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Northwest Jewish Environmental Project


Abstract

The Northwest Jewish Environmental Project (NJEP) seeks to educate and mobilize the Jewish community in the Pacific Northwest around environmental issues. Working with Jewish institutions, environmental organizations, and the inter-religious community, NJEP aims to engage Jews in the important task of tikkun olam (repairing the earth). Through educational programs, community-building initiatives, and advocacy campaigns, NJEP seeks to raise awareness in the Jewish Community about ecological concerns, emphasize Jewish perspectives on the environment, and cultivate strategies for effecting positive change. Through its involvement in Interfaith Global Warming Campaigns in the Pacific Northwest, NJEP provides Jewish individuals and institutions with support and information about energy conservation and energy efficiency. NJEP’s Forest Preservation Campaign aims to mobilize the Jewish community on behalf of the old growth forests of the Pacific Northwest. Through its Teaching Environmental Values and Actions Program, NJEP offers a range of educational programs linking Judaism and the environment, including school and youth-group programs, college Hillel programs, restoration and gardening projects, and congregational study and discussion courses for adults. In addition, NJEP organizes Tu B’Shvat seders, an annual Shabbat in the Woods, and Project Adamah (Project Earth) which sponsors earth day fairs in Portland and Seattle. Through its Greening Congregations Program, NJEP offers resources, guidance and support to individuals seeking to engage their congregations in environmental reflection and action. NJEP recently launched an Energy Conservation Campaign, which will include a community-wide conservation drive and a Religious Leaders Summit on Climate Stewardship in the fall of 2003. In addition to its website, NJEP produces a monthly e-newsletter and an annual hard-copy newsletter. NJEP is a project of the Tides Center, and a regional affiliate of the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life (COEJL).

Religion

Judaism

Geographic Location

United States of America
(Oregon and Washington)

Duration of Project

1997–Present

History

The Northwest Jewish Environmental Project was established in 1997, when Larry Nicholas and Mark and Sharon Bloome, prominent Jewish environmentalists in Seattle, organized a meeting around stimulating environmental action in Seattle’s Jewish community. In addition to the ideas voiced by the dozen students, activists and community leaders who attended this March meeting, Mark Xavier Jacobs of the national Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life shared COEJL’s desire to foster grassroots environmental leadership in Jewish communities across the country. NJEP became one of the first of thirteen regional COEJL affiliates, providing an important grassroots addition to COEJL’s national leadership. NJEP has played a leading role in developing programming and advocacy models utilized by COEJL. With the development of the 2003 Energy Campaign, NJEP is piloting a new model of engagement that will function largely within synagogues and partner agencies, furthering the goal of integrating Jewish environmentalism into the fabric of Jewish life.

Mission Statement

The Northwest Jewish Environmental Project seeks to integrate environmental concern into Jewish life, encouraging Jews to become passionate advocates of environmental protection and creating innovative vehicles for Jewish participation.

Partner Organizations

Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life (COEJL)
Jewish Federations of Portland and Greater Seattle
Oregon Board of Rabbis
Oregon and Washington Interfaith Global Warming Campaigns Cedar Sinai Park
Portland Jewish Academy
Stop Oregon Litter and Vandalism (SOLV)
Congregation Neveh Shalom
University of Oregon
Alaska Coalition
Northwest Earth Institute
Mittleman Jewish Community Center

Long-Term Goals

None LIsted

Bibliography

None Listed

Additional Research Resources

None Listed

Contact Information

Northwest Jewish Environmental Project
6680 SW Capitol Hwy.
Portland, Oregon 97219–1958
Ph:       503.224.3352
Email: (JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)