August 22, 2014   26 Av 5774
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Green TShuvah
Aug. 21, 2013
Encourage congregants to perform personal assessments of their impact on the environment.

Green T'shuvah

Goals
:

  • Educate congregants about different actions we take that have an environmental impact
  • Get congregants to do a personal audit of their actions that have an effect on the environment
  • Link the personal repentance we do during the High Holy Days with environmental concerns


Overview: Every year at Rosh Hashanah, Jews are commanded to take stock of themselves and their lives. In the Jewish calendar this is the time of the year to make changes. The word for this introspection and change is Tsuvah, loosely defines as repentance. Tsuvah actually means "return". The idea is that during tsuvah, one returns to a more pure state of being.

Given the trouble that our natural world faces coupled with the impact of our own lifestyles on this degradation, this "Green Tsuvah" has been created. Green Tsuvah is a survey designed to allow you to take a look at how you are living on Earth. The survey will allow you to examine your lifestyle and offer ideas on how to make change, tsuvah. While one can make this Green Tsuvah at anytime, the month before Rosh Hashanah is a good time, since according to Jewish tradition, we are most open to making changes at that time of the year.

Implementation: Take the Green T'shuvah survey. Print out and hand out to congregants. After they complete the survey, facilitate a discussion asking the following questions:

1. Did some of the questions surprise you? Did the position of some of the answer surprise you?
2. What was your belief about your personal practices regarding their sustainability and environmentalism before? How has that changed?
3. What areas do you see as possible areas where you can change your practices to be more environmental? How would you implement these changes in your life?

Program provided by the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life - http://coejl.org/

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