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Topic: Hazon Seal of Sustainability

Updates on the Hazon Seal of Sustainability

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In the News: Styrofoam Bans, Paw Paw Trees, and a Home for the Chickens

Across the country, over forty Jewish organizations are committing to making a better world through the Hazon Seal of Sustainability. Local papers nationwide have highlighted Seal organization’s innovative sustainability initiatives. Read on for stories about planting of paw paw trees, building chicken mansions, urban farming initiatives, and more! “Going Green,” Hillel News, 26 May 2017 “Shaarey Zedek, B’nai Moshe and Hazon partner to provide organic produce,” Detroit Jewish News, 16 June 2017 “Hazon Seal, Louisville Grows grant to be parts of J’s enhanced sustainability,” Jewish Louisville, 26 May 2017 “Congregation Bonai Shalom Awarded 2016 Hazon Seal of Sustainability,” Boulder Jewish News,  3 May 2017 “Emanuel Synagogue Green Team launches new sustainability initiatives,” West Hartford News, 26 April 2017    

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When It Rains It Pours | D’varim HaMakom: The JOFEE Fellows Blog

Ryan Kaplan, Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta Parshat Chukat “Moses made a copper serpent and mounted it on a standard; and when anyone was bitten by a serpent, they would look at the copper serpent and recover.” Numbers 21:9 As I write this post, I sit in my office in Atlanta with the threat of rain clouds to my left and blueberry waffles, coffee, and a coworker’s copy of the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible) to my right. Georgia’s summer has been very wet thus far, and the promise of the coming downpour outside my window sets a looming melancholic tone for this week’s cinematic Torah portion: Chukat (Numbers 19:1-22:1). Much happens in the chapters of Chukat. In the interest of brevity: The wandering Israelites are taught in “the ways of the red heifer” (that is to say, they’re told how to purify themselves after coming into contact with a human corpse); Miriam dies and water becomes scarce; Moses and Aaron fall out of G-d’s good graces after striking a rock in search of water instead of speaking to it; Aaron follows Miriam in death and a 30 day period of mourning begins (up from the normal 7 days of Shiva); a […]

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Sign | Seal | Deliver

from Judith Belasco June 29th, 2017 | 5th of Tamuz, 5777 Dear all, Last year, from the bimah at Greenburgh Hebrew Center, a shul outside NYC, there was a reminder to attend the annual meeting and vote to approve the budget. I overheard the whispers of two men discussing the budget: “We are saving money on our electric bill…” “Really?” “We actually have solar panels on our roof…” I couldn’t help but smile. In 2013, with help from Hazon, Rabbi Barry Kenter led Greenburgh Hebrew Center to install 200 solar panels on its roof. The panels meet more than half of GHC’s annual electricity demand, reducing the congregation’s electricity bill by more than $7,000 per year. Fast forward four years, and the 62 organizations Hazon has partnered with on greening in the NY area are now estimated to save at least $8.3 million over the next 10 years. Leading these reductions are solar energy projects like GHC’s, or the 103 kW solar PV installation at the JCC of Staten Island, which saves an amount of carbon dioxide equivalent to planting 63 acres of trees. The Hazon Seal of Sustainability is a national effort to connect environmentalism and Jewish values and to put sustainability at the forefront […]

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Cutting our waste – with compostable knives

The Oshman Family JCC in Palo Alto, CA is a haven for green-focused Jewish community. Already OFJCC’s campus is Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver Certified for its environmentally progressive features, and they’ve continued their environmental leadership with their diverse projects as a member of the Seal of Sustainability Cohort 2016! OFJCC’s switch to purchasing only compostable utensils in September 2016 has made a large impact on their 2,000 daily visitors to their cafe, afterschool program, camps, preschool, and events.  They plan to run a full-time 3-bin system for trash, recycling, and compost collection, and so far they’ve been successful at getting all of the compostable utensils in the correct bin. Tzachi Flat, a JOFEE fellow and member of OFJCC’s Green Team, has also spread knowledge about the importance of composting in the local community.  Tzachi “spoke to our local high school, Kehillah Jewish High School… about the shift and how they can play an important role by throwing trash in the correct bins.”   In addition to their excellent composting efforts, OFJCC installed low-flow showerheads and three water bottle filling stations at their fitness center.  They have also recently installed two electric car charging ports! Kol HaKavod […]

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Recycling at Adat Shalom

During their first year, Adat Shalom Synagogue in Farmington Hills, MI has proven itself to be a real asset to the Hazon Seal of Sustainability Cohort 2016! From their efforts towards implementing better recycling policies, to using only recyclable paper products at events, we’re excited to continue supporting their progress over the next year. Much of Adat Shalom’s sustainability work focuses on community participation and awareness.  “Our focus is to make members more aware of the importance of taking care of the environment in which we all share,” says Susan Shevrin, Congregation Liason.  Increasing awareness of recycling and improving recycling procedures throughout the entire building was not just a sustainable practice itself, but it provided learning opportunities for members of Adat Shalom.  During Adat Shalom’s Annual Volunteer Day in December 2016, the synagogue hosted Hazon representatives who worked with youth to create recycling boxes for every classroom. In addition to their exceptional recycling work, Adat Shalom is updating their lighting to run more efficiently, and they are hoping to replace all fluorescents and CFL lighting with LED and/ or energy cost saving lighting. Kol HaKavod to Susan Shevrin and the rest of the Green Team at Adat Shalom for their […]

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

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 (JOFEE) programs across the country. These are some of the incredible numbers emerging as we look back at our first JOFEE Fellowship cohort, who completed their closing seminar and siyum last week at our sister JOFEE organization, the Pearlstone Center outside Baltimore, MD. Behind those numbers are thousands of people encountering – many for the first time – the incredible power of a Jewish tradition steeped in deep cultural and spiritual connection with the earth, with place, with human communities and our surrounding ecosystems, with our food, and with each other.  A Jewish tradition that recognizes both the limits and abundance of the resources our home planet provides for us. A tradition that says this world is amazing – there is so much magnificence – and yet we have work to do – not to complete by ourselves, but neither to desist from doing our part. And wow did our JOFEE Fellows do their part! Here are a […]

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Green Kiddush at Shaarey Tzedek

Congregation Shaarey Zedek in Southfield, MI is setting the bar for sustainability high with their excellent work as a member of the Hazon Seal of Sustainability Cohort 2016! Between planning their first Green Kiddush, to using only glass mugs and recyclable paper products at events, there seems to be no limit on what they can achieve. After completing the Hazon Seal Audit, the Green Team at Shaarey Zedek immediately replaced all Styrofoam cups in the Berman Center of Education with glass cups that the congregation had in storage.  They also made sure that the congregation’s clergy team spoke about the Green Team and its work during a Shabbat sermon, to get everyone excited about greening and increase awareness of the important work the Green Team does. Shaarey Zedek’s Green Kiddush and Tu B’shvat Seder on the Shabbat of Tu B’shvat was also well-received.  Wren Beaulieu-Hack – Director of the Berman Center for Jewish Education at Shaarey Zedek – says that “The day we spent celebrating Tu B’Shvat, as a community was the most successful project we’ve completed thus far.  It was wonderful to see our congregants talking with each other about environmental issues through a Jewish lens and to see […]

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Composting as a Community at B’nai Jeshurun

As a member of the 2016 Hazon Seal Pilot Cohort, B’nai Jeshurun (New York, NY) is going above and beyond with their sustainability practices!   As one of their projects for the first year, B’nai Jeshurun implemented Green Kiddush practices each Shabbat.  The Green Team ensures that there are bins at every kiddush to separate waste appropriately and ensure that nothing that isn’t recyclable, reusable, or compostable ends up in the trash. B’nai Jeshurun also started a Composting Initiative at their congregation.  According to Larissa Wohl, Tzedek Program Manager and member of BJ’s Green Team, “There is a composting page on our website with detailed information as well as a tri-fold flyer available. Members can receive free 3-gallon bio bags and/or counter top bins to start composting at home.”  The synagogue provides a convenient compost collection spot that is available more frequently than other collection spots in the area. Around 70 people are actively composting their waste both at home at B’nai Jeshurun thanks to this initiative! In addition to the community compost initiative, the congregation has raised over $6000  through a Giving Tuesday campaign to purchase reusable products for meetings and programs, and updated all eligible lamps and fixtures with […]

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Composting our Way Through Life at Ramah in the Rockies

By Zach Goldberg, JOFEE Fellow at Ramah in the Rockies and Bonai Shalom Ramah in the Rockies started a Bokashi composting system as part of their participation in the Hazon Seal of Sustainability, a roadmap for Jewish institutions to become more sustainable. Learn more about the Hazon Seal of Sustainability.   On the way from Philistine to Beersheba, Isaac digs a series of three wells that were previously excavated by his father, Abraham. At the first well, Isaac meets some people who claim the water as their own. Isaac names it esek, “contention.” At the second well he digs, they meet people who also were not happy about the project. He named it sitnah, “enmity.” At the third well, they find people who were not bothered. He names it rechovot, “spaciousness.” Rechovot is what Isaac was after. He wanted to carve out space for real connection. Isaac understood that the first two wells, associated with fear and scarcity, were not for him. Living there would not allow life to flourish. Fixing our former icemaker, now compost tumbler Last summer at Ramah in the Rockies, I started a project on how to effectively process organic waste on the campsite. On becoming a member […]

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Biking around Boulder with MoHoBo

Moishe House Boulder set up three community members with bikes and helmets as part of their participation in the Hazon Seal of Sustainability. Already a force in the Moishe House platform as one of the most sustainable and intentional communities, Moishe House Boulder (aka “MoHoBO”) continues to build its reputation in the world of sustainability through their Hazon Seal projects.  Focusing primarily on sustainable living practices, MoHoBo’s Seal projects involve education about bike maintenance and safety and events around food, animal welfare, and how Jewish history relates to current events. This past year, MoHoBo helped set up three community members with bikes and helmets, and will host a bike maintenance event at Community Cycles, a local bike shop, this spring.  MoHoBo also launched a “Bike for Beer” initiative to incentivize cycling; donated beer from Upslope Brewing Company was served to community members who participated in MoHoBo’s biking programs, and the initiative was highlighted at other sustainability events.   In addition to educational events, MoHoBo is planning a “Tour de Boulder” bike ride as the weather gets warmer!   MoHoBo has also hosted many events related to other sustainable home and living practices.  They’ve hosted a chicken shechita to highlight importance of […]

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