All Projects and Updates

Higher Welfare Eggs

Habonim Dror Camp Tavor (Three Rivers, MI)

Project Description

Providing higher welfare eggs for campers and staff. The camp switched to entirely higher welfare eggs for the summer.

Updates

September 17, 2021:

Completed the project during the summer of 2021 at camp.

Project Hakhel

Deep Water Initiative (,)

Project Description

Project Hakhel

Shanah Tovah v’ G’mar Chatimah Tovah!

This week in the Jewish calendar, between the High Holy days of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, we enter a period known as the Ten Days of Return. During this time, the Book of Life is opened and the fate of the world – and all its inhabitants – is considered: a universal event occurring on a cosmic scale.

We have also just entered a shmita year (5782), otherwise known as a Sabbatical Year, which occurs just once every seven years. Shmita quite literally means “release” and its observance requires that the human being alter their use of the land. It instigates a “letting go” of various systems – agricultural or otherwise – that have become concretized within the human approach to nature. Given that, outside of the land of Israel there is no obligation to observe a shmita year, we have a great opportunity (in the diaspora) to use shmita as a lens – even a metaphor – for our ecological engagement. This gives us a wonderful framework to develop a deeper relationship between ourselves and our environment. And we can work with this framework, over the course of the coming year, to expand our understanding of what it means to participate in a Sabbath of the Land (Shabbat haAretz).

The Torah describes that after the end of the shmita year, during the subsequent harvest festival of Sukkot (5783), a special event takes place known as hakhel. Hakhel, meaning “gather,” was a historical event that brought the Jewish people, and those living among them, to gather in Jerusalem to listen and hear sections of the Book of Deuteronomy. Although no longer practiced in this way, hakhel demonstrates that a deep understanding – and reflective integration of shmita – can only proceed from a form of active listening. In the same way that shmita can help inform our ecological engagement, so too can hakhel help inform our integration of those very ideas. This is because it challenges us to reinforce the experiential sense of rest and regeneration experienced during shmita. Hakhel only becomes a culmination of the Sabbatical year through a harvesting of our deep listening – on a communal level. And this is applicable to our times.

This shmita year (5782), the Deep Water Initiative is launching Project Hakhel – an open invitation for people to creatively reflect upon how religion and ecological engagement can intersect. We are asking that you submit to us a creative project that demonstrates how you are being inspired to take ecological action during the shmita year. This can take the form of a poem, a song, a film, a prayer, a story about an on-going community project or any other creative medium of your choosing. The goal of your creative project is to illustrate how deep listening, and the principles of shmita, are reinforcing your relationship to place – and how that creativity can reinforce stronger community.

For those who would like to submit a project, please send your project to us via email at the following address: contact@dwinitiative.org. We encourage you to share your submissions on social media with #deepwaterinitiative and #projecthakhel. At the end of each submission cycle, two projects will be awarded a cash prize of $350 each and will be displayed on our website. Copyright of all submitted works remains the copyright of the artist. We retain the right to display your work on Deep Water Initiative platforms. If you have any additional questions, feel free to e-mail us.

Submission Deadlines:

Cycle 1 – December 26, 2021

Cycle 2 – April 14, 2022

Cycle 3 – June 3, 2022

Updates

Raspberry Patch at The Farber Farm at Tamarack Camps

Tamarack Camps (ortonville, michigan)

Project Description

Install an everbearing raspberry patch at our farm. These raspberries would serve our camp community in the summer camp season and our wider Detroit community in the fall.

Updates

IKAR Moves: Increasing Carpools and Transit Ridership

IKAR (Los Angeles, CA)

Project Description

As we return to in-person services and events, we will be working to increase carpooling and transit ridership among our IKAR community.

Updates

Kiddush/Oneg of Return

Temple Beth Zion (Brookline, MA)

Project Description

When we return to the building it will be a joyous and sacred event! We want to honor the occasion by treading lightly on the earth with our celebration. For this event, we plan to serve local and/or organic foods and go light on the animal products (using the recipes that we’d planned for our 2020 kiddush project).

Updates

JCAN-MA Education and Advocacy speaker and/or workshop

Beth Israel – The West Temple ()

Project Description

Host an JCAN-MA environmental education and advocacy speaker/workshop based on the findings of the Hazon Seal of Sustainability, JCAN-MA, and EnergyStar (and possibly FirstEnergy) audits. BI-TWT won a free JCAN-MA workshiop through JCAN-MA’s Third Jewish Climate Action Conference.

https://www.jewishclimate.org/speakers–workshops.html

Updates

EnergyStar Portfolio Manager audit

Beth Israel – The West Temple ()

Project Description

Audit BI-TWT energy consumption through the use of the US Department of Energy’s EnergyStar Portfolio Manager, and investigate options with our energy providers to provide our energy data directly into the EnergyStar Portfolio Manager.

https://portfoliomanager.energystar.gov/pm/login.html

Updates

JCAN-MA Energy and Water Bentshmarking

Beth Israel – The West Temple (Cleveland, Ohio)

Project Description

Auditing BI-TWT energy and water consumption using the “Bentshmarking Fredsheet” from JCAN-MA’s bentshmarking initiative.

https://www.jewishclimate.org/webinars.html

Updates

August 16, 2021:

Initial spreadsheet reviewed by Fred Davis on 13 August 2021. Still need to make changes to “natural gas” spreadsheet to convert MCFs to Therms.

Hazon Seal of Sustainability audits

Beth Israel – The West Temple (Cleveland, Ohio)

Project Description

Energy and Water, Waste Management, Education and Advocacy, and Food Choices sustainability audits from Hazon Seal of Sustainability program. Each audit produces a letter grade and suggestions for improvement. Each audit’s questions can also be used to derive improvements (e.g., educational event “at least once a year” to “at least once a quarter”).

Updates

August 16, 2021:

Education and Advocacy audit done.

Sustainable Second Night Seder

Edlavitch DC JCC (Washington, DC)

Project Description

Our annual second night seder will be sustainability-focused this year, with plant-centerpieces. 100% compostable plateware and silverware, locally sources vegetables and meat from KOL foods. Using a grant from hazon.

Updates

Single-use waste reduction through water bottle filling stations

Congregation Har HaShem (Boulder, CO)

Project Description

This project is to retrofit the existing water fountain to a dual water fountain plus water bottle refilling station. This will lead to a healthier and more environmentally sustainable Colorado by encouraging the use of refillable water bottles and reducing the use of single-use drink containers. As shared by Har HaShem’s Executive Director, “This is a way to encourage mindfulness around carrying a water bottle, refilling it, hydrating, and avoiding disposables… when I see these water fountains, I’m reminded that I could or should be carrying a water bottle.”
The Har HaShem Green Team will promote this latest step toward sustainability to the congregation and leverage it to highlight all of the synagogue’s past and current environmental activities. The Green Team will also create educational signage to be placed by the new fountain that highlights the environmental devastation caused by single-use items and especially single-use plastic.

Updates

School Compost & Recycling Integration

Denver jewish Day School (Denver, CO)

Project Description

During the course of the 2021/2022 school year Denver Jewish Day School will implement a compost and recycling program in both cafeterias and outdoors at The Farmette. It is our mission to be as sustainable with our waste management as an institution and to teach these practices to our students and staff, additionally have this knowledge trickle into the family households of the students.

This will be a guided step-by-step mission. It begins with finding a local composting/recycling company to work with. Currently we have a site assessment arranged with Next Use on June 29, 2021 to begin a quote for service. Following an assessment of the waste generated by the school, we will begin the 1st phase of the program in 1 cafeteria and The Farmette. The appropriate number of bins will be in place, clear signage will be created, a student informational session will take place, and a faculty informational session will take place. Education is a major factor in this implementation. in addition to the knowledge shared by The Farmette manager, Next Use will also provide support. The 2nd phase will be adding the same practices to the 2nd cafeteria within a 3 month period after the 1st phase.

The Farmette will have recycling and compost bins, as well as the additional project of building an organic waste 3-system compost structure to appropriately manage our farm waste. This will not be collected by Next Use, rather it will be reused for The Farmette beds.

Next Use will adjust and accomodate our needs for the amount of bins needed (both recycling and compost), number of pick-ups per month, amount of training sessions, and will provide the school with compost to use for our garden beds – this last factor creates a wonderful circular system where the school will receive back it’s refined compost to use. The Farmette manager will organize a small team of faculty who will oversee the progress, implementation, and accuracy of this program will regular monitoring and check-ins.

The use of this mini-grant will go directly to the cost of servicing Next Use for their bins and pick-ups. Additionally it will be used to cover proper and accurate signage and training sessions.

Updates

Eco-Cycle at JCC

Jewish Alliance of Greater RI (Providence, RI)

Project Description

Will be hosting a local organization that does e-waste recycling. Will be free and open to staff, community and neighborhood.

Updates

Share Food Program

Congregation Kol Ami (,)

Project Description

Pack and/or Distribution Opportunities at Share Food Program:
Share Food Program needs volunteers to pack and/or deliver nutritious food to
homebound seniors and distribution sites.
Consider these opportunities. Feel free to forward this to family and friends. Signup is easy!
 Pack Share Boxes: Pack boxes of nutritious food for local seniors who fall
below 130% of the poverty line. These boxes are distributed to over 6,500
seniors each month across the region. For safety precautions there are wash
stations, gloves, and room for social distancing.
Sign up: https://www.sharefoodprogram.org/get-involved/packing/
 Knock, Drop and Roll: Deliver nutritious food packages to homebound seniors and people with disabilities on Saturday mornings.
Sign up: https://signup.com/go/LbZUcwW
The Share Food Program is a nonprofit organization serving a regional network of
community organizations engaged in food distribution, education, and advocacy.
Share provides food to school lunch programs in Philadelphia and families in need
in Philadelphia and surrounding counties.
Your assistance is greatly appreciated! Our partnership continues to grow as individual members volunteer at Share.

Updates

Gardening at Share Food Program

Congregation Kol Ami (,)

Project Description

Kol Ami’s Social Action Committee has planned a volunteer afternoon in the
Share gardens. We will be planting summer crops in the high tunnels, planting
annual and perennial flowers throughout the garden/grounds, weeding beds,
and spreading woodchips, all at safe distances. Ages 10 & above are welcome!
Wear a mask, hat, and sunscreen. Bring a water bottle.

Updates

High School Park Community Trash Pick-Up

Congregation Kol Ami (,)

Project Description

Friends of High School Park was created by volunteers in 1995 and continues to be a special place in
our community thanks to volunteers who help maintain and develop the park.
The Park always welcomes people to help with upkeep and beautification. It’s also a great opportunity to get outside with your neighbors and meet someone new! Great time spent for “community service credits” too!
Arrive at the shed beside the meadow a little before 10:00 a.m., weather permitting. We will work
until noon.

Updates

SUPPORT LOCAL FARMS WITH YOUR FORK: Organic Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) at Congregation Kol Ami

Congregation Kol Ami (,)

Project Description

In our 15th year, Congregation Kol Ami is proud to offer a Jewish Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. We were the first in our region to align with Hazon, a national nonprofit that links Jewish tradition with environmental action.
Through its CSA network, Hazon uses Jewish purchasing power to support local organic farmers, foster vibrant Jewish communities who care about environmental and
educational issues, and examine food and environmental issues from a Jewish perspective.
The Hazon CSA at Kol Ami partners with over 100 Amish and Mennonite organic
farmers from Lancaster Farm Fresh Cooperative (LFFC). The diversity of crops
among LFFC farmers ensures a good variety of fresh-picked seasonal produce each
week. Enrollment keeps local sustainable farms and local food safe for future generations.
Our CSA is comprised of members from the local community. We safely distribute
fresh, locally grown, organic vegetables, fruit, eggs, cheese and herbal medicines each
week on Tuesday evenings from the Congregation Kol Ami kitchen.
The CSA at Kol Ami operates from late April through October for the Summer season, followed by a Fall season that ends in December. We are working on an alternative space in Elkins Park to distribute the CSA when we officially need to move due to
the sale of our property.
Learn more and register NOW: Select Pa: Kol Ami Hazon as first choice. If you
must pick a second choice, do so and be aware that you will get the 1st choice: Kol
Ami location!
https://lancasterfarmfresh.com/product-category/shares/2021-summer-shares/
For questions, contact Robin @ Robinrifkin@comcast.net or Shelley @ Srchamberlain@comcast.net.

Updates

Parshat Behar – Shmita: Strangers and Temporary Residents Group Study

Congregation Kol Ami (,)

Project Description

The next Shmita Sabbatical year starts Rosh Hashana 2021.

What role might this biblical Sabbatical tradition play in approaching the economic, environmental and societal challenges we are facing today?

We had 20 people in attendance for this Shabbat Behar Study, using Hazon sourcesheets and resources to put together a powerful session.

Updates

Brit Hazon community group and Advocacy Group

Congregation Kol Ami (,)

Project Description

Brit Hazon – a framework by which you can make a personal commitment to manifest a shared vision of a more sustainable and equitable world. choose from six action areas and receive six weekly emails to support you on your journey. Let’s form a community group.
Advocacy group – Let’s help raise a Jewish voice for a green economy and a just and climate-smart food system. We could form a Dayenu Circle or our own group that commits to respond to Action Alerts from Hazon.

Updates

Fourteenth Annual Tu B’Shevat Seder!

Congregation Kol Ami (,)

Project Description

We hosted our fourteenth annual community Tu B’Shevat Seder, which was well-attended virtually in January, and had the participation of our Religious School.

Updates