The Green Chaverim
The mission of the Green Chaverim is to fulfill the Jewish imperative of tikkun olam (repairing the world) by encouraging environmental stewardship within the congregation and promoting environmental awareness among the greater OPT community.
The Green Chaverim promotes sustainable Temple operations to reduce its impact on the environment, provides outreach and education about local environmental issues, and engages congregants in projects to raise environmental awareness.
Tikkun Olam--Repairing the World, a Community’s Work
Several of our OPT Green Chaverim members recently visited the newly-opened LEED-certified Austin Garden Environmental Education Center in Oak Park for a gathering of the Interfaith Green Network. What a lovely experience to find such a “green” building in our midst. This 2,100 square foot space serves as an inspiration and model for others seeking to walk lighter on the Earth. For starters, the building is cooled and heated by geothermal; it has a green roof, and soon will have solar panels to lessen the needs for fossil fueled energy; it has a stormwater harvesting system, and rain gardens with native plants to absorb rainfall. At night, this little green gem glows like a warm, welcoming fire, around which people can gather.
What happened in that space is what we want to share with you. Representatives from over twenty local congregations--around forty people who are either Quaker, Christian, Unitarian, and Jews came together to create a common vision and common work plan as our collective commitment to care for and repair the Earth--Tikkun Olam. Imagine for a moment, all these and other faiths gathered around an open fire to share ways we can collectively demonstrate our commitment to one another and to the Earth. Wouldn’t the world be a better place if this interfaith green network were to be a model for how the faith community comes together?
Working together over the summer we created a vision statement to guide us: Rooted in our faith, how can we amplify our collective voice to educate, inspire, and motivate others to engage in caring for our common home. Each congregation is at a different point in the journey to care for the Earth: some groups are brand new, while other “green teams” are well on their way to influencing many, major changes in their congregational life. We will share ideas, resources, support, and learn with and from one another as our work unfolds.
What we are now doing has not been done before in this community. There are interfaith efforts for other purposes; but, this group--for now we are called the Interfaith Green Network Sustainability Initiative--is pioneering stepping outside of our congregational “silos” and working together to educate, inspire, influence and motivate on behalf of our common home, Earth.
And, we are starting with TRASH. We are calling it: “Let’s Talk Trash.” Between now and the end of the year (2016) each congregation will create and roll out information and a plan to educate, inspire, and motivate ourselves and our congregation to reduce waste. Waste in its many forms, from food to plastic. Here are just a few examples of what’s in this category:
Talking trash may not be everyone’s cup of tea. If you are comfortable “talking trash” and are willing to share ideas, concerns, talents, resources, to learn while doing, or to simply offer a hand as this new plan unfolds, please let us know. Our goal for Oak Park Temple (meaning any member who wants to help on this) is to research, create and roll-out an easy-to-use Green Guide for the many ways we can reduce waste in our personal and congregational lives by the end of 2016. Please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to get involved in this effort.
As you experience the world, how we are with one another says everything about how we are in our world, and how we care for our little, blue, green home called Earth. The Interfaith Green Network in Oak Park/River Forest is a wonderful example of Tikkun Olam--Repairing the world. Being part of this work is one important way we can make a promise to one another and to our world.
Green is Tov T-Shirts
We are very excited to announce the OPT Green Chaverim T-shirts are now available for purchase. We have men's, women's and youth style shirts featuring our "Green is Tov" message. $18 each, while supplies last.
join the green chaverim
Oak Park Temple has an active agenda of improving the environment in and around our synagogue--doing our part with tikkun olam--"repairing the world.” OPT’s Green Chaverim leads the way in providing education about current environmental issues, introducing composting to our congregation, and researching and presenting energy efficient recommendations for our aging building.
In addition to the garden projects, we host a holiday dinner each year prepared by members of our committee. Such fun! We can’t accomplish this important work without the help of volunteers. You can participate on any level given your schedule.
Please contact email@example.com to learn more.
Green chaverim projects
Our Chaverim is active and dedicated committee in and around OPT. Here are some of the projects we will work on this year.
plant a tree in israel
You can now buy a tree in Israel and help the congregation at the same time. The Jewish United Fund is partnering with Oak Park Temple to make it easier to make donations, support Israel and help the planet.
By using this link when you want to plant trees in Israel in honor or memory of a friend, loved one or special occasion, you will benefit OPT as well. For each online donation using this link, OPT will receive 20% in return.
The 20% proceeds will go toward OPT’s Green Chaverim committee who will reinvest the funds to benefit members of OPT in many ways.
The purpose of the Oak Park Temple Environment Committee is to fulfill the Jewish imperative of tikkun olam (repairing the world) by encouraging environmental stewardship within the congregation and promoting environmental awareness among the greater OPT community.
The Green Chaverim promote sustainable Temple operations to reduce its impact on the environment, provide outreach and education to the congregation about environmental opportunities, and engage congregants in projects to raise environmental awareness.