Sustainability

Beth El is committed to being GREEN.

“Being Green” – “Reducing Our Carbon Footprint” – “Being Environmentlally Conscious”

These are some of the buzz words you have likely heard bantered about. But what does it mean to Be Green from a Jewish perspective?  The Torah prohibits us from wasting resources.  When we waste our resources, whether water, trees, air, food, clothing, or other materials, we are violating the commandment of Bal Tashchit (“Do Not Destroy”).  When we waste resources, we destroy what G-d has given to us.  Another way of approaching our impact on the world is recognizing that Being Green supports Tikkun Olam – Repairing Our World. If you believe in being green, either because of what is written in the Torah or you simply want to protect the environment, you can improve how we use our resources here at Beth El and in the community at large.

Sustainability at Beth El

Beth El has taken steps to reduce our carbon footprint and find new ways to promote environmental awareness and responsibility. We would love your input and help with additional ideas to keep Beth El moving forward!  Read the history of the Greening of Beth El.

Current Programs

Recycling Paper – Beth El collects paper trash for recycling every day in the green receptacles in our parking lot (near  the office).  You can bring anything made out of paper here to be recycled, including your junk mail, newspapers and magazines. Not only will you help the environment, but proceeds paid to us by the recycler benefit Beth El!

Eco-Friendly Products – Whenever possible, Beth El uses eco-friendly products throughout the synagogue.  This includes using biodegradable plates and utensils and informal gatherings and using eco-friendly soap products in our main rest areas.

Plant a Row SHIMcropped

Plant a Row for SHIM – For those gardeners who love seeing others enjoy the fruits (and vegetables) of their labor, Beth El’s Social Action Committee has partnered with SHIM (South Hill Interfaith Ministries) to help our neighbors in need.  Donate your excess vegetables/fruits/herbs from your garden for distribution at local food pantries. Sharing your harvest is a simple mitzvah!  Contact Joan Charlson to arrange your harvest donation.

How we can Improve Our Environmental Footprint?

Get involved in Sustainability at Beth El by contacting Andy Baram.  Whether you wish to join our Sustainability Committee, share ideas, or ask questions, we’d love to hear from you!

Being Green At Home

Each community in the South Hills has different guidelines for helping environmental and recycling efforts.  We hope you will read what your community is doing and become active participants in making your home green (even a ‘light shade’ of will help!).  And don’t forget to contact us with any ideas you come across that might work here at Beth El!

Mt. Lebanon Recycling
Upper St. Clair Recycling
Scott Township Recycling
Greentree Recylcing

Additional Resources

UJF of Pittsburgh Environmental Committee
Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life

 

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Recent blog posts

On Grief

The following is the text of Rabbi Amy’s 2018 Yom Kippur sermon: A few months ago, I was out for dinner with my book club.  At the end of the meal, along with the check, the waitress gave us a handful of wrapped sesame candies.  One of my friends said with a wistful smile, I…

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Blessings and Milkshakes

Blessings are like a stop sign to remind us to slow down and thank God.  Throughout the year in Bshul (cooking class) students have learned the blessings for every food group.  I introduced the hand-washing blessing, Yadiim, and repeat it at the beginning of every cooking lesson.  This keeps us holy and sanitary! For Shabbat…

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Jenna’s Squad Gets Crafty

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