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CFLs for Chanukah!

December 17, 2006

My congregation, Temple Emanuel (Kensington, MD), gets it! The Green Shalom environmental action committee is working with the kids in the religious school to construct the World’s First CFL Menorah, which was “lit” Friday night for the first night of Chanukah and again this morning for the religious school.

CFL Menorah

This activity was supposed to be accompanied by a song, a spoof of the Dreidel song adapted by Deborah Kornfield of Rochester, NY, but it ended up being just the traditional words. The words to the adaptation were published in the Nov. 30 issue of Washington Jewish Week:

“I have a brand new light bulb/
It’s a miracle you see/
It lights the room completely/
Using half the energy.

“Oh compact fluorescent light bulb/
I really have to kvell/
It’s just so energy efficient/
And it saves you gelt as well…”

CFL Menorah — long, side view

I didn’t make this — other members of our Green Shalom committee did the construction. But you can see it’s pretty simple, essentially just the CFLs and a couple of surge protectors for the eight candles. The shamas — the bulb in the center that, if it were a candle, is used to light all the other candles — is a little more involved, but I’d guess anyone who has a basic knowledge of electric lighting can do it.

CFL Menorah — “aerial” view

Temple Emanuel is participating in the National Climate Change Campaign sponsored by the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life (COEJL). We’ve been selling CFLs monthly during peak traffic hours of the religious school. It’s one of many ways we’re encouraging congregants to make individual small steps toward reducing our carbon impact.

BTW, check out Hava Nashira’s numerous clever alternative verses for the Dreidel song. 😉

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