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.
Recapping a Busy Fall Season of Reducing
From the December 2015 Messenger...
Did you know, that as early as 1977, the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR) called for “the swift development of an effective national energy policy in consonance with the needs of an environment which will nurture life on earth?” According to a recent CCAR “Resolution on Climate Justice,” it states that sacrifices would be required to achieve an end to what was then called “the energy crisis.” Subsequently, the CCAR and Union for Reform Judaism have repeatedly resolved to support measures to address environmental crises domestically and globally.
Locally, at Oak Park Temple, the Green Chaverim is dedicated to working in concert with leaders of other faiths who share our commitment to climate justice. We are supporting the CCAR resolutions of:
At Oak Park Temple, we are doing our part by “Reaching for Zero.” The Green Chaverim had an active and productive fall implementing programs at OPT and expanding our minds through conferences and education with other area wide congregations. Here are the highlights:
Members of the Green Chaverim attended the 2015 Faith & Sustainability Forum in order to exchange stories, ideas, and resources around what Chicago’s faith communities are doing in sustainability. This forum showcased local action happening in Chicago while also pushing the participants to tackle hard questions. Discussions included how local congregations are currently engaging in sustainability efforts, gaining a new understanding of the challenges facing our earth and developing a personal or congregation action plan.
Along these same lines, but even more local, we attended the Interfaith Green Network Breakfast with 15 local congregations represented. This effort offers help to congregations to collaborate in sustainable solutions for the Village at large and to represent those goals to the Village. Topics included the Interfaith Green Scorecard, identifying community garden space, open discussions in congregations on divesting from Fossil Fuels, and much more.
Several of OPTs Green Chaverim members attended the One Earth Film Fest Fundraiser, which colleague and congregant Melanie Weiss spearheaded. It was a Zero Waste effort: A local vegetarian restaurant brought an array of food fare, and the band was local as well. Certificates were given in guest bags to introduce attendees to the wealth of local businesses that support the philosophies which the Film Fest promotes. The One Earth Film Fest takes place in March 2016.
And in our OPT building, the Sisterhood’s accomplishment in November. What was once old--“Rummage Sales” and treasures found hidden in their piles, really need some GREEN-spinning! This venue is the culmination of communal donation (donors give yourselves well deserved kudos for saving your own often unnecessary purchases from landfill) to a cause that in 2.5 short days, generates thousands for Campership programs. And when the billowing balloon of mad shoppers deflated, Sisterhood reached further: congregants representing PADS, Animal Care, The Church on the Block in Austin and “Savers” to collect the remains and haul to favorite charities. Clothing, towels and blankets--too “beat up” for sale--will be sent along to be sterilized and shredded into stuffing for our overstuffed couches; the shoe soles repurposed for “Crumb Rubber,” a superior improvement to the tires commonly used for artificial turf. Hmm, Rummage Sales aren’t just for bubbies anymore!
As you can see, each of us can play a role in the efforts to preserve our environment--and every effort can make a difference. As your resource for raising awareness and taking action on environmental issues, please join us for a meeting or conversation. Your voice will make us stronger. Contact Judy Klem to learn more: firstname.lastname@example.org about the Green Chaverim today.
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.