Our Zero Waste Mitzvah Day event has been nominated for Going Greener Award

In the run-up to the 2019 holiday season, the Zero Waste Festival in collaboration with the synagogue in Rathgar promoted the Zero Waste message to Jewish and interfaith communities. This event has now been nominated for the JC Mitzvah Day Awards in the category “Going Greener”.

Every year, the Dublin Jewish progressive Congregation in Rathgar takes part in Mitzvah Day, a global day of social action and community activism in November. In contemporary English, “Mitzvah” has come to mean something like “good deed”. On Mitzvah Day, communities organize local volunteer projects for those in need.

This year’s Mitzvah Day theme was “Going Greener”, so partnering with the Zero Waste Festival made perfect sense! Together, we collected clothing donations for a women’s refuge in Waterford (according to their current needs), with remaining items being used for a Swap Shop which aimed to extend the life of second-hand clothing by keeping it out of landfills.

Patricia, one of the Zero Waste Festival volunteers who specializes in working with children, led kids from the community in making Hanukkah menorahs from recycled materials. During Hanukkah celebrations at the end of December, the children brought their menorahs to the synagogue, lighting them to mark the festival of lights!

In addition, Camilla of the Zero Waste Festival and Nathalie of Foodture delivered brilliant talks on Good Habits for Climate Change and Sustainable Food. Zdenka and Grace brought homemade zero waste snacks and treats that were a big hit, especially with the children.

All in all, collaborating with the Festival meant that we were able to deliver new and exciting activities, and raise awareness of the zero waste movement. In fact, the activities were so effective, that they have been nominated for a Mitzvah Day award in the “Going Greener” category. This is the first time the Dublin Jewish Progressive Congregation has been nominated for such an award. It’s no small feat either, as this year there were a record number of activities happening from Australia to Perú!

Mitzvah Day award

The Dublin Jewish Progressive Congregation is deeply grateful to the Zero Waste Festival for the collaboration and support. If you’re reading this and keen to support recognition of the great work undertaken as part of Mitzvah Day, you can cast a vote for the ‘Dublin Jewish Progressive Congregation’ after registering an account with The Jewish Chronicle.

Grace Wilentz

Written by

Grace Wilentz is a Dublin-based author, poet and avid freecycler. She got involved with the Zero Waste Festival in 2019 after rehoming a good few unwanted items between her house and the home of fellow Zero Wasters. Grace recently published her first book Holding Distance, so make sure to read one of her poems when you see it in the shops.