Landsmen? Landsmen! The FJMC Composting Initiative








You can be a Landsman in the literal sense by being a Shomer Ha-aretz, a Steward of the Land.

Is your Men's Club or Brotherhood looking for a new mitzvah program which attracts young families?  We have one that may be right up your alley - one that addresses the Talmudic commandment concerning one's garden: " cultivate it and to guard it."  FJMC is looking for at least three clubs to pilot a new Shomrei Ha-aretz composting initiative beginning this Tu b'Shevat, January 16, 2014. The program can focus on your congregation, your members’ homes, or community homes or institutions. Involve your teens! Young families!

  • The first three clubs that register for and successfully submit a Torch award for this effort will receive special consideration and be allocated a booth at the program fair.

Why use chemical fertilizers in the home or synagogue garden when you can use compost?  Composting is easier than you think - in fact, it's one of the easiest ways to reduce household and dining waste while producing excellent plant and lawn food, reducing our carbon footprint, and teaching adults and children about environmental stewardship. Prevent hundreds of pounds of yard waste, trimmings, and food leftovers from wasting away in a landfill; instead, turn that into the richest, sweetest, healthiest soil you can imagine. It’s much easier than you think; kids will really get into it; and if you’re ambitious, members can “contribute” to the heap as well!

What's that, you say? You don't have your own garden? No matter - you or your Men's Club/Brotherhood/synagogue can donate your compost to local nurseries, garden centers, community gardens, or your neighbors.  And who knows? You may inspire people to start their own planters or gardens as a result.


  1. Check state, county, town regulations.
  2. Principles:
  • Compost the following: vegetable food scraps, grass clippings, leaves, flowers, weeds without seeds, sawdust, chopped twigs and branches, coffee grounds and filters, teabags, compostable tableware.
  • Do not compost the following: meat, fish, seafood scraps, diseased or insect infested plants, dog and cat feces, food with grease or soap residue.


The U.S. Composting Council is a trade and professional organization promoting compost.
Earth 911 is an organization dedicated to providing information on backyard composting
Mastercomposter is a web site that gives information on bins, tools and many other issues. It can connect you to the master compost program nearest you and answer your questions via its message board.
EPA’s composting web page provides additional background information on regulations, educational web sites, and publications.

Here are a few more resources that may be helpful:

Share your club's composting plans and reports with Shomrei Ha-aretz (Stewards of the Land) Chairman Dr. Mike Miller at  Your composting program may be honored and taught to other clubs through Torch Awards 2015, video presentations on the FJMC website, and at Convention. Together we can do so much more to help the environment and reduce our dependence on fossil fuel-based fertilizers!