HUC-JIR/New York Kicks Off Campus-Wide Greening Initiative

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Members of the HUC-JIR Green Team, from left: Liz Piper-Goldberg, Rayna Green, and Daniel Moss

The New York campus of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) is leading an effort to go green by reimagining the campus’ food system through a compost project and environmental education series, thanks in part to a generous grant from the Gendler Grapevine Project

HUC-JIR/New York kicked off the campus-wide Greening Initiative on Thursday, September 18, 2014, with a community discussion on how the campus will implement our new composting and recycling program. Our Green Team gave a detailed presentation on how we can responsibly dispose of waste on campus. The campus is now using new plates, cups, and silverware which will either be composted or recycled; only Styrofoam will go to the landfill.

Mirele Goldsmith, Director of UJA-Federation’s New York Greening Fellowship and a Jewish environmental activist, spoke with the New York campus community about the People’s Climate March, taking place just three days after the Greening Initiative kick-off. Goldsmith discussed why climate change matters to her as a Jew and reviewed the organizing that took place in the New York Jewish community around this issue. Students, faculty, administration, and friends from HUC-JIR/New York participated in the People's Climate March.

The Greening Initiative continued on October 14, 2014, as faculty, students, and staff participated in "An Earthy Sukkot: A Shiur on Eco-Judaism for Jewish Professionals" in the New York campus's rooftop sukkah with Rabbi Fred Dobb, Chair of the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life and rabbi at Adat Shalom Congregation in Bethesda, MD.

Rabbi Dobb, one of the leading rabbis in the Jewish environmental movement, shared text study, an exploration of Sukkot and shmita (the sabbatical year in the seven-year agricultural cycle), web resources, and best practices in synagogue and Jewish communal environmental efforts.  This gathering marked the official kick-off of the Gendler Grapevine Grant eco-educational efforts at the New York campus. 

Listen to Rabbi Dobb's lecture:

Part 1 >

Part 2 >

Founded in 1875, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion is North America's leading institution of higher Jewish education and the academic, spiritual, and professional leadership development center of Reform Judaism. HUC-JIR educates men and women for service to North American and world Jewry as rabbis, cantors, educators, and nonprofit management professionals, and offers graduate programs to scholars and clergy of all faiths. With centers of learning in Cincinnati, Jerusalem, Los Angeles, and New York, HUC-JIR's scholarly resources comprise the renowned Klau Library, The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives, research institutes and centers, and academic publications. In partnership with the Union for Reform Judaism and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, HUC-JIR sustains the Reform Movement's congregations and professional and lay leaders. HUC-JIR's campuses invite the community to cultural and educational programs illuminating Jewish heritage and fostering interfaith and multiethnic understanding.