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Woodside Park Synagogue sits at the heart of the leafy garden suburb of Woodside Park with its nature reserves, parkland, grassland, allotments and green walks. The wish to improve our relationship with the world around us has led to registering with EcoSynagogue, a cross-communal Board of Deputies project which gives out awards when   percentages of its Environmental Audit are completed. We are thrilled to have recently gained a Bronze award and the community is now starting the journey towards Silver.


We also support Dorot, an exciting environmental initiative from the US.  Their tree planting campaign, ‘Plant a Tree for the Jubilee’ which is part of the Queen’s Green Canopy project for the Queen’s Jubilee Celebration is strongly promoted by our shul. Trees can be bought now via We support their other initiatives too:  encouraging more biodiversity on our site, introducing smart energy solutions and continuing a conversation with members about responsible food consumption.


WPS registered for EcoSynagogue’s Environmental Audit in 2021 joining a growing number of synagogues seeking to make a difference as part of a UK-wide Jewish community response. It looks at five areas: management commitment, prayer and teaching, lifestyle, land, buildings and consumables – and community and global engagement. Through paying careful attention to the issues highlighted in the audit we hope to improve our synagogue buildings and practices. The climate emergency is not, however, just a technological problem but a moral and spiritual crisis. So in addition to providing resources that will assist in more informed choices, learning opportunities to explore the Torah and science perspectives on environmental matters will also take place. 

Most of all we want to generate real change.  We are mandated by the Almighty to take responsibility for cherishing and safeguarding our planet for future generations. Updates on progress will be provided and we hope we can enthuse you to take part in what could be a great adventure for the community.   Future plans include environmental awareness-raising events and local conservation work.  We’ll want to hear from you as we roll out these projects over the coming months so please get in touch. 

To download the WPS Environmental Policy please click here

Woodside Park Shul – Conservation Projects


As outlined in its Environmental Policy, WPS is looking for opportunities for its members to support local conservation projects. 

These projects will need to be:


  • Local to Woodside Park – to maximise participation and also to avoid unnecessary car travel. Any projects further afield should be accessible by public transport.

  • Taking place on suitable days and times. Sundays would be ideal, to maximise participation amongst members with weekday commitments. Early autumn is a popular time for planting projects but this coincides with the New Year Chagim which is a busy time for many members.

  • Accessible and welcoming to all ages and fitness levels, and require no special skills or specialised equipment, unless provided by the project.


With these criteria in mind, a number of local, regional and national projects have been contacted, and the findings are outlined in the Woodside Park Shul - Conservation Projects document which can be downloaded by clicking here

WPS Eco Blog
Appreciating the plant kingdom as a path to love of the Almighty

We would like to encourage members to plant at home, in allotments and grow some of their own food.  If you are a keen gardener whose passion is fruit-growing, alpine gardening, rewilding or another field, and you’d would like to contribute a short blog to WPS Eco about the joys of gardening, please get in touch with me so that we can enthuse others. One way to cherish our planet is by looking after our gardens and balcony gardens. All plants absorb carbon dioxide so let’s get planting! 

Anna Wiseman has sent us gardening greetings from Jerusalem where she lives with her husband, Simon.

Shalom from Jerusalem. It is now nearing the end of spring and the hot days of summer loom very soon.  Shavuot usually indicates the beginning of summer. The winter started slowly but there were extremes of weather.  Torrential rain, thunderstorms of biblical proportions, and very cold nights.  No snow or frost. In February the earthquakes in Turkey left cold and heavy rains in their wake.  Sadly, the Bourganvilla withered and died in the cold.  Spring was very short-lived, it seemed in a hurry to catch up.  The buds had hardly appeared on the trees when the next day the trees were in full leaf.


On the balcony the Rangoon creeper is enjoying its second summer and flowering cheerfully. I watered them faithfully during the winter and they are rewarding us with a lovely flower show.  Hopefully, photos will do justice to this pretty trailing plant.


The herbs on the kitchen windowsill ‘garden’ flourished in the winter and are now flowering happily, rewarding us with lovely perfumes of lavender and mint.  The basil and thyme also weathered the winter well.  The semi succulents are flourishing on the windowsill outside Simon’s study again faithfully watered in the winter.   Some chrysanthemums, on another windowsill, after a brief flowering, developed a strange white fly disease and drooped away.  Replaced by a new box of geraniums which, although needing lots of water, are giving a brave show.  They are supposed to trail, we shall see.


There is a nearby nursery which sells lovely plants and small trees.  I think my ivrit needs a bit of honing up to understand the finer points of mulch or bark! The complex where we live has a lovely display of roses and lots of bedding plants .The watering system comes on with hisses and more hisses around 4am, the birds seem to be waiting for the water and noisily greet the new day.


So despite the many challenges we face politically and economically Mother Nature’s annual circle starts again. We hope for peaceful times, a little summer shower occasionally and not too many heatwaves. 


Come and visit: we are always pleased to see our Woodside Park friends.

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WPS Eco Blog
Appreciating the plant kingdom as a path to love of the Almighty

Anna writes: Shalom from Jerusalem, where Simon and I are now living. Visitors always most welcome.

Like most Israelis we live in an apartment. There are very few private gardens, so gardening must be carefully thought out in terms of space and most importantly climatic conditions. All the rooms have deep windowsills and ornate bars, ideal for growing plants

Our apartment faces two directions: the balcony and third bedroom face due north/west whilst the kitchen, utility room and main bedroom face south/east. So far, we have experienced winter, spring, and summer; autumn seems as yet on the horizon. There has been no significant rain since last March. So, with all this in mind I divided the gardening into sections.

For the balcony which receives the very hot afternoon sun in the summer I was advised to buy troughs to hang over the balcony rails and to plant Himalayan creepers which have been a great success. I also bought a Bougainvillea tree which is looking a bit straggly so not sure how it will be in the cold.

For the northwest-facing bedroom, which Simon uses as an office, we bought several semi-succulent plants which are easy to look after and are thriving with a little watering every other day.

For our south-facing bedroom I bought cyclamen plants which are now in their second season and coming into flower again. A friend bought us a geranium creeper which is creeping nicely but has yet to flower. Another friend bought us a begonia which is in constant flower.

The utility room has a south-facing aspect - and being next to the kitchen, ideal for growing herbs and curiously lavender! I try not to overwater the plants as water is a precious commodity and rainfall very seasonal.

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WPS Eco Blog
Appreciating the plant kingdom as a path to love of the Almighty

Here’s Alan Nelkon’s personal pick of eco-friendly plants. All are easy-to-grow, require little watering or effort and bee-friendly.  A brightly-coloured alstroemeria is paired with a euonymus, an attractive shrub that keeps its variegated leaves all year round and can be grown against a fence or wall or as a bush.  Then there’s a clever way of growing the stems of plants contained within a green plastic framework which can be bought online.  (Please contact Alan for details.) Alan adds that the chicken wire is to deter the foxes which are prevalent. His third choice is a hypericum, a bush whose yellow flowers proliferate in high summer.  Bees love it – note its white fruits after flowering. Lastly, two plants that provide colour against a dark background: an ivy Hedera Helix - easily controlled in tubs and Heuchera Marmalade – a great choice for hardy groundcover and mentioned by Gary Simon in his video!

Alan reminds us that Living Roof bus shelters, designed to support pollinating insects, especially bees, and enhance local biodiversity will be coming to a bus route near you in the next few years.  A chance to be near nature, maybe too near for some!

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Spring has arrived for the Woodside Park “Green Team”!

Last October, Gary Simon, made a video about preparing tulip and other bulbs for a spring display. Nobody could have anticipated the shocking weather conditions that followed right through winter and early spring, but sheltering the bulbs from the elements in containers proved to be just what was needed to ensure an abundant and colourful display. In this 4-minute video, Gary shows the results of this technique and offers some suggestions for growing food crops in containers during the summer months using dwarf varieties of French beans, peas and runner beans. Why not give it a go. There is still plenty of time and nothing beats the taste of freshly picked vegetables from the garden.

Planting Spring Flowering Bulbs

Gardening is good for the environment and our well-being, so let’s get planting! Here’s Gary Simon, with some guidance on planting spring flowering bulbs  in containers and how to avoid squirrel damage and waterlogging, for a versatile feast of colour for the eyes, from April to late May. Don’t delay, the bulbs are in the gardening nurseries now and October to November is the perfect time to plant tulips!

Container Gardening

Drier summers and unseasonal flooding can make conditions increasingly unpredictable so you might want to consider container gardening. Here’s Gary Simon with his take on the versatility of containers filled with seasonal plants. Let him show you how to brighten up unhappy corners of your garden.’

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How We Can All Be Involved in Environmental Projects

To read about how we can reduce our personal energy consumption in the way we

heat and light our homes and places of worship

Please click here

To read how we can reduce our personal energy consumption in the way we insulate our homes and places of work 

Please click here

How Can I Invest My Funds Ethically?

Please click here


Easy Eco Tips We Can Try Right Now

To see the environmental benefits of hedges please click here


For more information please

click here to go to the EcoSynagogue Website

Plant a Tree for the Jubilee

To mark the Queen’s Jubilee, the United Synagogue and the Office of the Chief Rabbi are collaborating with the Woodland Trust to plant groves of trees as a gift to Her Majesty. Today we’re inviting you to buy trees to support The Queen’s Green Canopy. Every tree will contribute to a dedicated Jewish community grove within a Norfolk forest which can also be visited. 


Trees cost £20 each and can be bought in any number. The Woodland Trust who will plant each tree on our behalf, dedicate the space to the United Synagogue and maintain our grove as place that can be visited and enjoyed. Communities which collectively buy more than 750 trees will have theirs planted together in a dedicated grove of their own.


We aim to plant some 37,000 trees over three years – one for every adult member of the United Synagogue.

Trees can be bought now via


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Plant a tree
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