Topic: Hazon Seal of Sustainability

Updates on the Hazon Seal of Sustainability

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Hazon Seal of Sustainability: Hazon Seal @ Chicago

Application is now closed.  However! – please let us know if you have interest in joining so we can keep you posted when space opens up!  Click HERE for the inquiry form!  —————– We are very excited to open up our Chicagoland adventure and have Chicago institutions join the Hazon Seal of Sustainability. The application is designed to guide you on your first step, brainstorming and thinking about your vision for your future Green Team. Note: The more people you include in this process, the better. People will feel more committed to participate and implement something they helped design, right? Generous support by the Jewish United Fund (JUF) allows us to support (waive participation fee and provide mini-grants) to six organizations! We encourage you to participate even if you will not receive funding this year. Most of our Hazon Seal sites (several dozens across the country) found it valuable and we know you will, too! See cost for participation on the Hazon Seal webpage, under FAQ. With that said, payment should not be a barrier to participation so please contact us if this is a concern and we can discuss. Dates to save: Hazon @ Chicago Launch Brunch! Launching the Chicago Hazon Seal cohort with Hazon visionary and CEO Nigel Savage. Friday, […]

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NYC Jewish institutions: Take the lead on eliminating food waste! 

Food waste is a major problem. Minimizing waste diverted to landfills is crucial for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, as the world battles the effects of global warming. See this resource by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) for more info about its magnitude and urgency. The future seems grim, but each of us can be that little drop in the bucket that will eventually be a critical mass. Every vote matters, every voice elevates the communal song, every action counts. And remember, first we reduce, then we reuse, and only THEN – we recycle/compost!   Get inspired: Watch composting up close at B’nai Jeshurun and Hannah Senesh Community Day School, two Hazon Seal of Sustainability participants. To start collecting organic waste for composting:  (*Already composting? – scroll down and see how you can make a bigger difference!) Submit an online inquiry here. After submitting an eligible inquiry, you will be contacted by a DSNY representative, to schedule a site visit at your location. Eligible inquiries may come from full-time staff members, board members, other parties appointed by an abovementioned qualified representative, or other appropriate parties on a case-by-case basis.  Schedule a site visit with a DSNY representative. After receiving your organization’s application, we will be in touch shortly to schedule a visit. During the visit, we will […]

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Hadar Chooses Higher Welfare

by Jenny Koshner, Program Coordinator, Hadar Institute Hadar empowers Jews to create and sustain vibrant, practicing, egalitarian communities of Torah, Avodah, and Hesed. They are a Hazon Seal of Sustainability site based in New York, NY. This past year at Hadar has been a transformative year for us. As an educational institution in New York City that empowers Jews of all ages to build and sustain vibrant, practicing, egalitarian communities of Torah, tefillah (prayer), and chesed (service), we have always cared deeply about integrating our lives of study and ritual practice with living according to our tradition’s principles. Since our founding a little over ten years ago, we have integrated our dedication to sustainability, part of our practice of chesed, into our programming and operations. Whether we are purchasing primarily compostable meal-time materials for our immersive programming, or spending an extra thirty minutes when formatting a sourcesheet to reduce the paper we’ll use, or researching biodegradable alternatives to the standard office supplies we purchase, we’ve always striven to incorporate our commitment to sustainability into our programs.   This past year, inspired by the commitments of many in our alumni community to fair treatment of animals and responsible-sourcing of food, we’ve made some exciting changes […]

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Rise to the Challenge – Every Month!

To start off the secular new year with sustainability in mind, the Hazon Seal launched its first monthly sustainability challenge! Open to everyone, participants are given the opportunity to challenge themselves to bring sustainability into their lives in engaging, creative ways. The monthly challenge demonstrates a range of simple projects to integrate environmental practices and values in individuals’ lives; achievable for sustainability beginners and experts alike! The topics include a range of environmental issues tied to Jewish learning and holidays — for example, January’s challenge encouraged participants to upcycle plastic containers into planters in celebration of Tu b’Shvat, the Jewish New Year for trees, with the aim of reducing waste that piles up in landfills. In addition to being eligible to win fun prizes, like a vintage Hazon t-shirt, reusable Hazon bottles, or delicious jam from the Adamah Farm at Isabella Freedman, participants get a glimpse into how Jewish values and sustainability intersect in their lives. They also then have a platform through which they can share these learnings with those in their social networks and work together to complete the challenges. The outcomes aim to be multi-fold: diverse networks learn about sustainability, sustainability is put into action, and the […]

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The Miracle of Chanukah: A Lesson on Longevity

Wondrous as it is, the miracle of Chanukah, in which an oil flask meant to last one day instead lasted eight, seems dwarfed in today’s world of everlasting products: plastic bottles, diapers, aluminum foil, electronics, to name a few. But its essence remains, teaching us the importance of valuing what we have. On the eve of Thanksgiving, I attended an event at John Jay College of Criminal Justice on behalf of Hazon. The college’s Hillel and environmental club teamed up to hold an hour-long “decomposition activity” to shed some light on just one of many environmental issues: waste. I witnessed students and faculty – some perplexed, some intent on finding answers – try to guess the rate of decomposition for a variety of items for the prize of a reusable water bottle or mug. Placed on two long tables were numerous objects: paper towels, banana peels, orange peels, plastic bags, batteries, plastic bottles, diapers, glass containers, electronics, and tin foil (purposely put in order from shortest to longest decomposition rates, unbeknownst to the participants). Some participants intuitively knew that the fruit on the table decomposes – decays or breaks down into simpler matter – faster than, say, a cell phone. […]

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Ten New Sites Get the Green Light!

A warm welcome and mazal tov to the Fall 2017 Seal of Sustainability Cohort! We are excited that these 10 new sites – from the east coast, west coast, and in between – are joining the Seal Network on a journey toward sustainability! As part of the Seal of Sustainability, sites will proverbially, and in some cases literally, plant the seeds that will flourish into the institutions’ green visions. Each site leader will form a Green Team that will serve as the organization’s roots to support the three branches – or greening projects – that will be implemented over the course of the certification process.   Whether they decide to serve higher-welfare eggs and meat for their Yeshiva program like Mechon Hadar, an educational institution in New York City, or expand their existing composting program to all school buildings, like Allegheny College Hillel aims to do at their Pennsylvania campus, the 10 Fall 2017 sites will commit to three sustainability projects that will have a lasting impact on their institutions. By participating in the Hazon Seal, sites will have the opportunity to transform their institutional food policies, remodel their waste practices, or even re-energize their buildings with solar power! Joining […]

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Hurricanes, earthquakes, floods… and chicken coops

by Judith Belasco October 3rd, 2017 | 13 Tishrei 5778 Dear All, My family built our sukkah this past Sunday. I felt an uneasy juxtaposition between the joy of this holiday – freely choosing to create and decorate a temporary home in which we will share our abundance with friends – and the cruel fate of so many that now find themselves forced into temporary homes. From Puerto Rico and Florida to India and Nepal, the devastation and destruction from climate change is a new normal. We can’t let ourselves see this as a problem in some other place that someone else needs to fix. This planet is a permanent home – for all of us. We have estimated that the current carbon footprint of the US Jewish Community is about 86,920,000 metric tons.* As a community with less than 2% of the US population, we have a carbon footprint larger than 119 countries, including Denmark, Israel, Morocco, New Zealand, and Sweden. In addition to the personal impact that we are making from our lives, the American Jewish Community owns thousands of buildings across the United States. There are roughly 3,500 synagogues in the US, and thousands more day schools, camps, social service […]

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Hurricanes, earthquakes, floods… and chicken coops

by Judith Belasco October 3rd, 2017 | 13 Tishrei 5778 Dear All, My family built our sukkah this past Sunday. I felt an uneasy juxtaposition between the joy of this holiday – freely choosing to create and decorate a temporary home in which we will share our abundance with friends – and the cruel fate of so many that now find themselves forced into temporary homes. From Puerto Rico and Florida to India and Nepal, the devastation and destruction from climate change is a new normal. We can’t let ourselves see this as a problem in some other place that someone else needs to fix. This planet is a permanent home – for all of us. We have estimated that the current carbon footprint of the US Jewish Community is about 86,920,000 metric tons.* As a community with less than 2% of the US population, we have a carbon footprint larger than 119 countries, including Denmark, Israel, Morocco, New Zealand, and Sweden. In addition to the personal impact that we are making from our lives, the American Jewish Community owns thousands of buildings across the United States. There are roughly 3,500 synagogues in the US, and thousands more day schools, camps, […]

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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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