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Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership

Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership
takes the lead on environmental sustainability

The award-winning Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership building — designed by Chicago-based Krueck + Sexton Architects — opened in 2007. Spertus Institute is proud to be the recipient of a number of prestigious awards including the Chicago Design Excellence Award from the American Institute of Architecture (AIA) and the Patron of the Year Award from the Chicago Architecture Foundation.

LEED SILVERWhen planning for our new facility, we were committed to promoting green initiatives from the start. The Spertus Institute facility, with its sustainable design, was awarded a Silver LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

As an institution for Jewish learning and leadership, our passion for sustainability goes beyond our desire to do the right thing by being a good corporate citizen. Environmentalism and conservation are imperatives woven into the Jewish sacred teachings of tikkun olam (partnering with God to repair the world) and bal taschit (precepts against the destruction or waste of the earth’s resources).

Along with facility partner Venue Six10, we are proud to take the lead by continuing to improve the sustainability of our operations and encouraging our partners to do so as well. We hope our efforts stand as an invitation for those who share these values to join us in protecting resources today and for future generations.

Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership offers dynamic learning opportunities, rooted in Jewish wisdom and culture and open to all. These opportunities are designed to enable personal growth, train future leaders, and engage individuals in exploration of Jewish life.

Spertus Institute staff members recommend the following websites and organizations for those wishing to learn more about sustainability, both in general and within Judaism:

  • Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life,
  • The Go Green Initiative, an environmental resource for educators,
  • The Environmental Working Group,
  • Hazon, an organization working for healthier, more sustainable communities in the Jewish world and beyond,

Our award-winning facility is powered exclusively by renewable energy. Over three years, this saves approximately 6,200 tons of CO2 from entering the atmosphere.

Here are other examples of sustainable design and energy efficiency at Spertus:

  • The windows are fritted (ceramic dots called frits are bonded onto the glass) to control heat gain and glare.
  • Advanced computer-controlled lighting and HVAC systems significantly reduce energy consumption.
  • A green roof (planted with special vegetation) allows rainwater to evaporate rather than enter the sewer system. It also absorbs air pollution and keeps the building cool in the summer.
  • Cleaning products are Green Seal certified.
  • Paints and building materials are low- or no-VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds).
  • Through recycling and composting, Spertus saves approximately 40 tons of waste from entering landfills each year.

For related books, videos, and websites, see the Environmentalism and Judaism Subject Guide >

Hazon Seal of Sustainability






Spertus Institute
is proud of our selection by Hazon: The Jewish Lab for Sustainability for their certification that celebrates the success and progress of leaders in the field of sustainability. 

EPA Green Power Partnership

Spertus Institute is proud to have been awarded membership in the EPA's Green Power Leadership Club, honoring organizations that demonstrate exemplary environmental leadership. View our profile >