The Environmental Workshop: Implementing Green Practices, was held at Rockdale Temple on November 9, 2017 by Shomrei Olam: Jewish Environmental Advocates of Cincinnati. Over 40 people participated, including representatives from 15 local Jewish institutions. After greetings from Shomrei Olam President Joanne Gerson, the workshop began with an invocation by Rabbi Sissy Coran in which she referenced a passage in scripture when God admonished Adam to take care of the earth.
Six experts discussed energy reduction through electrical improvements, LED fixtures, geothermal, solar installations, waste reduction and recycling. Experts included Holly Christmann (Hamilton County Solid Waste District), who spoke on reducing and recycling waste; James Doan (Perry Leitner Electric) on simple electrical upgrades to reduce energy costs; Chris Jones (Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance) on ways to finance energy efficiency through PACE financing; Andy Holzhauzer's (Donovan Energy) on energy assessments including changing to LED bulbs and solar; Sara Ward (Ohio Interfaith Power and Light) on energy saving opportunities and tools for congregations and other faith based non-profits; and Seth Parker (Melink: Renewable Energy Solutions) on solar and geothermal products and services nationwide including the 114 major companies who have committed to going 100% Renewable Energy as well as ways for non profits to benefit from current tax incentives.
Rabbi Jennifer Lewis ended the 2-1/2 hour workshop with a benediction in which she said that it is a Jewish Mitzvah to care for and protect the earth.
Since the workshop Wise Temple has added plaques by its recycling bins that describe what can be recycled.
Comments from participants: Lewis Ebstein (Wise Temple) “thought workshop was great!” Mary Maxon (Chabad Jewish Center) said that she thought there was a lot of good information, and she was glad to have it in one place.