Welcome to Boston COEJL

Welcome to Boston COEJL   Guest Book   Contact   Announcements   Green Guide for Mass. Synagogues 1   Green Guide for Mass. Synagogues 2   Add www.BostonCOEJL.org to your site   Press Release w/ Mass. Board of Rabbis and Synagogue Council of Mass.   Boston COEJL Photos   PROGRESS reports from Individual Synagogues!

Boston Chapter of the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life

updated 5/13/13

Welcome to Boston COEJL!




Boston COEJL co-Coordinators   (BostonCOEJL@gmail.com):

   Susie Davidson

     David Rosenberg


We are now on the Synagogue Council of Massachusetts' Web site!

Click on: http://synagoguecouncil.org/green_corner.htm



 Recent news:

We are up to 41 state synagogues Pledged to Green!

Boston COEJL welcomes Marika Feuerstein! Marika has offered to become Boston COEJL's intern. With her enthusiasm for environmental work, interest in the Jewish community, work in health and wellness, and her esteemed grandfather's nobility, she will be a wonderful addition to our effort to get Mass. synagogues and Jewish organizations to Pledge to Green and send in their progress reports (to be posted on the Synagogue Council of Mass.'s web site).

Boston COEJL is being honored, along with State Rep. Frank Smizik and others, on May 1, 2011 at the Mass. Interfaith Power & Light's annual meeting at the Boston Synagogue (click on announcements on this web site)

Boston COEJL testifies for Safer Alternatives Bill: As a member of the Alliance for a Healthy Tomorrow, Boston COEJL testified at the State House in Boston on Nov. 2, 2009 on  behalf of the Safer Alternatives Bill (H-757 & S-442, An act for a competitive economy through safer alternatives to toxic chemicals). The bill passed the Senate, but was held up before it could clear the House due to other pressing matters in the legislative session. We are hopeful that the bill will pass during the upcoming legislative session of 2010-2011.

BPA banned in children's food and beverage containers in Mass.: On Dec. 15, 2010, the Public Health Council of Massachusetts voted to ban the use of bisphenol A (BPA) in food and beverage containers for children. (Mass. becomes the 8th U.S. state to do so.) Although the ban does not prohibit the BPA found in formula and baby food, and BPA remains present in items such as everyday receipts and "number 7", polycarbonate bottles and plastics, Boston COEJL is proud to have been part of the Alliance for a Healthy Tomorrow group that helped bring this fundamental victory to our state.

About COEJL - From the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life

a program of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs
116 East 27th Street, 10th Floor, New York, NY 10016-8942
T: 212.532.7436    F: 212.686.1353  
Sybil Sanchez, Director
Contact: David L. Marks, Program Director, dmarks@coejl.org


What COEJL Does:  COEJL promotes policies and programs that help increase energy efficiency, promote energy independence and security, protect our land and water resources, and build core Jewish knowledge on environmental issues while serving as a Jewish voice in the broader interfaith community. COEJL has been an initiative at the Jewish Council for Public Affairs since 1993 and serves as the Jewish partner in the National Religious Partnership on the Environment (NRPE). 


How We Get It Done - A Network of Jewish Networks and an Interfaith Partner on the Environment:  As an umbrella organization, COEJL works with 29 national participating organizations and institutions, 125 local Jewish community partner agencies, and numerous Jewish environmental organizations and individual Jewish leaders in the U.S. and abroad to share ideas and work together for our common mission of protecting Creation. COEJL serves as the Jewish partner in the National Religious Partnership on the Environment (NRPE) working together with other faith-based organizations on ways to engage our communities on sustainability. 



The Jewish Energy Campaign:  COEJL’s Jewish Energy Campaign is mobilizing the Jewish Community to conserve energy, increase sustainability, and advocate for policies that increase energy efficiency and security.


Read more about Jewish Energy here: http://www.coejl.org/~coejlor/COEJL_Report_Building_Jewish_Energy_December_2010.pdf  

Contact COEJL and Get Involved:  Visit COEJL’s website to contact the COEJL team to learn more about Jewish Energy programs and advocacy at: www.coejl.org. Make a donation to COEJL at www.coejl.org/donate.


Boston COEJL's current projects are:


1) The Statewide Pledge to Green (reprinted below) - this is an effort to unify to green all Massachusetts synagogues. COEJL's suggestions are nonbinding - synagogues can just sign and pledge to commit to practice more green methods.

41 Synagogues Pledged to Green to date!

It has been proposed by the national COEJL that this effort be expanded to include Jewish organizations in Mass. as well. Stay tuned!

2) The Green Guide for Massachusetts Synagogues (Posted on this site!) - The Green Guide is a comprehensive guidebook with suggestions for "greening" various aspects of synagogue operation. See below for a list of Massachusetts synagogues who have Pledged to Green.

But for those who prefer to listen, watch and take notes:

3) Basics of Greening talks (with props) COEJL affiliates are available to speak to either adults or kids at Massachusetts synagogues and organizations. Please write for inquiries!

Boston COEJL members are also available for on-site consultations.

If you are affiliated with a Massachusetts synagogue, or know someone who is, please forward The Statewide Pledge to Green to them (cut and paste from below) or refer them to this website. Thanks!!!!




Please check our Announcements page for information on

May 1, 2011 - Mass. Interfaith Power & Light annual meeting at Boston Synagogue


"RENEWAL," a documentary on faith-based environmental movements produced by Marty Ostrow and Terry Kay Rockefeller.

Sign our guestbook!

Signees (41 to date!) thus far:

Congregation Beth Israel of the Merrimack Valley, Andover
Temple Israel, Athol
Beth El Temple Center, Belmont
Temple B’nai Abraham, Beverly
Boston Jewish Spirit, Boston
Am HaYam, Brewster
Congregation Kehillath Israel, Brookline
Temple Beth Zion, Brookline
Temple Sinai, Brookline
Congregation Eitz Chayim, Cambridge
Temple Beth Abraham, Canton
Temple Beth David, Canton
Congregation Mishkan Tefila, Chestnut Hill
Temple Emeth, Chestnut Hill
Temple Israel, Greenfield
Congregation Sha'aray Shalom, Hingham
Nehar Shalom Community Synagogue, Jamaica Plain
Temple Emanuel of the Merrimack Valley, Lowell 
Temple Tifereth Israel, Malden
Temple Israel, Natick
Temple Shalom, Medford
Temple Aliyah, Needham
Temple Beth Shalom, Needham                                                    
Tifereth Israel Congregation, New Bedford
Congregation Ahavas Achim, Newburyport
Agudas Achim Anshei Sfard (The Adams Street Shul), Newton
Congregation Or Yisrael, Newton
Temple Beth Avodah, Newton
Congregation Sons of Israel, Peabody
Temple Ner Tamid, Peabody
Temple Anshe Amunim, Pittsfield
Congregation Beth Jacob, Plymouth
Temple Kol Tikvah, Sharon
Temple Sinai, Sharon
Ma’yan Tikvah – A Wellspring of Hope, Wayland
Temple Shir Tikva, Wayland
Wellesley-Weston Chabad, Wellesley
Hillel B’Nai Torah, West Roxbury
Temple Beth David, Westwood
Temple Shir Tikvah, Winchester
Temple Emanuel, Worcester
The Massachusetts Synagogues Pledge to Green

proposed by Boston COEJL

Please forward to Massachusetts synagogues you are in contact with – thank you!

Boston COEJL (www.BostonCOEJL.org) is excited to announce a statewide initiative to “pledge” to "green" synagogues in Massachusetts. On June 6, 2007, at the time of the G-8 industrial economies summit (http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/feb2007/2007-02-21-03.html), the following appeal was first sent out by the Synagogue Council of Massachusetts and by Boston COEJL.

While many state synagogues promote and practice green measures, this pledge represents a unified environmentally-conscious statement from the local Jewish community along the lines of the alliances already underway by the Episcopal Diocese of Mass.; 30 state university signatories to The American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment; and Governor Deval Patrick's Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).

Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life 116 East 27th St., 10th Floor, New York, NY 10016 - 212-532-7436 www.coejl.org COEJL is a program of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA), a national coordinating body for 13 national and 125 local Jewish public affairs agencies (Jewish community relations councils). With a national board of 23 trustees, COEJL is the leading Jewish environmental organization in the US, representing 29 national Jewish organizations.


Boston COEJL has created and is regularly updating a Green Guide for Massachusetts Synagogues with information on discounts from state energy companies; on purchasing energy-efficient products, green cleaners and landscaping items, and suggestions for educational programs. We are also available to give "Basics of Greening" talks with props to either adult or child audiences. COEJL members are also available for on-site consultations.

REASONS FOR THE PLEDGE: As members of the Boston, Massachusetts chapter of COEJL, 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).

In 2007, the U.S. rejected Germany's G-8 proposals to reduce global emissions by 50 percent below 1990 levels by 2050, and increase energy efficiency 20 percent by 2020. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who supports these measures, will assume G-8 presidency in January. A UN conference on climate change meets in Bali in December. The UN’s Working Group I of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change concluded in March that "warming of the climate is unequivocal," and "most of…the observed increase in globally averaged temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely…due to the observed increase in anthropogenic (human) greenhouse gas concentrations." Healing the earth and providing for future generations is intrinsic to Jewish theology. We believe the time is now to institute a sweeping, consolidated effort of our own.

Please sign on to statewide greening. Let’s create a model among our Massachusetts synagogues!



Our Massachusetts synagogue pledges to "Go Green" and signs on to this proposal to work toward greening our synagogue. We understand that Boston COEJL guidelines are non-binding suggestions. We are merely agreeing to practice more earth-friendly and natural methods. We will try to email or mail in progress reports to Boston COEJL, and agree to be contacted by a Boston COEJL member who might help with our progress.

Synagogue: ____________________________________________

Address: _________________________________________

Contact Info (phone, email, website): ________________________________________________________________________

____I will see that a progress report is sent to Boston COEJL at BostonCOEJL@gmail.com

 ___I have looked at The Green Guide for Mass. Synagogues on BostonCOEJL.org with info on how to help our synagogue reduce its environmental impact (where to buy earth-friendly, healthier products at great prices from local vendors, how to lower our energy bills, obtain state energy company rebates, and how to cut down on the amount of waste we produce as well as our consumption of toxic chemicals).

 ___ We are interested in finding out how our synagogue can become LEED (the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Green Building Rating System™) certified (http://www.usgbc.org/DisplayPage.aspx?CMSPageID=221)

Please cut, paste and email to Boston COEJL co-Coordinators:

Susie Davidson

Intern: Marika Feuerstein 


"When G-d created the first human beings, G-d led them around the Garden of Eden and said: "Look at my works! See how beautiful they are—how excellent! For your sake I created them all. See to it that you do not spoil and destroy My world; for if you do, there will be no one else to repair it." (Midrash Kohelet Rabbah, 1, Ecclesiastes 7:13)