December 18, 2014 · 26 Kislev

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Activities for Individuals and Families

Activity suggestions for individuals and families help you take action during the Yamim Noraim:

  • Greening Reform Judaism provides environmental educational resources, information on how to green your homes and more.

  • COEJL, the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life, serves as a vital source of environmental education, action, and advocacy. Go to the website ( to learn what you can do to help the environment and/or get involved with one of COEJL’s affiliate organizations. Sign up to receive updates about COEJL's education, action, and advocacy campaigns.

  • Remembering Creation (adapted from COEJL’s program bank): As we celebrate the birth of the world, Rosh HaShanah is a time to assess how are we doing with respect to our collective relationship with creation.Our tradition teaches us to safeguard each and every species, yet humanity is currently causing the greatest wave of species extinctions that has occurred in 10,000 years. Suggestions for caring for creation during the High Holiday season: Spend time in natural settings which inspire awe and help you to feel a part of creation; during tashlich offer prayers regarding the renewal of creation; write to your members of Congress and ask them to support strong protections for endangered species and their habitat; it is traditional to study Jewish texts during the month of Elul leading up to the High Holidays as a way for preparing for them; choose texts that will help you reflect on the precious nature of the world in which we live.

  • Take the Green Tshuvah survey designed to help you consider how you are living on Earth. The survey will allow you to examine your lifestyle and offer ideas on how to make changes that are environmentally sound. While one can make this survey at anytime, the month before Rosh HaShanah, Elul, is a good time, since according to Jewish tradition, we are most open to making changes at that time of the year. For a copy of the survey visit and search the program bank under Jewish Holidays/Rosh HaShanah.

  • For your Rosh HaShanah dinner, Yom Kippur break fast or any meal during the holiday season, learn about and prepare a meal that is organic, vegan, made from Fair Trade products or purchased from local farmers as a way of supporting best environmental practices (URJ's Food Initiative Resource site).

  • Volunteer to clean-up litter in your neighborhood, public parks or organize a neighborhood-wide clean-up day.  

  • Start a scrap-paper pile in your home or office to re-use or recycle wasted paper.

  • Start a compost pile.

  • or calcDo an energy audit to calculate your home (or synagogue!) energy consumption and “carbon footprint.

  • Make a donation to an environmental cause or to support green energy to compensate for the amount of carbon you generate.

  • Write letters to your local officials asking for action on pressing environmental issues.

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