‘This is the direction we want Judaism to move’: On Tu b’Shevat, an Orthodox call to save the environment

Vancouver's Orthodox congregation Schara Tzedeck installed LED lights in the sanctuary (Shlomo Schachter photo), Temple Emanu-El-Beth Sholom in Montreal’s pollinator garden (top right), First Narayever Congregation’s (Bottom right) sustainable renovation in Toronto, includes solar panels on the roof of the 80-year-old heritage building in Toronto (Rabbi Ed Elkin photo) and The living wall at Holy Blossom Temple in Toronto (bottom left, photo by Nedlawlivingwall.com)

As the annual Tu b’Shevat festival takes place Feb. 6, the yearly observance—which some consider the Jewish Earth Day—was marked over the weekend by environmental events across Canada, from vegan Shabbat dinners to walks through parks.

But some synagogues and sites are embracing sustainable Judaism year-round: they’ve installed solar panels on their roofs, put LED lights in the sanctuary and stopped using paper plates at kiddush.

And in Vancouver, more than a dozen Jewish sites are really buying in, hoping to earn a “Seal of Sustainability.” On today’s The CJN Daily, Rabbi Shlomo Schachter of Schara Tzedeck Synagogue joins, along with Ariel Greene, head of the shul’s sustainability committee.

What we talked about:.


The CJN Daily is written and hosted by Ellin Bessner (@ebessner on Twitter). Zachary Kauffman is the producer. Michael Fraiman is the executive producer. Our theme music is by Dov Beck-Levine. Our title sponsor is Metropia. We’re a member of The CJN Podcast Network. To subscribe to this podcast, please watch this video. Donate to The CJN and receive a charitable tax receipt by clicking here.