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Jewish Energy Guide: The LEED-Certified Office

Summary: The American Jewish Committee (AJC) was the first national Jewish organization to have a LEED certified office building. Kenneth Bandler, the director of media relations at AJC, writes about their commitment to sustainability through continued green renovations and other office initiatives.

Eight years ago, we set a goal to become the first national Jewish organization to receive green building certification through the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program.

The task was made a bit easier because we own our own headquarters building in New York. But transforming a 1950s office building into a modern, energy efficient structure was not a simple endeavor, and we never could have achieved LEED certification without commitment to this project from the very top levels of our agency. The project’s importance and consonance with our mission was communicated clearly and regularly to all employees, and we embraced it. In June 2011 we celebrated the awarding of LEED gold-level certification to AJC.

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Kenneth Bandler is director of media relations for the American Jewish Committee. A Jerusalem Post columnist and regular contributor to FOXNews.com, Bandler previously worked as managing editor of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency and as director of public information at the National Jewish Community Relations Advisory Council, which became the Jewish Council for Public Affairs.

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.

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