In the New York Metropolitan area, it is all too easy to consider humanity as separate from the environment, and to fail to see the inextricable link between human and ecological health. There is enormous need for volunteers to help “repair our world” by protecting and restoring the environment.
To address this need, Temple Emanu-El has adopted Lenape Park and holds regular clean-up and invasive species removal events that are open to the congregation and greater community. We also have organized “Shomrei Adamah,” a year-long environmental commitment through which members of our congregation are committed to learning and acting on a different environmental issue each month (including eating more plant-based foods, composting, limiting carbon emissions, and learning how to communicate with others about climate change).
In addition, we proudly take part in recycling events such as the Recycling Shoe Project. The importance of sustainability is often emphasized in sermons, and we regularly worship in the great outdoors, either through Shabbat in Teva services in the outdoor space at Temple Emanuel, or through a Shabbat hike and reflection at the Watchung Reservation.
Park Clean Ups
Recycled Shoe Project
The Recycled Shoe Project is a social movement to collect and upcycle gently worn shoes while raising money for various schools, charities, and organizations.
While we reduce our carbon footprint by keeping shoes out of landfills (where they take 30 to 40 years to decompose), the project also supports fundraisers, improves quality of life, and creates a lasting economic impact in developing countries all over the world.