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Synagogues get with the program to become environmentally sustainable

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Published: 23 April 2018

Last updated: 4 March 2024

IN FLORIDA, SYNAGOGUES are combatting the effects of rising sea levels, high tides, and tropical storms. In California, they are conserving water in the aftermath of years of drought and water shortages. In New York, they are working to eliminate greenhouse gases and toxic waste. And in Massachusetts, they are reducing energy consumption and dependency on fossil fuels.

Synagogues are taking seriously their religious obligation to be stewards of the Earth, and fulfill the biblical commandment known as bal tashchit, not to destroy the environment. They have implemented a variety of new sustainability initiatives to mitigate the effects of global climate change and prevent future damage caused by extreme temperatures and carbon emissions.

“If you care about Judaism, you need to also care about the planet. Jewish sustainability is part of making sure that there is a world for the next generation,” said Rachel Aronson, manager of sustainability and community engagement at Hazon, which works to build sustainable communities.

She sees the recent uptick in synagogue sustainability initiatives as a way to enable environmental change at the local level while connecting young people with Judaism.

FULL STORY Making synagogues sustainable (Tablet)

Illustration: Tablet magazine

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