Category Archives: Mitzvah Opportunities

Fracking Comes to Jewish Summer Camps

 Jewish Summer Camps Sell Rights for Natural Gas Fracking

 What you can do about fracking:

  What is Fracking:

Environmental Justice

One of our GreenFaith Certification requirements is to become involved in Environmental Justice, locally and internationally.    This is a new concept for the TSTI Community so here are some basics:

Definition of  the term Environment:

•The complex of physical, chemical, and biotic factors (as climate, soil, and living things) that act upon an organism or an ecological community and ultimately determine its form and survival.
•The aggregate of social and cultural conditions that influence the life of an individual or community.

 Definition of the term Justice:

•The quality of being just, impartial, or fair.
•The principle or ideal of just dealing or right action;
conformity to this principle or ideal
•Righteousness. and the quality of conforming to the law
Definition of Environmental Justice (EJ):
Environmental Justice is the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies
As a result of attending an all day workshop, back in March, the TSTI Green Team has aligned locally with the New Jersey Environmental Justice Alliance (NJEJA) :
There will be opportunities to support and advocate on issues that are local to our community because they are going to be very focused on Essex County.  Please stay tuned for more information on this.
As for the International EJ focus, we reached out to the Religious Action Center (RAC) and they aligned us with International Climate Change Adaptation.   The Earth’s climate is rapidly changing. In the United States and other nations, people are seeing how the impacts of rising global temperatures affect their communities, their livelihoods, and the natural environment. Substantially reducing greenhouse gas emissions is essential to avoiding the worst impacts of climate change. But mitigation alone is not enough. Even with emission reductions, some warming will still occur. Adaptation planning at the local, state, and national levels can limit the damage caused by climate change, as well as the long-term costs of responding to climate-related impacts that are expected to grow in number and intensity in the decades to come.
 Please stay tuned for more information on our plan for advocacy, etc.
The TSTI Green Team is looking for more other congregants who are interested help with the International EJ activities as we need to complete two for GreenFaith certification.   Please email Sue Hoch at if you are interested.

TSTI is Part of 8th Annual Essex County Walk to Fight Hunger


Attached is a photo taken of several volunteers from the Interfaith Food Pantry of the Oranges during the 8th Annual Essex County Walk to Fight Hunger which took place in Newark on Friday, May 6. Pictured, from left to right are:

Hope Lampe, formerly of Short Hills, currently of Chatham representing Christ Church of Short Hills; Cyndy Wyatt and Janet Schwamm, of Short Hills, representing Temple Sharey Tefilo Israel of South Orange; Sarah MacNamara of Maplewood, Gail Roth of South Orange and Janet Fine of Maplewood, representing Congregation Beth-El of South Orange and Susan Norflus of Short Hills, representing Temple Sharey Tefilo Israel of South Orange. These organizations, along with Congregation B’nai Jeshrun of Short Hills, alternate staffing the Interfaith Food Pantry of the Oranges, which takes place once per week at the Episcopal Church of the Epiphany in Orange.

The Walk attracted 220 walkers and was intended to raise awareness of hunger in Essex County, as well as to raise funds to help fight hunger. It was sponsored by Catholic Charities and MEND – Meeting Emergency Needs with Dignity ( The walkers gathered in Washington Park in Newark on a beautiful spring day and listened to a band and speakers including Mayor Jerry Fried of Montclair and Mayor Eldridge Hawkins Jr. of Orange. The walkers then proceeded along the sidewalks of Broad Street during the business day chanting “Help us Feed, Kids in Need, One in Six are Hungry”. We walked to the Federal Building on Walnut Street (just over a mile) and heard an inspirational speech by a representative of the NJ Anti-Hunger Coalition, who talked about SNAP, our Federal Food Stamp program, and warned us that that the House of Representatives has proposed restructuring the SNAP program, which would dramatically reduce the number of eligible families who could take advantage of the program. She urged us to contact our Senators and our representatives in the House to let them know that changing SNAP benefits would be devastating to those who need it most. Anyone who would like more information about the Interfaith Food Pantry of the Oranges or who want to make a donation of money or food can contact Janet Schwamm at or Diane Stein at . For more information about the NJ Anti-Hunger Coalition, please visit .

More Good Works From TSTI Members

TSTI members were out in force on the social action front this week. Ten of our members helped ensured that the week was a little easier for 60 clients of the Interfaith Food Pantry. Those clients first wait for referrals from social service agencies to the Pantry, and then wait again as we sort groceries, bag donated bread, cake and sweet treats, and set up and distribute bags of canned goods that will help them stretch their food supplies.

The numbers of people seeking help from the Pantry keep growing, which means we need an ever increasing amount of canned goods. The cans you bring to TSTI for the pantry mean not seem like much to you, but they are so needed by our neighbors. Please remember to bring a can each time you come to TSTI.

As work on the West Orange Habitat home continues, TSTI members continue to do their part. Julie Alter, Ruth Richards, Nancy Distel, Bennett Lieber and Dennis Percher worked on caulking and building the house’s porch this past Saturday. What a great way to spend a Saturday!

Lisa Goldberg Ozer

>Religious School Students Learn About Darfur


Seventh graders in Temple’s religious school learned about the situation in Darfur on March 22, when TSTI member Judy Bernstein spoke to them about the tragic genocide that continues to unfold there.Students viewed a film, and learned about the Solar Cooker Project sponsored by the New Jersey Coalition on Darfur.

As the people of Darfur have fled the carnage and sought safety in refugee camps, women and girls continue to be in danger of rape and violence when they venture outside the camps to perform the critical task of collecting firewood for cooking.The NJ Coalition has adopted the Oure Cassoni Refugee Camp in Chad and is protecting the women there by providing them with solar cookers.

Solar cookers are low-cost stoves that cook food using the heat of the sun, rather than scarce firewood. Using them allows the Darfuri women to stay safely inside the camp. Women manufacture the cookers, providing them with new skills and the opportunity to generate income for their family.Under the auspices of Jewish World Watch, the Solar Cooker Project hopes to supply each family in the Oure Cassoni camp with two solar cookers, and training in how to use them.Judy brought in a solar cooker to show the students, and helped them understand how these simple devices are saving women’s lives, and helping to sustain desperate families.

Thirty dollars will buy 2 cookers for one family.You can find out more about the crisis in Darfur and the Solar Cooker Project.If you would like to contribute to this important humanitarian effort, please donate at the website.