First Step into ReNewed Sabbatical/ Shmita Year: Caring for Earth
In the last month, there has been a great expansion of general participants and of Jewish organizations that are co-sponsoring the People’s Climate March in New York City on Sunday afternoon, September 21.
Organizing for the March has been strong and broad. More than 100,000 people — perhaps more than 200,000 — are likely to take part – among them labor unions, women’s organizations, religious bodies, health advocates, African-American, Hispanic, Asian-American, and Native organizations, and environmentalist groups including the Sierra Club and 350.org
The process of involving the Jewish community began with two organizations – Hazon and The Shalom Center – that upon announcement of the March at once endorsed it and began sowing the seeds of broader Jewish involvement.
Now those seeds have sprouted into a much fuller list of Jewish organizations. (See the list below.) As of September 3, now on board are two important Jewish organizations — the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life (COEJL) , and its sponsoring and very broad Jewish umbrella-organization, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs. Then on September 8, two major Reform Jewish organizations — the Union for Reform Judaism and the Central Conference of Ameeican Rabbis, also came aboard. Bruchim haba’im, Blessed are those who Arrive!
For The Shalom Center, the motto underlying all our climate activism is: “We have the whole world in our hands!”
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, Judaism is unusual in that while Jews live in many lands, Judaism still 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 its own land. The codes of kosher food, the festivals aligned to the seasons of Sun, Moon, and Earth — all testify to that.
We call upon the whole Jewish people to uphold this sacred covenant — in the moment of all human history when it is most needed.
1">To take part in the Jewish contingent on the March, please sign on at
If you are a shofar-blower, puppet-maker, placard-designer, guitarist, etc. etc., please note that.
To the following Jewish organizations that have already joined, Kol HaKavod! – All Honor! May we soon be joined by even more.
- Academy of Jewish Religion (NY)
• ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal
• American Jewish World Service
• B’nai Jeshurun (NYC)
- Central Conference of American Rabbis
• City Congregation for Humanistic Judaism
• Congregation Ansche Chesed (NYC)
• Congregation Beth Elohim
- Congress of Secular Jewish Organizations
- Fair Trade Judaica
• Germantown Jewish Centre (Philadelphia)
• Green Zionist Alliance
• Habonim Dror North America
• Hebrew Union Coll.-Jewish Inst of Religion (NYC)
• The JCC in Manhattan
• JCC on the Hudson
• Jewish Climate Action Network (Boston)
• Jewish Climate Campaign
• Jewish Community Center of Staten Island
- Jewish Council for Public Affairs
• Jewish Currents
• Jewish Farm School
• Jewish Vegetarians of North America
- Jewish Voice for Peace
• Kolot Chayeinu (Brooklyn)
- Martha’s Vineyard Hebrew Center
• Mishkan Shalom (Philadelphia)
- Moishe Kavod House (Boston)
- Park Slope Jewish Center (NYC)
• P’nai Or of Philadelphia
- P’nai Or of Portland, Oregon
• Rabbinical Assembly
• Reconstructionist Rabbinical College
• Reconstructionist Synagogue of the North Shore
• Repair the World
- Riverdale Jewish Center
• Riverdale Jewish Community Relations Council
• Romemu (NYC)
• Rosenthal JCC
• The Shalom Center
• The Shamayim V’Aretz Institute
- Society for Humanistic Judaism
• Storahtelling Lab/Shul
- Union for Reform Judaism
• United Synagogue
• Uri L’Tzedek
• West End Synagogue (NYC)
• Westchester Jewish Council
- Workmen’s Circle
• Young Judaea
• ZEEK Magazine
If you have a voice in Jewish organizations that have not yet endorsed the March, please lift your voice in urgency. If you need help with materials to show why Jews should be doing this, please write us at Office@theshalomcenter.org.
With blessings of fruitful action for a fruitful Earth and for healing of human beings who are suffering as the Earth is wounded.