The Miracle of (Solar) Light at Temple Sinai

December 29, 2011Susan Paykin
Tuesday marked the eighth and final night of lighting the Chanukah candles for Jews around the world. But Temple Sinai of Glendale, California, is still shining bright, thanks to a new installation of 30-killowat solar panels.

Temple Sinai of Glendale, CA is installing a 30 kW rooftop solar panel system.

Upon completion in January 2012, the rooftop system is expected to provide one-third of Temple Sinai’s electricity needs. The early stages of the project were unveiled earlier this month, just in time to celebrate the Festival of Lights. The congregation will host an onsite Solar Dedication Ceremony on January 29. Rabbi Rick Schechter of Temple Sinai views his congregation’s investment in solar energy as a part of the Jewish imperative of tikkun olam, or repairing the world.   “Let’s apply the story of the Chanukah miracles to our lives today, particularly to our environment,” he writes. “Like the Maccabees before us, we’re going to take a small cruse of oil and with God’s help (in the form of the light of the sun) combined with human resourcefulness and ingenuity, we’re going to rededicate and renew our temple, as well as our environment and our planet.” Kol hakavod to Temple Sinai! Vastly more efficient than conventional energy sources, solar and other renewable resources decrease our dependence on climate-altering fossil fuels.  Reform congregations and Jewish institutions should continue to lead the transition to a clean energy economy. Visit Greening Reform Judaism to learn more about synagogue greening practices. Image courtesy of Crescenta Valley Weekly.

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