JUF News | Home gardening: sustainably, thoughtfully, and Jewishly – Jewish United Fund

Gardening Mag

JUF News | Home gardening: sustainably, thoughtfully, and Jewishly – Jewish United Fund

Taking the leap of having a home garden is an exciting and meaningful project a family can take on together.  

Gardening can also be a powerful way to share your Jewish values-whether composting to reduce food waste while nurturing your garden, donating the food you grow, or fostering the growth of pollinators. 

We hope home gardeners can be inspired by some of the incredible community initiatives that were taken on by the 80+ members of the Hazon Seal of Sustainability. This is a 12-month program designed to support organizations and communities working to create a healthier, more equitable, and more sustainable world for all. 

“Our largest impact on the community has been through our comprehensive composting campaign,” said Rabbi Anna Levin Rosen of the University of Chicago Hillel. In partnership with student leaders and with support from campus environmental organizations, Levin Rosen had examined the whole University of Chicago Hillel’s environmental footprint, and together they designed a new approach.  

“We began purchasing only sustainable and compostable paper goods and began composting all of our food waste as well,” Levin Rosen said. “Our partnership with Healthy Soil Compost allowed us to send 5-6 full 35-gallon bins of food scraps, along with plates and utensils, to be composted weekly-which otherwise would have been sent to the landfill.”  

UC Hillel also volunteered to be a site on campus where students could bring compost from their homes.  

Lombard’s Congregation Etz Chaim of DuPage County launched a Victory Garden project with 30 families. The congregation sends seeds to their families to plant in their home gardens; once the crops are ready, half of the harvested produce is donated to local food banks.  

“In the Torah, we are told to feed the hungry by not reaping
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