Here at Green Prophet, nothing makes us happier than when faith embraces green ethics. From anti-consumerist Ramadans, eco Passovers and Purims to celebrating the Persian autumn festival, there really is something that everyone of faith can do to help protect nature. And nothing says ‘green faith’ quite like transforming a place of worship into a ‘green’ building because it not only demonstrates the practical ways we can go green in our own lives but it also highlights the eco principles of various religions.
In the past we’ve written about eco-mosques in the UK and America, Cathedrals made out of reclaimed materials and now we turn our attention to the world’s first green synagogue. Located in California, the LEED-certified building was built in 2005 and it is currently calling on the international Jewish community to support it during its financial difficulties which could see it closed down.
The congregation at the synagogue named Beth David in San Luis Obispo, California have told the Jerusalem Post that they need to raise $1.3 million by May 5 or face foreclosure on their $3.3 million loan. The synagogue was built back in 2005 and became the world’s first eco-Synagogue when it received LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification by the international green building standards body.
LEED, which encourages sustainability and conservation of water and energy, is also believed to be involved in the certification of the US’s first green mosque which is currently under development.
Beth David was built on 92 acres of land, 30 acres of which were intended to be sold to help pay off the bank loan. However, due to the recession the congregation which consists of 200 families has been unable to keep up with the bank’s monthly payments. One million dollars of the original loan has been waived by the bank and $1 million was raised internally- which leaves $1.3 million that needs to be raised to stop the synagogue from closing down.
If the synagogue fails to raise sufficient money, then it is feared that the building would be put up for auction and the world would lose its first ever green synagogue. To find out more about the campaign and to donate, go to the synagogue’s facebook page.
:: Image via TripAdvisor.
For more on green congregations see:
Mosque in Turkey Goes Solar
Project to Reduce Water and Electricity Consumption in 300 Mosques in Dubai
Man Builds Colossal Cathedral with Junk and Faith