The Coalition for the Environment and Jewish Life recently announced that Green Hevra, a new network of environmental and sustainability oriented Jewish organizations, has received $65,000 in seed money from The Nathan Cummings Foundation and the Morningstar Foundation. The grant will be used to build a nation-wide network of green-minded groups and foster collaboration on environmental issues.
Rabbi Jennie Rosenn of the Nathan Cummings Foundation believes that the time is right for green-focused Jewish organizations to come together in a meaningful way to make a change. “The Jewish environmental movement has the potential for real impact”, she said, “But to do that, they need to work together much more strategically.”
Green Hevra is already mobilizing to make this strategic collaboration a reality. The diverse and pluralistic network of Jewish organizations from a wide range of political spectrums, religious affiliations and geographic locations will hold a meeting on April 23, the day after Earth Day, to strategize and develop a plan to make the most of the grant and the power of their collective voices.
The environmental summit will be led by professional facilitators and provide an opportunity for groups to glean from other’s experiences and capitalize on the success, talent and passion for the environment present both in the Jewish community and in the meeting room.
One member of the group, Evonne Marzouk, director of Canfei Nesharim and co-founder of a pioneering Jewish internet portal, Jewcology.com, knows well the power of sitting down at the table with like-minded leaders willing to work together to make things happen. The Jewcology project was founded in 2010 when nineteen like-minded young Jews gathered at the ROI Summit and decided to create a space for young Jewish environmentalists to talk, share, and learn on-line.
Green Hevra hopes to build on the success of groups like Jewcology.com, which leveraged its own start-up grant into a successful web site and will provide outreach for Green Hevra, and take the Jewish community’s current engagement in environmental and sustainability issues to the next step through strategic partnerships and successful collaborations.
.ORG-Connection: The Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life deepens the Jewish community’s commitment to the stewardship of creation and mobilizes the resources of Jewish life and learning to protect the Earth and all its inhabitants.