Sinai Green (formerly Green Committee) is all about action: We're taking concrete steps every month to reduce energy, water, waste, and pollution. We have three key principles:
- Reduce the Footprint of our Temple facility by updating equipment and changing behaviors;
- Add environmental elements to our services and annual calendar;
- Educate and engage the full Sinai community.
We welcome anyone who wants to join us. We meet on the second Wednesday of the month at 6:30pm at the Temple. If you want to learn more, email us at [email protected].
- Green Faith Energy Shield: Sinai Green is co-sponsoring (along with Social Action and the Temple Sinai Religious School) the Temple's effort to earn the Green Faith Energy Shield, a national designation for excellence in energy stewardship for religious organizations. Please help us achieve this honor by attending any or all of the events during our Energy Weekend in January (see Upcoming Events below. We also need congregants to pledge to take energy-saving actions in their own home. To participate, go to our Online Climate Change Mitigation Pledge Form. (If you would prefer a paper form, email [email protected]
- Sacred Garden Project: Sinai Green is working with the Temple Sinai Religious School to transform our Sacred Garden, the outdoor space between the upper and lower courtyards. The plan is to turn this space into a garden area of cultivation, learning, and quiet contemplation. The garden will also feature the seven species that are described in Torah: figs, pomegranates, date palms, olives, grapes, barley, and wheat.
- Water and Energy Savings Tips: We've compiled a list available here, with a new tip added every week. If you have suggestions for this list, email [email protected]
- New Boiler Heating System:Temple Sinai is in the development stages of replacing an inefficient steam-fired boiler and fan distribution system with a more energy efficient heating system for the Sanctuary and Stern Hall. Thus far we have had our existing boiler tuned up and have had minor repairs mae for safety. The use of the steam fired boiler, however, is temporary while Temple Sinai engages a design/build mechanical engineering firm to submit their proposal and cost estimates for a new direct-fired boiler heating system. It is anticipated the new heating system will be constructed in spring and fall 2018.
January 26-28, 2018 "Energy Weekend": a weekend (and more) of events promoting energy conservation and climate change mitigation.
Friday, January 26, 7:30pm: Energy-focused Shabbat service.
Friday, January 26, 8:00pm: Tu B'Shvat seder in Stern Hall. A delightful event where we'll read, drink four glasses of wine, eat ritual foods, discuss, sing, and dance; all to celebrate our relationship with the earth.
Saturday, January 27, 10:30am: Shabbat Morning Service on the Theme of Green Energy, Albers Chapel Shabbat Service
Sunday, January 28, 9:30-11:30am: "The Climate Crisis: What's the Missing Solution?" A special presentation by Peter G. Joseph, M.D. Citizens' Climate Lobby, Marin County Group Leader. Peter is an emergency physician trained by former Vice President Al Gore to educate the public about the devastating impacts of global warming. The Climate Crisis looms as the most serious threat to human civilization. Recent data indicate more rapid warming and accelerating greenhouse gas emissions than previously projected. Peter will review the latest scientific data and discuss both the technical and legislative aspects of humanity's greatest challenge.
Sunday, January 29 and Wednesday, January 31: Tu B'Shvat Days of Learning in the Religious School. A fabulous day of energy, environment, and earth-based learning at Religious School: family and parent learning with hands-on adventures in making things grow and confronting climate change.
Saturday, May 19, 2018, 10:30am: Shabbat in the Woods
Please join us at this lay-led service among the redwoods. It's a wonderful opportunity to think, pray, and enjoy each other's company among the sweet smells and sounds of the forest. We'll meet at the Huckleberry Picnic Area in Roberts Regional Recreation Area, 10570 Skyline Blvd, Oakland. This is a fully accessible location.
May through October, third Saturday of the month at 5:30pm: Havdalah Hikes
We gather in Redwood Regional Park for a stroll on a paved path to a meadow by Redwood Creek. Our short, song-filled Havdalah service ends with wine and appetizers as the sun goes down. We'll meet at the parking lot at the end of the driveway at Redwood Gate, which is 2.2 miles down Redwood Road past the intersection with Skyline Blvd. This is a fully accessible location.
Our Green Building
- Our fabulous new building (2010) is Silver LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Certified.
- We are also proud to be a Bay Area Green Business. We were initially certified as a Green Business in 2013. As of January 2018, we are awaiting final approval of our recertification for another four years.
- Our synagogue and sanctuary are equipped with water-saving faucets and toilets.
- The waste stream is fully sorted into compost, recycling, and landfill waste. We have three bins and signage in all locations. We continue to reduce waste by improving practices in the office, pre-school, kitchen, and Stern Hall.
- Contracts to use Stern Hall include terms to reduce landfill waste and to develop a plan for handling excess food.
Tu B'Shevat Haggadah
"On the 15th day of the month of Shevat, the Jewish community celebrates the holiday of Tu B'Shevat, or what is commonly known as the 'New Year for the Trees.' While the Tu B'Shevat Seder is meant to be a celebration of our relationship with nature, it is also a time of education and reflection, a time to look at our impact on the world around us and change the way to interact with our environment during the coming year."
-From Sinai Green's Tu B'Shevat Haggadah.
Board Resolution on Energy Conservation
On December 20, 2017, the Temple Sinai Board passed the following resolution:
“WHEREAS, the Temple Sinai Board of Directors recognizes that Judaism teaches us that we have a responsibility to preserve and sustain our environment, and
WHEREAS, the Temple Sinai Board of Directors recognizes that we have a fiduciary duty to operate and maintain our facilities in a fiscally responsible manner,
BE IT RESOLVED, that Temple Sinai is committed to incorporating energy conservation into the operation and maintenance of our synagogue and schools;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that Temple Sinai will promote and encourage energy conservation and awareness in the Temple Sinai community and beyond; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that Temple Sinai will emphasize, in our religious observance and other ways, the Jewish teachings on sustaining the environment, and that we will promote actions that implement these teachings.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Sinai Green Committee is tasked with presenting an annual program of activities to the Board to implement this resolution.”