You are here
Letter from the President
Letter from the President
In conjunction with our 90th anniversary in 2014, I am proud to announce Spertus Green, Spertus Institute’s Environmental Initiative. Issues of sustainability and environmental sensibility have been at the core of Spertus’ ethos since we moved into our new facility in 2007. In recognition, our award-winning building at 610 S. Michigan Avenue was awarded a Silver LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification by the U.S. Green Building Council in 2008.
More recently, we have taken a number of additional steps designed to enhance our commitment. Key among these was the decision to power our facility entirely with renewable energy, saving 6,200 tons of CO2 from entering the atmosphere over the next three years. See the sidebar for additional examples of our sustainability.
Our commitment goes well beyond our desire to do the right thing by being a good corporate citizen. Conservation and environmentalism are Jewish imperatives, woven into the fiber of our sacred teachings of tikkun olam (partnering with God to repair the world) and ba’al taschit (prohibitions against wasting). As an institute for Jewish learning and leadership, we are proud to take the lead in this regard. We go to great lengths to live the wisdom of these treasured precepts in everything we do at Spertus.
For those wishing to learn more about Judaism and environmentalism, I encourage you to visit the Asher Library at Spertus in person or check out our online Environmentalism and Judaism Subject Guide. As a start, you may find the following websites of interest:
- Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life
- Big Green Jewish, a UK-based resource
- Chicago’s Green Roof Initiative
- The Go Green Initiative for educators
- The Environmental Working Group
- Hazon, an organization working for healthier, more sustainable communities in the Jewish world and beyond
There are, of course, many ways to commemorate an anniversary as auspicious as 90 years of continuous service to the Jewish people. In the months ahead, I look forward to sharing several other important Spertus initiatives. Our enhanced dedication to sustainability offers us an opportunity to begin our ninth decade by reaffirming our historic commitment to sacred Jewish precepts and stands as an invitation for those who share our values to join us in this effort.
Dr. Hal M. Lewis
President and CEO
Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership
Read The Leading Edge, Dr. Hal M. Lewis’ blog about Jewish leadership.