All 2020 Projects

Sustainability-Focused Student Programming

Michigan Hillel

Project Description

Throughout the 2020-21 academic year, our “Green” team hosted three sustainability-focused student programs including a Microgreens event, Host at Home Sustainability Shabbat with a measuring cups giveaway for hosts, and Hillel Outdoor Adventure group Environmental Shabbat, all of which encouraged the exploration of the intersection of Judaism and our environment.

Project Complete!

Sustainability Starter Kits

Hillel Metro-Detroit

Project Description

We partnered with Hazon Detroit to make two of the Sustainability starter kits available to students free of cost. We were able to engage with 20 students and were able to get the conversation started about sustainability.

Project Complete!

“Dancing in God’s Earthquake”

Woodstock Jewish Congregation

Project Description

One of our members created a book club to read and discuss R. Arthur Waskow’s latest book on the intersection of climate change and issues of social justice, “Dancing in God’s Earthquake.” She also arranged a two-hour live zoom meeting with R. Waskow to talk about his book with us.
Challenges: Just the difficulties of scheduling R. Waskow.
Progress: Completed

Project Complete!

Talks on Jewish Teachings about Sustainability and Climate Change

Woodstock Jewish Congregation

Project Description

The WJC, through our rabbi and a number of congregants, presented many Jewish teachings about sustainability that are relevant to our current climate crisis. This year we also added a number of talks that combined the issues of climate change and social justice. Talks were given at services Friday night and Saturday, in Torah class on Thursday and Monday and at the local Jewish Day of Learning. We also held an Earth Day celebration offering such teachings.

Project Complete!

“Planting Wildflower Seeds”

Woodstock Jewish Congregation

Project Description

A number of seeds, particularly for milkweed plants, were sown in the fall at the periphery of our parking lot, where we have not planted anything before.

Joined “Pollinator Pathways Woodstock”

Woodstock Jewish Congregation

Project Description

The WJC joined a regional movement to create geographically connected habitats for pollinators via individuals and organizations making native plants part of their landscaping and gardens.
We already have landscaped with native plants at the WJC; and joining “Pollinator Pathways Woodstock” adds to our visibility in the local environmental movement. It also enables us to put links to events hosted by “Pollinator Pathways Woodstock” in our weekly newsletter to encourage and inform our congregants in regard to their own gardens.

Project Complete!

“9th Annual Film/Discussion Series,”Building Local Resiliance in Response to Global Challenges”

Woodstock Jewish Congregation

Project Description

This was the WJC’s third year co-presenting this 4-part winter/spring series with the Woodstock Land Conservancy (an extremely active environmental organization), and Woodstock Transition US (grass-roots community building). Each event lasts for 1.5 hours (and is recorded on the WLC website).
This year three of the four presentations focused on resiliency in regard to local agriculture, which is the major driver of our county’s economy. The fourth explored the county’s desperate need for affordable housing for our workforce and for our senior community. The four were:
1. “Regenerative Agriculture for Human & Planetary Health,” on the soil biome and what we can do to improve soil health, particularly in regard to not using the pesticide Roundup.
2. “Hudson Valley Farm Hub’s ‘Farmscape Ecology'” about a local, major research institute that is looking beyond regenerative agriculture, exploring new ways to use farmland so that it also protect the larger ecosystem.
3. “Creating Community Solutions to Our Housing Challenges.” Our County Deputy Commissioner and Woodstock Housing Committee were the main presenters, with the goal of engaging the whole community in understanding the problem and finding solutions.
4. “Future Fruits Project,” presenting the possibility of planting edible plants in our homes’ forest landscapes (we are in the Catskill Forest Preserve), and describing several edible plant projects that are being initiated in one of our low-income urban areas with teenagers.

Project Complete!

Addition to Woodstock Jewish Congregation “About Us” Website Page.

Woodstock Jewish Congregation

Project Description

Described WJC commitment to environmental sustainability. Also included link to environmental actions we have taken since the building was completed in 2005. See statement below:

The Woodstock Jewish Congregation is also committed to the Torah’s teaching that humans are to be Shomrei Adamah, “guardians of the earth.” We bring this Jewish value into our Family School and worship services, and we strive to incorporate sustainability practices into all of our operations so that we may become a model of environmental stewardship within our congregation and for the larger community. Please click here to view a timeline of our sustainability efforts.

Project Complete!

Decolonizing Research – Alternative Research Methodologies in Western Academic Institutions.

Deep Water Initiative

Project Description

The Deep Water Initiative (DWI), and the Student Union and Center for Writing and Scholarship (CWS) at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS), hosted an interdepartmental online gathering on April 16, 2021 entitled – Decolonizing Research – Alternative Research Methodologies in Western Academic Institutions.

23 of CIIS’ students, recent alumni, and co-presenters shared their experiences and thoughts that addressed the question: How are researchers, from a diversity of backgrounds, adopting Anti-racist, Decolonial, and Indigenous Research Methodologies from within Western academic institutions in increasingly challenging times?

This gathering was a CIIS student and alum lead initiative, coordinated by Dr. Heidi Fraser-Hageman representing CWS, Tiffany Konyen representing Student Union, and Chantal Noa Forbes, PhDc, representing DWI. The vision for this gathering resulted from an academic panel that we co-coordinated in the Fall of 2020 entitled: Decolonizing Research – Indigenous Research Methodologies in Western Academic Institutions. Watch the full panel on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OeRdiTvsn0E&t=4193s

Moderators included Rev. Dr. Sunshine Michelle Coleman, Dr. Angela Michtlanxochitl Anderson Guerrero, Chip Mc Neal, PhDc, and Tiffany Konyen, M.A.

Project Complete!

Decolonizing Research – Alternative Research Methodologies in Western Academic Institutions.

Deep Water Initiative

Project Description

The Deep Water Initiative (DWI), and the Student Union and Center for Writing and Scholarship (CWS) at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS), hosted an interdepartmental online gathering on April 16, 2021 entitled – Decolonizing Research – Alternative Research Methodologies in Western Academic Institutions.

23 of CIIS’ students, recent alumni, and co-presenters shared their experiences and thoughts that addressed the question: How are researchers, from a diversity of backgrounds, adopting Anti-racist, Decolonial, and Indigenous Research Methodologies from within Western academic institutions in increasingly challenging times?

This gathering was a CIIS student and alum lead initiative, coordinated by Dr. Heidi Fraser-Hageman representing CWS, Tiffany Konyen representing Student Union, and Chantal Noa Forbes, PhDc, representing DWI. The vision for this gathering resulted from an academic panel that we co-coordinated in the Fall of 2020 entitled: Decolonizing Research – Indigenous Research Methodologies in Western Academic Institutions. Watch the full panel on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OeRdiTvsn0E&t=4193s

Moderators included Rev. Dr. Sunshine Michelle Coleman, Dr. Angela Michtlanxochitl Anderson Guerrero, Chip Mc Neal, PhDc, and Tiffany Konyen, M.A.

Project Complete!

Renewal of Genesis One

Deep Water Initiative

Project Description

Premise:

Genesis 1 has long been a collection of biblical verses that have inspired the human imagination. Filled with mythic imagery, and charged with cosmic language, the opening line – Bereshit bara Elohim [In the beginning of G-d’s creating] – is a statement that has invited us to question the role of our participation in the mystery of creation. For many centuries, Genesis 1 has been regarded (by some) as a text that issues a challenge: the creation of the world was an ordered, highly structured process, and it is our responsibility to harness those imbedded truths and wield them in the implementation of our own “dominion.” Other philosophies, and theories, argue that the doctrine of creation is an invitation into a reality much less fixed – our participation with the more-than-human-world can engender a fluid and spontaneous awareness of life that enhances our cooperation with the natural world. The purpose of this panel is to explore the various approaches, and positions, that can be considered on the thirty-one verses that have held a preeminent position in the human relationship to nature. Now, more than ever, the trajectory of the world depends on our ability to conceive of – and support theologically – a sustainable vision of the human role within creation.

Format:

• Online Panel, held via Zoom (Total event time: 2 hours)
• 5 panelists: Dr. Catherine Keller, Rabbi Ellen Bernstein, Pastor Norman Habel PhD, Dr. David Kishik, and Rabbi David Seidenberg PhD
• Q&A moderated by Professor Jacob Sherman

Project Complete!

Torah for the Earth

Deep Water Initiative

Project Description

Torah for the Earth is a podcast series that provides ecologically-centered commentary on the weekly Torah portion. Each week, the listener will be provided with a short and impactful audio essay that aims to relate messages contained within the weekly parashah with contemporary, ecological challenges. The podcast is hosted by Charlie Forbes, a scholar in the academic field of Religion and Ecology, who has an interest in exploring the scriptural foundations of religious traditions and their relationship to environmental teachings and practices. By systematically evaluating the Torah, this podcast aspires to illustrate that an understanding of the natural environment is fundamental to Jewish thought and philosophy, and integral to an appreciation of Jewish religious life.

Project Complete!

GHC Activities 2020

Enid Lotstein

Project Description

1. Existing Compost Removal and Garden/Park Donation. We arranged with the chief gardener at a local park and formal garden to put our compost to good use. This was the first time the bin had been emptied since it had been installed five years ago.

2. Virtual Garden Tour. Volunteers from the GHC community showed their gardens, including flowers, vegetables, herbs or fruit.

3. Development of Committee Membership. The Green Team began the year with the new chairperson and a few Executive Committee members of the synagogue. Throughout the year, we grew committee membership from the Building committee, Men’s Club.

4. Development of alliances with other arms of the synagogue. The Green Team developed partnerships with the Management Committee, Religious School, Religious Affairs Parent Teacher Association (PTA) and Religious Affairs committee.

5. Westchester Jewish Greening Roundtable. The GHC Green Team sends 1-2 representatives to every monthly meeting that is made up of Jewish organizations in Westchester County, NY. The organization holds monthly environmental programs. GHC has volunteered to organize a program for the 2021-2022 year.

6. Identification of educational materials for the Religious School on environmental mitzvah, Tu B’Shevat Seders and environmental mitzvah projects.

7. We also have programs to report for January-May 2021.
Energy panel series (two programs)
Green Kabbalat Shabbat in conjunction with Lag B’omer and Earth Day
Environmental mitzvah project of RS class Kitah Zayin-building a new compost bin

Project Complete!

Temple Israel Water Fountain Replacement

Rabbi Josh Bennett

Project Description

Using our Green Team, we decided to approach our building with eyes for updates that would make us more environmentally friendly. We ended up replacing and installing water bottle fillers in three areas of the building.

Project Complete!

Farber Nature Center

Farber Hebrew Day School Yeshivat Akiva

Project Description

The Farber Nature Center is an initiative to promote the beauty of the great outdoors and sustainability through conservation and reuse. The Farber Nature Center will serve as a place to teach, to learn, to grow, and to be imaginative.

Farber Nature Center

Farber Hebrew Day School Yeshivat Akiva

Project Description

Farber Nature Center is an initiative to promote reuse and conservation to and the importance of the great outdoors. The purpose is to inspire Farber students to be imaginative and to experience the beauty of nature.

Installing Motion Sensor Lights

Congregation B’nai Moshe

Project Description

Installing motion sensor lights in our restrooms.

Recycling razor blades

Congregation B’nai Moshe

Project Description

Once our building re-opens we will have a depository where people can bring in their razor blades for recycling.

Project Complete!

Faucet replacement for water sustainability

David Silverman

Project Description

We are currently in the process on purchasing five more faucets to replace in our Child Development Center to reduce water waste and improve our sustainability. I hope to have those faucets purchase by the end of April and schedule the install. Thank you.

Sustainable Holiday Events

Fiedler Hillel Northwestern University

Project Description

First vegan Shabbat and a successful Tu Bishvat Seder