JCAN is currently focusing on reducing direct energy usage. However, for a fully complete assessment over time of your synagogue’s carbon footprint, JCAN recommends benchmarking the following areas as well:

  • Food
  • Investments
  • Advocacy


Paying attention to the food in your institution is another way to reduce its carbon footprint. In addition, you can insure that everyone who enters eats food that is kosher (literally “fit”) in ways that go beyond a traditional hechsher or certification.

Hazon, a national Jewish food organization, provides the tools you need. Its Food Audit is an easy-to-use assessment tool that helps you to:

  1. Identify the strengths and weaknesses of your institution’s policies and practices for promoting food sustainability and justice in seven main categories.

  2. Develop an action plan for improving your institution’s food sustainability and food justice policies and practices.

The Food Guide, a companion to the Food Audit, has chapters on the same seven categories assessed in the Food Audit and provides an abundance of information and resources.

If you have any questions or concerns, Hazon provides the support you need.

Are Your Institution’s Funds Supporting Fossil Fuel Growth?

Just as we have a moral obligation not to profit from industries that use slave labor; create, market or import addictive drugs; or do other activities we perceive as destructive to society, so should we not profit from the fossil fuel industry. Although we are not going to starve them of funds, we can delegitimatize such activity.  If our culture is to avoid a climate catastrophe 80% of all fossil fuel reserves must remain in the ground. The Saudis understand this and that is why they are pumping like mad to wring as much as they can from their reserves before oil becomes a stranded asset. The result is that that oil is now selling for less than $40/barrel.

By excluding fossil fuel and related industries from our personal and institutional investment portfolios we not only reduce the amount of carbon we directly contribute to the atmosphere but we also protect our portfolios from the inevitable loss of value of these reserves on which the industry bases its stock prices.

Bentshmarking Advocacy for Systemic Change

The ultimate key to our society moving off of fossil fuels is systemic change. What is your institution’s level of advocacy for the planet and its future?

By joining the JCAN email lists, you can learn the social change activities we engage in that can change the whole environment for climate change.