The Louisville J has taken two significant steps to improve its level of environmental sustainability.
It will work with Hazon, a Jewish environmental organization working to build healthier, greener Jewish communities, to earn the Hazon Seal of Sustainability.
And it has secured a $1,000 grant from Louisville Grows to enhance and expand its community garden at the back of the Dutchmans Lane campus.
JOFEE Fellow Michael Fraade plans to complete three audits required by Hazon by the end of the month. The audits will look at the The J’s energy use and facilities, its food and animal practices, and its health and ecosystem.
The JOFEE Fellowship is through Hazon. It stands for Jewish Outdoor, Food and Environmental Education.
Once those audits are complete, The J will commit to three projects designed to improve its sustainability practices.
The projects, which must be completed by the end of the year, will be selected after the audits are submitted.
Hazon Sustainability Seal program recently concluded its pilot year. The Louisville J is part of a second “cohort” of Jewish institutions attempting to earn the designation.
A group of staff and lay volunteers, led by Fraade, will form a “Green Team” to spearhead the project. Anyone interested in joining the team or suggesting a sustainable project for the community may contact Fraade at email@example.com or 502-238-2769.
The Louisville Grows grant will be used to purchase raised beds for the community garden, compost, topsoil and more fruit trees for the orchard.
Fraade plans to purchase four paw paw trees for the orchard. Paw Paws are a native American fruit that has become increasingly difficult to find in the stores.
“I love to eat paw paws, but you can’t find them in stores,” he said. “So we have an opportunity to engage in a native American fruit and it tastes really good.”