Creating Communal Change, Greening our Synagogue

Goal: To empower students to chose one project that they can take on as a class to be part of the “green synagogue” initiative

Duration: 15 – 40 minutes

Materials: Flip Chart, Dry Erase Board, Markers

In advance of this project, consult with the synagogue greening committee and find a project or selection of projects for theses students. Projects should be synagogue specific. Good easily achievable projects include:

Changing all light bulbs to low energy compact fluorescent

Arranging a carpool board or list serve for the school

Researching recycled paper distributors for the synagogue office


The goal of this session is to empower the students to be involved in ‘greening’ the synagogue, taking the first steps in beginning a project, and laying the groundwork so the students will have a clear idea of what to do in the weeks to come.

1. Give a background on any synagogue ‘greening’ initiatives already underway. Explain to the students the project options available to them.

2. If you have more than 1 option, have students discuss and vote on a project.

3. Chose one student to take notes on a poster board (paper, so you can keep it).

4. Conduct a brief brainstorming session on how to implement the project. Write down all suggestions.

5. Eliminate any suggestions that are not realistic, based on conversations with teachers and/or common sense

6. How will you best accomplish this task? Decide on actions to take, and how you will divide responsibilities amongst the group. Use the “Greening our Synagogue Worksheet” on next page.

7. Divide into subcommittees. Examples: education, research, decorating, lobbying

8. Develop a to-do list for each group

9. Fill out form

No matter how far you get in the session, it is important to write up a to-do list and to try to get the students to develop a timeline with certain deadlines. These two factors increase the likelihood of the project’s success. .

Materials developed by Noam Dolgin and the Teva Learning Center

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