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February 27, 2015 | 8th Adar 5775

About Temple Sharey Tefilo-Israel
South Orange, NJ

Pre-Pilot Greening Efforts
The TSTI Green team has been active for a few years and has been successful in helping the congregation achieve savings and more environmentally conscious consumption.

Our Green Team
We currently have 13 members and we have a cross section of members of the board, clergy, the head of our religious school, existing congregants and a new congregant and we have a youth group representative. Very diverse!

The first part of the GreenFaith Certification curriculum includes conducting an audit. How are you conducting your energy audit?
TSTI conducted a professional energy audit in May 2005. This has been the foundation for the Green Team over the years.

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

  • continuing our focus in the following area:
    • Transportation (example: no idling zones; encouraging carpools; bike parking, etc.)
    • Recycling and waste management
  • expanding our focus in the following areas:
    • Greening Your Facility/Grounds
    • Environmental Worship and/or Holiday Programming
    • Environmental Education (pre-school; religious school; Confirmation and post-Confirmation; adult) 
    • Food (Example: CSA, synagogue garden, compost, etc.) 
    • Purchasing products for the synagogue (office, school, building, etc.) 
    • Interfaith work/community outreach
  • planning action in these areas:
    • Advocacy (local, state or federal level)
    • Environmental justice

Action Plan Summary
We have already accomplished a lot in the areas of Spirit and Stewardship. We definitely have more work to do here; however, the new area of focus for us will be Environmental Justice. It is very complex and we are going to be getting some education from a new congregant who knows this subject well!

Major Goals
We want to reach further on environmental issues and to be a role model for other congregations.

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