Environmental Justice

In order to fully enact Temple Shir Tikva’s mission “to do God’s work in the world,” our congregation must act with urgency in responding to climate change. We are Shomrei Adamah (stewards of our Earth) who have the holy task of working towards the Jewish ideals of Tikkun Olam (repairing the world), Tzedek (justice), and Ba’al Tashchit (prohibition against wanton destruction). We shall educate our community and integrate these values into Temple operations and our daily lives. As we make decisions at Temple Shir Tikva, we will work to identify, carefully consider, and implement options to reduce climate impact. Relying on science-based evidence, we will reduce our congregation’s environmental impact, be visible leaders within our communities, and partner with local, national, and global organizations to advocate for a sustainable, inclusive, and resilient future.

We, therefore, make the following recommendations:

  1. Establish a Green Team committee to facilitate the above mission statement
  2. Develop collaborations between the Green Team and the Temple community, as well as with external environmental groups, such as JCAN (Jewish Climate Action Network)
  3. Develop campaigns and educational opportunities about climate change as a Jewish issue to encourage and support individuals and the congregation to take actions to reduce our carbon footprint
  4. Empower clergy and staff to infuse the environmental mission statement into temple life (e.g. through education and training)
  5. Conduct a comprehensive audit to identify opportunities to make the building more energy efficient and utilize renewable energies
  6. Create a process for future capital expenditure to discover and carefully consider options to implement energy efficient and carbon reducing infrastructure (e.g. when replacing light bulbs, windows, heating & cooling systems)
  7. Reduce the building’s reliance on fossil fuels
  8. Identify and implement measures to reduce the amount of waste disposal (e.g. alternatives to single use and non-recyclable materials)
  9. Promote sustainable food practices (e.g. plant-based options and the recovery of surplus food for donation)