When the Call first went out for the People’s Climate March in New York City on Sunday, September 21, two Jewish organizations –- Hazon and The Shalom Center –- at once endorsed the March and began sowing the seeds of fuller Jewish involvement. Now those seeds have sprouted into a much broader list of Jewish organizations. As of Sunday, July 20 – exactly nine weeks to go – below is the list of Jewish co-sponsors.
Yet some Jewish organizations that we might have most hoped and expected to become co-sponsors have not, so far. The voice of the spiritual leaders of our people could help to move an even broader swathe of Jewish life into support for the March and for its sole demand: “Climate Action Now!”
We invite Rabbis, Cantors, Chaplains, Spiritual Directors, Kohanot - Please sign your name, as a Member of the new and growing Rabbinic Network for the Earth, to the following brief statement:
“We invite and urge all members of the Jewish people and all Jewish congregations, seminaries, denominations, federations, and other organizations to endorse and organize their members to take part in the People’s Climate March to be held in New York City on Sunday, September 21, and in support marches around the country and the world.
“The sole demand the March is putting forth is simple, broad, and crucial: ‘Climate Action Now!’
“Just a few days after the March, the Jewish people will sound forth the Rosh Hashanah shofar that awakens us to “the seventh year” — a year devoted to healing of the Earth – the Sabbatical Year or Shmita (“Release, Non-Attachment” – see Leviticus 25).
“Indeed, of all the great ‘world religions,’ Judaism is perhaps the one that most keeps itself aware of its deepest roots in the ancient spiritual wisdom and practices of an indigenous people – farmers and shepherds in sacred touch with the land. We call upon the whole Jewish people to uphold this sacred covenant — in the moment of all human history when it is most needed.”
In addition, please lift your voice in urgency within any of your own specific organizations that have not yet endorsed the March. If you need help with materials to show why Jews should be doing this, please write us at Office@theshalomcenter.org.
Who is so far missing from the list of Jewish participants? For example: Hebrew Union College is on the list. But other important parts of the Reform movement are not: The Central Conference of American Rabbis is not, nor is perhaps the most important Jewish center for progressive social action – the Reform movement’s Religious Action Center in Washington, DC. The RAC has spoken strongly on some aspects of public policy to meet the challenge of the climate crisis. Its endorsement of the March would be especially important because its support could unleash great energy from hundreds of Reform synagogues.
The umbrella Jewish Council on Public Affairs, which for many years sponsored the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life (COEJL) has recently radically reduced its support of COEJL, and has not yet spoken out concerning the People’s Climate March.
Along with the Reform and Renewal seminaries, the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College has signed on — but the Jewish Theological Seminary, Boston Hebrew College, Academy for Jewish Religion, and Chovevei Torah have not.
Some of the newer progressive Jewish activist organizations – for example, Bend the Arc and American Jewish World Service — are also not listed.
- Bend the Arc has been vigorous in its urging of support for immigrants’ rights and for addressing economic and political inequality – but has not addressed the climate crisis that is driving increasing floods of refugees and through unheard-of droughts is already condemning the poor to hunger and the hungry to starvation.
- AJWS has done extraordinary work to meet the needs of survivors of climate-driven disasters like Typhoon Haiyan– the worst storm in recorded history – and demanded policy changes to protect women around the world from violence. But AJWS has not demanded the policy changes on climate that will prevent major disasters from becoming utter planetary disaster that no relief and reconstruction efforts will be able to heal.
To the following Jewish organizations that have already joined, Kol HaKavod! – All Honor! May we soon be joined by many more
- ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal
- City Congregation for Humanistic Judaism
- Congregation Ansche Chesed
- Congregation Beth Elohim
- Congregations for Peace and Justice
- Green Zionist Alliance
- Habonim Dror North America
- Hebrew Union College
- The JCC in Manhattan
- JCC on the Hudson
- Jewish Climate Action Network (Boston)
- Jewish Climate Campaign
- Jewish Community Center of Staten Island
- Jewish Farm School
- Jewish Vegetarians of North America
- Kolot Chayeinu (Brooklyn)
- Mishkan Shalom (Philadelphia)
- Reconstructionist Rabbinical College
- Reconstructionist Synagogue of the North Shore
- Repair the World
- Riverdale Jewish Community Relations Council
- Romemu (NYC)
- Rosenthal JCC
- The Shalom Center
- The Shamayim V’Aretz Institute
- Storahtelling Lab/Shul
- Uri L’Tzedek
- West End Synagogue
- Westchester Jewish Council
- Young Judaea
- ZEEK Magazine
And please remember: — please sign the Call above, as a member of the Rabbinic Network for the Earth, by clicking here:
With blessings of fruitful action for a fruitful Earth and for healing of human beings who are suffering as the Earth is wounded.