Energy Saving

Many synagogues are old buildings that have not been refurbished for a number of years. In general, the newer the building, the more energy efficient it will be. However there are subsidies available for installing green energy initiatives such as insulation and solar panels, the details of which are below. The Big Green Jewish Website and the Board of Deputies recommend the following tips for energy saving in your synagogue:

- Monitor energy consumption (monthly/quarterly) to check trends.
- Regularly service boiler or heating appliances. Check the heating system has adequate timer and thermostatic controls. If you are reinstalling a boiler please use an Energy Efficient Boiler. Details of these can be found online at the Energy Saving Trust where you can also conduct a search for available funding.
- Commission an energy/environmental consultation. The Energy Saving Trust can provide consultants.
- Install sufficient levels of insulation where appropriate, including windows, doors and lofts. There are grants available for this, see below for more information.
- Monitor the heating level regularly. Overheating by 1°c increases fuel use by 6 – 10%.
- Encourage building users to turn down radiator thermostats (which should be fitted) and turn off all lights in empty rooms and not leave electrical items on stand-by (e.g. photocopiers).
- Ensure general use hot water no warmer than 43°c.
- Check water outlets - fix drips and leaks.
- Install water saving devices – e.g. in toilet systems.
- Examine the energy rating of all new electrical products.
- Make economic use of machines e.g. dishwashers should not be turned on if only half filled.
- Measure and monitor your Synagogue carbon footprint, click here for more information (link to carbon footprint section).
- Consider the use of renewable energy schemes solar panels and ground heat systems etc (see for example

For more information on energy saving click here.

Funding Energy Saving in your Building

Information about grants available for installing low carbon technology can be found on the following sites:

Waste Saving

There are many steps your synagogue can take to prevent waste and save money on your energy bills. If you don't know where to start or you simply want to do more here are a few handy tips to help you stop wasting.

- Reduce, reuse, and recycle in your synagogue office.
- If your local authority will not pick up your recycling you can take it the local recycling plant, details of which can be found on your local authority website, or arrange for a private company to pick it up. Recycle Now provides useful information about what you can recycle and where you can take it to.
- Recycled envelopes and paper for printers and photocopiers can be ordered from most large stationary suppliers.
- Recycle ink cartridges and mobile phones. Many charities recycle these goods and will send you their freepost envelopes. The Recycling Appeal (provides information of all charity appeals.
- Make collection facilities in your synagogue for recycling (paper, cans, spectacles, stamps, printer cartridges, clothes, shoes, mobile phones, batteries).
- Use crockery and glasses rather than disposable cups and plates. If you need to use disposables order biodegradable goods. These can be purchased on websites such as VegWare.
- Sign up to Mail Preference Service to eliminate junk mail.

If you are having a simcha consider making it greener, for more information click here


As well as attending a climate march, going to a conference or lecture or reading an article in the newspaper about the environment it is key to make sure members of your community knows about their own impact on the environment and what we can all do to lower our own emissions. You can start by telling people about this website and get them to sign up or make a Green Promise. Here are a few other ideas:

- Participate in or organise environmental study events lectures on Global Warming & other Environmental issues.
- Encourage Synagogue leaders to speak on the issues of greening from the pulpit and incorporate them into their Synagogue messages. You can find information here to incorporate into sermons or see the Green and Jewish section of this website.
- Include environmental issues in the syllabus of your Cheder. You will find lesson ideas on the resources section of this website. If you would like to see some resources for cheder teachers click here.


A collaborative effort harnesses the power to increase public awareness and activism on today's most important environmental issues. Here are a few ideas for your community:

- Encourage individuals to phone, write, e-mail, and/or visit your elected representatives to voice their concerns about the environment.
- Campaign to your Local Authority, MP, and Government for stronger environmental laws and environmental justice.
- Take part in campaigns and demonstrations on climate change and other environmental issues. Read about past events/rallys or for events coming up click here.

Become a 10:10 Synagogue

Cutting 10% of our emissions in 2010: 10:10 is a mass movement that is signing up people and organisations from every corner of British life. From councils and hospitals to faith groups and scout troops, organisations across the country are deciding to get on board at the start of the journey to a low-carbon society.

So if you want to establish your organisation as a leader in tackling the most important and pressing issue of our times; stay one step ahead of oncoming legislation to limit emissions; save money on your energy bills; and respond to the moral challenge of climate change; then 10:10 is for you.

Becoming a 10:10 organisation means making a commitment to pull out all the stops and try to reduce your carbon footprint by 10% in just one year. For most organisations 10% is ambitious but achievable. It’s the low hanging fruit: eliminating waste, increasing efficiency, that sort of thing.

For more information click here.

Become a Fairtrade Synagogue

Unfair trade rules continue to trap millions of people in the developing world in poverty. Two billion people – almost a third of humanity – work hard to support themselves, struggling to survive on £1 per day or less.

Through Fairtrade we are trying to help tip the balance of trade in favour of poor farmers and workers. Fairtrade also provides us as shoppers the opportunity to fulfil our responsibilities to our neighbours in our efforts of Tikkun Olam (healing the world).

You can apply to become a Fairtrade Synagogue if your synagogue council has agreed to meet the following goals:
- Use Fairtrade tea and coffee for all synagogue meetings for which you have responsibility.
- Move forward on using other Fairtrade products such as sugar, juice and fruit.
- Promote Fairtrade during Fairtrade Fortnight and other times of the year through events, worship and other activities whenever possible.
To apply, simply download the Synagogue Application Form and return it by post to Fairtrade Synagogue Application, The Fairtrade Foundation, 3rd Floor, IBEX House, 42-47 Minories, London EC3N 1DN or by email.

A Jewish Guide to Fairtrade

A Jewish Guide to Fairtrade is a comprehensive educational resource, full of Jewish sources on poverty and sustainability, activity ideas that your school, synagogue or workplace can get involved in, as well as a list of Kosher Fairtrade products. You can also order free copies by email.

For more information about Fairtrade, visit

B’Magalei Tzedek

Sachar Hogan: Hebrew Fairtrade Guide - To download click here.

Fairtrade Kippot

As part of the UK Jewish community’s Fairtrade Campaign, members of the Jewish Social Action Forum have produced Fairtrade cotton kippot. They are made of Fairtrade cotton yarn which has been ethically sourced and made by cooperatives in India. By purchasing these kippot you are ensuring that Fairtrade cotton farmers in the developing world can improve their livelihoods.

For more information go to
To read more about the Jewish Fairtrade Campaign including our press coverage please click here

Fairtrade and Climate Change

For information on on why climate change is an issue for the Fairtrade movement click here.

Fairtrade Tea

Join in the campaign to make every cup of tea fairtrade, click here.

Fairtrade Simchot

By turning your simcha or event fairtrade you are ensuring that whilst you celebrate, you are also improving the lives of the world’s poorest farmers in the developing world. Click here for some practical information that will help you to do this.