Atzim Chayim (Trees Are Life) is a family education program which focuses attention on the environment. On or near Earth Day. We plant trees on our congregation's property.
The first year we planted a tree for each of our clergy. The second year we honored each grade in our religious school with a tree. The third year we recognized our Service Arms with trees. Children and families help plant the trees under the watchful eye of Global Releaf (an environmental organization).
The congregation is encouraged to help off-set the cost of the trees, which are sold to us at cost by a local nursery, and many of our religious school classes designate their tzedakah to this program. We have a designated Atzim Chayim Fund to defray the rest of the costs. Often our religious school classes make bird feeders to hang on the trees and children now are able to measure themselves against "their" trees.
For more information See the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism's Web site at http://www.rac.org and its publication Lirdof Tzedek: A Guide to Synagogue Social Action at http://rac.org.
For further information on Reform Jewish educational programs see the Union for Reform Judaism Department of Lifelong Jewish Learning Web site at http://www.urj.org/educate.
The Union for Reform Judaism Ida and Howard Wilkoff Department of Synagogue Management (DSM) provides assistance to Union for Reform Judaism member congregations in all areas of synagogue management and administration. Visit its Web site at http://urj.org/synmgmt/
and see the following publication: Maintaining Your Holy Place: Synagogue Facilities at www.urj.org/synmgmt/publications.