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Click the image for our special section in honor of Tu B'Shevat.

Green Beanie Award Entries 2009

Synagogues | Jewish Day Schools | Social Service Organizations | Cultural Centers | Camps and Places of Informal Education | For-Profits | Universities | Kibbutzim | Organizations | Federations & Related Agencies

Please note: these entries are presented as submitted, with only minimal editing by JTA.

Synagogues

These synagogues are going green for G-d.

  1. Glencoe, IL

    Last year, the synagogue handed each student in the religious school a reusable shopping bag and a CFL bulb on Tu B'Shevat to encourage and reinforce environmental choices. They also gave out water bottles at the end of the year, encouraging the students to save a bottle!

  2. Kansasville, WI

    In the fall of 2008, the temple's Social Action Committee chose the environment as its focus. They started initiative as small as giving out reusable bags, and as large as a school trip to a local farm.

  3. Rydal, PA

    Beth Sholom is committed to the new initiative "Beth Sholom Goes Green!". This project seeks to not only create awareness of environmental issues, but to implement practices that are earth friendly and sustainable. This program started this year with education through the preschool and religious school and will extend to a Mitzvah Garden and a feasibility study to see how best to incorporate LEED practices.

  4. Shell Beach, CA

    Congregation Beth David has been awarded Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED Certification).by the U.S. Green Building Council for recognition of the new synagogue as a high-performance green building. Their new synagogue building represents a bridge between a rich past and an unlimited future, continuing centuries of Jewish values and tradition as a house of worship, a place for study, and a center for cultural enrichment and meeting.

  5. Bethesda, MD

    Congregants participated in a large-scale composting project.

  6. Austin, TX

    Congregation Beth Israel's landscape has been accepted as a Certified Wildlife Habitat, a program meant to conserve natural resources while protecting and preserving habitat for birds, butterflies and other wildlife. Beth Israel is the first Austin synagogue and one of just a handful of places of worship in Austin to receive the certification from the National Wildlife Federation.

  7. Wilmington, DE

    Congregation Beth Shalom's initiatives followed the format of the of U.S. Green Buidling Council Leadership in Enviormental and Engergy Guidelines. These included the categories of Sustainable Sites, where among many efforts they chose to locate their rebuilt synagogue on a previously built site in an urban neighborhood, rather than moving to open green field site in suburban community; Water Efficiency, where they installed plumbing fixtures that are projected to reduce water use by 20%; Energy and Atmosphere. where they improved insulation to reduce heating needs and changed lighting fixtures with a goal of 25% improvement in energy usage in the first year of operations.

  8. Santa Barbara, CA

    After more than 20 year of heavy and constant use since its last "facelift", Congregation B'nai B'rith was in need of renewal. The renewal project was a wonderful opportunity to incorporate green and sustainable standards and approaches to significant upgrade of CBB's facility. By incorporating recycling, reuse, and sustainable/minimally polluting materials and processes the community set an example for itself and other organizations in our surrounding community. And we know future generations will benefit from the choices we made today.

  9. Boulder, CO

    As a conservative synagogue in a very progressive town of Boulder, Colorado, we felt the natural flow was to become a GREEN synagogue. To this end we have become 100% wind powered by Xcel Energy All of our kiddushes are ZERO waste and we compost all food waste. We changed all of our light bulbs to compact florescent We had an energy audit of our building to help us to both save money and reduce our carbon footprint. We started a program with Tuv Ha Aretz which is beginning in conjunction with Tu Be Shvat. We buy shares of food from local farms to support both organic and local food sources.

  10. West Vancouver, BC

    Last February, Congregation Har El's 3-year old USY chapter, "North Shore Tzofim," hosted its first regional event, the A. J. Heschel Shabbaton. Approximatey 60 USYers from across the Pinwheel Region attended this exciting Shabbaton. Our theme, "Work it! Build it! Protect it! Green it!" was one that we felt particularly relevant to our lives today, also reflecting the philosophy of Rabbi Heschel (z"l) and the teachings of Torah.Our Shabbaton was a way to inspire our youth and adult participants of the fragility of our environment and how we all could make a meaningful and positive difference in our world.

  11. Lansing, MI

    We have a 5 year landscaping plan which is based upon Jewish Environmental and Biblical principals and focusing on working with families and children. Our plan seeks to use Biblical plants where possible and Michigan native plants otherwise. We are also creating a wildlife habitat with consultation from the Michigan Audubon Society. And we have joined in partnership with the Power of We Consortium (a coalition of human service agencies) in writing an Americor grant that would involve environmental projects in our neighborhood.

  12. Orange, CT

    Congregation Or Shalom began its journey toward energy efficiency like most congregations with a desire to reduce operating expenses. It continues with the involvement of many of the 360 member families, including the Loewenthals, whose 12-year old son Jared used his interest in energy conservation to inspired his Bar Mitzvah project. Jared redesigned the synagogue's eternal light to be powered by solar energy and use 52 light-emitting diode (LED) lights to replace flood lights. He was assisted by his father, Michael, an engineer. Previously the eternal light, Ner Tamid, consumed 87 watts of electricity per hour and was always on. The light now uses just 2.0 watts of electricity and saves over 760 kWh annually or $142 per year.

  13. Beachwood, CT

    Cleveland Conservative Synagogue establishes first Jewish CSA in Northeast Ohio In Spring, 2008, the Young Adults Chavura of Congregation Shaarey Tikvah, a 300-family Conservative Synagogue in suburban Cleveland, launched a significant initiative, City Fresh East at Shaarey Tikvah. This initiative, in conjunction with the Cleveland non-profit organization, City Fresh (http://www.cityfresh.org/), became the first CSA initiative in Northeast Ohio under Jewish auspices. It's purpose is to help provide a more just and sustainable food system in Northeast Ohio and to raise awareness of Judaism's teachings of our connection to the land.

  14. Dallas, TX

    Over 650 people of all ages attended Going Green Mitzvah Day & Information Fair this past year, on November 9th, and spend the morning doing Mitzvah projects for our shul & community. We did 40+ projects including those that: Recycle- cleaned parks, cut hair for Locks for Love, had a mobile paper shredding company vsit Replenish- blood, bone marrow and organ donation drive Refresh- landscaped gardens at local fire stations, build an art deck at a Jewish preschool Redecorate- made Thanksgiving decorations for area nursing homes Respond- cleaned a play room at a family homeless shelter, wrote letters to US and Israeli soldiers Restock- knitted and crocheted booties & baby hats for hospitals locally and in Israel, worked at a food pantry Recite- attended morning minyan, made audio tapes for the blind, held a Yiddish program at a senior care facility Recreation- hosted a foster care home for a playdate, played games at nursing homes, provided musical entertainment at nursing homes. Then everyone returned to the shul for a picnic and Going Green fair where we had booths teaching everything from organic gardening to home energy ideas.

  15. Los Gatos, CA

    For many years, our temple has included cooking as part of its religious school curriculum. Two years ago we were lucky enough to have a young man come to teach who had a passion for farming and gardening. With his help an organic garden was started. As our cooking teacher and this young man worked together the kitchen and garden became coordinated efforts. Today, our program, recently named "Mitbach Yarok" instead "that cool thing we do in the garden and kitchen", is a full cycle green kitchen\garden program. Besides the regular recycling done by the entire temple, the kitchen classes save scraps for compost which are sent to the garden class. In turn the garden classes grow fresh produce for the kitchen. The combination of food and garden, outdoors and indoors is a winner for our children, our teachers, and our families.

  16. East Rockaway, NY

    At Hewlett-East Rockaway Jewish Centre, we recently dedicated a 20.4-kilowatt Solar Electric Photovoltaic system (solar panels) on top of our school wing. The system was commissioned in August of 2008and is now up an running, The solar array, consists of 120 solar panels which we expect will generate approximately 24,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity annually, representing approximately 5% of the current electricity requirements of the synagogue ($4500 savings in year). It is our intentions to make this a multi-year solar project. We are doing our best to conserve energy in our Synagogue home.

  17. Kfar Sava, Israel

    We are launching an Eco-Judaism tikkun olam project at Kehillat Hod ve-Hadar (HvH) in Kfar Saba. We are trying to drastically reduce the use of plastic bags in Israel and particularly in the Sharon area where we live. On January 18 for Tu Bishvat and throughout 2008 , our 30th anniversary year as a congregation, we will have info booths at the malls in our area where we will hand out info sheets, bumper stickers and sell alternative cloth bags to the public. In addition we are hosting an Eco-Judaic lecture series at HvH and workshops for kids to decorate their own cloth bags.

  18. Evanston, IL

    In 2008, our congregation became the first Platinum LEED-certified house of worship in the world. (see usgbc.org for more info on LEED certification) Starting with nothing more than a commitment to see ourselves as stewards of the earth and to take seriously the Jewish value of "Bal Taschit--Do Not Waste", our board passed a unanimous statement to build as green as 'feasible' as we planned for our new communal home. We are thrilled to have accomplished so much with relatively few resources (we are a 475 member-unit congregation that subsidizes a third of our membership), and are committed to sharing what we have learned with others as well. (Please call for a tour!) We are equally proud of our "Green Living Policies", a document passed by the Board to guide us in responsible building/operations practices so that we might deepen our commitment to sustainability both personally and communally. The links from our website below offer pictures of the building as well as specifics on some of the innovations used to reach LEED Platinum certification. Please contact me for additional information on building specifics, or for a copy of our policies.

  19. Groveport, OH

    The Men's club of congregation Tifereth Israel in Columbus, OH has been involved in promoting environmental programming for several years. We have recently added some new initiatives to our programming so that we now have a year round "Go-Green" initiative that includes the following: 1. We will plant flowers, shrubs, bushes and trees in the spring in honor of Tu B'Shevat. 2. We will sponsor and annual Bike ride to and from Shul to promote alternative forms of transportation. 3. We will sell/give away soy Shabbat candles to cut down on the carbon emissions. 4. We will be sponsoring a "Walk to Shul" event this year. 5. We are planning to integrate Biodegradable Flatware and Utensils into the synagogue in the next year. 6. We are promoting our members and synagogue to assess their carbon footprint by using the JNF "Go Neutral" Program. Based on these results, we will determine how we can neutralize some, if not all, of our carbon footprint. 7. We will join with our youth group to co-sponsor a park clean up day this coming year.

  20. Columbia, MD

    On January 18 -20, 2008, Oseh Shalom Congregation held their 11th annual synagogue retreat at Cacapon State Park in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia. The theme of the weekend was Brit Ha'adama: Our Covenant With the Earth:How We Can Save the Environment by Understanding Our Role Through Jewish Values. The retreat committee exercised the theme even before participants arrived. Correspondence with attendees was conducted electronically; everyone was requested to bring a reusable drinking cup, attendees carpooled to the site of the retreat, and each participant received a cloth shopping bag to use during and after the retreat. Over 120 Oseh Shalom members participated in the event.

  21. Princeton, NJ

    Jewish CenterThe Princeton Jewish Center (TJC) formed a Sustainability committee in May 2008, which we are thrilled to report has 18 members and has already run many events/initiatives related to: 1. Sustainability Education (for every age cohort) 2. Energy and Waste management (At the synogogue, in it's nursery/religious schools and in congregant's homes) 3. Social Action (Within the community).

  22. Thousand Oaks, CA

    Temple Adat Elohim in Thousand Oaks, California has already achieved many efforts throughout their building to make the synagogue more environmentally friendly and sustainable. Some of the funding for these efforts came from the temples general maintenance fund, other items have been provided through specific donations targeted at achieving a specific environmental improvement.

  23. Meadville, PA

    Application for JTA Green Beanie Award Temple Anshe Hesed, Erie, PA Temple Anshe Hesed, a Reform Congregation in Erie, Pennsylvania, is becoming the first carbon neutral synagogue in the country. It wasn't as difficult as you might guess. Using our electricity and gas bills for 2007 we tabulated our total energy use. Next we converted that to pounds of carbon produced for the year. Since Temple Anshe Hesed is located in one of the snowiest and cloudiest places in America we determined that generating our own solar or wind power was not cost effective. Consequently, the congregation has purchased solar panels at the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies in Israel. The monetary cost of progressive action can be substantial. In fact, Anshe Hesed is paying about ten times the rate some places are charging per ton of carbon so they can be positive their money is going to a reliable organization, one that is in Israel. Ultimately the congregation understands that the environmental cost of passivity is much more, and their beliefs drive them toward action.

  24. Aberdeen/Matawan, NJ

    We are currently negotiating to have solar panels installed on our roof; we have switched to CFLs, including in our ner tamid and large hannukiah; we use biodegradables; we send mailings electronically; we sell and promote eco Shabbat candles made from soy; our Green committee is exploring ways to compost and reduce. On Rosh Hashanah this year the rabbi gave a green sermon.

  25. Newton, MA

    The Temple Beth Avodah Green Committee was established in the fall of 2007 to enable us to act upon our obligation as contemporary human beings and Jews to protect and preserve the earth for future generations. Our mission is to create a temple community that is committed to environmental stewardship and to living sustainably and respectfully within our natural environment. For Tu B'Shevat this year we will be focusing on investing in earth-friendly products. We created a resource sheet that will let people know what to look for when buying consumer goods like personal care and cleaning products and why it is important to buy earth-friendly.

  26. Chappaqua, NY

    Temple Beth El of Northern Westchester spearheaded a year-long environmental initiative by creating a "Guide to Green Living" with the help of the entire congregation and holding an Environmental Advocacy Forum. In particular, with the help of the Temple's children, the Temple created a 40-page illustrated "Guide to Green Living." More than fifty religious school and nursery school students and members of our teen youth group contributed illustrations, ideas, and written sections on what steps each of us can take to protect the environment. Their collective ideas were then incorporated into a practical Guide on what action each individual can take in their daily lives. The Guide was then distributed at an Environmental Advocacy Forum, held on January 13, 2008.

  27. Laguna Niguel, CA

    Two years ago Temple Beth El South Orange County created the Green Team. It's principles are that we are responsible for the choices we make and the actions we take. We are not a debating society. Our objectives are to reduce environmental impact of our facilities and members through projects and information. This year our action day will be a Shabbat Synaplex dedicated to Israel and the Environment.

  28. Livingston, NJ

    Solar Panels, CFL's, drapery, recycling, green cleaners

  29. Edison, NJ

    Temple Emanu-El's Social Action Committee in Edison, New Jersey decided they were not doing enough to promote environmental issues in their community. By taking some simple steps they created an educational program to promote a healthier and more environmentally friendly way to live. They created a day-long interfaith workshop, which was co-sponsored by GreenFaith- a leading interfaith environmental coalition based in New Jersey. Among the programs presented were energy conservation in the home, green alternatives to toxic homes, organic food demonstrations, eco spirituality, special programs for children were also provided throughout the day.

  30. Los Angeles, CA

    On Rosh Hashanah 2007, TEBH launched its Greening the Synagogue Campaign to reduce the community's carbon footprint by 20% by 2010. This initiative is aimed at all segments of the synagogue community including the buildings and programs, as well as the individual member households. Members are asked to sign the Green Promise identifying with the goals of the campaign and committing to make efforts to reduce their carbon footprints. This year, we will be implementing a changeover in all products to more environmentally sustainable materials - office and school supplies, cleaning materials and event related products (table clothes, cups, utensils...). In addition, we have erected a Greening Tree, made out of recycled materials, with a leaf for every member household that has signed the Green Promise. For Birchat Hachamah on April 8th, TEBH will be installing a solar powered Ner Tamid and spearheading a campaign to have other area synagogues do similar installations. This initiative is co-sponsored with the LA Board of Rabbis and the Southern California Air Quality Management District.

  31. Los Angeles, CA

    1. The Green Team presented the 3rd annual "Saving the Earth...Jewishly" program for 6th grade religious school students and their parents. This 3 hour program starts with families being introduced to the Jewish roots of earth stewardship, followed by their thinking about their current green practices. Three interactive fast paced 1/2 hour workshops follow on the subjects of energy, recycling and water. Using what they have learned, families then develop FEAPs -- Family Environmental Action Plans. This program is a lively eye-opener for both parents and children. 2. We designed, procured, and then distributed 1000 reusable shopping bags at Rosh Hashana. Congregants then used them to deliver food for Sova at Yom Kippur. The Green Team emptied the bags and returned them with encouragement to use them throughout the year instead of paper and plastic, be it at the market, the mall, or wherever. 3. There's more if you want more!

  32. Cranston, RI

    The theme for our Religious School this year is Shomrei Adamah, guardians of the Earth, and all of our programming is being centered around environmental and "green" activities and education. Our younger students visited a local zoo to learn about endangered animals and what they can do to help them. Our oldest students built a scale model of what our Temple would look like if it was built with all recycled materials (it was so beautiful that all of our congregrants wanted to go there!). Later in the year some of our students will be visiting a "green" building and doing a beach clean-up. We are also planning a community garden and an end-of-year program showcasing all of the environmental projects the children have completed this year.

  33. Port Washington, NY

    Over the past several years, The Community Synagogue of Port Washington has been in the midst of a building project. When working on the new building, we were very aware of saving energy and are working to make our Temple as green as possible. Rabbi Irwin Zeplowitz, one of our spiritual leaders, approached me with an exciting challenge. As part of saving the environment, he and Rabbi Renee Edelman wanted to create a Solar Ner Tamid. The result of my development is the attached picture which hangs above the ark in our new Chapel. The eternal light features a realistic flickering LED bulb powered by a remote Solar panel mounted outside the building. The sun powered light has been constantly burning with power directly during the day by the sun and excess power recharging self contained batteries that are discharged at night to keep the "candle" flickering. It has continued to give its eternal light 24/7 through rain, snow and electrical outages.

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Jewish Day Schools (Elementary Schools and High Schools)

These kids are going green everyday.

  1. Washington, DC

    Last year, a small group of students, parents, and staff got together to begin a Green Committee for our school. The kids were so inspired by our study of recycling and ecology, that they were the foundation of this group and generated the ideas, projects, and initiatives to get our school moving in a "greener" direction.

  2. Montreal, Qc

    While it is a fact that recycling bins have been the norm around Bialik High School dating back over a decade, it has become apparent to all that the environmental culture at Bialik still left much to be desiredóthat is, until this school year. Over the past five months, Bialik High School (and her sister elementary school, Jewish Peopleís and Peretz Schools) has undergone a radical ìgreenî transformation that has positioned them as true environmental leaders not only in the local Jewish community but also among all schools in and around the Island of Montreal, and perhaps around the globe. Putting together this PowerPoint presentation has been a true labour of love, for we are most proud of our accomplishments to date. Whether or not we are fortunate enough to be chosen as a Green Beanie Award winner, we can certainly guarantee that our initiative has only just begun, and we look forward to conferring the value of preserving our precious environment on many future generations.

  3. Greensboro, NC

    B'nai Shalom is a PS-8 community Jewish day school located in central North Carolina. It currently has an enrollment of 145 students. Greening efforts for 2008-2009: School wide recycling program. There are blue recycling bins in each classroom and the students are aware of what is recyclable. School wide effort to reduce energy consumption. Students and teachers know to turn lights off in classrooms not in use. Effort by administration and staff to reduce paper consumption. This year paper use has been reduced by 15%. The school is a center for plastic bag recycling. Students and parents can bring in their plastic bags for collection. A local supermarket recycles them. A weekly green column in the school e-letter on green advice and ideas. Continuing student education on ways to live green. A group of students visited the local Proximity Hotel. A locally owned green eco friendly hotel. Greening efforts planned for 2009-2010: Encouraging students to make green lunch choices Paperless report cards. Composting bin for lunch scraps. Have students make and sell cloth shopping bags.

  4. Winnipeg, MB

    We are a Hebrew Bilinbual School in Winnipeg, Canada where Jewish and non Jewish children learn side by side. Our school, during the past year, has initiated several projects to help the environment which we are proud to share. Our nursery/kindergarden classes have been involved in a clothes recycling project. They have collected used clothing which they have distributed to needy shelters in our city. They have also eliminated the use of styrofoam plates and cups during snack time and are using re-usable, washable plates and glasses. The children and families in our school are dedicated to improving our environment for the next generation and have been trying to provide litterless lunches. This translates into the use of re-usable lunch bags, washable containers, the elimination of juice boxes, the use of washcloths instead of paper napkins and the elimination of plastic cutlery usage. Students in our grade 5 and 6 classes have formed a school club which they have called "EAT" (environmental action team). The purpose of this group is to educate younger students on how they can live a more environmentally friendly life. This dedicated group of students have helped to raise funds to purchase a composter for the school. Now each class composts.

  5. Fairfax, VA

    Right after Gesher purchased this wonderful building site on Shirley Gate Road, the Board passed a motion to create a Jewish Environmental Program on our new campus. Since moving here last year, the Gesher Green Group has been busily working to make that a reality. The goal of the program is to create "outdoor classrooms" where children can get dirty while learning about the environment.

  6. Cedarhurst, NY

    For my last two years of high I started tomato and pepper plants from seeds I got from Israel. I raised the plants and then sold them at HAFTR HS. I donated the money raised to the One Israel Fund. I was featured on the One Israel Fund web site about two years ago. The first year I raised over $400 and the second year over $600. Growing your own vegetables saves trucking them in from far away. Every bite of a tomato made me think of Israel.

  7. Overland Park, KS

    The students at the HBHA started a new club last spring called Holchim Yarok (going Green in Hebrew). The students first encouraged the students at the school to become more environmentally aware and to start recycling paper, glass, cans and plastics. The project then extended to eye-glasses, laptops, cell phones, computer ink cartridges, and Crocks (the shoes). After applying for and receiving a grant, designer containers were then placed throughout the Jewish Community Campus. The Holchim Yarok project has been featured in the local Jewish newspaper, in addition to weekly communication circulated to all members of the HBHA community.

  8. Rancho Santa Margarita, CA

    Morasha Jewish Day School is a community day school serving Early Childhood through Grade 6. Leave Only Footprints is Morasha's annual environmental awareness festival. The festival came into being three years ago as a component of our initiative to raise environmental consciousness. Leave Only Footprints is an event, which celebrates our connection with our planet and nature through interactive learning experiences. The goal is to foster an appreciation and respect for the environment. In addition to LOFP our environmental initiative includes curricular and policy components. The curricular component for all grades spans the academic disciplines. The environmental initiative is rooted in one of Morasha's guiding Jewish values, Tikkun Olam, (repair the world).

  9. Glen Cove, NY

    For the past two and a half years, we have been trying to make Solomon Schechter High School of Long Island a more environmentally-friendly school. After seeing countless bottles, cans, and pieces of paper being thrown into the trash, we knew that we had to take action. So we founded the Student Action For the Environment (SAFE) Club. Since its founding, SAFE has achieved much success. Last year, we created a recycling program for bottles and cans at Schechter. Recently, however, we ascertained that the City of Glen Cove, which has collected our recyclables for the past two years, allegedly deposits the recyclables into a garbage dump. We were shocked to hear this, and immediately contacted the Mayor of Glen Cove to find out the details, which he assured us he is investigating. As Co-Founders and Co-Presidents of the SAFE Club, we are dedicated to making our school a greener place. We realize that Schechter needs an effective and sustainable environmental program which will remain intact long after we have graduated. Therefore, we have just begun working with an independent recycling organization called Royal Recycling Solutions.

  10. Lawrence, NY

    What began as a family commitment to "green" the North Woodmere home of Kenneth Fink and Jacqui Simons and their two boys, Brandeis students Harry and Jacob, inspired the boys to extend this idea to a broader venue. Jacob (grade 6) and Harry (grade 4) felt that "greening" Brandeis would be the right thing to do to raise awareness among their schoolmates, environmentally improve their school and help the wider community.

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Social Service Organizations

These caring organizations are showing that they care about the environment, too.

  1. Farmington Hills, MI

    At JARC we serve people with developmental disabilities and their families. We have 20 group homes and are currently building a Green home where some of the people we serve will eventually live. As an agency, we have made a commitment to use green products in the building of this home. All of the flooring is made from bamboo and a geo-thermal system will be implemented. The design provides a southern exposure for elevation to lend itself to the use of solar paneling. All windows and doors will be energy efficient using all Leed's Standards. All of the toilets are low-flow and all showers have restricted flow heads. The home's appliances are Star Energy rated. To our knowledge, this is the first Green Group home being built from the ground up. Independent of the Green Home Project at JARC, we have also made Green decisions within our offices and other group homes. We have an extensive recycling program for paper, plastic, cans and other recyclables. We have installed geo-thermal heating and cooling systems at two of our group homes, and upgraded insulation in the attics and walls in a high percentage of our homes.

  2. New York, NY

    The Environmental Responsibility Workgroup at Jewish Home Lifecare has truly made a significant impact at the organization as well as the larger Jewish and healthcare communities. Motivated by the startling facts revealed in the film "An Inconvenient Truth", Michael Jaffe, a member of the Board, and Greg Poole-Dayan, Director of Nursing at Jewish Home Lifecare/Sarah Neuman Center, took on an ambitious task of bringing Jewish Home Lifecare into a new era of environmental responsibility. Since neither one had experience in making such a change, they decided to target "low-hanging fruit": reduce energy, paper, gasoline, and to stop purchasing bottled water. One of the first of its kind, the Environmental Responsibility Workgroup had to learn from experience on how to create and execute an organization-wide environmental initiative. The group evolved from its initial composition to include representatives from all facets of the organization.

  3. Riverdale, NY

    Please partner with the Simon Senior Center as we recycle the past and present to save the future. Our ongoing projects - the Book Bazaar, the Bedazzling Boutique, cell phone recycling welcome and need your participation. At our unique mini used bookstore venerable classics rub shoulders with the most deliciously trashy paperbacks. Our hardcover assortment includes near perfect coffee table treasures, contemporary best-seller literature and undust-jacketed, out- of-print oldies. Classics to crime, we've got the books; you find the time. Want a particular book? Please let us know - we'll look for it. Donations welcome. The Bedazzling Boutique - Tuesday mornings in the Y lobby - sells an ever-changing selection of new and vintage items donated by senior center supporters. Classic crystal, Judaica, paintings, designer (and some not) pocketbooks, silk scarves, serving dishes, costume jewelry, and a rainbow assortment of hand-knit baby clothes. Please stop by to donate, to buy, or just to chat with our wonderful volunteers. Give us your tired, unused cell phones yearning to be recycled. Donated phones are given to an environmentally friendly recycling company and we receive a token payment is used to augment our programs.

  4. Bronx, NY

    Although many associate "going green" with Generation Y, it is not just the youthful who are confronting the risks facing our environment and taking those concerns seriously. The Hebrew Home for the Aged in Riverdale is also "going green" in order to be more energy efficient, protect the environment, save money, and remain a sustainable property for the future. It is a process that has taken two years and was completed in December 2008. The new "green" Hebrew Home not only improves the lives of the residents and staff, but also contributes to protecting the environment. In making the change to "green", the Hebrew Home has: Replaced steam absorbers with gas engine driven chillers to save in gas and fuel oil consumption; Redesigned air handlers to provide 15-20% more air to the building without jeopardizing energy consumption; Installed a 500KW co-generation plant that will allow Hebrew Home to partially produce its own electricity; Developed capabilities to control the heat and air from outside locations. The Hebrew Home expects to save $500,000 yearly through these "green" efforts.

  5. Overland Park, KS

    HOW GREEN IS OUR VILLAGE? Village Shalom, a continuing-care retirement community in the Kansas City area that is home to approximately 200 residents, has been growing ever "greener" since it opened it doors in 2000. GREEN INITIATIVES Village Shalom made conscious efforts in 2008 to reduce "stress" the kind that taxes the power grid, the pocketbook and the environment. During the hottest days of this past summer, Village Shalom participated in the energy-saving "MPower" program sponsored by Kansas City Power & Light.

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Cultural Centers

These cultural institutions are raising environmentalism to an art form.

  1. Irvine, CA

    Jewlicious Festival, now in its fifth year, is the largest Jewish student weekend in the country. We aim to be more than just environmentally aware, but actually take steps to be "green" and educate participants about being green even after the festival is over. Jewlicious Festival, which non-coincidentally takes place within two weeks of Tu B'Shevat, uses a hands-on approach during the festival to inform its participants about how to heal the Earth year-round. In 2008, students and staff at Jewlicious began meeting to create a guiding set of principals that would involve not only what kinds of programs we did, and the educational green content, but which would impact how we organized and produced the Festival. By making this mindset a vital part of Jewlicious, our volunteers and participants are changed by the festival, as they experience a completely green environment and realize that they too can apply these principles and practices.

  2. Amhert, MA

    In two months we'll be opening the doors to the Kaplen Family Building: a $7-million, 22,000-square-foot addition to the Amherst, Massachusetts headquarters of the National Yiddish Book Center. The architecturally distinctive, wood-clad structure is evocative of an East European shtetl (small town): a fitting home for a lively, year-round education center, a large performance hall, classrooms and seminar rooms, an art gallery, a kosher organic kitchen, an internet recording studio, and the world's largest collection of Yiddish books. But though the Kaplen Building evokes the Jewish past, it is also proudly turned to the future, with a green design and cutting-edge, energy-saving technology. At the heart of the building is a geothermal system for heating and cooling. Although geothermal construction is commonplace in Europe, it's still relatively unknown in the United States. It took us two years and consultation with engineers from New Hampshire to Oklahoma City to finalize a design that was as elegant as it is efficient.

  3. Los Angeles, CA

    The Skirball Cultural Center opened to the public in 1996. Our mission is to explore the connections between four thousand years of Jewish heritage and the vitality of American democratic ideals. While culturally specific in origin, the institution is deeply committed to being welcoming and relevant to all. The Skirball realizes its mission through performing arts programs, exhibitions, lectures, and classes for visitors of all ages. Inspired by the ancient flood story of Noah's Ark, which has parallels in hundreds of cultures around the world, this indoor/outdoor attraction offers a multi-sensory, interactive experience to families with a message of sustainability - rooted in the Jewish value of caring for the earth and the world around us - at its core

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Camps and Places of Informal Education

There is nothing informal about these groups' greening efforts.

  1. Bat Ayin, Israel

    The Garden of Emuna is a project of Midreshet Berot Bat Ayin, a women's learning institute located in the village of Bat Ayin in the Gush Etzion region of Israel. It will be physically located on land permanently assigned to Midreshet B'erot Bat Ayin within the village boundaries of Bat Ayin. The project objective is to create a sustainable living infrastructure for all of B'erot's learning and creative activities that can also function as a laboratory and model for others. It will be a working laboratory for the synthesis of the best of ancient and modern sustainable systems, practices, and technologies. The Garden of Emuna project will be a unique application of ancient agricultural and conservation practices drawn from the Torah combined with the best of today's modern "green" technologies.

  2. Portland, OR

    B'nai B'rith Camp has had a steady commitment to "go green" in recent years. The camp's recycling program is strong and growing to include more items each year. Energy efficient lighting has been installed camp-wide. B'nai B'rith Camp's Teva program educates campers of all ages about animals, plants, and environmental conservation. The camp's environmental efforts in the past have been respectable. But, our dedication to a greener environment is maturing. We have big plans for 2009.

  3. Wingdale, NY

    Camp Ramah in the Berkshires is engaged in several programming ventures that aim to teach and model ecological awareness, appreciation and responsibility. We are very excited about the curriculum we are building, as it embraces a multi-faceted approach to informal Jewish education. The first in our line-up of programming is the Green Camp Initiative, founded by long-time Ramahnik and staff member Adi Segal. Its purpose is to promote the deeply rooted Jewish value of environmental stewardship. Through infrastructure and education, the Green Camp Initiative reduces the eco-footprint of camp facilities and, more importantly, teaches a new, responsible lifestyle to thousands of children and young adults, who then influence their respective communities to change. Overnight camp is the best educational environment, as we can model our actions 24/7.

  4. Jenkintown, PA

    At Camp Ramah in the Poconos, we take the Jewish value of repairing the world very seriously. That is why at Camp, we are helping to save the environment one drop at a time with the Instant-Off Water Savers. The Instant Instant-Off Water Saver is an automatic shut-off valve for faucets that makes conserving water easy. The Instant-Off rods replace the aerator on any faucet in just two minutes. Once installed, the water is left on. The faucet handles still adjust water temperature and volume but now the Instant-Off controls the water flow. Push the rod for water; as soon as you release the rod the water automatically stops. There are no more leaky faucets (100% savings)! We have eliminated wasting water when the Camp is brushing their teeth (77% savings) or washing their hands (44% savings) and more. The Instant-Off Water Saver is fast, cost-effective, easy to use, reduces cross contamination and is durable. Because it looks different and must be used to get water out of the faucet, the opportunity for education is instant!

  5. Rockville, MD

    Starting in January 2008, working with Waste Management of PA, we became the first agency in the state of Pennsylvania to use single stream recycling. This allowed us to truly introduce recycling effectively in a camp environment. In just he first year, we were able to recycle over 13 tons of trash, and reduce our refuse by over 16%. This was on top of replacing all bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs.

  6. New York, NY

    On Sept 15th, 2008, the day after Vivian and I got married, we received a generous grant from the Foundation for Jewish Camp, through the Jim Joseph foundation, to start a brand new residential Jewish summer camp focusing on environmentalism, along with social justice and spirituality. Eden Village camp will have an organic farm, run by the Jewish Farm School, where campers can dig in, learn, and eat from. mimicking nature, our camp will have a zero-waste goal, renewable energies, green building technologies and a strong wilderness program. We aim to be a "green light" unto the nations and go beyond reducing, reusing and recycling to focus on rethinking! We are using this valuable time before the camp opens to design a camp that respects, appreciates and learns from our ecosystem. By bringing Judaism's wisdom to life, Eden Village camp will foster the best experiences of our campers' lives while empowering them to promote a healthy, sustainable future for themselves, the Jewish people and the world.

  7. Bloomfield Hills, MI

    In the summer of 2008, Tamarack Camps went "Green," dedicating many programs to learning about the environment and making a positive change in our world through Tikkun Olam. Of the numerous environmental initiatives established during the summer, one that incorporated each and every camper and counselor was the Tree Planting Project. Rabbi Jason Miller conducted tree planting ceremonies for every camper and counselor at Camp Maas, the residential camp of Tamarack Camps, serving 1,200 campers. Each session, each village of campers was led to a field which would soon become a new grove of pine trees. Sitting in the shade of a tree, Rabbi Jason taught the campers (based on their age level) about the importance of trees - both ecologically as well as in the Jewish tradition.

  8. Kiryat Tivon, Israel

    The Second Annual Hula Valley Artists for Nature Festival 6-15 March 2009 The Israel Ornithological Center (IOC) and the Artists for Nature Foundation (ANF) are planning to hold the 2nd Artists for Nature Festival at the Hula Valley in early 2009. The festival brings together renowned artists from all over the world to help raise awareness of top priority conservation issues in Israel through the intimate cultural exchange of art. The first festival (2008) was an enormous success, with non-stop nature art workshops, tour groups visiting artists on site, lectures, discussion groups about art and conservation, exhibitions and more. The festival draws much needed focus on tourism and the environment to Northern Israel and to the region as a whole through the universal interest in art and nature.

  9. Denver, CO

    In 2008, the JCC Ranch Camp proudly launched its Nature and Ecology Program. This program was led by two experts who designed and implemented a program that not only helped make Ranch Camp a greener camp, but also instilled a love and appreciation for Nature in our staff and campers. This program demonstrated the importance of Jewish values such as Tikkun Olam. David Rudin, of Peyton, Colorado is a science teacher and nature educator with over 20 years of experience in the field. He worked in conjunction with Tuvia Eshkoly, of Israel who holds an MS in Ecology from Tel Aviv University. Together they took our campers through an extensive "nature journey", which included gardening projects, small farming, bird watching, and pond ecology.

  10. Toronto, ON

    The Kavanah Organic Community Teaching Garden will be opening Spring 2009! The goal of the Kavanah Garden is for community members to engage in Tikkun Olam, the repairing of the world, by participating in hands-on, transformative programs that are rooted in Judaism's deep ecological and agricultural wisdom. The Kavanah Garden will include in-ground vegetable, herb, and flower garden beds; raised wheelchair-accessible garden beds; perenial berries; native flowers and shrubs; compost demonstration site; rain-water collection barrels; havdallah spice garden; outdoor classroom; greenhouse; solar oven, and more! The Kavanah Garden will host school and congregational programs, family holiday events, senior programs, youth volunteer apprenticeships, and even our first Bat Mitzvah ceremony this fall!

  11. Yokneam Moshava, Israel

    In response to the overwhelming need to expose women and children living in shelters for battered women to the healing powers of nature, LOTEM Integrated Nature Studies has created Mother Nature: A Program for Battered Women and Children. The program includes four outings - one during each season of the year. Through hikes and workshops, participants will be exposed to the wondrous changes that occur in nature - the shedding of leaves in the autumn, the gushing waters of winter, the blossoming of flowers and plants every spring, and the nature that flourishes even in the heat of summer. Through active participation in both hikes and task-centered workshops, they will be offered the opportunity to experience nature, while healing both their bodies and their souls.

  12. Baltimore, MD

    As the day upon which the sap in our maple trees begins to ebb and flow, Tu B'Shvat - the Rosh Hashana of Trees - is a special time at Project Ya'aleh V'Yavo. It is the perfect opportunity to teach the Torah of the trees, sample the sweet seasonal syrup and marvel at the mystery that enables each mature maple to sequester nearly 450 pounds of carbon per year. Each year we hold a "Yarchei Kallah" - a learn-in highlighting sustainability through a Torah prism. Last year we were fortunate enough to host over 50 members of the JOC for such a day and to bring the teachings to life in our new building. Our new activity center - which doubles as a working sugarhouse and a functional synagogue was designed to resemble the Eastern European wooden synagogue from Rabbi Simenowitz' ancestral shtetl of Ivye, Belarus.

  13. Commack, NY

    Our environmental initiative, Tech and Teva, was a 10-day Israel experience built upon the belief that to connect our students and families to Israel, it is imperative that we understand their lifestyle, interests and the world in which they live. This connection can be made through the environment as well as technology as much of post-modern life is centered on these two issues. Our students are beginning to seek out ways in which to better their lives and their environment and they are always seeking out the latest and greatest technological advancements. The environmental lens can be a bridge to a greater connection and pride in Israel and is easily translatable through many different methods into our classrooms and learning spaces. This past February, we took thirty educators from the Long Island area on the Tech and Teva trip to Israel. For them, this Israel experience provided a supportive, dynamic professional learning opportunity that gave them a vibrant new lens for their work, encouraging them to remain in the field.

  14. Malibu, CA

    The Shalom Institute is a year-round Jewish experiential Jewish education center in Malibu and the home of Camp JCA Shalom, a Jewish Community Center overnight camp. Over the years, the Shalom Institute has striven to be a model for "green" practices and we recently launched our True to Nature initiative which has incorporated even more eco-friendly practices and has developed a stronger culture of "green" (and Jewish!) in our operations, administration and programming. Our "greening" has included solar -powered buildings, solar water heated pool, waterfee urinals, composting, vermiculture, organic gardening and farming, all eco-friendly cleaning products, online program registration ( there was no paper application for Camp JCA Shalom Summer 2008), online rental agreements, paper use reduction, recycled paper and office products, recycling, compostable kitchenware, recycled plastic bunk beds, solar powered front gate, eco-design for refurbishement of buildings by LEED certified architects, low-flow showerheads and toilets, compact flourescent light bulbs, environmental education programs, and much more.

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For-Profits

These folks make it their business to make the world greener.

  1. Brookline, MA

    As a former Jewish Professional and continual environmental activist, I wanted to share with you the current work I am doing, which, while not specifically a TuB'Shevat program or initiative, impacts the Jewish community here in Boston and challenges people to shift to a green consciousness. I recently started a Green Living Consulting business, Green on the Inside, which means I work with people to green their lives, teach them about sustainability, and help them implement changes. This work includes speaking with synagogues and interfaith dialogues; working closely in the Jewish community, such as volunteer work with Moishe Kavod House and Gesher City; and working with local grassroots groups that overlap with the Jewish community, such as Alternatives for Community and Environment and Alliance for a Healthy Tomorrow. The goal is to raise awareness and the opportunity to be involved, as well as maintain a strong Jewish conscience and commitment to environmental values. These goals are part of my every day work with Green on the Inside, and I'd like to incorporate more partnerships as it continues to grow.

  2. Jaffa, Israel

    How does Israel fit into the environmental movement in the Middle East? How do "green" Jewish values intersect with other faiths in the region? What new clean technologies from Israel and the region, have the potential to paint a different political reality, and future for all the people in the Middle East? Attempting to answer all of the above, and more, Green Prophet is the first environmentally-centric news site to cover Middle East environmental issues. With a focus on "thinking positive" over politics, we are bringing eco-projects, green design and social initiatives, clean technologies and the work of unsung heros to the forefront. Founded by journalists, ecologists, and Torah scholars, what results is a hip, interesting, and educational platform for sharing green Jewish values to the world. Green Prophet just celebrated its one year anniversary and has received accolades and support from across the planet. Our team of 15+ bloggers are Jewish, Muslim and Christian and are all passionate about spreading the "green" word across the Middle East.

  3. Albany, CA

    Andrew Kimbrell, director of the Center for Food Safety, says that the most important thing people can do to promote sustainability of the food system is to avoid factory farmed meat. Until recently, the kosher consumer has not had this choice. For the past year, however, Devora Kimelman-Block and her company, KOL Foods, have made this possible. And Roger Studley has started KOL Foods West and is working with Devora to begin providing kosher, organic-raised, locally produced meat on the west coast. Roger also organized a turkey shechita, with pasture-raised birds, for the Hazon Food Conference in order to raise awareness of the deficiencies of factory farming and to demonstrate what it means to take responsibility for the meat we eat and how produce meat in an ethical, sustainable way.

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Universities

These institutions of higher learning bring greening to a higher level.

  1. Simi Valley, CA

    In Talmudic times, Jewish farmers were commanded (Peah) to leave the produce from the edges and the corners of their fields so that people in need of food could gather the produce for themselves. Helping Hands Gardens (HHG) is the ultimate expression of this mitzvah. HHG is a project of the American Jewish University that weds community development, service learning, Tikun Olam and the understanding that social problems intimately connected to environmental problems. HHG began in 2007 with the planting of a garden at our Brandeis Bardin Campus by sophomore service learning students. This garden was devoted entirely to raising organic produce for SOVA, the Jewish Family Service food pantry. Subsequent service learning students harvested produce, made kosher spaghetti sauce from the garden's tomatoes, packaged herbs for tea and expanded the garden area. In the summer of 2008, we donated over 200 pounds of organic produce to SOVA and Share and Care

  2. Farmington Hills, MI

    Implemented the following "green" initiatives: 1. Recycled paper in the office. 2. Generated more email over snailmail to disseminate Technion updates. 3. Shared news of Israel Green technology with community. 4. Turned off all lights in office space when not in use. 5. Turned down the heat or air conditioning regularly to save energy 6. Used coffee mugs over styrofoam cups

  3. Tel Aviv, Israel

    Environmental concerns bring Israelis, Jordanians and Palestinians together They may come from worlds apart, but leading political and environmental figures from Israel, Jordan, and the Palestinian Authority have found a common theme to bring them together - the Great Rift Valley. The Great Rift Valley is a series of geological rifts stretching 4,000 miles, from southern Turkey to Zimbabwe, running through Syria and Lebanon, along the Jordan River, the Dead Sea, the Gulf of Eilat and the Red Sea until Kenya, at which point it splits into two branches. Five hundred million birds use the valley route to migrate twice a year from Europe to Asia. The multi-national group - under the moniker of the Dead Sea Triangle (DST) - has met twice recently, in Jerusalem and at Kibbutz Sde Eliyahu, to discuss the future of the Great Rift Valley and to step up the environmental collaboration already in progress through innovative and large-scale projects. Sessions were organized by Dr. Yossi Leshem from Israel's Tel Aviv University.

  4. New York, NY

    Yeshiva University (YU) has been busy with a flurry of green initiatives. In November 2007, YU joined over 470 other Universities by signing the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment. This gave rise to an eventful year in 2008 where: Yeshiva's first Annual Green Energy Matters Newsletter was published. The School's first Sustainability Coordinator was hired. The University's new Office of Energy and Sustainability Programs completed its first ever Green House Gas Inventory. Forty percent of the university's vehicle fleet was converted to hybrids, with expected completion by the end of 2009. YU increased its grade in the Sustainable Endowments Institute's Green Report Card. Not only are the administrative staff busy greening the YU campuses but students are getting involved too.

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Kibbutzim

  1. Hevel Eilot, Israel

    The Green Apprenticeship program on Kibbutz Lotan is a complete introduction to both ecology and cooperative living. Students spend an intensive 6 weeks on Kibbutz Lotan, an intentional cooperative community based on the principles of liberal, egalitarian Judaism in southern Israel, their time divided between formal studies and the practical application of what they have learned. Participants are interwoven into the daily life of our kibbutz and are encouraged to take part in the community's cultural and religious events. The experience and worldview of Lotan is utilized as a case study for focusing on group process and community building. The ideas and ideals behind our way of life and projects are discussed and many community members serve as guest lecturers in our classes. Students on the course live in the eco-campus - a prototype model for sustainable living that is a learning experience in itself.

  2. Dimona, Israel

    Our all vegan, holistic living kibbutz "Shomrei HaShalom ("Guardians of Peace") in DImona, Israel is experimenting with solar stoves and loving the results. It helps the environment, the economy and saves energy - the 3 "E's". We are teaching its benefits to the youth and planning solar lunches in which everyone includng guests will partake of the incredible pleasures of veggies prepared with sunpower. All part of our effort to live in harmony with nature.

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Organizations

These groups are adding environmentalism to the already long list of great things they do.

  1. New York, NY

    Several years ago, American Jewish Committee (AJC) made a commitment to devote resources to become a green agency, beginning with AJC headquarters in New York. This has not been an easy task. The eight-floor building in midtown Manhattan is nearly 60 years old. But facing challenges with a pioneering spirit has been a core value of AJC since the organizationÔøΩÔøΩÔøΩs founding in 1906. Today, AJC is a leading global advocacy organization, with 29 offices and 3 affiliates across the United States, a significant overseas presence that includes eight offices and 24 partnerships, and a national membership of more than 175,000 and growing. AJC had the foresight to engage energy independence as a national security issue more than 35 years ago, after the 1973 oil embargo. Recognizing that energy independence and environmental concerns are intertwined, in recent years AJC seized opportunities to implement a bold recycling program, change all lighting to save electricity costs, and institute green procedures for cleaning, purchasing furniture and renovating offices. To assure success, AJC created a new staff position, Green Project Manager, in 2006. A key motivating factor is AJCÔøΩÔøΩÔøΩs determination to become one of the first Jewish non-profits in the country with green certification for its national headquarters. To achieve that goal, AJC is engaged in a multi-year process for compliance with the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating SystemsÔøΩÔøΩÔøΩ. Early success has been recognized. In January 2008, the federal Environmental Projection Agency's Green Power Partnership named AJC to the elite Energy Leadership Club, in recognition of AJCÔ's purchase of Green Power to meet 100 percent of its U.S.-based electricity usage.

  2. Bergenfield, NJ

    Areyvut in partnership with the Jewish National Fund (JNF) hosted its annual Make a Difference Day on April 4-6, 2008 with the theme of "Going Green". Over 6,000 people worldwide participated in Make a Difference Day 2008 by participating in programs and projects through their synagogues, schools, community organizations and families. Some examples include: Under the guidance of their troop leader, a local Girl Scout troop beautified and rejuvenated a shelter for handicapped and disabled orphans in Seoul, South Korea. In Burlingame, CA, members of Peninsula Temple Sholom installed solar panels to decrease their consumption of electricity. Under the guidance and leadership of Ms. Edith Horovitz, 2nd and 6th grade students took part in Project Clean Up in Jacksonville, FL. The students created "no litter" signs, picked up trash and cleaned up the road in front of their school. They hope their actions will inspire others to take steps towards improving the environment.

  3. Sunnyvale, CA

    In November 2008, the California Israel Chamber of Commerce (CICC) invited 12 Israeli Clean Technology companies to participate in a special delegation meeting with industry leaders, investment firms and utility giants in California. The select companies represented a broad range of sectors, including renewables, clean water, solar and more. The inaugural CleanTech Tour allowed the selected representatives from emerging Israeli clean technology companies to meet and engage with an entire ecosystem of cleantech leaders in California. The initiative included a showcase at Stanford University Bechtel Conference Center where over 200 industry leaders met with the Israeli delegation to discover collaboration, partnerships and investment opportunities. The CleanTech tour was part of CICC's continuous efforts to promote the growth and development of clean technology solutions both in Israel and California.

  4. Silver Spring, MD

    Over the last six years, Canfei Nesharim ("the wings of eagles") has provided Torah-based teachings and educational resources about the importance of protecting the environment. In 2008, Canfei Nesharim began a new pilot to engage Orthodox synagogues in environmental learning and action. Working in partnership with seven synagogue communities across the United States (based in DC, MD, NY, NJ, and CA), we have empowered lay leaders, engaged synagogue members, and created innovative new resources to connect our Jewish tradition to today's environmental challenges.

  5. New York, NY

    The FJMC created the shomrei ha-aretz initiative in the summer of 2008 we convinced the Conservative Movement to endorse and promote the objectives of greening our synagogues and home environment. To this end we created a soy based shabbat candle, a solar ner tamid kit, joint purchasing of biodegradable materials for synagouges and a partnership with JNF Go Neutral program or similar North American intiaitve. Twelve pilot projects were selected in June 2008. Highlights are Beth David, Saratoga, CA. Temple Aliyah, West Hills, CA. The Jewish Center Princeton, NJ and a host of others.

  6. Tucson, AZ

    There is a member in our Hadassah Southern Arizona Chapter who had a wonderful idea. Her name is Anne Lowe. As a very talented artist she has conceived of two holiday cards: one for Rosh Hashanah and one for Hanukkah. There are recipes pertaining to these holidays inside. After you have read the message on the outside, you can cut them in half and put them in your recipe file to be used over and over again. Another extra is that they can be printed on recycled paper. These cards were made for the Desert Mountain Region of Hadassah and have been purchased by the chapters for their members in Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, Montana, Texas, Nevada, and Wyoming. These cards have contributed to the "greening" of our world as well as supporting Hadassah's projects in Israel.

  7. Los Angeles, CA

    Hadassah Southern California's Winter Conference, co-chaired by Deborah Goldberger and Susanne Reyto was held on Sun., Jan. 27, 2008. The conference theme was "Israel: The Tiny Green Giant's Role in Greening the World" - and featured Dr. Daryl Temkin, director of the Israel Institute-Green Technology Fund; Shai Aizin, Israel Consul for Economic Affairs; and Woodrow W. Clark II, Ph.D., one of 2,000 scientists on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate-Change (IPCC) who were co-recipients of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. Every attendee received HSC's Green Resource Guide, a compilation of PERSONAL ACTION STEPS to help "green" our environment.

  8. San Francisco, CA

    Hands On Bay Area (HOBA) and the American Jewish World Service (AJWS) and AVODAH: The Jewish Service Corps Partnership have joined forces to offer an exciting Jewish service learning pilot program for the Bay Area community. We are thrilled to be able to offer a program that combines HOBA's extensive service experience in the Bay Area with AJWS and AVODAH's commitment to working with the Jewish community to explore our individual and communal responsibility for tikkun olam, healing the world. Tikkun Olam TeamWorks: A Jewish Service-Learning and Food Justice Program invited 20 participants to commit to four service learning projects on Sundays, one educational event, an organic and communally-planned Shabbat dinner and a graduation.

  9. San Francisco, CA

    Since 1877, the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco has served our community, connecting and welcoming people of all ages and walks of life and inspiring higher levels of Jewish engagement. The JCCSF has experienced impressive growth and success since its reopening five years ago, becoming a true hub of the community and providing diverse and unique programming in collaboration with Jewish and non-Jewish agencies from the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond. With 17,000 members and 50,000 unduplicated annual program participants, the JCCSF is now the second largest stand-alone Jewish community center in the country. We strive to provide leadership with regard to issues that affect our community and our world. Tikkun ha-olam, is in fact one of the JCCSF's seven core values and our Board and our staff feel strongly that sustainable living is an integral part of repairing the world. In 2008, the JCCSF launched an extensive Green Initiative, redoubling our recycling efforts, launching a center-wide composting initiative, and educating staff and Center participants, from preschoolers to seniors, on a range of "green" issues and actions.

  10. New York, NY

    Jewish Heart for Africa is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization that brings sustainable Israeli technologies to rural African villages. Our first initiative, Project Sol, arranges for the financing and installation of solar panels to provide power to schools, clinics, and water pumping systems. As a renewable, low-maintenance, cost-effective source of energy, solar electricity is capable of utilizing one of Africa's greatest natural resources: the sun. Project Sol aims to promote development in Africa using clean, alternative energy in order to fight climate change and provide for sustainable economic development, while improving the overall health and lifestyle of the African rural community. Israel is a leader in the alternative energy and agricultural industries, and has perfected the art of agriculture in an arid climate. Israeli solar and agricultural technologies are therefore the most logical solutions for African villages that face similar climate conditions.

  11. New York, NY

    Best known for greening Israel's landscape by planting over 240 million trees, Jewish National Fund (JNF) has been caring for the land of Israel for over 100 years by developing cutting-edge environmental practices that are shared across the globe. In 2008, JNF marked the construction of its 200th reservoir in Israel. Also, JNF Green Times, an e-Newsletter about Israel and the Environment JNF Green Times is a bi-monthly e-newsletter (paperless) for middle and high school students focusing on Israel and the environment and encouraging learning and action. Each issue focuses on a different environmental theme.

  12. Jenkintown, PA

    In 1990 JRF passed a movement-wide resolution on the environment and congregational life. Since 2006 we have offered conference calls and resources on Sustainable Synagogues and Living a Jewish Life Rooted in Ecological Values. This intensified with our Omer Learning Initiative in 2007 and 2008 and our ongoing Sustainable Synagogue Initiative that has as a goal 100% participation from all our 100 plus affiliates, and included greening and carbon offsetting our North American Biennial this past November in Boston and honoring our leading sustainable synagogues. We are also taking leading roles in Birkhat HaChammah this April, a national sustainability training for the leadership of the American Jewish community this May, and continuing our support of environmental policy-making and national and state-wide sustainable practices by signing on as a national religious organization to various letters of support and legal briefs across the country as requested.

  13. Washington, DC

    Jews United for Justice has produced a little booklet with a big mission: to work for the day when every one of the $30 million dollars that Jewish families in our area spend on weddings and bar and bat mitzvah celebrations every year will be spent in a way that reflects Jewish values. Each section of the booklet offers specific suggestions for how families can make purchasing choices for their special day in ways that are mindful of workers' rights and environmental impact. The book is illustrated throughout with Jewish teachings, and with the real-life stories of more than forty DC-area families who made creative green and just choices for their own celebrations. Jews United for Justice is distributing the guide at no cost to rabbis, officiants, teachers, congregations and schools in the Greater Washington area who will use them in their work with bar and bat mitzvah families and with couples planning Jewish weddings or commitment ceremonies.

  14. New York, NY

    Last spring JLA announced that it was going green. The first step was eliminating most mail including our brochures. Now communication for classes and events are emailed. Next, we limited our use of paper products for our programs and dinners opting for non disposable items. Our biggest endeavor thus far was building our eco friendly Menorah for Chanukah. Over 7 feet of adobe, recycled aluminum cans and glass were used to create the structure. Recycling is our biggest initiative at JLA, we are affiliated with a company called papeg. Our JLA community drops off recycled goods and drops it in our bin. When full papeg will empty it and issue our organization a check for the amount received.

  15. Durban, South Africa

    "Go Green with the KNZC" Celebrate Tu Bishvat - African style! The KwaZulu-Natal Zionist Council (KNZC) is planting seeds, and growing communities. For the second consecutive Tu Bishvat, the Durban Jewish community will gather at the Salt Rock Hotel just north of Durban for a day of fun in the sun and to combat global warming by raising awareness of the growing importance of Greening. Promoting the Green example set by the JNF, every participant is given the opportunity to plant a seedling in the hotel gardens. But the emphasis isn't only on trees. In a unique initiative, the KNZC pairs up with the Sizimisele Development Trust, an African Non-Governmental Organisation based in Inanda, KwaZulu-Natal. With a focus on recycling, an ethnic market selling local arts and crafts and organic veggies, and plenty of green-inspired activities for the kids, "Go Green with the KNZC" has become the premier socially-minded eco-event of the Durban Jewish community!

  16. New York, NY

    In past few years NJOP has thankfully seen the number of participants for our Shabbat Across America program grow. That in turn leads to the printing of thousands and thousands of sheets of paper for the SAA Handbooks, Flyers, Posters, etc, etc. We decided last year to email the program coordinators at the 573 synagogues and Jewish Centers throughout North America a questionnaire asking how much of the sent materials they actually utilized. The answers varied greatly but we found that many did not utilize the exact number of handbooks and materials that we provided†them with. With the environment and tikkun olam in mind, we decided that this year it was imperative for Shabbat Across America to Go Green! We have opted this year†to create a†dedicated site where we are uploading all of the explanatory and publicity materials, allowing our 100s of participants (several are LEED certified)†to download and print only what they need, that way there will be zero waste.†This is just the start! Future campaigns for our major initiatives, including Read Hebrew America, Shabbat Across America, and many others,†will be run in the same way. We have established online registration for the event (a first for us to cut down on paper applications), and the 4 page application (viewable online, not printed and mailed like past years)†includes an announcement that SAA has gone green this year. This will be a hard adjustment for many of our participating congregations, but we hope that it also will inspire them to be less wasteful in the everyday running of their offices.

  17. Seattle. WA

    In this project, The Jewish Climate Challenge, Rodef Tzedek in partnership with CarbonSalon(TM) are issuing a challenge to members of the Jewish community to reduce our household carbon footprint by at least 2% a year, in both measurable as well as non-measurable ways. Regarding measurable ways, we're asking people to input the amounts of their energy usage (household energy, personal vehicle fuel, and air travel) into a specially designed calculator which will allow participants to track their own carbon emissions, as well as the aggregate emissions of theose who participate in the project. Non-measurable changes, such as composting, eating less meat, and buying locally will also be encouraged. Initially based in the Greater Seattle area, The Jewish Climate Challenge will hopefully eventually spread to other communities--Jewish and otherwise (i.e. Catholic, labor, schools, etc.) around the country, and even the world.

  18. Ramat Bet Shemesh, Israel

    I'd like to nominate Sviva Israel's Facebook Group, "Israel, Judaism and the Environment for our Hannukah Eco Lights 2008 event that attracted nearly 1,000 people from 15 different countries (US, Canada, Israel, Turkey, Romania, Australia, Mexico, South Africa, France, UK, Italy, Denmark, Spain, FSU and even Barbados!). Even the UJC green superhero Eternal Light joined in! In a celebration of Jewish environmental learning and action, participants were asked to pick up one extra piece of litter each day for each of the 8 days of Hannukah (1 on the first day, 2 on the second day etc.) and also received daily Jewish Environmental Teachings (JETs) in English, Hebrew and French from a wide mix of leading Jewish and environmental figures like Nigel Savage (Hazon), Iris Feinberg (Board of Governers of JAFI), Dr. Jeremy Benstein (Heschel Center, Tel Aviv) and Rabbi Charles Lebow (Project Shabbat).

  19. Sydney Australia

    Limmud Oz - Australia's annual Festival of Jewish Learning and Culture will aim to be, for the first time, a carbon neutral event. Limmud Oz engages up to 1,500 participants from Australia and New Zealand from all denominations and organizations, including teachers from our Jewish day schools, the unaffiliated and focusing on young adults. Our promise to the participants is: Wherever you find yourself, Limmud-Oz will take you one step further on your Jewish journey.Therefore, the decision was made as part of the planning process for Limmud Oz 2009 (which started in the latter part of 2008) to make the 2009 event, for the first time, "carbon neutral". This decision does not stem from a desire to join the bandwagon of some trend or to simply appear "green". Our theological and ideological commitment as guardians of this world created for us means that environmental sustainability must permeate our lives in every way possible; it is our responsibility to act sustainably and educate our community to act sustainably.

  20. Jerusalem, Israel

    The World Council of Conservative/Masorti Judaism--Masorti Olami and MERCAZ Olami is developing and producing a CD on Judaism and the Environment. It will be distributed to every rabbi in attendance for the Rabbinical Assembly Conference in 2009, and later distributed to individuals and Masorti communities worldwide. Objectives: To provide the educational framework of Masorti's position of helping the environment and demonstrate its dedication to conservation and pro-activism. To introduce Masorti affiliated communities and their members to a more conscous attitude regarding the environment. To provide an educational tool for environmental activism that is easily accessible and user-friendly. To provide the Jewish communities worldwide with information that is ecologically aware and eco-friendly. Teach values of Torah with respect to Mother Nature and the world God has provided for all of humanity.

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Federations & Related Agencies

These federations are showing that the environment is a Jewish communal cause, too.

  1. Montreal, QC

    Guided by Jewish and humanitarian values, FEDERATION CJA announced its intention in June 2008 to embark on an initiative to "green" its operations, by conducting business in a fashion that supports and enhances sustainability through equitable, responsible and comprehensive environmental policies and actions. Through its Work Green / Passe au vert initiative, the Federation has expressed its commitment to lead by example, for both the Jewish and general community, by greening the way it does business. The Federation has undertaken to reduce its ecological footprint by minimizing waste, reducing resource use, maximizing reuse and recycling, and by promoting better environmental practices and respect for our fragile planet. As its first step, President, Marc Gold, invited two members of the Board of Directors of FEDERATION CJA, who already have significant interest and experience in the area of environmental awareness, to lead the initiative.

  2. Chicago, IL

    JCRC and the JFMC Facilities Corporation have joined to sponsor the 'Light Among the Nations' campaign. This program offers Jewish institutions and community members compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) at well below retail costs. These light bulbs use 75% less energy than incandescent bulbs and last 5 times longer. This not only emits less greenhouse gasses required to light our homes but it saves us hundreds of dollars in energy costs each year.

  3. New York, NY

    As Tu B'Shevat approaches, and our community celebrates the blossoming of new life,UJA-Federation will offer opportunities for beneficiary agencies to become green, including grants, educational programs, and a Jewish environmental fellowship. It will present a Network Greening Initiative on January 22 from 5:30 to 7:30 PM. Addressing climate change at the local level, the Greening Initiative aims to both reduce UJA-Federation of New York's and the network's carbon footprint and to raise environmental consciousness for the citizens of New York. In doing so, UJA-Federation and the network agencies are responding proactively to the City of New York's PlaNYC to create a sustainable city, while also achieving its mission and supporting our strategic directions. Through this Initiative, network agencies will be provided with the necessary tools to guide them in making environmentally sound changes within their own organizations, and in reaching out to and engaging their constituents. To help guide this Initiative, UJA-Federation has formed the Greening Task Force, which is co-chaired by lay leader John Usdan and Rabbi Joy Levitt of the JCC Manhattan.

  4. New York, NY

    UJC/Good Energy Initiative GA Carbon Offset Project Like any major conference that brings thousands of people together from all over the world, the United Jewish Communities General Assembly (GA) will inevitably have an impact on the environment. In discussion with the Heschel Center for Environmental Learning & Leadership ìGood Energy Initiative, UJC learned that the 2008 Jerusalem GA would produce an estimated 11,375 tons of carbon emissions (CO2eq.) UJC received a grant from the Julius & Dorothy Lazarus Foundation to partner with the Good Energy Initiative to offset the carbon emissions associated with all on-the-ground GA activities by replacing diesel water heaters with solar heaters and launching an efficient lighting campaign in peripheral schools in the city of Lod. In an era that calls for greater responsibility by individuals and organizations, this pilot project was a success on many levels. First, it demonstrated UJCís interest in building an element of environmental awareness and action into the GA which is widely seen as one of the Jewish communityís major annual events. Second, it was an example of an effective and innovative partnership that combined UJCís resources with those of an expert, local grassroots organization and a funder committed to Jewish and environmental causes. Third and most important, the project leveraged the Lazarus Foundation's and The Morningstar Foundation's support of Karev to deliver a significant and positive environmental and social benefit to the citizens of Lod.

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