The Green Team at Temple Israel was launched in March 2015 by a group of congregants, clergy, and staff committed to improving our sustainability efforts and educating our community about individual environmental responsibility. We will be working with other faith communities for systemic change on a wide range of environmental issues. Rooted in traditional Jewish ecological values—from the Torah’s command “Don’t waste” to Maimonides’ caution to recognize the inherent value of all of life—the Green Team will focus on climate change, energy use, recycling, education, social and political policy, and the environmental dimensions of social justice. We seek to make sustainability a core value of the congregation.
The Team is chaired by long-time Temple Israel member, Joan Rachlin, includes congregants with years of environmental activism, and includes staff members Cantor Roy Einhorn, Rabbi Suzie Jacobson, Executive Director, Dan Deutsch and Librarian, Ann Abrams. We are seeking new members, and welcome your participation.
Energy Efficiency Tips for Boston Homeowners
- Stop any air leaks around windows and doors. For older homes, this reduces yearly heating fuel use by 25% or more.
- Change all incandescent light bulbs to the LED or Compact Fluorescent kind. This saves 75-85% of electricity used for lighting).
- Install a simple clock thermostat to set back the temperature at night and during unoccupied daytime hours. This saves 10-15% of yearly heating fuel use.
- For a typical home in Boston, a 25% reduction in yearly heating fuel consumption eliminates as much CO2 emissions as 80-120 square feet of a solar PV roof panel (one-third to half of a four kW solar system).
Data from US Energy Information Agency and National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
Now Offering CSA Shares
Temple Israel & MASCO Partner with Buckle Farm
Temple Israel will be hosting it’s second CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) to congregants this summer. The CSA comes from the Buckle Farm, owned by Jim Buckle and Hannah Hamilton. Buckle Farm is a small, diversified organic vegetable farm located in Unity, Maine. The farm is on 16 acres of protected farmland comprised of apple, plum, and pear orchard and open of fields of vegetable, herb, and flower production. Having previously farmed in Massachusetts, The Buckle Farm delivers much of its produce to homes, markets and restaurants in the Boston area. CSA shares have been an important aspect in The Buckle Farm’s success, and Jim & Hannah are happy to partner with Temple Israel to bring a CSA delivery to our community again this summer. Join us in growing and enjoying organic, sustainable food. To learn more call or email Joan Rachlin at 617-872-0167 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Read more or sign up online.
Other Green Team Initiatives
We're making strides!
- We have joined Massachusetts Interfaith Power & Light, Inc. (MIP&L), an organization that provides a religious response to climate change by helping congregations and people lower their carbon footprints and energy bills and do education and advocacy for policies leading to a sustainable future.
- We have added a tzedakah receptacle in the atrium for Alliance for a Healthy Tomorrow, a local group focusing on children’s environmental health.
- We have increased the number of recycling bins around our building.
- This year, the apples and honey sent by TI Cares to those who have experienced a loss during the last year are from local farms and vendors.
- We added tips for being green on the screens in the Temple Israel lobby.
Climate Change Film & Discussion Series
Temple Sinai, Temple Israel, and Temple Ohabei Shalom joined together to host a climate change film and discussion series. The issues raised by these films are more relevant than ever given the continuing degradation of our natural resources caused by the search for fossil fuels, the threatened extinction of both vital plant and animal life, and the resultant increase in the numbers of climate refugees.
"Time to Choose"
“Time to Choose” by Oscar-winning director Charles Ferguson (“Inside Job”). The film takes audiences on a journey from the threats we face to the remarkable stories of people changing our world for the better. It is the first major film to offer compelling stories of the innovators, leaders and average people fighting on the front lines for a cleaner, more sustainable world.
"How to Let Go..."
“How to Let Go of the World and Love All the Things Climate Can’t Change” by Oscar-nominated, Emmy-winning director Josh Fox. Traveling to 12 countries on six continents, the film acknowledges that it may be too late to stop some of the worst consequences and asks, what is it that climate change can’t destroy? What is so deep within us that no calamity can take it away? The film first premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2016.
"Before the Flood"
“Before the Flood” by Oscar-winning filmmaker Fisher Stevens and Oscar-winning actor, environmental activist and U.N. Messenger of Peace Leonardo DiCaprio. “Before the Flood” presents a riveting account of the dramatic changes occurring around the world due to climate change, as well as the actions we as individuals and as a society can take to prevent the disruption of life on our planet. “This documentary shows how interconnected the fate of all humanity is — but also the power we all possess as individuals to build a better future for our planet,” says DiCaprio.