The Staten Island Jewish Community Center Becomes More Sustainable

When you think about Staten Island what do you think about? Mob wives? Pizza? Landfill? How about sustainability?

Judaism has a concept called tikkun olam- roughly translated as repairing the world. A large part of our mission is informed by living up to this.

Starting in 2009 the Staten Island Jewish Community Center began a journey to help the environment on Staten Island and beyond. With the installation of two different solar arrays and many other steps we have reduced our carbon footprint, reduced costs and partnered with many organizations here locally, nationally and world-wide.

In 2011 we installed a solar thermal hot water system that produces $45,000 in annual savings. A 103KW Solar Photovoltaic (PV) System followed in the Fall of 2014. This will generate an estimated $25-30,000 savings per year, and reduce our carbon footprint the equivalent of planting 62.6 acres of forest per year.

The latest development in this permanent on-going commitment is our partnership with Hazon (the largest Jewish environmental organization in the US) to receive the Hazon Seal of Sustainability. This Seal recognizes Jewish organizations’ commitment to becoming more sustainable: improving food and environmental practices, treatment of animals, and impact on climate change.

As a not for profit we have to raise funds to enact all these projects. To date we have raised approximately $1.2 million from both governmental and private sources. The SIJCC is regarded as the premier not for profit organization on Staten Island on sustainability and environmental practices and have received national and international recognition as an example in the Jewish not for profit world.

To view a more complete list of some of the accomplishments please visit http://sijcc.org/sustainability.

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