Hazon Detroit: November 2022

The Hebrew month of Cheshvan marks the beginning of the cycle of praying for rain, highlighting the ancient Jewish wisdom that we are dependent on the natural world around us. In Detroit, the remaining few leaves are joining a colorful array across the ground, providing nutrients back to the soil. During this rich time of transition, each leaf crunch beneath our feet and each sip of apple cider can be a humbling and empowering reminder of our need to leave our world better than we found it.

 As we write, Jewish Youth Climate Movement (JYCM) teen leaders are joining leaders from around the world gathering now in Egypt at COP27, the UN conference on climate change. Read about Detroit native Naomi Parr and the delegation in the Jewish News! Our tradition teaches You are not required to finish your work, yet neither are you permitted to desist from it” (Pirkei Avot). While we cannot complete the task alone, Hazon is at the forefront of a national effort to inspire and motivate the Jewish community on climate. 

 2 row of individuals (9 in back row, 7 in front row) stand in front of a beige wall facing the camera. The stand shoulder to shoulder and smile. Two wooden tables are seen in the foreground.
Attendees of the All Seal Site Gatherthing Pose for a Picture After at the end of the event
It was powerful to gather the Metro Detroit Seal of Sustainability community at the Fall Gathering! At our gathering, dedicated members of each organization had the opportunity to schmooze over a delicious spread from Soul Cafe, connect about our sustainability challenges and successes, learn about the Jewish Climate Leadership Coalition, and discuss how to integrate sustainability initiatives and programs into our diverse Jewish community.


We’re grateful for your partnership, and are inspired, energized and eager to build together in the year to come. 

Get Involved!

Jewish Youth Climate Movement (JYCM) Michigan Teen Day of Climate Education and Action 

Sunday, December 4, 12:30-4pm at Adat Shalom Synagogue

Hazon Detroit, in partnership with Hazon’s JYCM, is thrilled to be planning the first ever JYCM Michigan Teen Day of Climate Education and Action on December 4th, 2022.

This will be an immersive afternoon experience for Jewish high/middle schoolers in Michigan who are eager to come together in community to get involved with climate justice through a Jewish lens. Participants will have an action-filled and spiritually uplifting afternoon, with opportunities to connect with nature and each other, while learning about issues of climate justice and how to take action in their communities. Please join us for an afternoon of climate education, community building, and collective action.

  • Who: Open to all Jewish teens in Michigan, 7th-12th grade
  • When: Sunday, December 4th, 12:30-4:00 pm
  • Where: Adat Shalom Synagogue (29901 Middlebelt Rd, Farmington Hills, MI 48334)
  • Why: To give Michigan Jewish teens the opportunity to connect and have fun, learn about climate action, and take action to engage the community! Part of JYCM’s big goals and theory of change.
  • Register here!


Jewish Climate Leadership Coalition (JCLC) Information Session

November 14 @ 2pm ET

Register here.

Learn about Hazon’s newly launched network of 125+ Jewish organizations around the country who are stepping up on climate. 

On Sept 15, Hazon launched the Jewish Climate Leadership Coalition, a More than 125 synagogues, JCC’s, federations, Hillels, summer camps and other Jewish organizations have signed up so far. Learn how your organization can benefit from the resources – including funding – that Hazon has to offer. 


Advocacy + Partners Corner

Protect Air from Leaking Methane: Take Action with the Jewish Earth Alliance

As the year begins, we read the story of creation with its message about our responsibility to till and tend Earth. Click here to contact President Biden to urge the Environmental Protection Agency to publish strong rules to reduce methane emissions from the oil and gas sector.


Take a Look Back

Earth Day at the J: Bus, Books & Beats!

Hazon partnered with JFamily for their environmentally-themed family event at the JCC, working together to cultivate the next generation of Jewish environmental leaders.

We enjoyed giving tours of the Topsy Turvy Bus, showcasing its unique design and energy sources. We set up a composting station with hands-on activities such as a waste sorting station, and getting up close and personal with worms in our compost bin. We also set up the bike blender for everyone to pedal out and sample human-powered smoothies! 

Tree Planting with The Greening of Detroit

Hazon joined The Greening of Detroit and other volunteers for a morning of tree planting at Kemney Recreation Center in Detroit.

We learned about tree equity, proper planting techniques, and the critical benefits of trees and public parks in mitigating the impacts of climate destabilization. We had a great time meeting other folks in the Detroit community while getting our hands dirty! Interested in organizing a tree planting for your community? Email ari.cohen@hazon.org to coordinate a partnership planting. 

Two individuals holding large shovels stand outdoors on a grassy area next to a basketball court. The pair are dressed for winter weather and are looking toward the ground as they dig a hole revealing the brown soil below the green grass.
Julia helps shovel a space to plant a new tree in the City of Detroit.
5 individuals stand shoulder to shoulder next to on green grass. The sky is seen in the upper right corner and is light blue. The individuals are wearing coats, winter hats and boots as they smile for the picture.
The Hazon Detroit team stands with our partners from the Greening of Detroit next to a tree they worked to plant together.


Reverse Tashlich with Tikkun HaYam and Plastic Oceans

We had a beautiful and impactful Reverse Tashlich event at Palmer Park in Detroit, in partnership with Tikkun HaYam and Plastic Oceans.

We started our afternoon walking the beautiful nature trails while picking up trash. We took time to create some Andy Goldsworthy inspired art projects using leaves from the forest floor. The group found a nice spot to practice the art of forest bathing, where we used our senses to connect with the earth and enjoy a nice meditative moment. We ended the afternoon by picking up trash in the park around Lake Frances and culminating the day with cider and donuts.

6 individuals are spread throughout a forested scene, not facing the camera. Yellow and brown trees extend beyond the top and sides of the image while brown soil and yellow fallen le
6 individuals are spread throughout a forested scene, not facing the camera. Yellow and brown trees extend beyond the top and sides of the image while brown soil and yellow fallen leaves create the foreground.
8 individuals stand on a concrete title platform infront of a background of a green pond and multicolroed trees. The sky is bright blue and individuals are dressed for cool weather.
Attendees of Reverse Tashlich pose outdoors next to a pond and raise buckets they used to remove waste from the park.


Shomrei Adamah-Guardians of the Earth

Facing the Climate Crisis through Dialogue and Action Together

Temple Kol Ami logoThis past month, we connected with Temple Kol Ami teens and also learned about TKA’s Green Team’s environmental stewardship work.

We are continuing to share our Shomrei Adamah programming with different congregations across the metro Detroit area. This dynamic conversation can be a meaningful way for teens to connect with their Jewish identity. It fosters a space in which individuals can tap into connectedness and values that can sustain them in this work, while recognizing some psychological barriers to climate action​.​ 

Shomrei Adamah was created in partnership with Michigan Interfaith Power and Light. If you are interested in bringing this program to your congregation please email julia.cunnien@hazon.org for more information. 


Seal of Sustainability Spotlight: Dor Hadash

Dor Hadash, in partnership with Isaac Agree Downtown Synagogue, hosted a Sukkot celebration at Eden Gardens on the Eastside of Detroit. folks used several species of foraged native plants to make their own “local Lulavim and Etrogim.”

Chava Knox, who maintains the garden, explained that Eden Gardens also serves as a community space in the neighborhood. Just as the sukkah is a temporary dwelling where people gather, Eden Gardens is a welcoming space for many individuals who gather throughout the year to plant, harvest, and share food, play on the playground, and come together for celebrations. 

Attendees learned about several species of local plants and their significance in the ecosystem. Then folks used several species of foraged native plants to make their own “local Lulavim and Etrogim.” This included local willow, cattail, goldenrod, sumac, milkweed, crab apples, and pine cones. The Sukkah was decorated with local produce including apples, rainbow corn, pumpkins, and gourds, as well as paper crafts. Everyone shook their unique lulav and etrog in the Sukkah while saying the b’rachot, and enjoyed a story and some yummy treats, fulfilling several of the Sukkot mitzvot! 

2 adults and 2 children hold fall themed decorations (flowers, straw, etc.). An open roof covered with loose green and yellow foliage is visibe at the tip of the image. Two white canvas walls lead down to green grass. The individuals are dressed for cool weather and are facing the camera.
Kids and adults work together to decorate a nature filled sukkah
Fall nature items used to decorate the sukkah
A light blue and white background is covered with multi-colored corn, a pair of small yellow and green gourds and a lulav made with local plants.

Limmud Michigan Recap

Hazon Detroit led a discussion using themes from our Shomrei Adamah (Guardians of the Earth) program, connecting our Jewish identity and wisdom to how we care for our Earth.

The Hazon Detroit team was delighted to facilitate a session this year at the Limmud Michigan Conference. Participants also had the opportunity to learn about the Jewish Climate Leadership Coalition. We so enjoyed being in community with our many partners and the opportunity to learn from our friends and partners in various sessions throughout the afternoon.