Jewish Energy Guide: The National Synagogue Goes Green — Hallelujah! By Jen Singer
Summary: Jen Singer, the founder and chair of the Green Committee at Ohev Shalom: The National Synagogue, explains how her synagogue became the first in the country to be recognized for energy efficiency, with Energy Star certification from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
It was my love of the environment and dedication to living life as an observant Jew that led me to start the Green Committee at Ohev Sholom: The National Synagogue in Washington, D.C. From modest beginnings, after just a few years, we already have made a big impact. This year, our synagogue became the first in the country to be recognized for energy efficiency with Energy Star certification from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
We started out small, with a group of a few congregants meeting on a monthly basis. In 2008, we implemented a recycling program to collect paper from staff offices, and bottles and cans from our weekly Shabbat lunch. Children helped gather and sort the recyclables.
Jen Singer is founder and chair of the Green Committee at Washington’s Ohev Sholom: The National Synagogue. She works as an environmental consultant and she completed her master’s in urban and environmental policy and planning at Tufts University.
The Jewish Energy Guide presents a comprehensive Jewish approach to the challenges of energy security and climate change and offers a blueprint for the Jewish community to achieve a 14% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by September of 2014, which is the next Shmittah, or sabbatical, year in the Jewish calendar.
The Jewish Energy Guide is part of COEJL's Jewish Energy Network, a collaborative effort with Jewcology's Year of Action to engage Jews in energy action and advocacy. The Guide was created in partnership with the Green Zionist Alliance.