Which of our entrants had the next Big Green Jewish idea?

Our competition offered the chance to win £2000 to make our entrants’ green ideas a reality.

Big Green Jewish, together with the 1800 votes cast, are supporting innovative approaches in the community to reducing carbon emissions and raising environmental engagement. You can review all the entrants here. The top three projects will be receiving £2000, £1250, and £750 respectively.

And the winning ideas are...

The JCoSS Edible Garden

Our project aims;
• To encourage students to consider where their food comes from.
• To teach students about the positive impact of growing your own food on the environment.
• To provide students with the skills needed to grow their own food.
• To provide an informal and interactive opportunity for mainstream students and autistic students to work together for a common school goal.
• To grow our own food which will be donated to Homeless Action in Barnet.
• To grow and use our own food in the school cafeteria and in our Food Technology lessons.
• To recycle and compost plant cuttings and vegetable waste produced by the school.
• To learn about Jewish values relating to sustainable lifestyles through use of The Big Green Jewish Edible Garden Resource.

View details & see their video
Visit the JCoSS website

The Habo Bike project

he aim of the Habo bike project is to collect second-hand bikes, repair them, and donate them to refugees who are in need of an affordable, environmentally friendly means of transport. The bikes will be repaired by a group of refugees and volunteers from the Jewish Community who will also engage in ‘cultural exchange’ activities in order for both groups to learn more about each other’s background and their common social goal: to make the planet fairer and greener.

View details.

The Langdon Community Gardening Project

The Langdon Community Gardening Project got under way with the appointment of a Langdon Gardening Coordinator in June 2009. Branded work wear was bought to give the Langdon People involved in the scheme appropriate clothing for work as well as giving them an identity as a team on the programme. In the 18 months the project has been running, Langdon properties have improved in appearance and the garden project has seen a successful harvest of fruit and vegetables. The most recent project involved the building of a secure area for the arrival of 9 laying Leghorn Chicken’s. A small business has grown from the brood of hens enabling the group to learn about animal husbandry and money handling (the money taken for the eggs helps pay for feed etc as well as giving any of the small profit to the workers).

View details.

The Entries

*Voting has now closed

How (Golders) Green are you Alyth?

This project will green the synagogue. It will turn the synagogue building into a beacon of environmental light to our own and the wider community. Its effectiveness will be seen in its ripple effects out of the shul and into the lives and homes of the young people and Alyth community. The project will be run by young people. A core group of 15 teenagers will apply to be a part of and then see the project through from initiation to completion. Along the way they will find out about the environmental policies of other organisations; meet with professional environmental auditors; and participate in the carbon accounting of the synagogue. They will create a Green Policy to propose to the synagogue council; they will turn the building green, designing recycling stations in each room and distinctly branded signs across the building informing people about the shul’s environmental choices and impact.

View details

Funding a Sustainable Energy Transformation of the Jewish Community

This project aims to transform household and business energy choices at the scale of the family unit; to fund the introduction of sustainable energy measures for Jewish Community Buildings; and to enable the Jewish community to access the longer-term value of the Feed-in-tariff scheme.

View details and see their video

The JCoSS Edible Garden

Our project aims;
• To encourage students to consider where their food comes from.
• To teach students about the positive impact of growing your own food on the environment.
• To provide students with the skills needed to grow their own food.
• To provide an informal and interactive opportunity for mainstream students and autistic students to work together for a common school goal.
• To grow our own food which will be donated to Homeless Action in Barnet.
• To grow and use our own food in the school cafeteria and in our Food Technology lessons.
• To recycle and compost plant cuttings and vegetable waste produced by the school.
• To learn about Jewish values relating to sustainable lifestyles through use of The Big Green Jewish Edible Garden Resource.

View details & see their video
Visit the JCoSS website

The Habo Bike project

The aim of the Habo bike project is to collect second-hand bikes, repair them, and donate them to refugees who are in need of an affordable, environmentally friendly means of transport. The bikes will be repaired by a group of refugees and volunteers from the Jewish Community who will also engage in ‘cultural exchange’ activities in order for both groups to learn more about each other’s background and their common social goal: to make the planet fairer and greener.

View details.

Community Allotment Initiative

The late 18th century Chassidic master, Rebbe Nachman of Breslov, was known for explaining Jewish mysticisms. He talked of food being the key to keeping us alive, binding our body and soul. The Community Allotment Initiative aims to build a community of growers, being able to share ideas, knowledge and produce, reflecting the teachings of the Rebbe! We want our allotment to be bio-diverse, growing food and plants that attract wildlife whose habitats are disappearing e.g. foxgloves for honeybees. Once the allotment becomes established we will reach out to local groups and schools, hosting monthly workshops about the environment, where food comes from and how to grow their own food. When god placed Adam in the Garden of Eden, “Adam was able to see how his positive actions contributed to the well-being of the garden”. We want to teach and show people how their contribution, like Adams, can be positive.

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Gefiltefest Jewish Food Festival

Gefiltefest, hosted by LJCC, will examine, challenge and explore Jewish culinary traditions, laws and heritage. The festival seeks to examine Jewish identity and to address in an immediate practical and philosophical way contemporary concerns. These concerns include but are not limited to sustainability A key aim of the festival is to raise money for charities in the UK, and Israel.

View details.

MoHoLo Edible Allotment

With our near 1,000-strong network, MoHoLo [Moishe House London] has a record of fostering and strengthening dialogue across the usual communal divides, and of running and partnering events connected to practical sustainable living, from urban bee-keeping to our bountiful edible allotment, to the phenomenally successful 'Willesden Green Wassail'. Our edible allotment, run from the comfort of our back garden is in the process of expansion, due to popular demand! With raised beds made from re-cycled wooden pallets, we have a wonderful group of locals - both Jewish and non-Jewish - who are forging friendships through regular tending of the allotment. Many of our participants do not have a garden of their own, and have not grown their own food before. The garden is totally organic, using no chemical pesticides.

View details.

The Langdon Community Gardening Project

The Langdon Community Gardening Project got under way with the appointment of a Langdon Gardening Coordinator in June 2009. Branded work wear was bought to give the Langdon People involved in the scheme appropriate clothing for work as well as giving them an identity as a team on the programme. In the 18 months the project has been running, Langdon properties have improved in appearance and the garden project has seen a successful harvest of fruit and vegetables. The most recent project involved the building of a secure area for the arrival of 9 laying Leghorn Chicken’s. A small business has grown from the brood of hens enabling the group to learn about animal husbandry and money handling (the money taken for the eggs helps pay for feed etc as well as giving any of the small profit to the workers).

View details.

Moulscomb Forest Garden Project supported by BHPS.

On Mitzvah Day 2010, members of Brighton & Hove Progressive Synagogue got their hands dirty, volunteering at Moulscomb Forest Garden in a priority area of Brighton. It’s a community garden linked with local schools, providing an ‘outdoor classroom’ to teach about sustainability as well as a place for pupils with problems to learn and develop skills. We were impressed by the thatched roundhouse, a beautiful woven willow tunnel and the garden’s own beehive. We helped to dig a section of the slope into a level terrace. In January we decided to return to Moulscomb for Tu Bishvat (New Year for Trees). The Project asked for a medlar tree, which we funded. We dug it in and recited the blessings around the new addition to the garden. We really value the work that is being done at Moulscomb and shall maintain our connection with the volunteers there

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Historic Birkat Hamzon

To publish and sell a fund-raising edition of the Birkat Hamazon. It will be a facsimile of a beautiful 18th century colour manuscript (or another similar manuscript) which includes additional notes. The introductory material would discuss the art-historical context of the work and, separately, provide an informative discussion of the prayer and Jewish thinking on food. Crucially, it will address the need for mindfulness and responsible consumption. All profits would be donated to food and environment-related charities, both within and beyond the Jewish community.

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The Rabbi Relay Ride

To stage a fund-raising bicycle ride from Land's End to John o' Groats. A team of Rabbis will complete the journey: some will only cycle 50 miles for one or two days but others will cycle for longer. At every stage of the route, however, a Rabbi will be involved. It is hoped that this will become an annual cross-communal and multi-faith event. The ride would tie-in with the 2012 Year of the Bike and would seek to raise £100,000 for a variety of environmental charities and local concerns, within and beyond the Jewish community. The event should be a fun challenge that excites the community and the media and draws attention to sustainable fuel questions and directly address the issue of every individual's carbon footprint.

View details

If you didn't think of a project this time, but are considering green projects for your community, school, or group of friends, you may find some of the competition guidelines and resources useful:

The project should demonstrate a measurable positive impact on the environment through any or all of the following;
• The project itself reducing the carbon footprint of a group/organisation.
• The project provides people with skills, tools, and information to reduce their personal carbon footprint, and includes a method for monitoring and measuring this over time.
• The project engages large numbers of people in awareness raising about the environment and sustainability, with the ability to measure behaviour changes over time.

• The project makes explicit the link between Jewish values and environmental responsibility. See our resources for support with this.
• The project engages people in active learning through taking part in experiences directly.
• The project is for educational or charitable purposes. If any money is made through a project that is a social enterprise, this is all reinvested in the project.
• All prize money is used for materials and/or activity and not for paying for core costs.