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Upcoming Events

What's Hot in Mass Public Policy? 
Thursday, October 23, 7:00-9:00 pm at Temple Beth Elohim 
All are welcome to join!
  • A Revenue-Neutral Carbon Tax – Dan Gatti, The Climate XChange
  • The Kinder Morgan Gas Pipeline – Jim O'Reilly, Mass. Interfaith Power & Light
  • The Bottle Bill Referendum – Question #2 – To be Announced 
TBE is a member of "Mass Interfaith Power and Light". This is a multifaith organziation that provides energy efficiency and renewable energy advice to its member congregations, and also advises and advocates on energy and environmental policy to its members. Each year they hold their annual meeting in a different member congregation. This year is the first time they'll hold the meeting at a synagogue when we host them.  

Contact Robert Cooper if you would like to learn more about the TBE Green Team. 
September 22. 2014
By now most of you have heard about the success of the People's Climate March in NYC the weekend of September 20, 2014 The organizers were hoping for 100,000 marchers, but 310,000 crowded the streets of Manhattan! TBE played its part with ten congregants marching (and sounding Rabbi Saphire's shofar!)

We've collected photos and videos that express what it was like to be there. See Neshama Carlebach, Josh Nelson and Peter Yarrow lead the multi-faith crowds in song, and the enthusiasm of people of all ages. It was wonderful to see so many people of so many different faiths and backgrounds united in their commitment to combat climate change.

Of another part of the march, Judith Morton writes: "When the 'moment' of silence began, we could hear the silence deepen and grow more intense as it spread behind us. After what seemed at least five minutes we could hear this thunderous cheer rolling forward until it enveloped us. It was mind-blowing."

Ten TBE members marched: Judy Gertler, Sheryl Goodridge, Martin Kessel and Beverly Rich, Karen and David Miller and their son Zachary, Judith Morton, and Miriam and myself. We were joined by the Evans family from Beth Shalom in Needham and other local residents. Thanks to each of you for deciding to march. Individual decisions like this are they only way to end up with 310,000 people! The march was a wakeup call to world leaders so when President Obama said on Tuesday: "Our citizens keep marching, we cannot pretend we cannot hear them. We have to answer the call" you know you had a part in that. 
Click here to watch four short videos of the crowd singing Jewish songs at the March.

-- Robert Cooper & Miriam Leeser


April 2014, Take the Bus!

March 2014, Learn how to save money and save the planet.


Inspirational and Practical Powerpoint Presentation


ENERGY EFFICIENCY AT TBE: Learn how we are saving $23,000/year and reducing our CO2 emissions by 25%?



View Slides from our December 7, 2013 Shabbat Reflection  

Reflection On Our Shabbat Reflection 
Shabbat Reflections 2013

On December 7, 2013, 35 TBE members came together on a Saturday afternoon to share in a Shabbat Reflection on Climate Change. This was the third such reflection to consider a serious issue of our time and examine our responsibility as Jews to act in the spirit of Tkkun Olam.
We were fortunate to listen to Nancy Seidman, Assistant Commissioner at the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, speak on the causes of Climate Change and what is being done at the state and federal level to address this problem.

Rabbi Saphire then led us through a thought provoking text study on how God requires us to protect the world. Participants broke into groups to analyze five different texts from Jewish Studies. One text, the 3rd century Midrash Ecclesiastes Rabbah, 7:13, included the advice: Take care not to spoil or destroy My world, for if you do, there will be no one to repair it after you. Other texts spoke to Tikkun Olam (repairing the world), Tzedek (justice), our responsibility to future generations, and of our place within the nature. 

Uplifted by these texts, we shared ideas on potential actions. Leading this was temple member Jonathan Raab, a professional facilitator on climate and energy issues. We broke into groups organized around these major themes:
  • Actions we can take concerning our own homes, cars and business 
  • How to making temple operations more environmentally sustainable
  • Incorporating climate change and other sustainability themes in education, formal and informal, at temple
  • Becoming an informed advocate for action at the state and federal level to reduce the impacts of climate change.  
Inspired to act, we will follow through on the ideas developed at this Shabbat Reflection to make a difference in the local, national and global fight against climate change. In the coming weeks, you will hear about concrete actions in each of these areas. If you would like to get occasional email updates on sustainability at TBE and notification of upcoming events, contact Robert Cooper.


TBE's Green Team 

TBE's Green Team helps ensure our new building is environmentally sound and sustainable. For more information or to join this group contact Karen McKoy at 

TBE Green Team Mission 

We believe it is ethically imperative for Jews to work toward lessening our environmental impact and thus uphold the Jewish ideals of tikkun olam (repairing the world), tzedek (justice), and bal tashchit (prohibition against wanton destruction).

The TBE Green Committee will seek to:  

  • Encourage integrating these values into the operations of our new building
  • Educate our community about ways to integrate these values into their daily   lives
  • Encourage working with broader outside communities in both education and advocacy for sustainability


Robert Cooper (chair), Ralph Adler, Jon Carner, Vic Dietz, Sheryl Goodridge, Ed Jaros, Marilyn Levenson Komessar, Karen McKoy, Judith Morton, Laura Olton, Jeff Riklin, Maura Shoulkin

Contact Robert Cooper if you would like to learn more about the TBE Green Team. 

Sustainably Creating and a Maintaining Our New Building:  

Our new Beit Elohim was designed to be environmentally friendly. 

Our green team is working on making sure we maintain the building as efficiently as possible with our staff in terms of energy use, supplies purchased, recycling, and grounds maintenance.


Some resources below:  

Living Sustainably in Our Homes and Workplaces: 

The way we live our lives has an impact on the world around us. This website has recommendations for living in a healthy and low-impact way: 

How to Recycle your Stuff: 

There are many local resources for recycling your unwanted books, furniture, office supplies and even building materials. 


Other Communities of Faith Living Sustainably: 

Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life        

National Religious Partnership for the Environment is an association of independent faith groups across a broad spectrum: the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the National Council of Churches U.S.A., the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life, and the Evangelical Environmental Network. 

Oregon Interfaith Power and Light: empowers congregations and their members to conserve energy and invest in clean renewable energy. 

National Council of Churches, Web of Creation green building manuals 

Green Education Resources and Project Ideas: 

Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life 

Broader Community Sustainability Advocacy: 

Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life 

Boston COEJL    Susie Davidson, Amelia Geggel  

Jewish Organizations Active with Environmental Issues 

US Environmental Organizations 

Israeli Environmental Issues and Organizations 


Trees - courtyard