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Archive for : Repair the World

8 Nights of Service: Green Your Hanukkah Celebration

Welcome to Repair the World’s 8 Nights of Service: awesome volunteer projects, donation opportunities and tikkun olam ideas to bring service to the center of your Hanukkah celebration!

This time of year you may be finding it hard to escape emails for last minute sales, an overload of holiday music – be it for Christmas, or by the likes of the Maccabeats (ahem, featuring Mayim Bialik!). You may even have a strange urge to eat lots of lots of oily things and (safely) light some stuff on fire for eight nights by a window. Don’t worry. This is normal: Tonight’s the night to shred those potatoes (watch your fingers…), heat up that oil (careful of the splatters!) and get ready to rock out for Hannukah/Chanukah/The Festival of Lights/That-holiday-with-lots-of-yummy-fried-treats.

The Hannukah story of the Maccabees using oil that lasted way beyond its expected one-day may seem, well, really ancient. But we like to use it to remind us about our everyday dependence on the planet and its everyday gifts to us. So why not  make sure we make the world’s resources last a little longer, too? Incorporate eco-awareness, resource conservation and environmentally-friendly practices into your week of celebration. Some ideas to get you started:

  • Take the Green Menorah pledge: This awesome idea, pioneered by The Shalom Center, encourages you make a pledge each night (while lighting your candles, naturally) to make one aspect of your life greener – and inspire friends, family and your community to do the same!
  • Get sustainable gelt: Skip the waxy, mass-produced stuff and indulge your Hanukkah sweet tooth with fair trade chocolate gelt from Divine Chocolate, or all natural gelt from Lake Champlain Chocolates.
  • Fry with organic oils: Crisp your latkes (yummy fried potato pancakes) and sufganiyot (jelly-donuts) in organically-produced olive and vegetable oils. Hanukkah never tasted so eco-delicious.
  • Give homemade gifts: Avoid shopping. Check out CHOW’s homemade gift ideas, or the ones over at Family Education. (You can even make your own wrapping paper using recycled materials!). Even better, skip gifting altogether and make a donation to an organization you love in someone’s honor.
  • Switch to fluorescent light bulbs. Hanukkah is the festival of lights, after all. So make the switch to fluorescent light bulbs which, according to Energy Star, use about 75% less energy than incandescent bulbs and last 6 times longer.

Find even more eco-friendly Hanukkah tips and ideas at Hazon’s Healthy, Sustainable Hanukkah Resource list. And let us know how you plan to green your Hanukkah by tweeting @repairtheworld and #8Nights.

Repair the World’s Top 10 Posts for Sukkot

The eight-day holiday of Sukkot – the “Feast of Tabernacles” – recalls the Israelites’ fragile dwellings during their 40 years of wandering in the desert after their exodus from slavery in Egypt.

Beginning at sundown on October 12, this “hut holiday” has many service and social justice themes: it is a joyous festival, which celebrates a healthy harvest and an appreciation for nature; it also encourages us to embrace shelter – even if it is just a hut – as both a blessing and a basic human right, and reminds us to be generous to those who are less fortunate.

Sukkot may only be eight days long, but we know these themes last year round. For some holiday inspiration, check out Repair the World’s Top 10 posts from 5771/2011 on homelessness, poverty and hunger, as well as sustainable agriculture and the environment — and share them at your sukkah tables!

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Repair the World in the Washington Post

Yesterday, Repair the World launched its national search engine for Jewish volunteer and community service. If you have ever wanted to plug in to a service trip or volunteer opportunity, but did not know where to start, this search engine is for you. Whether you live in Iowa and are into immigrant rights, or from the South Bronx and passionate about healthcare, this is your one-stop shopping resource for all things Jewish and service.

Clearly, we think this is kind of a big deal – and apparently, the Washington Post does too! Below, check out the great article by Eboo Patel on the Post’s The Faith Divide blog.
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Repair the World Helps Build Eden Village Camp

How did you spend your Sunday? If you were among the lucky, you spent it in the sun. If you’re among the really lucky, you spent it with other volunteers planting, weeding and building the new greenhouse at Eden Village Camp.

Eden Village is a brand-spanking new Jewish summer camp located 50 miles north of New York City. The camp melds the best aspects of traditional overnight camps (from bonfires to lake swimming to summer crushes) with a unique environmental vision. Campers aged 3rd-12th grade engage in organic gardening and bee keeping, outdoor and wilderness adventure (i.e. hikes, rock climbing and ropes courses), green-friendly arts and crafts and natural sciences as well as weekly Shabbat celebrations and morning prayer and reflection time on the weekdays. Campers share locally-grown, mostly vegetarian/pescatarian meals – many of which they’ve helped to grow or cook!

According to the camp’s website, each camper is supported in “developing outdoor and leadership skills, exploring new interests and awakening a sense of positive Jewish identity, purpose, and joy.”
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