Jewish Greening Fellowship
Testimonials from the First JGF Cohort
Current Participating Organizations & Fellows
In the News | Monthly Updates | FAQs
The Jewish Greening Fellowship aims to cultivate environmental change leadership among Jewish communal professionals, reduce the environmental impacts of Jewish organizations in the New York area, and generate meaningful responses to global climate change while strengthening Jewish life.
This innovative program provides intensive training, grants totaling from $7,000-15,000, and organizational support to New York area JCCs, camps, synagogues, health and human service organizations, and day schools with the goal of making their facilities more efficient and operations more sustainable while raising awareness of environmental issues and engaging members and constituents.
Organizations that participated in the first cohort of the program, in 2009-2010, seeded nearly 100 new programs. To date, they have collectively raised more than $1.4 million toward energy efficiency, solar, green roofs, and green programs and implemented energy efficiency upgrades that will save them well over $500,000 in the next decade. The second cohort is currently underway.
The Jewish Greening Fellowship is generously funded by UJA-Federation of New York and is part of a larger effort to address global climate change by providing grants and educational opportunities.
The Jewish Greening Fellowship is a proud membership organization of Makom Hadash, a residency center for Jewish non-profit organizations, especially those in the second stage of organizational life.
In Their Own Words:
Testimonials from the First JGF Cohort
"On both a personal & professional level the 18 month fellowship exceeded any possible hopes I ever had. The depth of my knowledge broadened and deepened in profound ways. The personal relationships I developed were such an unexpected outgrowth of the process. What an amazing adventure!" —JR Rich, Greening Fellow, JCC of Staten Island
"UJA's vision for encouraging network agencies to use greening and sustainability to enhance Jewish communal meaning and experience, make positive change in the world, and spark fiscal growth has had a huge impact on our center." —Dr. Stephen Hazan-Arnoff, Executive Director, 14th Street Y
"The Jewish Greening Fellowship was a great experience for me. This program allowed me to become a leader within my agency and connect with program directors in new and innovative ways." — Shara Perlman, Greening Fellow, Y of Washington Heights and Inwood
"The environmental movement is taking hold across the country, and through this fellowship Ramapo is working at the forefront of this movement, and relating it to our mission." —Jennie Stokum, Greening Fellow, Ramapo for Children
- The Staten Island JCC is installing a solar thermal system and was awarded $550,000 from the Staten Island Borough toward a solar PV installation.
- The Central Queens Y was awarded $40,500 by NYSERDA toward energy efficiency upgrades at its facility and has held its second annual Earth Day Fair attracting 600 community members.
- The Kings Bay Y Teen Green Team lobbied elected officials in Washington D.C. about environmental legislation. According to one teen green team leader at the Kings Bay Y: "We had awareness before, now we've implemented change ourselves. This is a big confidence booster for teens, each of whom now knows: 'my voice can be heard, I can make a change.'"
- The 14th Street Y underwent a green theater renovation and and was just awarded $125,000 by the New York City Council to install a green roof.
- The Sid Jacobson Jewish Community Center has enriched its Teva specialty at camp and started a vegetable garden and a CSA.
- Camp Poyntelle Lewis Village of the Samuel Field Y has implemented a full-scale recycling program and is eliminating disposables from both its dining halls.
- Eden Village Camp installed solar panels and introducing a "Solar Shabbat" program.
- Surprise Lake Camp installed an interactive kiosk to help campers understand and track the savings for its new solar panels.
- The Hebrew Educational Society launched a garden and composting program.
- The Riverdale Y installed an eco-friendly salt water pool and launched its own community farmers market.
- Teens at the planned and implemented a 10-day environmental extravaganza including an Earth Day Fair, classes, and a green Shabbat dinner.
- The YM & YWHA of Washington Heights & Inwood held its second annual Earth Day Fair for hundreds of local residents and launched a CSA.
- Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center created a green tour of their very green facility.
- Ramapo for Children created an interactive ecology program for children to learn about soil, water, local ecology and human impact at their site.
- The Marks JCH of Bensonhurst made sustainability a key theme of their camp programs.
- The Henry Kaufmann Campgrounds, Inc. on Long Island launched a full-scale composting program that serves the entire camp.
- The Sephardic Community Center held its first Earth Day Fair and has launched a new Teva program at its camp.
- The Samuel Field YM & YWHA launched "Operation Awareness" to build staff and member awareness of energy efficiency measures on site and started a raised-bed garden for their adult day care participants.
- The Rosenthal JCC camp installed a new educational garden of native plants with the help of its campers.
Learn how the Jewish Greening Fellowship is transforming communities in the New York area! Monthly updates feature highlights from the JGF training program and examples of the Greening Fellows' environmental change work in the field.
Click here to send us an email if you'd like to receive our monthly updates!
Current Participating Organizations & Fellows
Abraham Joshua Heschel School
Ariel Bailey, High School Hebrew Teacher
Matan Glazer, 2nd Grade Teacher
Berkshire Hills Emanuel Camp
Eric Miller, Assistant Director
Boro Park YM-YWHA
Sophy Sokolin, Program Assistant
Community Synagogue of Rye
Melanie Cooperman, Cantor
William DeLynn, Board Fellow
Frances Ginsberg, Board Fellow
Congregation Ansche Chesed
Josh Hanft, Executive Director
Jennifer Cowan, Board Fellow
Naomi Singer, Community Services Social Worker
Eden Village Camp
Greg Lawrence, Site Manager
Greenburgh Hebrew Center
Josh Hanft, Executive Director
Barry Kenter, Rabbi
Jewish Association Serving the Aging (JASA) Brighton Beach Housing
Marcella Leff, Property Manager
Jewish Community Relations Council of New York
Adeline Madeiros, Program Director
Jewish Child Care Association's Bukharian Teen Lounge
Zhanna Beyl, Director Bukharian Youth Services
Jewish Theological Seminary
Aliyah Vinikoor, Assistant Dean
Kane Street Synagogue
Valerine Lieber, Director of Education and Family Programs
Ariel Krasnow, Board Fellow
Mount Sinai Jewish Center, Washington Heights
Oren Hiller, Executive Director
Solomon Siegel, Board Fellow
Shelter Rock Jewish Center Heights
Benjamin Matis, Cantor
Jerry Berkson, Board Fellow
Solomon Schechter of Long Island
Teri Fields, Art Director of Elementary School
Solomon Schechter of Westchester
Ann Berlstein, K-5 Science Teacher
Temple Israel Center White Plains
Jordan Hersh, Rabbinic Intern
Miriam Massen, Executive Director
Jerry Goldman, Board Fellow
Temple Shaaray Tefila, Bedford Corners
Jason Nevarez, Rabbi
Bob Karpel, Board Fellow
The Reform Temple of Forest Hills
Faye Gilman, Educational Leader
Susannah Zweighaft, Board Fellow
Yeshivah Darchei Torah
Frumie Wielgus, Administrator
JGF In the News
Linda Eber, JGF alumna from Sephardic JCC, highlighted in Kings Highway Health
Greener Day for Jewish Community
Suffolk Y Saves $75,000 and Inspires Politician
Jewish Greening Fellow JR Rich Wins Staten Island Green Award
UJA Federation Synergy Newsletter (7.4 MB PDF download)
COEJL: US has Moral Obligation to Respond to Climate Change
East Village Y Serious About Going Green
UJA Federation: Greening Our Communities
Training the Green Team
Inside the Activists' Studio: Starting From Wherever You Are
Rachel Jacoby Rosenfield featured in PresenTense's "Greening Jewish Institutions"
Jewish Greening Fellows Hailed for Savings, Programs
Rachel Jacoby Rosenfield featured as Greenfaith’s Leader of the Month
Heed the Warning Signs, July 15, 2010 Op-Ed from the Washington Jewish Week by Fellowship Director Rachel Jacoby Rosenfield and Evonne Marzouk
Greening Your Community Through Learning and Action an inspiring talk by Rachel Jacoby Rosenfield and Evonne Marzouk at the 2009 Hazon Food Conference
Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
Click on a question to read the answer or download a PDF of JGF FAQs.
Which organizations are eligible to apply to participate in the Jewish Greening Fellowship?
Eligible organizations are synagogues and day schools within the UJA-Federation of New York catchment area. And, JCCs, summer camps, and social service organizations that are part of UJA-Federation of New York's network of agencies. National organizations based in New York may apply in partnership with a local member organization. If you are not sure whether or not your organization is eligible, please contact Mirele Goldsmith at email@example.com or 917.679.2121.
What funds will my organization receive as part of the JGF?
You will receive a Greening Grant of $6,000 which you can use to advance your greening goals in any way you choose. In the past, some organizations have used these funds to defray the cost of staff time, provide the Greening Fellow with a bonus, purchase materials for education programs or invest in energy efficiency equipment. You will also have the opportunity to apply for funding to help you to implement an energy audit, implement energy efficiency upgrades, and to implement environmental education programs. Depending on your organizationŐs needs and the quality of your proposals, you may receive $7,000-15,000.
Is there any cost to participate in the JGF?
There is no cost to participate in the JGF, however your organization will be required to invest funds in projects your organization will complete as part of the JGF. You will be required to pay a portion of the cost of an energy audit. The amount will depend on the size of your facilities. You will also be asked to match the funding for energy efficiency upgrades that you choose to implement with the help of the JGF.
Whom should I consider to be the Staff Greening Fellow?
The person you choose to be the Greening Fellow will benefit from an extraordinary leadership development experience. Choose someone in whom you want to invest. Commitment and willingness to learn and grow are the keys to success for a Greening Fellow. The Greening Fellow must be a permanent staff person who can motivate other staff to participate in greening efforts. Choose someone who has been at the organization for at least 6 months and plans to remain until the end of the JGF. The Greening Fellow may be an educator, administrator, spiritual leader, operations director or any other position. Pick the right person - their title is not important.
Why are synagogues encouraged to select a Board Greening Fellow in addition to a Staff Greening Fellow? What will this person do?
Lay leaders in synagogues are often the most appropriate people to convene a Green Team and implement greening initiatives. The Staff and Board Greening Fellows will work together implement your synagoguesŐs greening goals. The Board Greening Fellow will participate in 3 webinars, meet with the Staff Greening Fellow to debrief after s/he attends each JGF Training Day. We anticipate that synagogues will choose different ways to divide the Fellowship responsibilities between the Staff and Board Greening Fellow. If you have questions about how this can work in your synagogue, please contact Mirele Goldsmith at firstname.lastname@example.org or 917.679.2121.
How much time will the Greening Fellow(s) spend on the JGF?
The Greening Fellow will dedicate an average of 4-6 hours per week to greening work at his/her organization over the course of the 18 months. In synagogues, the Staff Greening Fellow and Board Greening Fellow may divide this time between them. This is the investment of time required to implement true and sustainable systemic change. The Staff Greening Fellow is also required to attend an opening and closing two night retreat at Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center, and 8 full day trainings over the course of the program. The Board Greening Fellow will attend the Program Launch and participate in 3 webinars, and may choose to attend other JGF events.
How will my organization's senior leaders, including the executive director, head of school and/or rabbi be involved?
The executive director, head of school or rabbi should be prepared to support the work of the Greening Fellow and to attend the sessions listed below over the course of the 18 months. These include the Program Launch, 2 Senior Leader Breakfasts, and Graduation. Synagogue senior leaders are also encouraged to participate in 3 webinars.
How will my board of directors be involved?
By participating in the JGF, you are beginning a process of change that will involve your entire organization. Build support for this change by engaging the Board in the decision to apply to be part of the program. Plan to involve key board members and to keep the entire Board informed about your efforts. Consider inviting a board member to serve on the Green Team, and plan to have the Greening Fellow(s) report to the Board on a regular basis.
Who else from my organization will be involved in the JGF?
You will form a Green Team of staff from every department, including at least one senior staff member. Facilities staff will play an important role in implementing the energy audits and upgrades. Educators will be involved in developing creative environmental programs. You may also engage residents, members, students and community members, as appropriate for your organization.
How much will the required energy audit cost my organization?
For buildings whose electrical use is less than $75,000 per year, the cost is a few hundred dollars. For larger buildings in the last cohort, the amount rarely exceeded $5,000. The amount will be determined by the energy auditor before the work begins. If the cost is beyond the capacity of your organization, you can decide to narrow the scope of the audit to reduce the cost. Once the audit is completed, your organization can choose how much you wish to invest in energy efficiency upgrades. Most upgrades are very cost-effective, with short payback periods that will save your organization money within a few months or years.
What "greening" changes will be expected by the program?
Other than the required energy audit, no specific changes are required. You will decide what changes you want to make within the broad categories of energy efficiency, sustainable operations, and environmental education. The JGF will provide information, grant support and encouragement to enable you to achieve measurable changes in each area.
What is the Greenfaith Certification Program for synagogues? Why are synagogues encouraged to participate in this program as well?
The Greenfaith Certification Program is a 2-year interfaith leadership program to help houses of worship green their communities from top to bottom. Congregations that participate receive certification, which is a meaningful and prestigious designation available only to houses of worship. Greenfaith has guided over 50 congregations through a step-by-step process to meet specific criteria, resulting in certification. If you apply for certification, you will find that many of the steps that you have already taken by participating in the JGF will help you to meet the requirements for certification. Greenfaith offers valuable resources specifically geared to the needs of synagogues and opportunities to participate in a larger network of green congregations. Information about the Greenfaith Certification Program is available online and will be provided once you are accepted into the JGF.