Congregation Beit Simchat Torah
Congregation Beit Simchat Torah (CBST) is a vibrant spiritual community and a progressive voice within Judaism. Founded in 1973, CBST attracts and welcomes gay men, lesbians, bisexuals, transgender, queer and straight individuals and families who share common values. Passionate, provocative, and deeply Jewish, CBST champions a Judaism that rejoices in diversity, denounces social injustice wherever it exists, and strives for human rights for all people.
- It is a house of prayer, offering both traditional and liberal services and lifecycle events.
- It is a house of learning, continually expanding our knowledge and deepening our understanding of our religious and cultural heritage.
- It is a house of refuge and healing, offering community support and pastoral care.
- It is a house of conscience, fighting for the full equality of LGBTQ people locally, nationally and internationally.
- It is committed to Israel and engaged in supporting efforts to secure peace, justice and equality for all.
One of the first things the Torah commands of us is to be good stewards of the earth. That’s one of the reasons CBST’s new space has been designed with the health of their environment and their own health in mind. As proof, CBST’s home has been designed to comply with LEED Gold standards as set by the U.S. Green Building Council. (LEED stands for Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design.) LEED certification means their sanctuaries, offices, and meeting spaces follow stringent standards for energy and water efficiency, indoor air quality and use of sustainable materials.
Ninety-five percent of the building’s demolition, construction and packaging waste has been sorted and recycled.
More than 20 percent of the material used in the new construction, including steel, drywall and carpeting, contains recycled content.
More than 50 percent of the new wood, as well as the wood-based products and materials in the building, were sourced from responsibly managed forests certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.
Energy & Water Efficiency:
The heating and cooling systems are designed for maximum energy efficiency and can be programmed to heat and cool only the spaces in use, rather than the entire building, in order to save energy.
The building incorporates LED lighting to reduce energy use, unwanted heat from inefficient bulbs and frequent bulb replacements; occupancy sensors will allow us to light only the spaces in use.
Through the use of dual-flush toilets and water-sparing faucets and appliances, water usage in the new building will be below the baseline specified by LEED.
Our water-bottle filling stations will enable users to fill their water bottles quickly and easily, saving on the energy and waste involved in bottling and transporting water.
CBST has entered into a contract with Hudson Energy that will provide CBST with 100% Green-e-Certified wind generated electricity! This type of energy meets the requirements for LEED certification we are in the process of obtaining.
Indoor Air Quality:
The paints, coatings and sealants used in the construction, as well as the furniture and carpeting, emit few toxins.
Indoor air quality was tracked and managed during construction, and the building’s air was tested and flushed before occupancy.
A higher percentage of indoor air is exchanged with outside air than in a standard ventilating system. A device called an energy recovery ventilator transfers heat between the incoming and outgoing air streams to ensure that the air turnover doesn’t waste energy.
As part of their green housekeeping plan, they’ll use non-toxic cleaning products.
What the Torah commands, the contemporary environmental crisis requires: that we all become good stewards of the earth. CBST hopes their green efforts here in the synagogue will inspire their members and visitors to take action on behalf of the world G-d created and deemed “very good.”