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Topic: Hazon Seal of Sustainability

Updates on the Hazon Seal of Sustainability

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 AmpleHarvest.org 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 […]

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Hazon Seal Spotlight: 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 biblical passages common to both faiths that […]

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Hazon Seal Spotlight: Welcoming our new Hazon Seal Sites

We are so proud of the newest additions to our Hazon Seal of Sustainability family. These incredible institutions are working towards their first Hazon Seal of Sustainability this year, and are already inspiring us with their work. Get to know them, learn about their current projects, and cheer them on!   Beit Yichud (Chicago, IL) Fiedler Hillel at Northwestern University (Evanston, IL) SketchPad (Chicago, IL) Skokie Valley Agudath Jacob Synagogue & Kol Sasson Congregation (Skokie, IL) Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership (Chicago, IL) The Center for Small Town Jewish Life at Colby College (Waterville, MA) Farber Hebrew Day School – Yeshivat Akiva (Southfield, MI) Jewish Family Service of Metro Detroit (West Bloomfield, MI) Young Israel of Southfield (Southfield, MI) Congregation Agudath Israel of West Essex (Caldwell, NJ) The Jewish Education Project (New York, NY) Woodstock Jewish Congregation (Woodstock, NY)

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Food and Freedom: Our Relationship with Food, Ethical Consumption and Responsible Recycling

  Dear Hazon Seal Sites, Earth Day is this coming MONDAY, April 22! Here is another themed listserv email to get you all excited! As we come together around the Seder table this Passover, we invite you to take this opportunity to explore your relationship to food. If this is not new to you, we invite you to dive a little deeper. During this time of year we celebrate our freedom and remember times of inhumane treatment and abuse. We are elevated by appreciation for our liberty to choose and, if we are fortunate, the abundance of modern times. This year Shabbat coincides with Passover, making this Shabbat exceptionally holy. Let us take a look at our Seder table and ask ourselves: Does this table represent me and my values? In this modern industrial world, it is hard to shop and eat without perpetuating suffering in some form or fashion. But we can try. Let’s ask ourselves: How can I better celebrate without perpetuating harm or suffering? We have the freedom to choose, but do we choose wisely, kindly? Our tradition compels us to care for our environment and to take animal suffering seriously. In our food choices we have […]

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Hazon Seal Spotlight: Celebrating Our Participating Sites

Happy Earth Day! We want to celebrate by honoring the institutions that were awarded the Hazon Seal of Sustainability in 2018. Read on to learn about some of the awesome projects they have implemented this past year. Every organization is at a different place in their sustainability journey, and we encourage you to check out the list to get inspired by these Hazon Seal Sites! Adat Shalom Synagogue   Ramah in the Rockies (Denver, CO)- Composting and education, Organic and fair trade beverages, Farm-to-table foods Congregation Nevei Kodesh (Boulder, CO)- 50% energy reduction via LED lights, boiler upgrade, automatic switches & plugging of leaks, Bike-to-shul event & bike racks installation, Vegetable gardens Hillel at Colorado State University (Fort Collins, CO)- Bike workshops, donation and rack installation, Insulation changes, Cloth napkins for all Shabbat meals, saving 2k paper napkins yearly Edlavitch DCJCC (Washington, DC)- Gardening program, Signage, Sustainability presentations Edlavitch DCJCC   Temple Solel (Hollywood, FL)- Plastic-free events, Energy saving programs, King Tide event, Vegetarian Potluck for Parshat Noah, Sustainability education and events UChicago Hillel (Chicago, IL)- Composting, Community Education, Food donation, Green Shabbats Jewish Community of Louisville (Louisville, KY)- Recycling and Composting, Healthy snacks, Styrofoam reduction JCC of Louisville   […]

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Helping our Oceans: Hazon Seal Spotlight and Call to Action

By Ariel Marantz and Merav Cohen In case you missed it, by 2050 there could be more plastic in the ocean than fish! Our oceans are becoming saturated with microplastics – some so small that we can’t even see them. Get inspired with some topic-themed ideas and a shout out to a Hazon Seal site doing exceptional work in this space. HAZON SEAL SPOTLIGHT We are pleased to shine a spotlight on Temple Solel of Hollywood, FL for all of their work accomplished in this space (Written by Stephanie Jofe of Temple Solel). More info here! “Being that Temple Solel is located only a few miles from the ocean and many of our congregants live even closer than that, the issue of sea level rise and the health of our oceans is of existential importance to us. Therefore, many of Tikkun Olam Committee’s activities have focused on climate change, sea level rise and protecting the oceans. Toward that end, Temple Solel has accomplished the following projects.” Click here to read the full Spotlight. Be sure to check out more Seal Spotlights on our website here. Email us at seal@hazon.org if you’d like to be featured next! RAISE AWARENESS IN YOUR […]

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Hazon Seal Spotlight: Temple Solel (FL)

By Stephanie Jofe and Ariel Marantz For any questions or comments for Temple Solel, please reach out to us and we are happy to make the shidduch! Click here for the associated blog post with more resources for your institution! — Being that Temple Solel is located only a few miles from the ocean and many of our congregants live even closer than that, the issue of sea level rise and the health of our oceans is of existential importance to us. Therefore, many of Tikkun Olam Committee’s activities have focused on climate change, sea level rise and protecting the oceans. Toward that end, Temple Solel has:   Formed the Sea Level Rise Solutions Group, an interfaith organization that works to educate the community about sea level rise. Our major annual program is our King Tide Event where over 100 community members – including Temple Solel congregants, Broward College students, several local elementary school through high school students, local politicians and community members – come together during the King Tide to observe, measure and learn about the sea level rise in our community. We have also compiled a “how to” document for other synagogues (or any group) to hold a […]

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Hazon Seal NYC Cohort: Launch and Composting Initiative

The Hazon Seal NYC Cohort met for the first time! We got acquainted and launched our annual initiative for composting. Mara Moss from the NYC Department of Sanitation presented and explained local resources, answered questions and provided much-needed clarity regarding the various local programs. Listen to a recording of the meeting and watch the presentation slides here Click here to download the DSNY presentation slides. Learn more about our NYC Composting Initiative, and about how you can promote composting in your community / organization: here. Please reach out to us if you have any questions: seal@hazon.org.

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Hazon Seal of Sustainability Highlights our Relationship to Food in 2019

Our Hazon Seal of Sustainability network is large and strong. Together, we can aggregate our efforts and demonstrate how we, as a community of Jewish communities, have made and continue to make a measurable difference in safeguarding this earth (being “Shomrei Adamah”)! We applaud each of our Hazon Seal institutions for the unique and impactful programs and policies implemented in 2018. As we begin to consider and to work on projects for 2019, we at the Hazon Seal wanted to announce that we are dedicating 2019 to the area of FOOD POLICY. Whether addressing food waste, hunger in the community, composting and/or animal welfare – we encourage you to consider food policy to be one of your projects for 2019.   This means that if you choose to join us in these efforts, we may have funding available for some of your programs! We are happy to announce NEW MINI-GRANTS to help Hazon Seal sites create and implement a FOOD POLICY that also promotes ethical food sourcing and animal welfare in their organization. Get all the details here. Grants are limited and first-come, first-serve, so check it out today! Consider the following… Know a bar or bat mitzvah student who loves […]

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Ethical Eating Mini-Grants

Announcing: New mini-grants to help Hazon’s Seal of Sustainability Sites promote ethical food sourcing and animal welfare* Thank you for your interest in putting your values into action by exploring food choices that promote ethical food sourcing and animal welfare. YES – our food choices matter animal welfare is important this *is* a Jewish issue and we – right now – at a tipping point toward compassion Click here to learn more.    With the generous support of EJF Philanthropies, Hazon is pleased to provide this wonderful mini-grant opportunity. To obtain the mini-grant – (a) Commit to one or more of the following: Reduce consumption of animal products Transition to higher welfare animal products (b) Articulate how this will be a part of a long-term change in your institution’s food sourcing and policy Grants of up to $1000 and will be granted on a matching basis, in $ or in-kind contributions. ‘In-kind’ can be, for example, hours of work, space, and other services that your community is contributing to the project. Examples of projects that you can do with this grant: Plan an all plant-based kiddush once a month with a commitment to continue this moving forward. Organize a screening […]

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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! 

NEWS: Meeting with NYC Department of Sanitation When: March 18th, 2019 at 6pm Where: Hazon offices in 125 Maiden Lane, 8th floor  We welcome you to join a get-together of green teams who are currently advancing sustainability projects in their community as a part of the Hazon Seal of Sustainability program. This will be a great opportunity to meet like minded people, learn from each other, and hear from the NYC Dept. of Sanitation on how to start composting in our own communities (See about Hazon’s NYC Composting initiative below).   Why Compost? 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.   Already Composting? Well done! now broaden your impact: Encourage your […]

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Hazon Seal Spotlight: 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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