Bat Yam celebrates its unique relationship with Sanibel Congregational United Church of Christ, our synagogue home for over 25 years.  In addition to an annual pulpit exchange, Rabbi Fuchs co-teaches classes with Dr. John Danner, Senior Pastor of the Church.  Our two congregations have become a larger family of faith.  We are proud of this wonderful interfaith relation.



From the Green Team



The Green Team has diligently monitored the proposals of Eden Oak, the owner of a parcel of land on Shell Point Blvd. at the mouth of the Caloosahatchee near the Sanibel Causeway.  Eden Oak’s plan includes destroying 36 acres of mangrove wetlands to build 55 residential homesites with docks, a new canal and a boat basin. It should be noted that despite the many attributes of mangroves, their global decline has been staggering.  It is estimated that in the last 50 years, half of the world’s mangroves have been destroyed through coastal development and over harvesting. This exactly reflects the consequences of the Eden Oak proposal.


According to the Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation, the proposal would prove extremely problematic for this area’s ecosystem. The Eden Oak plan would create new sources of pollution from runoff; it would also increase boat traffic and decimate the habitat of many living species.  Finally, it would relegate more people to a coastal high-hazard area and add traffic to the
evacuation and emergency access on Shell Point Blvd.


NOW FOR THE EXCITING NEWS: Lee County, through its conservation program 20/20, seeks to negotiate the purchase of the Eden Oak property as a means of keeping this precious land viable and functioning. Lee County deserves accolades for its stance on safeguarding this
important ecosystem for generations to come. The Green Team will provide an update on
negotiations between Lee County and Eden Oak as they unfold.


The Green Team is an official committee of Sanibel Congregational UCC dedicated to helping the congregation keep the church covenant, which says in part, “We will serve and support each other and do all we can to protect as well the birds, animals and plants on this fragile barrier island.” Bat Yam members work on Green Team programs, and all are welcome to engage in educational and advocacy efforts.

Celebrating Earth Day’s 50th

Riv Swartz and Rabbi Fuchs attended (virtually) an event of “Together a Way Forward,” a unique organization honoring Earth Day. Riv’s report follows:

“Together a Way Forward” is dedicated to nurturing and improving the environment as part of a local interfaith initiative. Six houses of worship from the islands, including Bat Yam, joined together to celebrate and care for our planet, Earth.

Wednesday, April 22, marked the historic anniversary of the first Earth Day, which took place in 1970. The Together group wished to commemorate this 50-year achievement by bringing the people of the islands together in celebration. However, the emergence of the coronavirus
necessitated a change of plans.

Instead the Together group created a meaningful collection of readings entitled “HONORING EARTH TOGETHER 2020.” Rabbi Fuchs entered a meaningful contribution to this endeavor. If you wish to be inspired by these readings, please email to request a copy.