Adas Israel Congregation, one of the oldest surviving synagogues in the United States, has partnered with New Columbia Solar to power their congregation through a 218-kW solar array. The congregation has demonstrated historic leadership for the Jewish faith as the nation’s first synagogue to be visited by a President of the United States and the first to receive remarks from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Now the congregation is beginning a new chapter in its historic leadership role; with the panels harnessing the power of the sun, the synagogue has supplied this landmark place of Jewish worship with the inescapable and powerful symbol of light.
“New Columbia Solar is both challenged and inspired to engineer the systems in such a way that preserves the integrity of the venerable infrastructure in Washington, D.C,” said Mike Healy, CEO of New Columbia Solar. “We’re honored by the opportunity to design solar arrays on complex, historically significant buildings like the synagogue of Adas Israel Congregation — one of the most remarkable synagogues in the country.”
Light serves as one of the single most prominent motifs in the Torah, and illuminates every holiday with traditional lighting of the candles. It serves as a symbol of guidance, resilience and spiritual kinship. By extension, the Adas Israel Congregation has blended deep-rooted tradition, and one of the nation’s most iconic Jewish temples, with modern, clean energy to power the esteemed synagogue.
“The need for energy and light has never wavered across all of the generations, since before the building was established in 1867 or in the time of our ancestors captured by the Torah. The form is different of course — but with the need for clean energy as a city and species, we’re proud to supply our congregation with the power of the sun,” said David Polonsky, executive director of Adas Israel Congregation.
The project was made possible by the Community Purchasing Alliance (CPA) — a buying cooperative serving synagogues, churches, schools, and other mission-oriented property owners with procurement of utilities and other services.