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Summer Greening for Hadassah

In keeping with the theme of Jewish eco-friendliness, it’s worth mentioning that Hadassah, the women’s Zionist organization of America, has recently gone green! An increasing number of Jewish organizations and synagogues are becoming more environmentally responsible by making commitments to energy conservation, renewable energy programs generated by wind, sun, ocean tides, and geo-thermal sources, water conservation, toxics reduction, and Eco-Kashrut standards.

Congregation Beth Simchat Torah, New York City’s synagogue for GLBT Jews, where Sharon Kleinbaum is the Senior Rabbi, is now powered by 100 percent green power, with greenhouse gas-free and pollution-free renewable energy. In response to the synagogue’s Green Power campaign, approximately 10 percent of the synagogue’s members have switched to green power as well. My own synagogue in which I grew up—Temple Israel of Ridgewood, New Jersey—is also going green and has been working closely with GreenFaith, an interfaith coalition for the environment, to create its own greening program.

For more information about Jewish greening initiatives, check out COEJL (Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life) and Hazon.

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BEKI (Beth El- Keser Israel), a Conservative-affiliated shul in New Haven, CT is proud to be a part of this exciting new movement. We have a solar panel array on our rooftop (initiated by our rabbi's son as a Bar Mitzvah project & funded with the help of a Legacy Heritage grant) and we've replaced all our old incandescent light bulbs with new compact fluorescents. These changes have had a huge impact on our shul's energy consumption.

Following this lead, I've been weaving bal tashchit into my 2nd grade religious school curriculum- we've placed a battery collection box in the lobby (hazardous waste drop-offs in New Haven are Saturdays; we're a significantly shomer Shabbat congregation) and are educating our community about how to properly dispose of hazardous materials & also how to reduce consumption of things that are hazardous to manufacture and throw out.

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How to cite this page

Namerow, Jordan. "Summer Greening for Hadassah." 30 July 2007. Jewish Women's Archive. (Viewed on July 25, 2017) <https://jwa.org/blog/greening>.

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