset program cost (see amounts detailed below under FAQs).

Stage 1:

  • Start / Strengthen your 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.
  • 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 using the hashtag #hazonseal, website, and/or newsletter. Organization commits to writing 1-2 blog posts for publication on Hazon website and beyond.

Stage 2:

  • 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 is divided into potential projects that break down to concrete suggested activities. The green team and/or leadership choose which of the three audits (food, facilities, 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. View the Audit here
  • Schedule 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. The first call will take place after you complete your audit. Your audit results will allow us to make an informed decision about your projects for the year. 
  • Implement Substantive Sustainability Projects – The green team, in conjunction with institutional leaders, commits to and executes substantive sustainability projects that have a long lasting impact and facilitate institutional change.
  • Participate in Hazon Seal Training Webinars – Join greening support and training webinars with other Hazon Seal institutions to learn about a variety of sustainability topics.
  • Track your Impact – Collect statistics on project impact, both with regard to the environment and with regard to community engagement. For example, the number of people affected/participating, amount of food composted, etc. Document your work through photos and video.

Stage 3:

  • Report on your Success! 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. 
  • Renew your Commitment – Renew your organization’s commitment to sustainability by setting even higher goals for the following year: Plan your new projects and take the opportunity (strongly encouraged) to continue participating in the Hazon Seal of Sustainability.

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 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 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.

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.