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Topic: Hazon Seal Spotlights

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 […]

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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 […]

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JCC of Louisville

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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Hazon Seal Spotlight: King Tide Event

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) […]

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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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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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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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Composting at Hannah Senesh

As part of their three Hazon Seal Sustainability projects, Hannah Senesh Community Day School in Brooklyn, NY is expanding their compost program. Notably, they’ve purchased a second composting barrel; this barrel allows students to set one batch of compost aside to decompose, while still being able to add new food scraps to the other barrel. Though Hannah Senesh has composted for a few years, they previously had no choice but to take breaks from collecting scraps when their single barrel filled up. Their new system allows the school to keep the cycle of composting consistent throughout the school year, keeping food waste from school lunch out of the landfill. It will provide larger amounts of nutrient-rich soil for their educational gardens and tree beds. Most notably, the composting program at Hannah Senesh is student-run! The students see firsthand the magical process of decomposition in all its messy glory. Middle schoolers are responsible for picking up food scraps after lunch, adding a balanced amount of greens and brown scraps, and turning the barrel. Later, once the compost is ready, they spread it on the school’s gardens, enriching the soil. The students have also created composting signs and educated the community about what goes […]

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Full-Circle Sustainability at CSU Hillel

At the Colorado State University Hillel, sustainability is coming full circle. The C.S.U. Hillel’s Green Team is improving their food sourcing and starting a composting program to support green meals and programming at Hillel. In September, Green Team members Alex Amchi and Nevan Mandel, along with other C.S.U. students and volunteers, planted a small food bearing garden. According to Nevan, “It is growing well, and we can expect kale and other delicious goodness within a few weeks.” C.S.U. also received a donated CSA share, which has allowed them to source much of their produce locally. The Green Team at the C.S.U. Hillel is also moving forward with building an on-site composter. Despite hectic student schedules, they’ve collected the raw materials needed to build a composter and are holding building days for the Hillel house to put the materials together. Kol HaKavod to Alex, Nevan, and the whole team at C.S.U. Hillel for their great work as part of the Hazon Seal of Sustainability!

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