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April 16, 2014 | 16th Nisan 5774

About Temple Shalom
Aberdeen, NJ

Pre-Pilot Greening Efforts
We ran two Earth Day programs for the congregation in April 2009 and 2010; planned a victory garden; switched to compact fluorescent bulbs; and insulated classrooms and set the thermostats to save energy.

Our Green Team
We did not have a Green Team before joining the Pilot. Presently, our rabbi, congregational president, two vice-presidents, two facilities representatives, one adult education representative, one Worship Committee member and one Social Action Committee member make up our Green Team.

The first part of the GreenFaith Certification curriculum includes conducting an audit. How are you conducting your energy audit?
We delegated this responsibility to volunteers.

Areas of Focus
As a result of our participation in the Pilot program, we

  • intensified or continued our focus in the following areas:
    • Greening Your Facility/Grounds
    • Recycling and waste management
    • Environmental Education (pre-school; religious school; Confirmation and post-Confirmation; adult)
  • are engaging in these areas:
    • Environmental Worship and/or Holiday Programming
    • Food (Example: CSA, synagogue garden, compost, etc.) 
  • are planning action in these areas:
    • Advocacy (local, state or federal level)
    • Interfaith work/community outreach

Action Plan Summary

  • We are exploring energy savings, and have spoken to a couple of solar installers
  • We have held a beach service with an environmental theme and plan to include Rosh HaShanah and Tu BiSh'vat environmental services as well
  • We plan on adult as well as school education programs
  • We plan on switching to reusable dinnerware, increasing recycling
  • We will attempt to green our synagogue facilities as best we can
  • We hope to begin advocacy and interfaith programs

Major Goals
We have two major goals:

  1. To inspire and educate; to show that environmentalism is a Jewish cause
  2. To green our synagogue and lead by example, showing that living "greener" is attainable

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