Solar ner Tamid 5769

Harnessing the Blessing of the Sun

Temple Emanuel Executive Committee President Sue Brucker, Incoming Board of Rabbis President Rabbi Denise L. Eger, Board of Rabbis Executive Vice President Rabbi Mark S. Diamond, Temple Emanuel Rabbi Laura Geller, Board of Rabbis Past-President Rabbi Steven Carr Reuben.

More than 50 people gathered at Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills on Tues., April 7 to celebrate Birkat HaHammah, and unveil one of a dozen "solar ner tamid" lamps that have been installed throughout Southern California as part of a joint project by the Board of Rabbis of Southern California and the South Coast Air Quality Management District.

Several media outlets picked up the story, see links below.

While largely symbolic, the solar lights are a launching pad for more "green" initiatives by synagogues everywhere and showcase the Jewish community's commitment to environmental stewardship.

"I can think of no finer way to celebrate the power of the sun than to harness its energy in new and creative ways," said
Rabbi Mark. S. Diamond, executive vice president of the Board of Rabbis of Southern California, who recited the oseh ma'aseh bereshit prayer at last week's event.

Rabbi Laura Geller
welcomed the crowd and served as the event's emcee. Rabbi Steven Carr Reuben chanted Genesis 1:14-18 from the Torah, followed by Rabbi Denise L. Eger, who read Psalm 148:1-6.

School kids sang "Here Comes the Sun" adorably and
almost on key, and proclamations and certificates were presented to the AQMD and the Board of Rabbis by the offices of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, State Senator Fran Pavley, and Congreswoman Jane Harman.

We thank the AQMD, Temple Emanuel, Rabbis Geller, Carr Reuben, and Eger and all the participating synagogues for their help and support.

Media Links

Jewish Journal: The Ner Tamid: An Appreciation.

ABC News at 5: Synagogues go "green" for Passover.

NBC News: Bless the Sun.

Los Angeles Times:
Clouds May Cast Shadow on Rare Jewish Sun Blessing.

The Jewish Daily Forward: Government Grant Helps California Synagogues Find Eternal Sunshine of the Holy Kind.

Orange County Register:
Solar Panels will Power the Blessing of the Sun.

Daily News:
At Sunup and Sundown, Jews Mark Ancient Calendar.

Jewish Journal:
Solar Power (last item down).

Pasadena Star News:
Area Temples Celebrate 'Sun Blessing'.

Crescenta Valley Sun:
'Something you do once a generation'

Daily Breeze:
Celebration of Sun and Earth.

Long Beach Press-Telegram:
Rare Jewish Ritual Blesses the Creation.

Photo Gallery

Here are some pictures from our colleagues' Birkat HaHammah ceremonies. If you have any you'd like to share, please send them our way!

Pasadena Jewish Temple and Center

Rabbi Joshua Levine Grater led close to 100 congregants for a 6:20 a.m. event on April 8.

Temple Beth Tikvah

Rabbi Ken Milhander in Fullerton unveiled the synagogue's solar-powered ner tamid.

Temple Beth Shalom, Orange County

Rabbi Heidi Cohen led a song-filled ceremony.