Aug. 21, 2013
Since Rosh HaShanah celebrates the birthday of creation, Elul is an excellent time to reflect on our progress as stewards of creation and protectors of the environment.
Elul as Environmental Awareness Month
1. Educate congregation about environmental issues and connect the environmental cause with Jewish values
2. Engage congregation in a month-long environmental project in preparation for the High Holy Days
Overview: Our Jewish values teach us that preserving the environment is not simply a cause for concern policy-wise, it is also an issue of religious and moral nature. Our Torah teaches that as God's partners in creation, God commands us to preserve and sustain the environment as stewards of the earth.
The month of Elul is a month of self-reflection and repentance, as it leads up to the New Year and the Day of Atonement. Since Rosh HaShanah celebrates the birthday of creation, it is also a time when we reflect on how we are doing as stewards of creation and protectors of the environment. Elul is the perfect time to bring awareness and action to the issues surrounding the environment, so this program can serve as a means of getting a congregation aware and engaged in doing the work of environmentalism.
Implementation: Create special environmental programming throughout the entire month of Elul for all ages. Some examples follow:
1. Plant gardens on synagogue property to beautify the grounds and grow fruits and vegetables for use in future projects.
2. The youth group can kick off the year volunteering at a local park.
3. Have the Social Action Committee post signs around the temple with environmental messages and begin a synagogue-wide recycling program.
4. End the month of Elul with the entire congregation cleaning up a local road, park or even the synagogue grounds.