picking berries

Blog & Newsletters

The Jewish Greening Fellowship is transforming communities across the New York area. We regularly share the experiences of JGF Fellows in our monthly newsletters as they green their institutions. Click on these links to read selected updates that highlight JGF projects and provide resources and tips you can use to green your organization.


Special Recent Posts

Old Stones, New Ripples - Reflections on the Close of JOFEE Fellowship Cohort 1 | D'varim HaMakom: The JOFEE Fellows Blog

Old Stones, New Ripples - Reflections on the Close of JOFEE Fellowship Cohort 1 | D'varim HaMakom: The JOFEE Fellows Blog

May 18th, 2017

by Yoshi Silverstein - JOFEE Fellowship Director May 18th, 2017 | 22nd Iyar 5777 | 37th day of the omer | gevurah she’b’yesod 16 Organizations. 17 Fellows. Over 500 programs. An estimated 37,000 participants in Jewish Outdoor, Food, Farming & Environmental Education[...]

This Passover, Take Action for the Climate – D’Varim Hamakom: The JOFEE Fellows Blog

This Passover, Take Action for the Climate – D’Varim Hamakom: The JOFEE Fellows Blog

April 13th, 2017

Rachel Aronson - JOFEE / Sustainability and Community Engagement Fellow, Hazon  Jews across the world this week commemorated leaving Egypt to become free people for the holiday of Passover. Friends and family sit around the table together for the seder, celebrating freedom with[...]

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NY Finalizes Major Initiative to Expand Solar Access

July 23rd, 2015

From the Press Office of Vote Solar Diverse Coalition Applauds Cuomo Administration’s Commitment to Improving Community Health, Resiliency, Opportunity through Clean Energy Albany, NY – July 16, 2015 – Today the New York Public Service Commission (PSC) established an innovative Shared Renewables[...]

Shmita Galore!

Shmita Galore!

July 8th, 2015

“Something miraculous happens when we stop. We get to experience the power that nature knows called dormancy...” - Rabbi David Ingber, sermon on Shmita, Hazon’s Shmita Sourcebook This year, Jewish communities in New York -- and all across the world -- embraced the[...]

Raise a Glass to Greening: Creating a Sustainable Kiddush

Raise a Glass to Greening: Creating a Sustainable Kiddush

May 6th, 2015

Greening often happens in supply closets. On roofs. In the boiler room. Out of sight. To bring greening out of the shadows, it’s important to make it a visible part of your programming. For synagogues, weekly kiddushes offer the perfect opportunity to[...]

Leading Green!

Leading Green!

March 6th, 2015

At JGF’s Leading Green conference, held February 10th in collaboration with the Wiener Educational Center of UJA-Federation of New York, we celebrated the New York Jewish community’s response to climate change and gave practical tools to Jewish communal leaders interested[...]

Greening Efforts Strengthening Jewish Life, Identity, and Institutions

Greening Efforts Strengthening Jewish Life, Identity, and Institutions

February 12th, 2015

During this last seven-year shmita cycle, UJA-Federation of New York has invested nearly $2 million in Hazon’s Jewish Greening Fellowship. It was brought into existence by Adam Berman and Rabbi Deborah Joselow and it has been very ably led, in[...]

Become An Energy Maccabee

Become An Energy Maccabee

December 17th, 2014

Hanukkah is a holiday about a small band of revolutionary activists who, against all odds, routed the Assyrian Greek Empire, retook control of the Temple in Jerusalem, and there witnessed an energy miracle: a vial of oil kept the Temple’s[...]

Compost Team

Compost Team

November 3rd, 2014

By Ann Berlstein, Greening Fellow, Teacher, Solomon Schechter School of Westchester When the Schechter Westchester Lower and Upper Schools selected “reducing waste in the lunch program” as our project for the Jewish Greening Fellowship, we were thinking about garbage.  Trash.  Piles[...]

Thousands of Jews March for Climate Action and Keep Going

Thousands of Jews March for Climate Action and Keep Going

November 3rd, 2014

Thousands of Jews from over 100 communities joined 400,000 people of all faiths in the People’s Climate March on September 21. It was an inspiring day that revealed the public’s concern about climate disruption, and growing understanding of the need[...]

JGF Celebrates Graduation of 2013-2014 Cohort

JGF Celebrates Graduation of 2013-2014 Cohort

November 3rd, 2014

Fellows, senior leaders, and friends and family from 20 organizations, celebrated the completion of the JGF’s third cohort at a moving ceremony at UJA-Federation of New York on September 15.  (Pictured receiving certificates: Cindy Dolgin, Teri Fields, and Eileen Bohrer[...]

Coming Together for Everyone’s Future

Coming Together for Everyone’s Future

August 20th, 2014

When I started my internship at Hazon at the beginning of the summer, I had no idea what the People’s Climate March was, let alone know that I would be devoting most of my time to it. For those of you who[...]

ReSources You Can ReUse!

ReSources You Can ReUse!

July 23rd, 2014

Rosh Hashanah is a great time to educate about bees. We depend on these pollinators for much of our food, and bees are in trouble for a variety of reasons. Check out Hazon’s flyer you can use, Jewish sources, 15[...]

Can You Afford Going Green?

Can You Afford Going Green?

July 23rd, 2014

“We can’t afford it.” That’s a common response when I suggest that Jewish organizations reduce waste and pollution, protect health and safety, and demonstrate leadership in the transition to a greener world. But the truth is - you can afford[...]

JGF ReSources You Can ReUse - June 2014

JGF ReSources You Can ReUse - June 2014

June 20th, 2014

Don’t reinvent the wheel! There are many resources available for Jewish gardening activities and curricula: Eco-Judaism: Examining the Relationship Between the Environment and Judaism, Alumot Resource Manual, Ze’raim Community Gardening Resource Manual, Ginat Ha’yeladim Jewish Children’s Gardening Curriculum, Spirit in[...]

 Bukharian Teen ACTION Goes Green

Bukharian Teen ACTION Goes Green

June 19th, 2014

By Zhanna Beyl, Director, Bukharian Teen Lounge, Jewish Child Care Association The youth at JCCA's Bukharian Teen Lounge have not heard much about Greening before this year. In the Bukharian Jewish community, environmentalism is not yet the hot item on the[...]

One Garden, Many Harvests

One Garden, Many Harvests

June 18th, 2014

Seniors at the Boro Park Y just harvested their third crop of lettuce in the lobby! Everyone who comes into the Y is intrigued and excited by the new hydroponic garden. And the garden is growing more than produce –[...]

ReSources You Can ReUse!

ReSources You Can ReUse!

May 6th, 2014

Do you need funding for an environmental justice project? Apply for a Jewish Social Action Month Grant from UJA-Federation of New York for a project to take place in Heshvan (October-November, 2014.) The deadline to apply is May 9, 2014. Chai[...]

Imagining a Different Israel  in the Shmita (Sabbatical) Year

Imagining a Different Israel in the Shmita (Sabbatical) Year

May 6th, 2014

Ruth Calderon, a member of the Knesset (the Israeli parliament), has a great idea for next year. No fishing will be allowed in the Sea of Galilee in order to allow the fish to recover from years of over-exploitation. Why[...]

ReSources You Can ReUse!

ReSources You Can ReUse!

March 19th, 2014

Wondering how you can green your lawn, save money, and build community, all at the same time? The Sounds and Smells and Costs of Urban Ecosystem Servicing will challenge you to think deeply about the possibilities. Attend the Just Food Conference,[...]

Branding & Institutional Change

Play it Again Moses!  Get Your Green Message Across: Tips for creating a communications plan to highlight your organization’s greening work.

One Mitzvah Leads to Another: How JGF organizations are setting an example for others.

Planting For the Future: Greening projects grow, develop, and reward organizations over time.

Keeping the Greening Process Going: Lend Lease provides funds and volunteers to green the Education Alliance Sirovich Center.

Change Takes Time: When an organization’s greening process seems to be moving very slowly, making a timeline can help show people how much has actually been done.

Greening is a Journey: How JGF organizations overcome obstacles encountered in greening.

Climate Change & Environmental Advocacy

A Message from the JGF Program Director: How to get messages across with stronger authority to implement change.

If I am Only for Myself, What am I?: How to get further involved in advocacy.

Learning to Tell a Powerful Story: Getting past the fear of public speaking and sharing your green message.

Speak Up! Advocacy for Systemic Change: Like Esther in the Purim story, there is a point when we realize that the system itself must be changed, and we must stand up for what we believe in.

Coming Together for Everyone’s Future: How the People’s Climate March was an opportunity for the Jewish community to unite against climate change.

Jewish Communities Get Ready for the People’s Climate March: How Jewish institutions prepared for the march through education, outreach and prayer.

Thousands of Jews March for Climate Action and Keep Going: After the historic People’s Climate March, there is still much you can do to advocate for the environment in your community.

Turning Concern into Action After Hurricane Sandy: How Jewish community organizations can respond to climate change.

North Shore Synagogue Responds to Hurricane Sandy: A synagogue becomes a community center in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

One Year after Hurricane Sandy: Prepare, Protect, Prevent: Update on Hurricane Sandy and advice on how we can prepare for and prevent future emergencies.

Relief Work Leads to Environmental Justice: Aided by the JGF, Congregation Beth Elohim has become greener and engaged its community by connecting environmentalism to social justice.

Environmental Justice is Social Justice: JGF Fellows took an environmental justice tour of West Harlem.

Education & Kids

Healthy and Sustainable Snacks for 400 Campers: New Country Day Camp’s sustainable snack program.

Bashing the Trash at the Friedberg JCC: Kids in the after school program at the Friedberg JCC turn trash into musical instruments.

JGF Brings Fresh Ideas to Camp: Berkshire Hills Emanuel Camp program is rejuvenated by combining going green with Jewish experiences.

Mid-Island Y JCC Outdoor Nature Explorium Earns National Certification: Guided by a specialist in outdoor education, children experience freedom to explore in the transformed courtyard of the Mid-Island Y’s early childhood center.

Engaging Children: Building for the future by engaging children in learning about sustainability.

Place-Based Jewish and Environmental Education: Jewish education and environmental education are complementary because of opportunities for place-based learning.

From Parent to Jewish Nature Educator: Interview with Denise Nadboy about her experience as the Nature Specialist at Camp Jacobson at Robin Hood.

Seniors Commit to Protect the Earth on Tu B’Shvat: Seniors at Project ORE observed and celebrated Tu B’Shvat in an effort to learn about the environment.

Powerful Jewish Learning and Living: Over the summer, many Jewish camps explored the Jewish roots of greening and learned about things they could do to help the environment.

Environmental Education Brings New Partners to Berkshire Hills Emanuel Camp: The Berkshire Hills Emanuel Camp is bringing groups to their 640+-acre retreat center to learn about greening.

Fellows Learn to Keep Education Relevant, Local and Active: JGF fellows learned about ways to create active, contributing citizens through environmental education.

Seniors are Homebound and Globally Minded: DOROT helps homebound senior citizens learn about and participate in greening.

Free to Flourish, Free from Debt: Uri L’Tzedek, an Orthodox social justice organization, used the Shmita year as an opportunity to educate community members about finance.

Bukharian Teen ACTION Goes Green: Bukharian teens are learning about environmentalism through a JGF grant, and adults in the community are also beginning to learn about sustainability.

Greening Keeps Going at JGF Alumni Organizations: Organizations that participated in the JGF are continuing to educate their communities on environmentalism.

My Eyes were Opened at the Teva Seminar: Recap of a transformative experience at a Teva seminar on Jewish environmental, food, and outdoor education.

Energy Efficiency & Solar

Students Lead the Way in Reducing Energy Use: Green Team tracks energy use and educates students at Solomon Schechter School of Queens.

Become an Energy Maccabee: In the spirit of Hanukah, several JGF organizations have transitioned to sustainable energy.

Warning! Dangerous Conditions!: The Torah requires construction of a parapet to protect people from the danger of falling off a roof. Today, JGF organizations make their facilities safer through energy efficiency and elimination of toxics chemicals.

A Green Passover: Baking Matzah With the Power of the Sun: Suffolk Y children celebrate Passover by baking matzah in a solar powered oven.

Taking Pride in Our Jewish Values: Learn how the Community Synagogue of Rye installed solar panels at their institution.

The Miracle of Solar Energy: People are very excited about solar energy because it may become life-saving; many JGF organizations have recently installed solar panels.

Ner Tamid Powered by the Sun: The Temple Israel Center Green Team of White Plains has recently converted their Ner Tamid to solar power.

Food & Gardening

Pursuing Food Justice at Congregation Beth Elohim: Volunteer from Congregation Beth Elohim brings back ideas from the Hazon Jewish Food Conference.

How Does Your Garden Grow?: Year-round garden activities at the Henry Kaufmann Campgrounds.

Gardening Makes Tenants Healthy and Happy: Seniors in Met Council residence are proud of their garden.

Experiencing Creation on the Rooftops of New York: Rooftop gardens provide nature experiences in the city.

Greening Your Grounds: Many JGF organizations are managing their grounds with natural products, and you could too.

One Garden, Many Harvests: Several Jewish organizations are planting gardens as part of their greening projects.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and Jerusalem!: Delegation from Shorefront Y celebrates Tu B’Shvat with partner community center in Israel.

For Tu B’Shvat, Give A Tree A Hug: Importance of trees, and how to honor them on Tu B’Shvat.

Getting Started

Get Help!: Follow the example of Moses, and ask for help as you launch your greening initiative.

Get Ready, Get Set, Go Green!: Examples of easy wins that generate momentum to begin your greening process.

Going Green Together: Greening is hard, but the JGF experience helps connect Fellows to their coworkers so everyone can work as a team to make their organization more sustainable.

Can You Afford Going Green?: Going green is more affordable than you might think.

Green Products & Purchasing

Let’s Get Started on Green Purchasing: JGF Fellows conducted a mini-audit on sustainability and found that almost half of JGF organizations were making efforts to buy “green” products.

Just Ask!  Greener Purchasing Starts with Questions: Ask your vendors to help you make greener purchasing choices.

Keep Children and Adults Safe from Toxins in Your Facility: Greening Fellows conducted a mini-audit to find out what different organizations do with toxic products.

Waste Reduction

Be Happy, It’s Adar!: JGF organizations reduce their purchasing and everyday waste.

From Paper to Pizza Boxes: JGF Fellow tour of Staten Island includes the Pratt Recycling Mill, where NYC’s waste paper is recycled into pizza boxes.

Minding our Stuff – For the Well-being of Citizens and Society: Waste management and plans for greening at the Jewish Theological Seminary.

Compost Team: A compost initiative gave students at Solomon Schechter of Westchester an opportunity to take leadership roles within the school.

Powerful Jewish Learning and Living: Brooklyn’s Kane Street Synagogue has implemented new waste reduction programs to shrink its environmental footprint.