The Shalom Center was founded in 1983 as a division of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College by Rabbi Arthur Waskow, then a member of the RRC faculty, who became its director, and Ira Silverman, alav hashalom, then president of RRC.
Its original mission was to address the raging nuclear arms race from a Jewish perspective. It addressed this question as the danger of a planetary ecological disaster (the "Flood of Fire," in Jewish tradition) rather than an ordinary war-peace question.
Beginning in 1991, with the collapse of the Soviet Union and the diminution of the nuclear arms race, The Shalom Center refocused on other planetary ecological dangers. Waskow developed both a theology and practice of eco-Judaism and wrote several books on those questions, while The Shalom Center went forward with these issues.