|4||Feb 16 2007 - 2:35pm||Anonymous||18.104.22.168||Eric||Schulmillerfirstname.lastname@example.org||(516) 627-6274||NY–Reconstructionist Synagogue of the North Shore||Cantor Eric Schulmiller, others tba||tbd|| * Green Synagogue: Enrolled in Long Island Power’s Green Choice program, switched building’s entire electricity to renewable energy sources (wind power, etc); are upgrading windows, furnaces, lighting to high-efficiency versions. Participated in COEJL's CFL Campaign, cantor is on the steering committee of Arthur Waskow's Beyond Oil campaign.
* RSNS is a pioneering-member site of Hazon's Jewishly-run CSA (Communally-Sustainable Agriculture), Tuv Ha'aretz,. Each week, RSNS hosted 60 members for a weekly pickup of organic produce from a local organic farm with which we partnered, visited, and supported during the year. Cantor sits on the Tuv Ha'aretz advisory committee as well, and helped choose new sites that expanded the program across the country for 2007.
* Bar/bat mitzvah families are given information and strongly encouraged to make their celebrations environmentally conscious (using recycled/low-waste invitations, offsetting carbon output, etc); socially conscious (donating 3% to Mazon and using Island Harvest to reclaim and donate unused food from their catered affairs); and personally relevant (each bar/bat mitzvah student is given extensive resources for choosing a social action project that is personally meaningful and socially relevant).
* A significant portion of RSNS’s unreserved funds are invested in socially responsible investments.
||tbd||Omer Text Study Application |
|5||Feb 18 2007 - 1:49pm||Anonymous||22.214.171.124||Seth||Goldsteinemail@example.com||360-754-8519||WA–Temple Beth Hatfiloh||Rabbi Seth Goldstein, Ariel Zaslav (Youth Education director), Jim Shulruff||II:4, Proverbs 27:10, BT Baba Metzia 108b, Mishneh Torah Laws of Neighbors 12:5 [these texts are more specific to our theme]||The focus of our teaching would be to highlight the important aspect of sustainability of supporting local growers and species. This is currently taking two forms at TBH:
1)As we are in the midst of a building project which also includes landscaping, we contracted with the Native Plant Salvage Project to design our landscaping. This local organization uses only native plants in landscape design, and salvages plants from other locations. They also design water-wise gardens which maximize the collection of rainwater and minimize the need for watering.
2)In partnership with a local farm, TBH is organizing a CSA. Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is when a person buys a share of a local farm's produce during the growing season. A share consists of a box of vegetables delivered weekly to the synagogue for the shareholders to pick up. Through this program TBH members support locally grown, organic agriculture. The other benefit is that the farm we have contracted with--Garden Raised Bounty (GRuB)--also runs programs for at-risk youth at its farm, and builds community gardens and gardens for low-income people. TBH also buys a share to donate to the local food bank as a form of peah (the corner of the field).||The teaching will take on the form of text analysis. The close texts which can be related to buy local have to do with the purchase and sale of property--specifically that in any land sale the neighbor has the right of first refusal. This recognizes that it is easier and better for a person to keep their fields continguous. We will look at how these texts can promote a "buy local" mentality, as well as provide an opportunity for participants to think about how they can focus on local agriculture.||Omer Text Study Application |
|6||Feb 19 2007 - 4:02pm||Anonymous||126.96.36.199||Marc||Swetlitzfirstname.lastname@example.org||630-579-6072||IL–Congregation Beth Shalom||Avraham Yehoshua, Robin Frisch, Laura Sosnowski, Paula Fraser, congregants who planted trees. Rabbi Moti may be involved.||Rab 1, 2, 5, 4, 6, Med 2, 3, Mod 5, Con 5. Final teachings may not cover all; will select several from these.||Native Gardens (woodland area with paths, and prairie area with pathway and benches); Composting (vermiculture with Early Learning Center); and Ongoing Active Learning about Judaism and nature within Early Learning Center (e.g. grow seedlings, nature walks). TEACHING TEAM MEMBERS (I could not include full descriptions above): Avraham Yehoshua (VP Religious Affiars), Robin Frisch (Director, Early Learning Center), Laura Sosnowski (member, Tikkun Olam Committee), Paula Fraser (member, Tikkin Olam Committee), TBD congregants who planted trees. Rabbi Moti Rieber may be involved (tbd).||We envision 3 teachings: (1) text analysis; (2) essay about the native gardens project, w/links to texts; and (3) essay about Early Learning Center activities (composting and other), w/links to texts. For (2), we will incorporate quotes from congregational members who planted trees. For (3), we will incorporate quotes from our children. We have not gotten to the point yet of deciding on the specific content of our teachings but they would relate to the stewardship of creation, the connections (physical and spiritual) between humans and the rest of the natural world, and concern for future generations. NOTE: Due to schedule of the teaching team members, it would REALLY be helpful, if we are selected, if we could teach the last, or next to last weeks.||Omer Text Study Application |
|7||Feb 19 2007 - 5:28pm||Anonymous||188.8.131.52||Elana||Richman||ElanaRachael@gmail.com||717-235-7587||MD–Beit Tikvah||Wendy Matt, Bill Marker, Donna Kirshbaum, Janet Felsten, Elana Richman||Genesis 28:10||Our congregation is small, less than 100 families. However, in both small and large ways, we try to make a difference. We're not large enough to have our own worship space-we meet in a church. This church is shared by 4 congregations, so we save on electricity, gas, paved surfaces, etc. We are part of the Baltimore Interfaith Hospitality Network, providing housing and support for homeless families. We've participated in efforts to end the atrocities in Darfur. We presented Al Gore's film "Inconvenient Truth" and used proceeds from the sale of popcorn to purchase compact florescent light bulbs. We were sponsors of the Baltimore Jewish Environmental Conference and participate in the newly formed Baltimore Environmental Network of Synagogues. We even have a "Green Space" on our website, an area to post environmental news and projects.
Still, when a small group of members sat down to discuss what we would like to teach about, it felt like something was missing, and we needed to be doing more. We saw JRF's 2007 Omer Initiative as a challenge to work harder on environmental
issues, spurring us to create new projects involving more of our congregations adults and children. Specifically we plan to both literally "Plant a Tree" and "Save a Tree" in conjunction with our Omer study project.
We hope to "Plant a Tree" by partnering with "Tree Baltimore" a new initiative from the City of Baltimore Department of Parks and Recreation initiative whose goal is to double the tree canopy in the city of Baltimore. Currently, the average lifespan of a tree in Baltimore is only 15 years. Development, auto emissions and pollution all take their toll on city plants. Baltimore City has been rapidly losing it's tree canopy,
the leaves and branches seen when viewed from above. Today, only 20% of Baltimore is covered by tree canopy, impacting the quality of our lives as trees provide beauty, shade, and wildlife habitat as well as help keep our air and water clean. Tree Baltimore hopes to increase the tree canopy to 40% in the next 30 years.
We hope to "Save a Tree" by encouraging the use of reusable dishes and utensils for Onegs, Seders and other community events where we currently use disposables. We plan to have our Kesher school students design reusable, dishwasher friendly (and affordable!) plates that Beit Tikvah members can purchase and bring to shul. For guests of our congregations or for people who forgot their reusable plates, we plan to have some reusable plates ready for them!
We hope to use the "Plant a Tree/Save a Tree" activities as a starting point for discussion. How do we as a congregation impact the environment? Why should we care? Is this a religious issue, a social issue, a personal issue or all three? What is our relationship with
the world around us? How does our relationship with the world and the environment impact on our understanding of religious texts? And the reverse, how does our understanding of religious text impact our relationship with the world and our environment?||Text based study with discussion questions at end.
We would like to involve the students in the creation of one of the teachings.
Challenge participants to plant a tree/save a tree in their own community!||Omer Text Study Application |
|8||Feb 19 2007 - 8:24pm||Anonymous||184.108.40.206||Ed||Levyemail@example.com||617-964-1513||MA–Temple Hillel B'nai Torah||Ed Levy||Ke Tetze-mitzvah of the bird's nest||sold organic, fair trade, sustainably farmed coffee to benefit the synagogue and raise awareness||text analysis||Omer Text Study Application |
|9||Mar 11 2007 - 1:06pm||Anonymous||220.127.116.11||Ron||Cohenfirstname.lastname@example.org||516 466-7530||NY–Reconstructionist Synagogue of the North Shore||Rabbinic||Omer Text Study Application |