Today is April 29, 2017 /

Main Office: 215-635-3110

Find Us: 8201 High School Road, Elkins Park, PA 19027

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Green Initiatives

Green Initiatives

Going Green

Our congregation has made a commitment to embrace sustainable and environmentally friendly practices.

Hazon CSA (Community Sponsored Agriculture)

We are proud to host the first Jewish CSA in the Greater Philadelphia region: Hazon CSA at Kol Ami. Founded in 2007 in partnership with Hazon(which is dedicated to creating a healthier and more sustainable Jewish community and world), Hazon CSA at Kol Ami has become a model for Jewish CSAs across the region.

Throughout the year, our CSA hosts myriad events, including opportunities to visit the farms that provide our produce and to meet the farmers, as well as educational evenings. More than simply a by-product of Kol Ami, our CSA has built a community of people who share the same values around the food they eat.

Our Building

As new homeowners in need of renovations and upgrades, we have made huge strides in contributing to a greener community, including:

  • Installing new electrical wiring and energy-efficient light fixtures and fluorescent bulbs throughout the property;
  • Conserving energy by installing a cork floor in our lobby, which acts as a natural insulator;
  • Selecting paint colors that assist in reflecting light, thereby reducing the need for artificial lighting;
  • Coating our roof to minimize heat retention and keep our home cooler during the warmer months;
  • Replacing our lobby doors with thermal energy–efficient glass security doors; and
  • Replacing broken windowpanes with thermal energy–efficient glass.

Pilot Paper Recycling Program

Since we moved into our building, recycling has posed a dilemma for us. Like other Cheltenham Township institutions, we do not receive Township support for recycling, and hiring a private recycling company is cost-prohibitive. Luckily, our resourceful Religious School students came up with a solution. In an effort to make Congregation Kol Ami as green as possible, they have formed a recycling program that utilizes volunteers. They introduced paper recycling boxes in our offices and classrooms, and a small group of volunteers collects the paper and transports it to local collection sites.

Jewish Climate Change Campaign

We are happy to have signed on as one of the first organizational partners of the Jewish Climate Change Campaign “to take small actions and make big change.”  We are the first synagogue in our region to have joined the Campaign.

We invite you to join us in taking the Campaign pledge at www.jewishclimatecampaign.org. Climate Change challenges us to live better and walk more responsibly on the Earth and asks how we can use the wisdom of Jewish teaching and the collective passion and ingenuity of the Jewish people to inspire a vision for the future.

Sustainability/Green Committee

As part of our partnership with and pledge to the Jewish Climate Change Campaign, we have established a Sustainability/Green Committee. The committee’s mission is to:

  • Develop and provide educational, action and advocacy programs about sustainability issues and topics, in liaison with other standing committees and in coalition with the Jewish Climate Change Campaign and other Jewish organizations; and
  • Provide policy recommendations that promote efficient, economic and sustainable practices to our Board of Trustees.

Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life (COEJL)

At the 2009 Union for Reform Judaism Biennial, member synagogues were encouraged to learn more about COEJL and support this highly relevant non-profit. COEJL deepens the Jewish community’s commitment to the stewardship of creation and mobilizes the resources of Jewish life and learning to protect the Earth and all of its inhabitants. The organization is working to bring Jews around the country together to work toward a better future on the common ground of a healthy environment, green jobs and a secure energy future through action, education and a personal pledge. Like our brethren URJ synagogues, Kol Ami has pledged our support to COEJL and hopes you will do the same.