United Synagogue to create UK forest of 37,000 trees to celebrate Queen's Jubilee

The US is encouraging all its members to purchase a tree as it launches a partnership with the Woodland Trust


The United Synagogue is marking the Queen’s Jubilee by partnering with the Woodland Trust to establish its first UK forest.

In support of the Queen’s Green Canopy, the US is aiming to plant a tree within a Norfolk forest for each of its 37,000 adult members over the next three years.

Trees will cost £20 and can be purchased in any number from the US website. The Woodland Trust will be responsible for planting and maintenance.

Communities which collectively buy more than 750 trees will have theirs planted together in a dedicated grove.

“Plant a tree for the Jubilee” is the latest project from Dorot, the environmental initiative launched earlier this year by the Office of the Chief Rabbi and the US.

Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis said that planting trees “goes to the heart” of what Dorot is about.

“Doing so helps to safeguard our planet for future generations. Unlike other changes we can make for the sake of the environment, where the onus is on refraining from doing something, this initiative provides us with a positive way to take action for the future of our children and our world.

“Whether you wish to mark a simchah, commemorate a loss, express your gratitude to Her Majesty the Queen, or any other reason, planting a tree is an admirable, environmentally conscious act from which we all benefit.”

US head of environmental policy Naomi Verber said the project would also afford “fantastic educational opportunities for our members and young people”.

Welcoming the partnership, the Woodland Trust said that “native woods and trees are one of the best ways to tackle the climate crisis.

“They lock up carbon, reduce pollution and flooding and support people, wildlife and livestock in adapting to the impacts of climate change. We can’t wait to welcome the Jewish community to visit the woods they have helped create in beautiful Norfolk.”

Meanwhile, Dorot is making headway towards its target of phasing out disposables within US shuls and other buildings.

A quarter of its synagogues are now disposables-free with another 17 per cent working towards that goal this year. The US’s headquarters is also a disposables-free site.

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