Temple Sinai of Glendale Recognized for Renewable Energy Leadership

For its moral leadership in living out the Jewish principle of “tikkun olam” (repairing the world), Temple Sinai is one of four finalists in the Green Building category for the “Energy Oscars” to be awarded Nov. 13 by California Interfaith Power & Light (CIPL).

The Glendale congregation, a CIPL member, has undertaken energy efficiency measures and installed a 30-kilowatt solar system. As one of the first Jewish temples in Southern California to adopt renewable energy, Temple Sinai has saved more than 12,000 pounds of CO2, produced 48% of the electricity needed by the temple and saved an average of $435 per month in the system’s first six months of operation – despite using more electricity in 2012 because of the hot summer.

The solar project, dubbed Solar Sinai, was the inspiration Temple Sinai member Jan Freed. Freed brought up the idea of a solar system to the temple’s rabbi and board.

“There’s a clear public benefit in getting us off coal that kills thousands of people every year,” Freed said. “Our business as a religious community is to do what’s right. What a great joy to find so many at Temple Sinai who enthusiastically supported that view.”

Other measures taken by Temple Sinai of Glendale include renovating a set of classrooms with energy-efficient lighting; placing automatic lighting switches in restrooms; and updating the A/C unit. The temple may install a second solar system in the future.

“Temple Sinai is taking the lead in the faith community in terms of renewable energy,” said Allis Druffel, CIPL Southern California Outreach director. “Their work inspires other congregations to reduce carbon emissions and care for all of creation.”

California Interfaith Power and Light works with 560 congregations statewide to mobilize a religious response to climate change through energy efficiency, renewable energy, education and advocacy. The “Energy Oscars” awards ceremony will take place on Tuesday, Nov. 13 at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco.

Temple Sinai is located in Glendale at 1212 N. Pacific Ave., three blocks north of Glenoaks Avenue. For further information, phone Jan Freed at (323) 363-0452.

  • We won in the category “Green Building”. Other groups are using solar and also active also in education (being a “good steward of our Earth”), and political advocacy, I hope other religious groups will explore these green options. Solar can be cash positive from the start. It is such a good feeling to know we are not so much a part of the problem.