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Main Activities

Temple Emanuel’s Environmental Movement (TEEM) is a sub-committee of the Social Action Committee. TEEM hosts an environmental event on the first Thursday of each month, showing an environmental film followed by a speaker panel and discussion. These programs are held during the “school year” and are free and open to the public. Regardless of the subject matter, we bring the topic to a local level with experts on the speaker panel making a presentation and holding a question and answer session with the audience after the movie. We provide a resource sheet on each topic which includes references, key facts, informational websites, titles of books and videos, and related organizations. We also provide a list of opportunities to encourage concrete actions to take at home and in the wider community. Concrete actions individuals have taken include: improving energy efficiency of homes, businesses, and houses of worship; purchasing fuel-efficient vehicles; installing renewable energy; developing awareness; and making green choices of consumer products, such as purchasing foods and products from local farms.

Other Activities

TEEM extends its successful movie/speaker series by offering a lending library of films and resource sheets. Members of TEEM have spoken at local high schools and colleges on environmental topics. TEEM is proud to partner and participate with other organizations at local sustainability events, including Piedmont Environmental Alliance, Sierra Club, Wake Forest Food and Faith initiatives, other faith groups for “Greening Your Faith” efforts in the region, The Yadkin Riverkeeper, the City of Winston-Salem’s Sustainability Office and the League of Conservation Voters.

TEEM’s influence is evident on our Temple Emanuel campus as well. Our Eternal Light (ner tamid) is the Sanctuary is solar-powered. This project was funded by an anonymous donor, but the planning and installation was coordinated by TEEM. Temple Emanuel is protecting Creation in a number of ways. To minimize waste, we actively recycle and TEEM initiated a composting program which turns our organic temple waste into rich soil for local farms. The only “disposable” items used at temple events are compostable dishes, flatware, and cups — no plastic or styrofoam. We appreciate everyone’s effort and support as we collectively to continue to “Green Temple Emanuel.”

Awards and Honors Received

  • TEEM won the 2011 Fain Award for Social Justice from the Union of Reform Judaism. The Fain Awards were established in 1983 to honor those whose work in the area of social justice proves exemplary. TEEM was one of 19 recipients across North America. The logistics of the movie/speaker panel program are now part of an online program bank, available for others to implement in their own communities. Read more on the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism website.
  • Gayle Tuch, Sally Hirsh, and Cynthia Silber were recognized for their community service by the Old North State Chapter of Daughters of the American Revolution in November 2015. The DAR presented the National Conservation Award in recognition of the women’s work to educate the community on conservation issues through the Temple Emanuel Environmental Movement.

Read more in this article from the Winston-Salem Journal.

TEEM Environmental Movie Schedule for September 2019 through May 2020


TEEM Environmental Movie Discussion [Zoom] Tuesday, April 20, 2021 • 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM virtual

Temple Emanuel's Environmental Movement hosts a monthly FREE environmental film with group discus...

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