Close to 40 representatives from local synagogues and other Jewish organizations attended the first ever Twin Cities Jewish Community Eco Summit in Minneapolis.

The summit focused on exploring different methods to conserve energy, reduce waste and increase the Jewish community’s green power.  It also emphasized the idea of Judaism calling on its followers to support environmentalism, an idea also shared by many other different faiths.

In fact, numerous churches, synagogues and other religious entities across the U.S. in recent years have taken steps to try to reduce their carbon footprint. Many have had energy audits performed at their facilities to try to find ways to reduce energy as well as cut down on utility bills.

The Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas partnered with a number of other Twin Cities Jewish organizations to hold the event Thursday night at the offices of accounting firm Lurie, Besikof, Lapidus & Co.

Steve Hunegs, executive director of the JCRC, said he hoped the summit brought “more attention to the growing threats to our environment and the Jewish community’s responsibility of promoting environmental awareness. 

Additionally, the summit addressed "the need to reduce America’s dependence on oil, which is a critical step to furthering our nation’s national security efforts.”