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How to Host a Reverse Tashlich

Reverse Tashlich is the international Jewish Community waterfront cleanup. On September 29, 2024 the Jewish community will come together around the world to clean their local environment for the 7th Annual Reverse Tashlich.

Join the international Jewish community cleanup. Find out how to host a Reverse Tashlich below.

Reverse Tashlich Jewish Waterfront Cleanup Map


What is Reverse Tashlich?


Tashlich is a Rosh Hashanah ritual in which Jews begin the new year by symbolically casting off last year's sins by tossing pebbles or bread crumbs into a body of water. In 2016, the college division of Repair the Sea (Scubi Jew®) at Eckerd College conceived the idea hosting a Reverse Tashlich: a beach cleanup to remove human "sins" from the water.


Every year since, Reverse Tashlich has expanded as new communities have joined and removed thousands of pounds of debris from waterfront locations around the world as part of their High Holiday observance. Last year 0ver 3000 participants from 245 communities in 12 countries joined the initiative. Read on to learn how to host a Reverse Tashlich, and bring this innovative movement to your community.




Gather people in your community: a synagogue, group of friends, family, JCC, school, Federation, or neighborhood and make a commitment to clean your local environment on September 29, 2024. Then, register as an official Reverse Tashlich team. Registering allows us to provide you and your community with program assistance and educational communication. Once registered your team will be listed 0n our website as an official Reverse Tashlich Team, and you will gain access to our Resources.

Following confirmation, direct interested participants to www.repairthesea.org/reverse-tashlich to register. Individuals can find their community on the Official Reverse Tashlich map, and find community-specific registrations pages. As a team leader, you will have access to registered participant information for event-specific communication.




Choose a Cleanup Location

We recommend that communities partner with a local organization for their Reverse Tashlich waterfront cleanup. Not only does this foster community engagement, but groups experienced in conducting cleanups may be helpful in finding ideal cleanup locations and working with local governing bodies. Some areas may require you to get a permit before a cleanup.


Look for a local Keep America Beautiful chapter. Or, google "[your community] cleanup" to find local environmental organizations that can help.


What to look for in a cleanup site:

  • Waterfront (Preferably): You can perform Reverse Tashlich at a beach, river, lake, pond, or stream. However, trash removed from any natural environment ensures the health of our blue planet.

  • Accessible: Pick a location that fits the number of expected attendees, that is reachable by transportation, and has available parking. Ensure it is accessible for your community (children, elderly, etc.).

  • Trashed: Reverse Tashlich aims to make the largest impact possible. Visit the site beforehand or partner with a local cleanup organization that knows which locations need the most help. Remember, microplastics are also harmful, and many times overlooked, so keep an eye out for small colorful plastics that aren't as easily seen.

  • Safe: Ensure the safety of the site, and review the most recent water quality data. Use the app Swim Guide, or contact local authorities to ensure the safety of the area.



Collect Your Materials

Every location is different, so think through what your cleanup site requires. Use our recommendation list below as a suggestion you can tailor.


Recommended

  • Trash Bags (For an environmentally friendly alternative, collect plastic bags or grain bags in advance)

  • Gloves

Suggested

  • Grabber Tools

  • Sunscreen (Choose reef-safe sunscreens with physical sun protection ingredients such as zinc-oxide, instead of chemical ingredients like oxybenzone. Learn More)

  • First Aid Kit for minor cuts and scrapes

  • A "Sharps" Container

  • Bug Spray

  • Hand Sanitizer

  • Liability (Provided by Repair the Sea)

  • Photo Waivers (Provided by Repair the Sea)

  • Drinking Water (To minimize waste provide a water refill station, and encourage participants to bring refillable water bottles)

  • Cell phones for data collection

  • Camera

Reach out to your Public Works department or your local Keep America Beautiful chapter to learn where you can find items locally.



Spread the Word

With your location solidified, pick a gathering time, and publicize your events. Use the media templates from Repair the Sea to create flyers, social media posts, and emails to spread the word within your community. (You will gain the password to this webpage when you register). Direct interested participants to our official page, where they can select your team within the Official 7th Annual Reverse Tashlich map to register with their name and contact information.


Share the Jewish Connection

Bal Tashchit, בלתשחית (literally “Do Not Destroy”), is a fundamental ethical principle in Judaism. It is based on the Mitzvah in Deuteronomy 20:19–20 which says it is forbidden to cut down fruit trees in a time of war, but which the Babylonian Talmud expanded to include all forms of senseless damage or waste. It has become a central aspect of the ethical character of the Jewish people. Today, the destruction of the ocean and waterways of the world through pollution, single-use plastic products, and simple carelessness represent a blatant violation of the ethical principle of Bal Tashchit.


Download our Water Torah e-booklets, and attend our online seminars to share with your community with Reverse Tashlich is a mitzvah. Register your team to stay gain access to our resources and stay in the loop about upcoming educational opportunities.


Clean Up

Gather all the volunteers at the starting point of the cleanup. Provide them with clear instructions on how to collect and handle the waste. Distribute the necessary cleanup supplies to each group of volunteers. If there are limited supplies, establish a system for sharing or rotating equipment among the groups.


Explain the proper method for separating different types of waste, such as recyclables, non-recyclables, and hazardous materials (if applicable). Read this safety briefing before the event.

Safety Briefing
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Download • 19KB

Encourage volunteers to be mindful of their surroundings, particularly if there are any sensitive habitats or protected areas.


Maintain open lines of communication throughout the cleanup, address any issues promptly, and ensure that volunteers feel appreciated for their efforts.




Collect Debris Data

Debris removal indisputably has a positive effect on the environment. However, cleanups have a larger impact through data collection.


Participants easily classify each piece of debris using the mobile app Marine Debris Tracker. The data enters a global databa


se, which provides policymakers and researchers insight to support policies that improve solid waste management around the world.


Tikkun HaYam is a Marine Debris Tracker participating organization. This means Reverse Tashlich participants can log debris with their registered community on the Marine Debris Tracker app.


Watch this video to learn more about using the Marine Debris Tracker App for Reverse Tashlich.






Take Photos and Videos

We publicly appreciate and highlight our participating communities. Document your event with pictures and videos, and keep us updated on your progress so we can share your meaningful work.


If you publicize your Reverse Tashlich event, please note the partnership with Repair the Sea use the appropriate logo. Right click the image below to download.






Dispose of the Debris

Make sure the trash you collect gets disposed of properly. While many locations may have dumpsters or trash cans on site, they may not always be available or empty. Work with your local environmental organization or local waste management facility to coordinate disposal.

If there are any hazardous materials or items requiring special handling, consult with the appropriate authorities or organizations for safe disposal instructions.


Share Your Stories with Us!

Share your photos, videos, and stories about your Jewish debris cleanup with Tikkun HaYam. Upload them into our designated community Google Drive, and if you'd like schedule a Zoom call with our Outreach Director to debrief.


Want more assistance in hosting a Reverse Tashlich? Schedule a video call with Shayna Cohen, our Outreach Director.


Thank you for being a part of our growing community!





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