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Taking Pride in Living our Jewish Values

Melanie Cooperman, Cantor and Greening Fellow, and Irene Lustgarten, Executive Director, Community Synagogue of Rye

Community Synagogue of Rye places a high value on environmental stewardship. The motto for our green team is from Kohelet: ‘One generation goes, another generation comes. The earth remains forever.’ As a member of the Jewish Greening Fellowship, the synagogue has reviewed and updated its energy audit with the NYS Energy and Research Development Authority, and received a grant which has been used to upgrade energy efficiency, increase recycling, and create a nature trail for educational programming. We also accepted the invitation to participate in the JGF Solar Energy Community Purchasing Project.

We are very proud to report that Community Synagogue of Rye will be installing solar panels on the roof over the next 6-8 months with the goal of generating clean energy and reducing the amount of pollution. The solar panels are expected to reduce our energy costs by about 15% and the cost for the solar energy will always be less than the cost of purchasing the same amount of energy from ConEd.

As a not-for-profit, Community Synagogue of Rye cannot directly take advantage of the tax credits offered for solar. The solar vendor selected by the JGF Working Group to install the solar panels will provide the upfront capital for the project, will take the federal tax credits, and will maintain ownership of the panels. The vendor will maintain the system and has a strong incentive to do so since it is only paid for the energy that is generated.

We are pleased that our community is living the Jewish values associated with preserving our planet’s resources and improving the earth’s environment. We can be proud that we are taking actions to ensure that we will leave the environment better than we found it.