Temple Beth Sholom is dedicated to reducing our impact on the environment. Our sustainability committee, which for years was spearheaded by Millie Estrin z’l,  is committed to recycling, using only washable dishes and glassware, creating a bioswale in our parking lot, and installing solar panels to become an emergency shelter in case of a natural disaster.

October 2021:   We are excited to announce the completion of the MillieWatts Project, a 50.56 KW solar array installed on the roof of Temple Beth Sholom. The project incorporates batteries that will allow us to continue operating even if our normal power sources are disrupted. Along with the CERT cache located on our premises, Temple Beth Sholom is prepared to serve as an emergency shelter during times of natural disaster.

Temple Beth Sholom is always looking for ways to serve both its members and the broader Salem community. The MillieWatts project is named in honor of our beloved longtime member, Millie Estrin z’l. Before she passed away, Millie was a pillar of our community and an ardent environmentalist. In 2018, she, along with several other TBS members, spearheaded a successful grant proposal to PGE. This grant specified that projects would be judged on both their environmental and community contributions. This inspired TBS to include the batteries to ensure that we could serve as an asset to the community in case of power disruptions.

The funds from the grant combined with incentives from the Energy Trust of Oregon provided the means to begin construction of the project. The balance of the funding was largely provided by loans and donations from members of the TBS community.

This project has been made possible by customers participating in PGE’s Green FutureSM program through the Renewable Development Fund.

Batteries and Inverters for solar panels

Grant Funding Provided by

Portland General Electric Renewable Development Fund
Oregon Jewish Community Foundation
Jerry & Helen Stern Grandchildren Fund

Additional funding provided by donations and loans from the following supporters:

Lisa Adatto
Darla & Steven Barlow
Louise Bogart
Jordan & Stacey Brown
Karmen Brown
Stella Campbell
David Clyne
Mark & Wendy Comstock
Cindy Condon
Ellen Eisenberg & Ami Korsunsky
Estate of Don & Millie Estrin
Gil & Ellen Feibleman
Randy Fishfader
Nancy Gruber

David Harrison & Joyce Millen
Nate & Penny Levin
Elliot & Maralynn Maltz
Marc Overbeck & Deb Bellemore
Scott & Kay Reichlin
Marney Roddick
Joel Rosenblit & Laura Dawson
Tamara Rousso & Latham Stack
awomancalled Sam & Kathy Erion
Lane & Francine Shetterly
Paul & Kathi Shuirman
Peter & Sandi Simons
Jeff & Linda Tross
Liz & John Turner
Solar panels installed soaking up sunshine


Bioswales achieve the same goals as rain gardens by slowing and filtering stormwater, but are designed to manage a specified amount of runoff from a large impervious area, such as a parking lot or roadway. Like rain gardens, they are vegetated with plants that can withstand both heavy watering and drought.  

We installed our bioswale in 2018.

Millie checking out digger

Millie Estrin checking out the digger

Sustainability group around digger

The Sustainability Team

Bioswale site ready for plants5 years later bioswale site full of plants

EarthWISE Certification

TBS is proud of our Earthwise Certification from Marion County, and especially proud of our Sustainability Committee for their hard work in attaining this award and their ongoing commitment to maintaining our eligibility for certification.

The WISE in EarthWISE stands for Workplace Initiative for Sustainable Enterprise

  • Recycling
  • Waste reduction and prevention
  • Environmentally preferable purchasing
  • Energy efficiency and conservation
  • Water pollution prevention
  • Outreach and education
Sustainability team with Earthwise medallion in front of TBS sign