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Join Our Online Learning Series 2017

RAC Online Learning Series- Rooting Congregational Life in the Environment

The RAC is excited to announce the launch of its first Online Learning Series, “Rooting Congregational Life in the Environment.” This opportunity is open to rabbis, lay leaders, congregational staff and anyone passionate about the environment in the Reform Movement.

Through this webinar series, you will learn how to engage your congregation in environmentally conscious practices. Topics in this four-part monthly series include: greening your congregation, community gardening and food justice, environment-themed programming and advocacy. We will also be bringing this conversation to life in the Greening and Environmentalism group in the Tent, the Reform Movement’s online communication platform. The Tent is the place to ask questions, share ideas and post resources that may be helpful to other participants across North America.

If you are unable to attend a particular webinar but are interested in the topic, please feel free to register through the link and a recording will be emailed to you afterwards.

“Going Green: The GreenFaith Energy Shield and Other Ways to Green Your Congregation”

January 24, 2017 2pm Eastern



Green your synagogue. Learn about GreenFaith’s Energy Shield program and hear Reform Movement leaders share their experiences in greening. Receive easy how-to’s on how you can bring greening projects to your synagogue.

Join us in our first webinar as part of our Online Learning Series. We will hear from Stacey Kennealy, Certification and Shield Director at GreenFaith, an interfaith coalition for the environment and sponsor of the GreenFaith Energy Shield program. This program is an impactful opportunity that will give your synagogue the tools and resources you need to become a greener community of faith. Tune in to hear from Julie Bank of Los Angeles, CA, who will share her experience with the GreenFaith Energy Shield program. Then, learn how your congregation can join for free through the Religious Action Center.

We will also hear about greening projects you can bring back to your synagogue to raise awareness about embracing more environmentally-friendly practices in your community and at home. Ron Schulhof and Michelle Sterling from Westchester Reform Temple in Scarsdale, NY will discuss their effective Zero Waste Initiative and how your congregation can adopt similar waste-reducing practices. After the webinar, our presenters will share their resources in the Social Action group in the Tent.

Webinar 2 “Food Justice: How Your Congregation Can Feed The Hungry Through Jewish Values”

February 21, 2017 2pm Eastern



Join us for the second webinar in our Rooting Congregational Life in the Environment series. This conversation focuses on how your congregation can get involved in community gardening and food justice initiatives.

Learn how our shared Jewish values connect to issues of sustainability and food justice. We will hear from Rabbi Michael Birnholz from Vero Beach, FL about starting a biblical garden. Fain Award winner, Robert Nevel, will share his congregation’s successful food justice program in Chicago. Ruth Klein from Dallas, TX, a master gardener, will share how she tripled her congregational garden’s food output to increase the amount of produce her garden could donate.

These leaders exemplify the Jewish value of feeding those less fortunate in our communities. Remember to join us afterwards in the Tent where all presenters will share their resources and experiences for discussion.

“All About the Environment: How to Engage Your Congregation”

March 14, 2017 2pm Eastern



Join us as we learn about bringing environment-themed programming to our congregations. Hear from leaders in the Reform Movement who have created successful such programs for their congregations and how they can be replicated in your own communities.

Rabbi Molly Plotnik, in Burlingame, CA, will share findings from her Rabbinic thesis, “Implementing Green Theology in Reform Synagogues” and how she has successfully brought this philosophy into her work. We will also hear from Cantor Rachel Rhodes in Falls Church, VA, who has created a team to reflect and act on our Jewish responsibility to care for the environment. Representing Reform Judaism’s youth leadership, the NFTY-SAVP will present on creating an effective youth program to engage younger congregants and prepare them to be environmental leaders. As always, all resources will be posted to the Tent upon conclusion of the webinar.


"Advocating for your Environment and Community"

May 10, 2017 2pm Eastern


Join us for the final webinar of our Online Learning Series, "Rooting Congregational Life in the Environment". We will hear from Joelle Novey (Interfaith Power and Light-DMV) and Estrella Sainburg (GreenFaith) on effective ways to organize your congregation and take action on legislation effecting our environment. 

We would love to hear your feedback! Please consider filling out this survey so we can improve our Online Learning Series in the future.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Liz Mitlak, Congregational Engagement Fellow.