Being Jewish and going Green

Kermit the Frog once sighed in song that it isn’t easy being Green. I’ve sighed (though to my friends’ and family’s relief, not in song) that it isn’t always easy being Jewish.

In both cases, however, the moral, ethical and practical payoff is well worth the investment. Those who live their lives as Green Jews change the world, one tree and one mitzvah at a time.

I have long believed that as Jews, our commitment to Greenness is wholly sympatico with our Jewishness and should be embraced and actively practiced. This I’ve done personally, as a past president of Missouri Coalition for the Environment and the former local director of the national conservation group, The Trust for Public Land.

Today, the Jewish Light honors this nexus, particularly with respect to Green energy and environmental practices sprouting up all around us. You’ll read in the pages of this special section about the whys and hows of the Green Jewish movement:

* Why tikkun olam and environmentalism go hand in hand.

* How local synagogues and organizations such as the Jewish Environmental Initiative that have successfully promoted Green building and programmatic efforts.

* How our Jewish state legislators are sponsoring efforts to promote Green practices in Missouri.

We’ve had a lot of help in this endeavor. On the editorial side, we consulted with a variety of local leaders who have been integral to Green success in both our Jewish community and the overall St. Louis region. And our wonderful sponsors, including the Jewish Light’s own Publisher’s Society, have enabled us to bring this section to you.

To ensure that we’re putting our Green where our mouth is, you’ll find this section both in our recycled newsprint edition and on our Web site at

We thank you for your continued support of the Jewish Light and hope you enjoy the section. We know Kermit appreciates it, too.


Larry Levin


St. Louis Jewish Light