On Earth Day and Every Day
Last week we celebrated the 41st Earth Day and commemorated the one-year anniversary of the BP oil spill disaster. Earth Week might be over, but our work for a cleaner, more sustainable future is not.
Jewish and environmental leaders continue to urge us all to action on the critical environmental challenges of our time, on Earth Day and every day. Each day, month and year that goes by without action on climate change,
clean water and toxic pollution is an increasing threat to our
communities and our world. As our own Rabbi Saperstein said last week, “We have made tremendous progress since the first Earth Day, yet we know that it will take broad support and expedited effort to curb the impacts of climate change and to protect all of God’s creatures.”
I’m proud that so many of our Movement’s leaders are committed to this work. I was happy to join Rabbi Warren Stone of Temple Emanuel in Kensington, MD – one of the greenest congregations in North American – and many others as we explored issues of environmental justice and sustainability at the recent CCAR Convention in New Orleans. I was especially moved by remarks from environmental expert Lester Brown of the Earth Policy Institute, who reminded us of the urgency of acting on climate change, and explored ways to take action as leaders in our own communities.
As Rabbi Stone explains, “Climate change has become the most significant moral and spiritual issue facing humanity,” and we as Jews must take action to avoid a “future in which food and water shortages will most likely challenge the global community.”
So check back throughout this week as we feature stories from rabbis and congregations working to combat climate change, build a more just and sustainable food system, and raise awareness about environmental injustice on the Gulf Coast. We at the RAC and the URJ have the resources to help you act as an individual, a member of the Jewish community and an advocate and we hope you will join us in ensuring that we think about sustainability not just on Earth Day, but everyday.
Spotlight on Greening Reform Judaism: During the month of April, the
URJ is highlighting resources that help our congregations in their
greening and tikkun olam efforts. Learn more about Greening Reform Judaism.