All Projects and Updates

Tu b’Shvat Hike

IKAR (Los Angeles, California)

Project Description

75 IKARites and fellow travelers hiked Brentwood’s Westridge Trail to the Nike Missile Site in honor of TU b’Shvat, the New Year of the Trees. Led by Jeff Zimerman and Rabbi David Kasher, they lunched at the summit, where Rabbi Kasher shared some of our rich tradition surrounding trees. He noted that not only is chopping them down as an act war strictly forbidden (Deuteronomy 20), but that the Bible starts off by restricting their harvest (e.g., the tree of good and evil in the Garden of Eden described in Genesis 3). In brief: Jewish tradition celebrates trees by protecting them from exploitation, whether from wanton destruction or unbridled consumption.

Updates

Started Environmental Projects Column in Newsletter

Ohr Shalom Synagogue (SAN DIEGO, California)

Project Description

Ohr Shalom has been sending out information about composting, recycling, and other green topics in a column in their monthly newsletter. This has been well received by the congregation. Some of the topics covered include:
Ba’al tashchit says, “Do not waste/destroy.”
Magic Trash – Composting and Recycling at Ohr Shalom
Sustainable Kiddush
The Joy (?) of Composting

Updates

January 20, 2022: January 20, 2022:

This has been well received by the congregation and will continue to be included in monthly newsletters.

Dayenu Circle Meeting: Speaker Doris Goldstein

IKAR (Los Angeles, California)

Project Description

Doris, an attorney and planning consultant who works toward the creation and effective management of sustainable, pedestrian-friendly, mixed-use communities, shared her deep experience promoting urban walkability as key in building both a healthy environment and social equity. Doris is leading us along a whole new avenue of advocacy for a Los Angeles cityscape that values persons over vehicles.

Updates

January 11, 2022:

Providing Vegetarian and Vegan Options at Kiddush

Town and Village Synagogue (New York, New York)

Project Description

T&V is just completing its major building renovation. The building is expected to be fully operational within the next two months. Once we have a working kitchen, and COVID permitting, T&V will return to offer weekly kiddushim. The Green Committee will sponsor 1 – 2 Green Kiddushim adding vegan options to its current vegetarian menu.

Updates

Increase community involvement in sustainability efforts

Town and Village Synagogue (New York, New York)

Project Description

T&V has recently hired an Engagement Director who will be working with the Green Committee to develop educational program for the community, with a special focus on the Hebrew School and Teen Community and their families. Possibilities include promoting student involvement in T&V composting and recycling efforts and programming around Tu B’Shvat and other similar holidays. All of this is contingent on maintaining access to the building during COVID.

Updates

Automatic Faucets

Temple Shir Shalom (West Bloomfield, Michigan)

Project Description

We are doing a buildout of our pre-school and plan to install automatic faucets in the preschool restrooms. This will reduce water waste as children often have a hard time turning off the faucets when they are done using them. We are in the planning process in 2021 and the build out will begin in spring of 2022.

Updates

Composting

Frankel Jewish Academy (West Bloomfield, Michigan)

Project Description

Begin school-wide composting now that we are again allowing lunchtime in school

Updates

Book Read: We Are The Weather

Temple Beth Zion (Brookline, Massachusetts)

Project Description

All-shul book read of the book We Are the Weather.

Updates

Climate Action Tu BiShvat Seder

Temple Beth Zion (Brookline, Massachusetts)

Project Description

We are hosting Rabbi Shoshana Friedman to teach us about Dayenu and to deepen our understanding of the shmitta year and how it can help us with our climate choices and how we can ACT!

Updates

Shmitta Kiddush Talk w/ R. Natan Margalit

Temple Beth Zion (Brookline, Massachusetts)

Project Description

We hosted a Kiddush talk as a precursor to a class on Shmitta and how it can save us and shift our thinking on climate change. We had a fantastic discussion, led by Rabbi Natan Margalit, but ultimately the course did not run because there was a concurrent shmitta and mussar class that our interested members were already in. However, the disappointment in the class not running led to a renewed interest in our climate action group!

Updates

Launching a Dayenu Circle

Temple Beth Zion (Brookline, Massachusetts)

Project Description

We are reconstituting our group of dedicated activists to learn and direct our synagogue’s actions around climate change, our choices and our practices.

Updates

Natural Flood Remediation

Congregation B’nai Moshe (West Bloomfield, Michigan)

Project Description

Sedimentation & Erosion Control Plan
• Evaluation of project area soils, trees, other features
• Rapid assessment of existing trees, shrubs, water, and other features/project impacts in stormwater basin areas
• GPS/GIS data analysis and basis of design
• Select seed mixes and containerized plant selection to complement the conservation area original plant community
• Select/layout container plants that will complement the existing landscape – if you like your “Viburnum biohedges” we could screen a grassy swale mix from line of sight using shrubs along edges…

Updates

Butzel LED Light Project

The Fresh Air Society (Ortonville, Michigan)

Project Description

We will begin the process of switching all of our regular lights out, replacing them with LED lights at our Butzel location.

Updates

Hike

Greenburgh Hebrew Center (Dobbs Ferry, New York)

Project Description

Co-sponsored with the Empty Nesters Club, we received a guided tour of the natural and cultural history of a proposed new open space in Dobbs Ferry from Charles Kerr.

Updates

December 20, 2021:

Green Recipes

Greenburgh Hebrew Center (Dobbs Ferry, New York)

Project Description

We are going to bring back something that was done in the past and became dormant. One of our committee members used to run a column in the bi-monthly newsletter with a vegetarian recipe in each issue. We are going to revive that beginning with recipes from the Green Kiddush.

Updates

Green Bites

Greenburgh Hebrew Center (Dobbs Ferry, New York)

Project Description

One of the Green Team members responsible for organizing the weekly newsletter for the synagogue. She has started to add green facts and trivia about pollution and sustainability, giving credit to Hazon when it is the source of information.

Updates

Pollinator Garden

Greenburgh Hebrew Center (Dobbs Ferry, New York)

Project Description

The Green Team is discussing a pollinator garden with the GHC Management Team and members of the local community.

Updates

Green Shabbat 2022

Greenburgh Hebrew Center (Dobbs Ferry, New York)

Project Description

On Saturday, January 22nd, Shabbat Parshat Yitro, the Green Team will sponsor a Green Shabbat and Kiddush with Tu B’Shevat first fruits. This will be followed by a vegetarian (not vegan) Kiddush lunch that will include the seven first fruits are eaten on Tu B’Shevat.

Updates

Reverse Tashlich

Greenburgh Hebrew Center (Dobbs Ferry, New York)

Project Description

Members of the congregation were asked to participate in “reverse tashlich” between August 9 and September 19 (from Rosh Hodesh Elul to Erev Sukkot) by collecting litter in our local community at sites such as town parks, our neighborhoods and our shopping areas. A Religious School field trip was planned for September 19 for a Religious School class to participate in “reverse tashlich,” with a culminating event scheduled for the Religious School and GHC community at large the following week. Unfortunately, because of Religious School staffing shortages due to a last-minute teacher resignation, the Religious School field trip was canceled and the culminating event was indefinitely postponed.

Updates

December 20, 2021:

Hazon Food and Climate Mini-Grant 2021-2022

Greenburgh Hebrew Center (Dobbs Ferry, New York)

Project Description

In May/June, GHC was awarded a $750 Hazon mini-grant for a program aimed at increasing education on vegetarian food sources in order to reduce our carbon footprint. This project will focus on two cohorts- the GHC community at large (in person, February 6) and Religious School families in grades 2-7 (by Zoom March 9, 2022). We are offering vegetarian/vegan cooking classes that are educational, motivating and delicious. GHC will be joined by Kate Sonders Solomon, a renowned Westchester chef and baker who will instruct us in preparing vegetarian and vegan dishes that we can use for a holiday, Shabbat or everyday meal. The class for the community at large will take place in person in the social hall with five people per table and is co-sponsored by Sisterhood and Adult Education.

Updates