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].
- 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.
Friday, January 25th. 6:30pm: Erev Shabbat Service followed by Tu B'Shvat Seder
Please join us for our annual Tu b’Shvat seder after the Friday night service. Remember coming out of a temple event that was joyous and light, while carrying a deep meaning that stayed with you? Well this is that event! Sinai Green’s seder includes song, dance, and, of course, food! It’s a fun way for us to celebrate Judaism’s long attachment to the environment. RSVP to [email protected].
Saturday, May 4th, 10:30am: Shabbat Morning Service Outdoors (aka “Shabbat in the Woods”)
Roberts Park, Diablo Vista picnic area
Join us under the redwoods to celebrate all that is around us. To better enjoy the outdoors, we recommend dressing in layers and bringing lawn chairs or picnic blankets for the service. A Potluck kiddush lunch will follow the service. Please bring a dish to share, if you are able.
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.
Green Faith Energy Shield
In August 2018, Temple Sinai was awarded the GreenFaith Energy Shield, a national environmental merit badge - recognizing its efforts to conserve energy and to encourage its members to save energy at home. Sinai is the first Reform Jewish congregation to receive the shield in Northern California.
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.”