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JGF Celebrates Graduation of 2013-2014 Cohort

Fellows, senior leaders, and friends and family from 20 organizations, celebrated the completion of the JGF’s third cohort at a moving ceremony at UJA-Federation of New York on September 15.  (Pictured receiving certificates: Cindy Dolgin, Teri Fields, and Eileen Bohrer of Solomon Schechter of Long Island.)

Solomon Schechter School of LI

Mirele Goldsmith, Director of the JGF, congratulated the group, saying, “You have demonstrated that Jewish communities, with other priorities and limited resources, can lead the way in taking action to solve the climate crisis.  You can further your missions, help the bottom line, and also fulfill your moral responsibility to leave a livable earth for our children.  Perhaps even more important, you have taught the people who look to you for direction – in this cohort alone that’s over 85,000 people – that they don’t have to ignore the problem out of fear and despair.  That although what each of us can do alone is a drop in the bucket, what we can do together can fill the bucket.  You have demonstrated the power of Jewish community!”

This was the most varied cohort to date, including 9 congregations, 3 day schools, social service agencies, a camp, JCC, and even an institution of higher education – the Jewish Theological Seminary.  These organizations implemented over 127 programs, engaging 14,000 people.  Each organization completed projects in three areas: Education, Sustainable Operations, and Energy Efficiency.

The JGF has also had a positive financial impact on the participating organizations.  In addition to ongoing savings from energy efficiency projects, since 2009, the 55 organizations in the JGF Network have raised a total of $3,616,000 in new funding for energy efficiency improvements, renewable energy projects, and programs.  This is over and above the grants provided by UJA-Federation of New York.