Topic: Hazon Seal of Sustainability

Updates on the Hazon Seal of Sustainability

Celebrating Hazon Seal Regional Cohorts

When your community commits to sustainability, everyone is a winner. And when several communities come together, we are redefining local Jewish life.   Targeted efforts in a particular geographical location are a game changer. Physical proximity enables a whole new level of personal connections and cross-community collaborations. Such local Hazon presence is made possible thanks to generous support by local funders. Funders, who identify the potential impact that this type of oh-so-timely-and-relevant Jewish environmental work can make on community life and engagement. We invite you to venture with us and imagine a world in which such strides are being made all over the country: Regional sustainability work rippling out of these strong community hubs. We are looking to collaborate with interested clusters of communities to form Hazon Seal hubs in order to explore possible local funding opportunities. Your on-the-ground knowledge and network can enable opportunities for local support to carry out this much needed work! Please, let us know if you wish to lead this effort in your region and/or if you have relevant information or contacts: Check out our Hazon Seal cohorts in Detroit and Chicago Metro areas. Both cohorts convened in the end of January 2020 and […]

Continue Reading
trees image tu b'shvat

All you need for a glorious Tu B’Shvat

  It’s almost Tu B’Shvat, and what kind of an environmental organization would we be if we didn’t make a big deal out of it, right?  So here you have it: an entire Hazon Seal Newsletter dedicated (almost) entirely to this magnificent holiday, the birthday of the trees. Like the Jewish people and Judaism itself, this holiday has evolved throughout the ages and I invite you to explore it further and find what your 2020 iteration looks like. Many blessings for delicious prosperity that endures!     Now Online! Hazon’s New Tu B’Shvat Haggadah Hazon’s new Tu B’Shvat haggadah offers thoughts and ideas to help you celebrate the new year for trees (which begins Sunday evening, February 9) in your community. The texts, questions, and activities in the haggadah can serve as a guide for viewing Tu B’Shvat through fresh eyes and recontextualizing the tradition. This haggadah uniquely focuses on the role that trees play in sustaining a healthy planetary ecosystem and mitigating climate change. Purchase a hard copy or download the PDF here!   Hosting a Tu B’Shvat Seder? We’d love to help you spread the word. Please send us the info and link to your Facebook event at […]

Continue Reading
darom_farm_2019 sq

From Organic Farming to Composting: Ramah Campers and USYers Get Hands-on Lessons in Sustainability

by Renee Ghert-Zand Every year, Ramah campers leave at the end of the summer having learned new things that they can incorporate into their lives at home. It could be more Hebrew, how to chant Torah, or how to do a layup on the basketball court.  In the last decade, campers have also been coming away with a heightened awareness and deeper understanding about where their food comes from, and how their eating choices impact their bodies and the environment.  “We are trying to lift the veil on where our food comes from,” said Rabbi Eliav Bock, director of Ramah in the Rockies, one of the Ramah camps at the forefront of making its food sourcing more transparent and helping children and young adults make more informed decisions in nurturing themselves and taking care of the earth.   Ramah camps, as well as the USY on Wheels summer program, are increasingly incorporating experiential educational opportunities for learning about concepts like organic farming, ethically sourced meat, fair trade practices, farm to table eating, waste reduction, and composting — all couched within the outstanding Conservative Jewish educational framework for which these summer programs are known. A number of the Ramah camps have […]

Continue Reading

Hazon Seal Spotlight: Jewish Vegetarian Food Festival at Temple Solel

On November 15th, Temple Solel (FL) held its first Jewish Vegetarian Food Festival with the support of the Hazon Seal Ethical Eating Mini Grant (awarded thanks to the generous support of Emanuel J Friedman Philanthropies). The festival was designed to teach the community about the environmental and ethical benefits of eating a plant-based diet and making more ethical egg purchases- and doing this all deliciously. Green team liaisons Stephanie and Scott were happy to share about the event: “We had –  prominent cookbook author and blogger, Ellen Kanner (the Soulful Vegan), do a cooking demonstration and sample some of her very tasty vegan food; an omelet chef make omelets from ethically sourced eggs and organic vegetables, including some sourced from a local farm; a “coffee bar” with Rainforest Alliance certified coffee and a variety of plant-based milks for attendees to sample, and a representative from Slow Food doing a comparative fruit sampling taste test. We also had vendors, including two local farms, several representatives from the Jewish Cupboard, our local Kosher Food Pantry that feeds hundreds of holocaust survivors, and our own Sea Level Rise Solutions Group.   Signage everywhere explained why vegan, why ethically sourced eggs, the levels of […]

Continue Reading
Tamarack Camps

Hazon Seal Spotlight: Eggcellent News from Tamarack Camps (MI)

  Camp Maas Switches to the Best. Eggs. Ever! The story below was written by Rachel Fine, taken from the Announcements from Tamarack Camps. If you would like to connect with Tamarack Camps, email and we will make the shidduch! Yashr Koach to our Detroit Hazon Seal Coordinator, Brittany Feldman, and Tamarack Camps, for taking on this important work.   Want to make similar changes?  Consider join the Hazon Seal of Sustainability and applying for Hazon’s ethical eating mini grant today!   In 2000, eight-year-old Brittany Feldman sat in the cheder with her Fishman bunk eating breakfast. She would never have imagined that 19 years later, she would be advocating to improve the quality of the eggs at Tamarack Camps. As Manager of Sustainability and Outdoor Engagement at Hazon Detroit, Brittany is diving into her passion to make our Metro Detroit Jewish Community as “green” as the Tamarack bus. Hazon: The Jewish Lab for Sustainability, aims to create a healthier and more sustainable Jewish community, and a healthier and more sustainable world for all. One of the ways they are working towards change is through their Seal of Sustainability program, which gives Jewish institutions in our metro Detroit community a […]

Continue Reading
Animal Welfare page picture 3

What’s On Your Plate? Resources to support better food choices

  Dear green teams, leaders, provokers of thought and change! The compilation below is aimed to help you push for healthier and more sustainable nourishment in your communities and institutions. It is intended for all Jewish institutions, organizations, congregations and households. If these resources are helpful to you we’d love to hear about it at AND, if you have a green team in your community/organization and/or are already working on making it healthier and more sustainable, submit your application to the Hazon Seal program and we will keep you updated once we are ready to accept new site. We wish you and our earth a better, healthier future!   Get funding for your first ever vegan event As we continue to encourage plant-based menus, this may help you kick things off. Let your tastebuds guide you with this awesome opportunity from the Food for Thought campaign.   Jewish Text Sources on Food Hazon’s guide ‘Food For Thought’ is an oldie but a goodie. It features Jewish sources regarding our relationship to the food we consume. It is designed to encourage readers to think critically about the food that they eat and how their food choices affect the health of […]

Continue Reading
Global Strike Logo

L’dor Va’dor: Important Hazon Seal News for Elul

Dear Hazon Seal sites, This month of Elul, as you reflect back, wrestle with personal and communal accounting, and contemplate the future, Hazon is here to support your personal and communal goals for environmental teshuva. What is teshuva? What is environmental teshuva??  All good questions. Read about it here. And don’t miss Nigel’s message at this important time of the year, and at this critical moment in human existence. There’s so much coming up, multiple opportunities to bring your home, your immediate circles, and your communities closer and more connected. We invite you to walk more gently on this earth with respect and appreciation for its fragile balance – and to inspire others to follow you. So ask yourself, and your neighbor: How will your community make 5780 the year of environmental teshuva? Here are some suggestions, and stay tuned for more to come this month. Best wishes and Shabbat Shalom, Merav P.S. Please remember to log into the Hazon Seal Portal at to explore resources, make sure you are on top of the program deadlines, and find all program related information.  For any questions email us  September 20: Global Climate March L’dor va’dor: Generation to Generation Protecting Creation Young people around the world have been striking […]

Continue Reading

Opening my Eyes, Ears, and Lungs: Architecture Walk 2019

By Ariel Marantz We all know that every step we take can be important – but what about what we step on? What about what we step near?  A few weeks ago, I learned that everything matters. From the type of concrete that I’m standing on, to the air that I breathe – every detail that comprises NYC’s architecture has an impact on our and our planet’s health. I am grateful to Hazon’s JOFEE Fellowship Director Yoshi Silverstein for inspiring me to see NYC in a new light – and to uncover its tremendous potential to positively influence our planet. That morning, I woke up early and put on my sneakers for one of the most exciting days of my summer. I love to exercise and was excited to spend my day walking and talking about NYC – but I was truly blown away by what I learned during the Landscape Architecture Walking Tour of Lower Manhattan. Little did I know that some buildings and structures that I pass all the time are super sustainable – (or are unfortunately not), and that builders can choose to incorporate sustainable designs that have far-reaching impacts that can improve our environment, personal health […]

Continue Reading

Blow that Shofar: Gearing up Towards the High Holidays

With the High Holiday around the corner, we want to make sure you are also geared up and ready for a meaningful and sustainable Jewish New Year. Once again, we bring you a well-curated bouquet of resources and calls for actions. Whether you are starting or continuing your sustainability journey, we encourage you to consider the ideas below to help you lead for change in your personal and communal lives.   Education: High Holidays Resource Packet We are excited to share a wonderful resource with you from our friends at the Jewish Climate Action Network NYC: click here to download This educational and informational packet includes a suggested sermon, prayers, and creative readings, as well as the basics about the climate crisis. Highlights of what you’ll find in this resource and ideas of how to bring them to your community: Learn about how climate change is affecting the world by reading the fact sheet on climate change with your family and friends! Read and discuss the essay entitled Religion and Environmental Responsibility: An Address to Jews and Christians by Rabbi Dr. Art Green to learn how Jewish values and sustainability intersect. Take action by performing any and all of the tasks […]

Continue Reading
Fast Fashion

It’s time to Slow Down our Fast Fashion

By Ariel Marantz We are in an era of “fast fashion”, defined as “inexpensive clothing produced rapidly by mass-market retailers in response to the latest trends” (Waste Advantage Magazine). What effect does buying and quickly discarding apparel have on our Earth? Hold onto your socks…. According to Forbes’ Making Climate Change Fashionable – The Garment Industry Takes on Global Warming, the clothing industry follows oil as the second largest industrial polluter, and is the second largest polluter of freshwater resources on Earth. It makes up 10% of ALL carbon emissions! What can we do to help? Here are some tips: Go through your entire closet to see what you already own. If you need something else, borrow from a friend or swap your clothing with theirs. When you want to buy, buy from a thrift store. And if you choose to buy elsewhere, only opt for natural materials. Why? According to Forbes, synthetic fibers emit potent gases that contribute to climate change such as N20, which is 300X worse for the Earth than CO2 is. Plus, the production of these synthetic fibers results in over 70 million trees cut down annually. Cotton (when not organic) is the biggest pesticide-consuming crop […]

Continue Reading

Hazon Seal @ Chicago: Training Day

The Hazon Seal of Sustainability cohort in Chicago held an in-person training day on June 30th, 2019 – and boy it was a good one!  Shout out to our awesome cohort members who made this a priority and came to learn: Skokie Valley Agudath Jacob, Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership, Beit Yichud, Northwestern Hillel, and SketchPad!   Curated by our very own local coordinator Asia Sageman, the training included a series of three talks, a DIY upcycle activity using old Hazon Ride T-shirts, and a vegetarian-vegan lunch. Jeff Henderson from the Institute for Sustainability and Energy at Northwestern University (ISEN) gave a talk on sustainability policy at large institutions. Participants also heard from Brad Sageman, Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences, on the science of climate change. Ilana Braverman from Jewish Initiative for Animals (JIFA) also taught the Chicago cohort about how to create a sustainable food policy at their respective organizations. Talks were recorded and will be added to our resource bank, to be shared with the Hazon Seal network. Want to join our awesome network of Jewish institutions and communities dedicated to respond to the environmental crisis? Learn about the Hazon seal of Sustainability program here: Big thanks to […]

Continue Reading
Woodstock Brunch

Hazon Seal Spotlight: Movie Series, Sustainable Kiddush and More!

Woodstock Jewish Congregation (NY) By Gail Albert Please see below for an article about the Woodstock Jewish Congregation movie series and other sustainable initiatives. This is a prominent example that no matter where you on your sustainability journey – the Hazon Seal is here to support you. The Woodstock Jewish Congregation was ahead of the game, yet continuously works to increase its impact and inspire us all. For any questions or comments for Woodstock Jewish Congregation, please reach out to us and we are happy to make the shidduch! Background The Woodstock Jewish Congregation is a 350 member non-affiliated synagogue in Woodstock NY.  Most of us have come from the NYC metropolitan area, and many are still week-enders, but the county is semi-rural, and has only two or three other synagogues. We are generally active around social justice issues, but we have not made environmental activism—particularly in regard to climate change—as much of a priority, nor have we linked it as much with Jewish values. Some of this imbalance is rooted in Jewish history, but it has also arisen from a sense of powerlessness—even despair–in the face of our government’s inaction to what most of see as looming disaster. Before […]

Continue Reading
Agudath Israel of West Essex

Green Teams, Daylight Hour and Hazon Seal Happenings

Dear Hazon Seal Sites, We hope all is well! Here are some announcements that we believe you’ll find helpful and interesting. Also, please see below to get inspired by a new community spotlight! Shabbat Shalom, Merav, Ariel, and our new summer intern Rebecca! DAYLIGHT HOUR – This Friday 6/21 “Daylight Hour is an annual social media campaign to raise awareness about using natural daylight in lieu of electric lighting in offices. Launched by the Building Energy Exchange in 2014, this simple campaign asks offices to turn off non-critical lights in day-lit spaces from noon until 1 pm on the Friday nearest to the summer solstice.” As the Jewish lab for sustainability, Hazon is excited to participate in this campaign. We will be turning off the lights in our Makom Hadash offices tomorrow, Friday 6/21, from 12-1 pm. Will you join us?! Encourage your school/shul/office to acknowledge the environmental footprint of our everyday energy use! Also, we would love if you could take a selfie with the natural sunlight (or your flash!), and send it to us at so that together we can promote this awesome campaign. RECRUIT TO STRENGTHEN YOUR GREEN TEAM A Kol-Koreh means ‘a calling voice’. Use […]

Continue Reading

Making the Omer COUNT! Food Waste, Composting and more

Dear Hazon Seal Sites, A new UN report came out this week that had some seriously grim content. One million species now face extinction, and all of this will harm human health. One of the biggest ways that we can make help fight Climate Change is by individually doing our parts and leading by example. Diverting food waste and working with our institutions to do the same is one way that we can help propel change. Below is a collection of recent resources to inspire you on your journey. All of these are also available and searchable on our Hazon Seal Resource Bank. We welcome your feedback and suggestions for resources to share with the network in the future. Wishing you a peaceful Shabbat, Merav and Ariel Announcing the next webinar: FOOD WASTE! Mark your calendars! The next webinar for participating Hazon Seal sites will take place on Wednesday, June 5th from 1-2:30pm EST and be all about food waste. The webinar will be led by Gary Oppenheimer, founder of and creator of Food Waste Weekend. Both resources are so valuable and helpful – we encourage you to check them out and see how you can make use of […]

Continue Reading

Hazon Seal Spotlight: Interfaith Tu B’Shevat Gathering

Congregation Agudath Israel of West Essex (NJ) By Harriet Sepinwall and Mark Lipsy Please see below for an article about an Interfaith Tu B’shvat Program held at Congregation Agudath Israel. For any questions or comments for Congregation Agudath Israel, please reach out to us and we are happy to make the shidduch! Special Interfaith Tu B’Shevat Program for Tu B’Shevat at Congregation Agudath Israel Someone said that “you could hear a pin drop” at the interfaith gathering for Tu B’Shevat at Congregation Agudath Israel held on January 24th.  Jointly planned and co-sponsored by CAI’s Environmental Committee, Interfaith Committee, and Education Department with Saint Aloysius Roman Catholic Church, the program “Climate Change:   Science, Realities, and Concerns – What Can We DO?”, attracted almost 100 attendees.  Coming together as a faith community, the program began with a display of the Biblical “7 species in the land of Israel” and an explanation of the significance of the wheat, barley, grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives, and honey.  CAI’s Rabbi Alan Silverstein described what the Torah, beginning with Bereisheit (Genesis), and Jewish sages have taught about the environment given to us and our need to care for it.   Saint Aloysius’ Msgr. Michael Desmond followed by citing […]

Continue Reading