Saturday, April 4, 2009

Jewish Woman: Down to Earth

This article by Paula Amann chronicles jewish environmental activists.  I was honored to be counted among the amazing women interviewed in this piece. Click here to read the story.


Sunday, March 1, 2009

30 Days of Going Green

Sparkpeople has posted 30 things you can do to go green in celebration of Earth Day. Click here to download their calender.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Thursday, February 5, 2009

A Cautionary Tale

Judy Schwartz wrote a great piece for JTA about her son Brendan's Bar Mitzvah and some of the lessons they learned around the way. Click here to read the full story.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Latest Bar Mitzvah Fad?

I was so delighted to contribute to this article in the Forward. The image above is of my niece Ruby in my bat mitzvah dress - with my mother and me standing behind her! I am so proud of her - she did an amazing job and had an awesome green bat mitzvah.

Here are some of the other green elements that were included in the event:
- the party was held at the Brevard Zoo so the money went to a good cause.
- they served organic chicken and greens
- Ruby wore a handmade necklace by Etsy artist Etcetrix
- Drinks were served in corn-based plastic cups

To read the article click here.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A Green Mitzvah in The Jewish Times

A recent article in the Jewish Times featured Josh Spokes (above). I commented on this piece and included links to some of the eco-friendly products Josh used on the Green Bar Mitzvahs blog. Click here to be directed to "Eco-Kippot + Dishes."

Another Green Bar Mitzvah In The News!

The New Jersey Jewish News ran a story this month about a green bar miztvah. Click here to read it!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Kosher Wars

Kate Epstein sent me a link to a big article in the Times last week about eco-kashrut. Click here to read more.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

JNF B’nai Mitzvah Kit

My aunt Mindy just had her bat mitzvah on top of Masadah and said it was incredible to celebrate this special occasion in the holy land. The Jewish National Fund now offers a free b'nai mitzvah information kit which include "information on using JNF Tree/Water Certificates as Invitations, Bar/Bat Mitzvah Projects, Permanent Recognition in Israel, B’nai Mitzvah tours to Israel, and much more."

The JNF does a lot of great work in Israel and has planted 240 million trees since 1901! If you want to offset the carbon from your bar or bat mitzvah consider doing it by planting trees with the JNF. You can also support the JNF by purchasing holiday cards, mezuzahs, and other merchandise in their store.

Flowers for the Table

I rarely rave about flower books but I am so impressed with this one I felt compelled to include it in the reading room. If you are thinking of doing your own flowers or are looking for seasonal inspiration pick up a copy of Flowers for the Table: Arrangements and Bouquets for All Seasons.

Ariella Chezar is a master arranger, and incorporats fruit, vines and many unexpected items into her magnificent floral arrangements.

Here are a few pictures from her book courtesy of Amazon:

To buy her book click the link below:

Monday, August 25, 2008


Amazon Book Description:
From Bryan Fogel and Sam Wolfson, the creators and stars of the national smash hit play, Jewtopia, comes the most hilarious, over-the-top guide to Judaism unlike anything you've ever seen. So comprehensive that owning a copy ensures that Elijah himself will show up at your Passover Seder!

This book is funny in a low-brow "dirty birdy" way. The pee jokes will appeal to any 13 year old while simultaneously conveying information about Jewish culture and history. A few sample pages from Amazon:

Bar Mitzvah Disco

Okay, so this book is technically not green but it is fun and funny and has terrific pictures and reflections from dozens of 1970s and 1980s bar and bat mitzvahs. It highlights some of the changes and developments in the mitzvah "trends" (e.g. the poster that every guest signs, the candle lighting ceremony, etc.) and helps put the whole thing in perspective. If there were ever a book that made an "over-the-top" affair look a bit silly this is it, so perhaps it is green after all. Plus - the introduction was written by the Village People.

Images from Amazon Search Inside This Book

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Hello Cupcake

My brother called me today raving about a new booked called "Hello Cupcake." It offers clever, fun and EASY cupcake designs - perfect for any DIY bar or bat mitzvah. No special tools required. As one reviewer wrote, "Wow, wow, and WOW! This veritable encyclopedia of "mini-cake" decorating is so fun and easy that there is absolutely no excuse for anyone to lament "they can't". With the use of food items found anywhere, you will be making the cutest, and most impressive cupcake creations you can possibly think of, and Karen and Alan will make you legendary to boot! "

I downloaded these adorable and illustrative images from Amazon.

If you are interested in reading more about why cupcakes are green click here.

How to Be a Budget Organic

My mother - an avid reader of Prevention Magazine - sent me this article today on how to make thrifty organic food choices. It is a quick informative read on how to prioritize on a tight budget. Click here to read the article online.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Bar Mitzvah Project - Not a "Idle" Effort

Photo Credit:

For his Bar Mitzvah project Brendan T. Eprile sent the following letter to families in his community to help raise awareness about the impact of cars on global warming.

Dear Friends,

For my Bar Mitzvah project, I am exploring ways to help make Bennington more energy-efficient. One issue I have learned about is idling. It’s tempting to leave the car running to keep the heat on when it’s cold, or keep the air conditioning when it’s hot. But idling has a serious impact on the environment and is a contributor to global warning.

This is some of what I learned from the website

• When the car is idling, a significant amount of exhaust fumes penetrate the ozone

• If everybody in Vermont reduced idling by five minutes a day, we could save 65/000 tons of CO2 emissions a year

• The amount of fuel Vermont wastes on idling is more than double that of most states

• Fuel emissions from idling affect health, especially with children. Exhaust fumes emit chemicals such as Carbon Monoxide, Nitrogen Oxide, and others. It could cause or aggravate asthma, allergies, headaches, and mental problem.

• Idling is bad for your car engine.

• Idling causes noise pollution too.

• Vermont towns, including Brattleboro, Burlington, and Middlebury, are leading the way in establishing idle-free zones.

But hope is not lost. Each one of you can make a very large difference without many repercussions on your part. Follow the “10-Second Rule”: Idling your car for ten seconds wastes more energy than turning your car engine off then on. If all of us do not idle, we could make a serious difference in the environment. Remember, everything you do has an impact on the environment. And by taking little steps to help global warming, we can make big change.

Thank you. I encourage you to consider having your school or workplace be an idle free zone.

Brendan T. Eprile

His letter was also published in the local paper - the Bennington Banner. What a great way to get the word out about the effect of idling on Global Warming.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Greening Their Synagogue

Rabbi Joshua Boettiger sent me an e-mail with a nice article on the energy audit Vermont Interfaith Power and Light did for their synagogue. It has lots of good tips and provides an example of how our communities can work together to decrease our impact on the earth. Click here to read the article.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life

Every wonder what the connections are between Judaism and the Environment? Well the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life has an extensive reading room with articles on the topic that is definitely worth exploring (especially if you are looking for passages to enrich your bar or bat mitzvah speech). They also offer many other wonderful resources - from tips on how to green your synagogue to how you can raise money for your community while helping to fight global warming.