Synagogues get a targeted carbon footprint checker

Enviromental charity has partnered with EcoSynagogue to produce a specially adapted calculator


EcoSynagogue’s new partnership with environmental charity Climate Stewards will enable synagogues and Jewish communities to assess their carbon footprint.

The organisation had long been seeking a carbon footprint calculator but was unable to find one applicable to a worship space until Climate Stewards adapted its 360°carbon tool — currently used by some 1,000 EcoChurches — specifically for the Jewish community.

Climate Stewards’ technical and development manager Adrian Frost visited the New North London Synagogue in Finchley to demonstrate the tool to the EcoSynagogue rabbinic team.

As a thank-you, Mr Frost was presented with gifts representing UK Jewish life. These included two homemade challot, a bottle of Palwin Number 10, a packet of fish balls and a copy of a book of meditations on the Jewish year by New North London’s Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg.

He was also given a tour of the synagogue by Rabbi Wittenberg and his EcoSynagogue rabbinic team colleagues Rabbi Tanya Sakhnovich (The Liberal Synagogue Elstree) and Rabbi Jeff Berger (S & P Sephardi Wembley).

Mr Frost explained that when Climate Stewards was asked about adapting 360°carbon for synagogues, “we were very keen to be involved. Early discussions showed that churches and synagogues have a lot in common with respect to their carbon footprints. The most notable difference was the sources of emissions from food — from tea and biscuits to whisky and fish balls!

“I have learned so much, not only about synagogues but about the Jewish faith. The visit to NNLS and the welcome from the rabbinic team in London will stay with me for a long time.”

EcoSynagogue project manager Andrea Passe said: “The benefits in identifying and measuring our carbon footprint in such a straightforward way is a gift for our registered EcoSynagogues, who are striving to make a difference in their worship spaces.”

The organisation provides resources for registered synagogues to audit and improve their sustainability, putting the environment at the heart of all their activities.

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