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Sustainability and Greening of Jewish Life II


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Title: Sustainability and Greening of Jewish Life II

Sustainability and Greening of Jewish Life II
  PEARL Providing Education and Resources for
Jewish Reconstructionist Federation
Transformative Judaism for the 21st Century 101
Greenwood Avenue Beit Devora, Suite 430
Jenkintown, PA 19046 215.885.5601 / fax
  • Rabbi Fred Scherlinder Dobb, Sybil Sanchez, Rabbi
    Shawn Zevit and Guests
  • June 15, 2011-1200 p.m.-115 p.m.

Introduction- Rabbi Shawn Zevit
  • Mordecai Kaplan argued that Jewish life must
    provide us with recipes for justice in the world
    when he wrote, A theology which is not a plan of
    social action is merely a way of preaching and
    praying. It is a menu without the dinner. (Not
    So Random Thoughts)
  • If we are to have a viable future as a Jewish
    People, we need to build on Kaplans formulation
    of Judaism as an evolving religious civilization
    to include a globally sustainable approach to
    living in faith community. A globally
    sustainable, evolving religious culture will also
    include interdependent and healthy economic,
    social, political, environmental and spiritual
    systems. For us as Jews, as non-Jewish partners
    and allies sharing a Jewish path, and as human
    beings on this planet, there may be no more
    important issue to engage in and face than the
    issue of global sustainability in the 21st
  • If you imagine yourself at the end of this year,
    what action(s) do you most want to change in
    your personal lifestyle to include a
    sustainability consciousness? What about as a
    faith community?

Suggested blessing for any leadership activity
  • Baruch atah Adonai, Eloheynu melech ha-olam,
    asher kideshanu bmitzvotav, vtzivanu, laasok
    btzorchei tzibur.
  • (Developed by Rabbi Jeremy Schwartz)
  • Blessed are you God Creator of the Universe,
    Source of Holiness in our actions, when we engage
    in the needs of the community.
  • (Interpretative translation, Rabbi Shawn Israel

Text Study- Biblical and Rabbinic Eras
  • The Eternal God formed the human (adam) from the
    dust of the Earth (adamah). God blew into his
    nostrils the breath of life, and the human became
    a living beingThe Eternal God took and placed
    the human being in the Garden of Eden, to till it
    and tend it. Genesis 27, 215
  • The land must not be sold beyond reclaim, for
    the land is Mine you are but strangers resident
    with Me. Leviticus 2523
  • The Earth is the Eternals and all that it
    holds, the world and its inhabitants. Psalm
  • God led Adam around the Garden of Eden and said,
    'Look at My works. See how beautiful they are,
    how excellent. See to it that you do not spoil or
    destroy My world - for if you do, there will be
    no one to repair it after you." Midrash,
    Ecclesiastes Rabbah 713
  • Rabbi Yohanan ben Zakkai ... used to say, If
    you have a sapling in your hand, and someone
    should say to you that the Messiah has come, stay
    and complete the planting, and then go to greet
    the Messiah -- Avot de Rabbi Nathan, 31b

Text Study- Medieval and Modern
  • Torah does not permit a killing that would
    uproot a species, even if it permitted the
    killing of individuals in that species.
    Nachmanides, Commentary on Deuteronomy 226
  • It should not be believed that all the beings
    exist for the sake of the existence of humanity.
    On the contrary, all the other beings too have
    been intended for their own sakes, and not for
    the sake of something else. -- Maimonides, Guide
    for the Perplexed, 456
  • Nature is of the very essence of Deity. -
    Israel Baal Shem Tov, Shivkhe Ha-Besht, 329
  • Master of the Universe, grant me the ability to
    be alone may it be my custom to go outdoors each
    day among the trees and grass and all growing
    things, and there may I be alone, and enter into
    prayer. - Rebbe Nachman of Bratzlav, Maggid
    Sichot, 48
  • Know that when a person prays in the field, then
    all of the grasses/plants together come into the
    prayer, and they help him, and give him strength
    within his prayer. - Rebbe Nachman of Brastlav,
    Likutei Maharan 11,
  • I can contemplate a tree. I can accept it as a
    picture... I can feel it as a movement... I can
    assign it to a species and observe it as an
    instance... I can overcome its uniqueness and
    form so rigorously that I can recognize it only
    as an expression of law... I can dissolve it into
    a number, into a pure relation between numbers,
    and externalize it. Throughout all of this the
    tree, the tree remains my object and has its time
    span, its kind and condition. But it can also
    happen, if will and grace are joined, that as I
    contemplate the tree I am drawn into a relation,
    and the tree ceases to be an It. - Martin Buber,
    I and Thou, 57-58

Text Study- Modern
  • Small is the world that most of us pay attention
    to, and limited is our concern. What do we see
    when we see the world? There are three aspects of
    nature that command our attention its power, its
    beauty, and its grandeur. Accordingly, there are
    three ways in which we may relate ourselves to
    the world we may exploit it, we may enjoy it,
    we may accept it in awe. Rabbi Abraham Joshua
  • Our responsibility for all that dwells in the
    earth and for the earth itself extends into the
    future. The earth is not ours to destroy (cf. Dt
    2019), but to hand on in trust to future
    generations. We cannot, therefore, recklessly
    consume its resources to satisfy needs that are
    artificially created and sustained by a society
    that tends to live only for the present. We also
    need to act, together whenever feasible, to
    assure that sound practices, guaranteed by law,
    are established in our countries and local
    communities for the future preservation of the
    environmentRespect for Gods creation, of which
    we are a part, must become a way of life.
    International Catholic-Jewish Liaison Committee,
    A Common Declaration on the Environment. March

Text Study- Contemporary
  • Bal tashhit (Avoiding waste) Material
    resources are limited, and we have the
    responsibility to guard against overconsumption
    and needless waste. No matter how much we can
    afford to buy, we should protect each thing of
    worth to any person or creature even if it has
    little value to us directly. This reflects
    gratitude for what we have and appreciation for
    the needs of all. David A. Teutsch, A Guide to
    Jewish Practice Introduction, Attitudes, Values
    and Beliefs Kashrut The Jewish Dietary Laws
    Second Edition
  • In Praise Genesis 1,2
  • Hail the hand that scattered space with stars,
  • Wrapped whirling world in bright blue blanket,
  • Made worlds within worlds, elements in earth,
  • Souls within skins, every one a teeming
  • Every tree a system of semantics, and pushed
  • Beyond probability to place consciousness
  • On this cooling crust of burning rock.
  • Oh praise the hand, mind, heart, soul, power or
  • That so enclosed, separated limited planets,
    trees, humans
  • Yet breaks all bounds and borders
  • To lavish on us light, love, life
  • This trembling glory.
  • - Ruth Brin, Kol Haneshamah Daily Prayer Book,

http// VeHayah Im Shamoa
(Deut 1113-21)
  • If you really listen to the words of the
    teaching that I give you this day
  • That is to love God and serve God
  • Then the difficulties of this life will seem
    less harsh,
  • Because Gods presence will guide you.
  • Be careful not to think that your
    accomplishments are yours alone,
  • Rather remember that it is Gods grace that
    empowers you.
  • That if you do not love yourself, the world will
    appear loveless
  • That is you do not respect the godliness in
  • Gods presence will not be apparent to you

Sustainable Synagogues- Reconstructionist
Resources http//
  • WHEREAS, our tradition teaches us that "The Earth
    is the Lord's and the fullness thereof' (Psalm
    24) and
  • WHEREAS, our liturgy proclaims that '' The whole
    Earth is full of God's glory" and WHEREAS, the
    Torah teaches us that " The Earth is Mine, you
    are My tenants" (Leviticus 2523) and
  • WHEREAS, our tradition warns us that "Now all
    that I am going to create for you I
  • have already created. Think about this and do not
    corrupt and desolate My world
  • for if you do corrupt or desolate it, there will
    be no one to set it right after you" (Kohelet
    Rabbah 728) and
  • WHEREAS, Jewish law commands " bal tashchit" --
    "you shall not wantonly destroy" and
  • WHEREAS, our tradition obligates every Jew to
    work for tikkun olam- the repair of the World
    and WHEREAS, the devastating despoliation of our
    environment, directly or indirectly
  • contributed to by the vast majority of the human
    inhabitants of the Earth,
  • increasingly threatens the health and, indeed,
    the very existence of animal and plant life on
    the Earth, including human life and
  • WHEREAS, much can be achieved by adhering to the
    fundamental, yet simple, principle of not wasting
    our resources and
  • WHEREAS, each of us can make significant
    contributions to preserving our
  • environment in our homes, our synagogue, our
    communities, and our workplaces
    Reconstructionist Federation that JRF shall

1990 Reconstructionist Movement Resolution on the
  • I. AIR
  • A. Air Toxins B. Greenhouse Effect C. Acid
    Rain D. Ozone Smog E. Stratospheric Ozone
  • A. Agricultural Run-Off B. Discharge
    Limitations C. Wetland Protection D.
    Ocean Protection
  • A. Waste Minimization B. Residential Waste
    Minimization C. Hazardous Waste Disposal
  • D. Abandoned Hazardous Waste Sites E.
    Hazardous Waste Exports
  • A. Conservation Areas B. Endangered
    Species C. Natural Resources
  • A. Pesticide Use B. Pesticides in
    HAVUROT (Internal practices)

Sustainable Synagogues- Reconstructionist
Resources http//
  • http//
  • http//
  • http//
  • Ecological Sustainability and Jewish
  • http// and
  • http// Sustainable Synagogue
    Conference Call Notes.doc
  • Reconstructionist Movement Sustainable
    Synagogues Resources and Best Practices
  • http//
  • http// vbdm,

2008 JRF Biennial convention Sustainable
Synagogue honorees 15 of the individuals and
communities leading the way in our movement in
integrating Jewish values and religious life, and
sustainable communal policies and practices.
  • 1. Adat Shalom, Bethesda, MD, (http//www.adatshal Environmental Education, Community
    Supported Agriculture (CSA) and Activism
  • 2. Beit Tikvah, Baltimore, MD, (http//www.beittik Sponsors of the Baltimore Jewish
    Environmental Conference and participants in the
    newly formed Baltimore Environmental Network of
    Synagogues See http//
  • 3. Bnai Keshet, Montclair, NJ, (http//www.bnaikes Synagogue Greening Initiative,
    Education curriculum and Honoree of Greenfaith
  • 4. Congregation Bet Haverim, Atlanta, GA,
    (http// Hannukah
    for a Brighter Future energy initiative See
  • 5. Darchei Noam, Toronto, Ontario, CAN,
    (http// Environmental
    Principles of Capital Campaign
  • 6. Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation,
    Evanston, IL, (http// Green
    est Synagogue in NA and ongoing green policy
    development JRC awarded JTA Green Beanie Award
  • 7. Kehillat Israel, Pacific Palisades, CA,
    (http// Mitzvot for
    Sustainable Living
  • 8. Shir Hadash, Milwaukee, WI ,
    http// Year of the Environment
  • See http//
  • 9. RSNS, Plandome, NY, (http// Syna
    gogue Greening Initiative and save-the-rain
    campaign See http//
  • 10. Temple Bet Hatfiloh, Olympia, WA,
    (http// Buying local and
    local farm initiative See http//,
    and http//
  • 11. West End Synagogue, New York, NY, Brit Adamah
    Congregational Covenant and Educational
    Environmental Program, Sarah Chandler, Ed Dir
    special mention See http//
  • 12. Reconstructionist Rabbinical College- Green
    Committee, Ongoing work in energy
    conservation and sustainable practices at RRC.
    See http//,
  • 13. Camp JRF, Recycling,
    composting and food waste reduction efforts with
  • 14. Rabbi Michael Cohen, for his work in Israel
    and the Arava Institute (http//
    ) See http//, and
  • 15. Special Honor Rabbi Fred Dobb, Adat Shalom,
    MD COEJL Board lifelong activist in ecological
    consciousness and Jewish life.
  • http//

Exhibit A, the community I know best
Adat Shalom Reconstructionist Congregation
sustainable materials where
possible living wage always
EPA Energy Star Congregation, 2002 Adat
Shalom Recon. Cong., Bethesda MD .
Adat Shalom Recon. Cong., Bethesda MD
Caring for Creation Adat Shaloms 43-kilowatt
Solar installation goes live this month
Choose life, that you and your children may
live (Deut. 3019) ??????????? ?????????? -
??????? ????????, ?????? ??????????
  • This is Adat
  • Shaloms New
  • Composters
  • Dedication
  • (a year ago,
  • Tu BShvat)!

Adat Shaloms Mishnah Garden Organic
Local Educational Spiritual Communal
Adat Shalom Reconstructionist Congregation
Bethesda, MD Green Building Process,
1997-2001 http//
  • Adat Shalom Reconstructionist Congregation is the
    second synagogue in the US to receive the EPA
    Energy Star Congregation award. A minimal
    description is under "Lech Lecha" at its website, this might give you ideas.
    The Center for a New American Dream also briefly
    featured it in a video, More Fun, Less Stuff
    ( In short, to get others
    thinking about how the Adat Shalom experience
    could prove instructive, a few of its major
    environmental "victories" were   passive solar
    heating through clerestory windows and dark floor
    in social hall   ner tamid (eternal light)
    hooked up to a photovoltaic (solar energy) cell
    on the roof   a designated percentage of wood
    came from certified sustainable forestry
    operations   good zone-by-zone heating and
    lighting system implemented, with many settings
    options   CFL's, LED exit signs, and other
    low-energy fixtures installed throughout the
    building   much material from the existing
    building saved or kept in place for new
    construction   mostly local materials were used
    limited Jerusalem stone shipped from Israel for
    symbolism   maximum number of trees on-site
    before construction saved by careful planning  
    low-water use (xeriscaping), low-maintenance,
    low-chemical, native landscaping   low-impact
    cork flooring used in lobby areas recycled
    carpet used in sanctuary offices  
    mostly-recycled-or-limestone composite "vinyl
    alternative" tile flooring in social hall
    classrooms   permeable driveway and parking lot
    for groundwater recharge (gravel, then
    alternative paving)   wide buy-in sought from
    congregation on environment as key priority
    during building process Adat Shaloms Rabbi Fred
    Scherlinder Dobb adds We did well!  It wasn't
    all rosy, however we "lost" on a few issues
    theres less certified wood than we'd have liked
    the design prioritized natural light over denser
    construction, making it less energy efficient
    linoleum would've been better than the composite
    flooring we ended up with, which still contained
    12 new vinyl (which is awful stuff -- to know
    more about it, see Jewish activist filmmaker
    Judith Helfand and her award-winning documentary
    Blue Vinyl) and so on.  Still, our experience
    shows that with some thought and dedication, you
    can do OK on a limited budget...

http// Adat Shalom Green
Building Lessons Learned
  • 1.  Start early.  Make environmental
    issues and energy conservation clear priorities
    from the get-go of the design and fund-raising
    processes.  Make the community aware that these
    are not just choices, they are moral and
    spiritual imperatives as a house devoted to God,
    we must zealously strive to minimize the ways in
    which its construction and operation might
    adversely impact God's creation and God's
    children.        2.  Be ready to engage and
    educate everyone involved -- from congregants to
    contractors -- on environmental and energy
    issues.  Plan to do the legwork required to
    research options, in which case you neednt be
    put off by dismissive messages from an architect
    or contractor. Get ready to pitch
    design elements to the board or congregation or
    funders.  Know how much work it will be, and know
    how sacred that work is.        3.  Keep
    sustainability in mind throughout the process. 
    Use the theme of sustainability to remind people
    of the ethical and religious commitments for
    which we stand use it to goad donors into giving
    more (and feeling good about doing so!) use it
    as a rallying point for efforts to fund and build
    your communal home.        4.  Get information
    from wherever you can, as early as you can. 
    Learn about your architects, general contractors
    and sub-contractors' environmental awareness
    before hiring them.  And then plan to work
    closely with them along the way, both to support
    and to monitor.  Unfortunately "green building"
    is still new, and we have the chance to educate
    the professionals about it if we take our
    responsibilities seriously. Simply asking the
    questions raises consciousness.        5.  Know
    that unless you have infinite resources, it won't
    all get done at once.  Do the best you can with
    what's available, and keep a 'wish list' in mind
    for future expansions or retrofits.  Don't
    despair because you can't have every
    energy-saving device or construction technique
    since you can't do everything, it's still better
    to do what you can.  Know that every CFL, every
    LED exit sign, every double-glazed window, every
    square foot of recycled carpet, every
    programmable thermostat makes a difference, and
    is sacred.  As Rabbi Tarfon wrote almost 2000
    years ago in the Mishnah (Avot 221), "it is not
    upon you to complete the task -- but neither are
    you free to desist from it." 

http// Jewish
Reconstructionist Congregation, Evanston, IL
  • Reimagining the Tabernacle Americas First Green
    Synagogue http//
  • Rabbi Rosens 2006 Yom Kippur Sermon that helped
    begin their Green Building Campaign
  • Constructing Sacred Community by Rabbi Brant
    Rosen http// 
  • http//
  • http//

And back to physical plant, where weve happily
been leapfrogged
  • dont just build a building build a just
  • -- Judith Helfand

Jewish Reconstructionist Cong., Evanston IL
JRC LEED Platinum Building
!!! And awesome enviro policy, too, for what
happens there
First Platinum House of Worship Anywhere
-- Ever !!!
28 InterfaithPowerAndLi
RSNS Green Initiatives http//
  • The Reconstructionist Synagogue of the North
    Shore Greening our Synagogue.
  • For an annual list of greening efforts see
  • Goals-Introduce effective, useful steps towards
    greater environmental sustainability -Serve as a
    model for our congregation and pave new ground
    for the Jewish community at large -Inform,
    Inspire and Encourage members to engage on an
    individual level as we have done on a
    congregational level
  • Synagogues and Farms (RSNS, NY)

LIVING http//
  • Become Carbon Neutral
  • (This is the most important mitzvah of all and
    everything that follows is to help us to achieve
    this goal).
  • Plant trees in Israel with JNF (
    or here in America.
    rees) or an acre of rainforest equal to land you
  • Buy carbon offsets - Reduce and "offset" your
    emissions by calculating your personal carbon
    footprint and donating to organizations that
    reduce carbon dioxide in our atmosphere.
    Calculate your personal carbon footprint and
    donate directly to the National Forest Service
    through the Carbon Capital Fund
  • Buy green electricity for your home from LADWPs
    Green LA program (
  • Become Food Conscious
  • Eat less meat. Producing 1 kg of beef causes the
    same amount of greenhouse emissions as driving
    250 kilometres in a car. A pound of wheat can be
    grown from 60 pounds of water a pound of meat
    takes up to 6,000 pounds. With the energy needed
    to produce a single hamburger you could drive a
    small car 20 miles. Reducing meat production in
    the U.S. by just 10 would free enough grain to
    feed 60 million people.
  • Buy organic and locally grown or produced
  • Use recyclable and reusable containers, and as
    large as possible packages rather than individual
  • Use filtered water instead of bottles. It takes
    over 5 gallons of water to produce one plastic
    bottle plus the gas to transport it.

LIVING http//
  • Become Energy Efficient
  • Buy Energy Star appliances for your home or
    business. If every Californian replaces an old
    air conditioner with energy efficient one it
    would be the equivalent of taking 275,000 cars
    off the road (http//
  • Turn off computers, air conditioning, heating,
    and unplug home chargers when not in use (charge
    cell phones in your car).
  • Shut doors and air vents in unoccupied rooms.
  • Turn off lights, use dimmers, and remove a few
    bulbs from fixtures or track lighting.
  • Replace incandescent bulbs with CFLs (compact
    florescent lights). They cost 75 less to operate
    and last 10 times longer. If every Californian
    changed just 5 bulbs to CFLs it would be the
    equivalent of taking 400,000 cars off the road.
  • Reduce Oil Consumption and Dependency on Foreign
  • Drive less, combine errands, walk, bike, and
    encourage public transportation.
  • Shop on line and make a contribution with your
    purchases (
  • Make your next car a hybrid or biodiesel.
  • Drive 5-10 miles per hour slower, keep your car
    tuned and proper tire pressure.
  • Be Waste Conscious

Dor Hadash, Pittsburgh, PA, ,
Social Action Hannukah Initiative, December,
2007/5768 http//
  • 1st Green Night of Hannukah The Water You Drink,
  • 2nd Green Night of Hannukah Compact Fluorescent
    Lights Revisited
  • 3rd green night of Hannukah Become Food
  • For places to buy local food, go to
  • Read, The Omnivores Dilemma by Michael Pollan
  • 4th Green Night of Hannukah Get Politically
    Active Co-op America at
  • Coalition on the environment and Jewish Life at
  •  5th Green Night of Hannukah Plant Trees
  • and
  • 6th green night of Chanukah Save Trees
  • 7th green night of Hannukah Healthy Lawn Care http//www.beyondpestic

Darchei Noam, Toronto, Canada http//www.darcheino
  • Greening synagogue life
  • http//
  • http// Noam's New Green
  • Synagogues reduce Energy Costs

CJC's Green Committee http//www.columbiajewish.o
rg/Being_green.shtml CJC's Green Team, part of
the Tikkun Olam committee, is here to address
environmental sustainability strategies that can
be implemented within CJC. Begun in 2007, 15
member team
  • Examples of Activities
  • Conducted an energy audit of the Meeting House
    (Interfaith Center) by the Greater Washington
    Interfaith Power and Light Initiative. Based on
    the audit have implemented several
  • Adult Education programs.
  • Environmental Speaker series program covered
    Judaism and environmental responsibility issues
    and Maryland and Howard County sustainability
  • Whats for Dinner Speaker series on issues
    concerning food including buying local and
    agriculture issues.
  • Put together programs on the environment for
    Congregations Sunday school including Earth
    Day and Tu Bshevat.
  • Initiated a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)
    program. The CSA is now in its second season.
  • Working with Meeting House (Interfaith Center)
    staff and other congregations on landscape
    improvements and other building improvements.
    (We participate on the Meeting Houses Green

CJC's Green Committee http//www.columbiajewish
.org/Being_green.shtml CJC's Green Team, part of
the Tikkun Olam committee, is here to address
environmental sustainability strategies that can
be implemented within CJC.
  •   Here are suggestions which can help you
    minimize your impact on our fragile environment
  • Garbage. Americans produce more and more of it
    every year, when weneed to be producing
    less. Even the most waste-conscious among us can
    feel overwhelmed by theamount of household waste
    that goes beyond what municipal recyclers and
    compost bins can handle. 
  • 1. Appliances Goodwill accepts working
    appliances,,or you can contact
    the Steel Recycling Institute to recycle them.
  • 2. Batteries Rechargeables and single-use
    Battery Solutions,734/467-9110,
  • 3. Cardboard boxes Contact local non-profits and
    women's shelters to see if they can use them. Or,
    offer up used cardboard boxes at your local listserv or on for others who may need them
    for moving or storage. If your workplace collects
    at least 100 boxes or more each month, accepts them for
  • 4. CDs/DVDs/Game Disks Send scratched music or
    computer CDs, DVDs,and PlayStation or Nintendo
    video game disks to AuralTech for refinishing,
    and they'll work like new 888/454-3223,www.auralt 
  • 5. Clothes Wearable clothes can go to your local
    Goodwill outlet or shelter. Donate wearable
    women's business clothing to Dress for Success,
    which gives them to low-income women as they
    search for jobs, 212/532-1922, www.dressforsuccess
  • 6. Compact fluorescent bulbs Take them to your
    local IKEA store for recycling 
  • 7. Compostable bio-plastics You probably won't
    be able to compost these in your home compost bin
    or pile. Find a municipal composter to take them
    to at 
  • 8. Computers and electronics Find the most
    responsible recyclers, local and national, at 
  • 9. Exercise videos Swap them with others at 
  • 10. Eyeglasses Your local Lion's Club or eye
    care chain may collect these. Lenses are reground
    and given to people in need. 

CJC's Green Committee http//www.columbiajewish.o
  • 11. Foam packing Your local pack-and-ship store
    will likely accept foam peanuts for reuse. Or,
    call the Plastic Loose Fill Producers Council to
    find a drop-off site 800/828-2214. For places to
    drop off foam blocks for recycling, contact the
    Alliance of Foam Packaging Recyclers,
  • 12. Ink/toner cartridges
    pays 1/each. 
  • 13. Miscellaneous Get your unwanted items into
    the hands of people who can use them. Offer them
    up on your local or listserv, or try giving them
    away at or giving or selling
    them at .
  • 14. Oil Find Used Motor Oil Hotlines for each
    state 202/682-8000, 
  • 15. Phones Donate cell phones Collective Good
    will refurbish your phone and sell it to someone
    in a developing country 770/856-9021, Call to Protect
    reprograms cell phones to dial 911 and gives them
    to domestic violence victims
    . Recycle single-line phones Reclamere,
  • 16. Sports equipment Resell or trade it at your
    local Play It Again Sports outlet, 800/476-9249, 
  • 17. "Technotrash" Project KOPEG offers an
    e-waste recycling program that can help you raise
    funds for your organization. Use Project KOPEG to
    recycle iPods, MP3 players, cell phones and
    chargers,digital cameras, PDAs, palm pilots, and
    more. Also, easily recycle all of your CDs, jewel
    cases, DVDs, audio and video tapes,
    pagers,rechargeable and single-use batteries,
    PDAs, and ink/toner cartridges with GreenDisk's
    Technotrash program. For 30, GreenDisk will send
    you a cardboard box in which you can ship them up
    to 70 pounds of any of the above. Your fee covers
    the box as well as shipping and recycling fees.
  • 18. Tennis shoes Nike's Reuse-a-Shoe program
    turns old shoes into playground and athletic
    flooring. One World
    Running will send still-wearable shoes to
    athletes in need in Africa, Latin America, and
  • 19. Toothbrushes and razors Buy a recycled
    plastic toothbrush or razor from Recycline, and
    the company will take it back to be recycled
    again into plastic lumber. Recycline products are
    made from used Stonyfield Farms' yogurt cups.
  • 20. Stuff you just can't recycle When practical,
    send such items back to the manufacturer and tell
    them they need to manufacture products that close
    the waste loop responsibly.

Procedures for Adopting Congregational Positions
related to Tikkun Olam Activities Approved by
Columbia Jewish Congregation Board of Directors
January 2011
  • In furtherance of Columbia Jewish Congregation
    (CJC) Board of Directors authority and
    responsibility to act on behalf of the
    congregation on issues of importance to the
    congregation and the Jewish community, the Board
    hereby adopts the following procedures for taking
    Congregational Positions to promote social
    justice and Jewish values.
  • The Board may consider a Congregational Position
    upon recommendation of the Chairperson of the
    Tikkun Olam Committee and/or a member of the
    clergy. If an individual Congregant wants to
    advocate for a Congregational Position such as
    those given as examples below, the individual
    must go through the Chairperson of the Tikkun
    Olam Committee or the clergy to obtain their
    recommendation. Examples of Congregational
    Positions may include some of the following
  • A written statement expressing the Congregations
    view on a current public policy issue such a
    statement may relate to a Generic (see below
    Adoption of Generic Congregational Positions) or
    specific policy issue.
  • A written statement of position or policy
    expressing the Congregations view on whether
    and/or how to conduct CJC events and celebrations
    within the Meeting House.
  • Participation by Congregants, in the name of CJC,
    with organizations either advocating or providing
    networking opportunities on a current public
    policy issue
  • Participation by the Congregants, in the name of
    CJC, in a particular one-time policy-oriented
  • Participation by the Congregants, in the name of
    CJC, in a particular single-issue coalition.

Compiled by Rabbi Fred Scherlinder Dobb for
  • Below are links to seven different areas where
    we can make a difference in our synagogue one
    meaningful sample action is listed here for
    each area, but dozens more will appear at the
    click of a hyperlink. Each of the seven sections
    begins with a short description of what we can do
    and how and why to do it much more detail is
    found in numerous specific webpages under each
  • 1. BUILDINGS Get Energy Star programmable
    thermostats, divided by zones, so youre not
    heating or cooling the building beyond whats
    necessary. Cutting back on the heat or A/C by
    just 1 degree saves an average of 3 on your
    utility bill -- and on your greenhouse emissions.
  • 2. GROUNDS Plant native species around your
    building, which provide much-needed habitat for
    local birds and other creatures while also
    needing less water, and no chemicals.
  • 3. PURCHASING Reduce, reuse, and recycle in the
    office print fewer copies than needed and let
    people share them keep a pile of
    clean-on-one-side paper for use in printers
    copy machines recycle used paper and purchase
    paper with high post-consumer recycled content.
  • 4. PROGRAMS With your social action committee or
    other group within the synagogue, plan events
    that are social, educational, and
    tikkuning-the-olam all at once like
    Torah-nature hikes while picking up trash, or
    pulling non-native weeds from nearby woods.
  • 5. YOUTH EDUCATION Implement at least one of the
    many great curricula that teach our young people
    about nature and Judaism together kids are ripe
    for it, and the materials are out there.
  • 6. ADULT EDUCATION Teach a timely topic that
    conveys Creation care together with Torah
    teachings -- such as the shiurim (text studies)
    on Jewish responses to global climate change and
  • 7. RABBINIC For rabbis, take advantage of the
    sermon-starters and notes on integrating
    environmental concern into life-cycle events
    found here. For non-rabbis, feel free to do the
    same and to tell your rabbi about these
  • From COEJL a full rabbinic conversation with
    Rabbi Fred Scherlinder Dobb, Rabbi Naphtali
    Weisz, Rabbi Daniel Swartz, Rabbi Andrea
    Cohen-Keiner, Rabbi Arthur Waskow, Rabbi Ethan
  • http//

Fair Trade Practices and Child labor Practices
  • A number of us in the Jewish and larger social
    justice streams have been tracking the issue of
    child slave labor and the chocolate industry
    (Hershey is not the only or worst culprit here)
    for some time. For thousands of children on this
    planet, slavery is not a historical event, but a
    current reality. We can make a difference.
  • Fair Trade Judaica (http/www.fairtradejudaica.or
    g), a non-profit organization promoting fair
    trade as a Jewish value, is organizing  an
    educational campaign in the Jewish community,
    linking the Pesach theme of liberation with the
    issue of child labor/slavery in the cocoa
    industry. See the website for Pesach at
  •  List of kosher, fair-trade chocolate makers,
    none of it is yet certified kosher l'pesach,
    because of the extra expense http//
  • RSNS haggadah, which is now part of COEJL's
    resource bank http//
  • Website has a link to our instructions for how to
    run a fair-trade tu bishvat seder
  • Beyond-fair-trade chocolate company! Workers are
    shareholders, healthcare and onsite daycare are
    provided, beans are all local, etc.  http//omanhe
  • "Raise the Bar campaign, coordinated by the
    International Labor Rights Forum, Green America,
    Global Exchange, and Oasis USA, focusing on
    encouraging the Hershey Corp. to commit to begin
    sourcing fair trade certified cocoa beans within
    the next two years http//www.raisethebarhershey.
  • AJWSBetter Beans website  http//
    /better_beans.html  and blog about food justice
    issues http//
  • U.S.A. Fair Trade Chocolate purchases full
    article at http//  
  •  Green and Just Celebrations Guide  http//  
  • Website looking at Child Slavery and Food
    Industry http//
  • Fair Trade Guide from Jewish Community in UK

Supporting Environmental Programs 3 Steps to
Success  Rachel Cohen - Sustainability Program
Coordinator Religious Action Center of Reform
Judaism http//
  • Step 1 Resources and Organizational Support
  • The Green Table, Just Table Initiative
  • Virtual Beit Midrash
  • Resources for education, programming and advocacy
  • Step 2 Building Partnerships, Networking for
  • GreenFaith Pilot Program (See also
  • URJ Camps Greening Cohort
  • Content sharing and direct networking

Supporting Environmental Programs 3 Steps to
Success  Rachel Cohen - Sustainability Program
Coordinator Religious Action Center of Reform
Judaism http//
  • Step 3 Time to Shine
  • Fain Awards for outstanding social action
  • RAC Consultation on Conscience
  • URJ Biennial
  • Blog series, webinars, online resources, etc

  • What is Jewcology?
  • Jewcology is a project of graduates of ROI
    (http//, who have come together
    to create a resource for the entire
    Jewish-environmental community.  Jewcology
    incorporates collaboration from a wide range of
    Jewish environmental leaders and organizations
    worldwide.  This project was funded by the ROI
    Innovation Fund.  
  • The long-term goal of this project is to build a
    multi-denominational, multi-generational,
    regionally diverse community of Jewish
    environmental activists, who are learning from
    one another and from an expanding set of
    Jewish-environmental resources, how to educate
    their communities about our Jewish responsibility
    to protect the environment.

Resources in Israel
  • Green Zionist Alliance http//www.greenzionism.o
  • http//
  • Israels Arava Institute http//
  • Heschel Center for Environmental Learning
  • Yeshivat Shlomo Eco-Beit Midrash
  • Ein Shemer Eco- Greenhouse http//www.greenhouse

Further Resources
  • http//
  • http//
  • http//
  • http//
  • Ecological Sustainability and Jewish
    Civilization http//
    and http//
  • JRF Resolution on the Environment (1990)
    http// ON THE
  • http// Sustainable Synagogue
    Conference Call Notes.doc
  • Reimagining the Tabernacle Americas First Green
    Synagogue http//
  • Constructing Sacred Community by Rabbi Brant
    Rosen http// 
  • From COEJL a full rabbinic conversation with
    Rabbi Fred Scherlinder Dobb, Rabbi Naphtali
    Weisz, Rabbi Daniel Swartz, Rabbi Andrea
    Cohen-Keiner, Rabbi Arthur Waskow, Rabbi Ethan
  • Reconstructionist Movement Sustainable
    Synagogues Resources and Best Practices
  • http//
  • http//
  • http// Noam's New Green
  • http// vbdm,

Further Resources
  • Environmental Activism and Jewish Spirituality A
    Roundtable Discussion  http//
  • http//
  • Sustainability Sources from Jewish Tradition
  • The World as Sacred Space by Rabbi Fred Dobb
  • http//
  • Greenfaith
  • Global Climate Change Shabbat http//
  • http//
  • Synagogue Council of Massachussets
  • CAJE Eco-Judaism http//
  • http//
  • Shalom Centers Green Menorah Covenant
  • Orthodox Union http//
  • and
  • Brit Adamah Checklist for Home-Based
    Environmental Action  
  • West End Synagogue Student Eco-Activism Team
    http// and