Climate Action/TBE Green

TBE Green Team - Sustainability and Climate Action

Green Team News & Information

I want to share some information that I came across through my work place newsletter about CO2 and our food.  It was a report of research published in August by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.  The study reported that the rising levels of carbon dioxide from human activity are making staple crops such as rice and wheat less nutritious.

"Our research makes it clear that decisions we are making every day-how we heat our homes, what we eat, how we move around, what we choose to purchase-are making our food less nutritious and imperiling the health of other populations and future generations.” Sam Myers, lead author.

I have not thought about food consumption and the affect of CO2 on the quality of food.  I think about the air quality, the weather changes and therefore crop changes but more in terms of the quantities of food that can be grown.  This study opened my eyes to the affects on the quality of our food supply in relation to the quality of our air and how we are imperiling our own health and the health of future generations.

Sheryl Goodridge

Upcoming Events


2019 Climate & Energy Advocacy Training
Thursday June 13, 7:00 pm

This training will provide a valuable update on clean energy, climate, and environmental justice priorities for this legislative session and share action steps and tools you can use to help move these priorities forward. You’ll hear from Sierra Club trainers and local environmental leaders.
This training will: 

  • Outline key legislation to expand renewable energy and reduce climate pollution in Massachusetts 
  • Explain why equity and environmental justice matter and how they are central to the Mass Power Forward Coalition’s climate agenda
  • Share action steps you can take and tools to prepare you to engage effectively with state and local officials 
  • Answer your questions about the clean energy landscape in our state.

Join us for this informative evening and let’s come together to make real progress on a just clean energy transition in our communities and across Massachusetts.  No prior experience required. Prior registration is requested.
Co-sponsors: TBE Green Team, UU Wellesley Hills, Sustainable Wellesley, Jewish Alliance for Law and Social Action, Jewish Climate Action Network

Learn more: Amy Benjamin, [email protected]                             


News & Updates

It's official! TBE is a “Cool Congregation,” awarded by Interfaith Power and Light for exemplary carbon reduction in response to climate change.












Click here to see our October 2018 update!

TBE Green Fund for Environmental Sustainability

The time is now to reduce our carbon footprint and reverse the effects of climate change.
Here is what you can do:

Give a gift of any size to help TBE fulfill our vision of becoming carbon neutral.  This campaign, which is separate from and in addition to our Annual Fund Campaign, will support efforts to reduce our carbon footprint and invest in renewable energy. Acting now, we can prevent greater harm to our world.


Click the above link to donate - you can select "Green Fund" from the list of TBE Tzedakah Funds.


The funds will be dispersed strategically by our Green Team, Senior Staff Team, and Board VPs who will work in collaboration to implement additional energy efficiency measures in our community and increase our purchase of renewable energy.  As signers of the Paris Agreement, our Temple will strive for a 50 % carbon emission reduction by 2030 and will aspire to be carbon neutral by 2050.  We could be the first synagogue to reach these goals.

Take Action at Home:
  • Sign the Paris Pledge
    • Commit to reducing your household's carbon pollution by 50% in the year 2030 and be carbon neutral by 2050.
    • When you take the pledge, Interfaith Power & Light, a community partner of ours, will provide you with helpful resources and tools so you can reach these commitments.
  • Schedule a FREE Home Energy Assessment
    • An energy auditor will visit your home to make suggestions to reduce your energy bill and make your home more energy efficient. 
    • You’ll receive incentives, rebates, and maybe even money in return for energy upgrades. 
    • If you live in Wellesley, click here.
  • Purchase renwable energy as part of your utility bill
    • An easy way to save our world without having solar panels on the roof! Reduce your dependence on fossil fuels by "greening" your electricity. 
    • If you live in Wellesley, click here (and click "enroll today" on the left)
    • For a website with other options, you can click here.
  • Install Solar Panels on your roof, or invest in community solar
    • Use Energy Sage, "The Kayak for Solar Panels" to find the best solar options for you! 
    • Or invest in Community Solar to have communally owned and shared solar power! Click here to learn more.


TBE's Green Team 

TBE's Green Team helps ensure our building and community is environmentally sound and sustainable. For more information or to join this group contact Sheryl Goodridge.

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


Earth Day, Charles River Watershed Clean up
April 27, 2019

Arthur and Judy Gertler, Barry Rosenberg, Robert Cooper, Sheryl Goodridge and Bill Goodridge (taking picture) spent a few hours picking up trash along  a portion of the banks of the Charles along Quinobequin Road. Ten full bags of debris was collected.













Solar at TBE!
December 2016 - After two years of hard work and support from TBE's Green Team,TBE has solar panels! View our solar production >



Pictured are Ed Jaros, Amy Benjamin, Jeff Riklin, Robert Cooper and Ralph Adler.

Jewish Climate Action Network (JCAN) Conference,  Sunday, May 17 in Newton

The conference was entitled: "From Uncertainty to Action: What You Can Do About Climate Change".  Click here to learn more about the conference.

It's Official: TBE is a Cool Congregation!

Temple Beth Elohim was a national runner-up in the Energy Efficiency category of the Cool Congregations Challenge. This annual competition is run by Interfaith Power and Light, a national organization that connects communities of faith to combat climate change. Read more...

Massachusetts Interfaith Power and Light

TBE Green is a member of "Mass Interfaith Power and Light", a multifaith organization 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. The MIFP&L annual meeting was hosted by TBE in October and included timely information on issues in environmental and climate change policy: 

A Carbon Tax for Massachusetts?
Dan Gatti Exec. Director of The Climate XChange on why a carbon tax is the only way to meet Massachusetts carbon reduction goals and helps the economy. Learn more.

Do We Need More Fracked Gas in Massachusetts?
Jim O'Reilly of MA IP&L's Executive Committee tells you whether we really need the Kinder Morgan Pipeline. Learn more

MA Interfaith Coalition for Climate Action (MAICCA) Action Day at the State House!

November 2015


Answering the Call - October 2015

Join members of Boston area congregations and faith organizations for this very special interfaith gathering to share messages of hope, inspiration, and action for healing our world. Together we will raise our voices as unified people of faith and seize the moment for concrete, communal action to safeguard our planet.

With his encyclical in June and U.S. visit in September, Pope Francis has created an opportunity for people of all faiths to respond to the challenge of climate change as an issue of moral imperative and social justice with “a new and universal solidarity.”

At this event -- part service, part forum, part rally -- we will gather to learn

  • What Pope Francis is telling us about the connection between faith, social justice, and climate change;

  • What the call to action on climate means to people of faith in Massachusetts and what the practical response looks like in our communities;

  • What we can accomplish together as people of faith that we cannot accomplish alone!

Climate change is the defining moral issue of our time, challenging our relationship to the earth, to each other, and to next generations. People of faith in Massachusetts have a proud history of leadership on issues that reflect shared core values. Now it is our turn. Let’s join together to restore balance between our values and our care for our common home.


Climate March - 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


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.

Green Tips 

September 2014, Water Conservation Facts and Tips

June 2014, Is it time for you to go solar? 

May 2014, Buy Local and Participate in a CSA! 

April 2014, Take the Bus!

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

Inspirational and Practical Powerpoint Presentation

Basics of Advocacy for Jewish Environmentalists 

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


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 [email protected], Amelia Geggel [email protected]  

Jewish Organizations Active with Environmental Issues 

US Environmental Organizations

Israeli Environmental Issues and Organizations

Green Living

The latest in the Jewish environmental world.