Happy Earth Day!
This week we are celebrating many anniversaries. The first is that today, forty one years ago, the first Earth Day was held, leading to a movement that gave us such laws as the Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, and the Endangered Species Act. Additionally, this week is the anniversary of our first Passover, roughly 4,000 years ago. Sitting with our friends and family, we celebrate our exodus from Egypt and the renewal of spring. Most recently, we are commemorating the one year anniversary of the tragic BP oil spill, whose full impact we will not know for many years to come.
As Rabbi Saperstein said in his annual Earth Day statement,
"As we celebrate the 41st annual Earth Day, we remain optimistic about the future of our planet, even as we prepare for the many struggles ahead. Each and every day, cognizant of the worsening impacts of climate change, activists are working together to protect our planet and to make it a healthier place to live for us and our children. 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."
You can take action this Earth day....
As an individual: Do your part to help the Earth Day Network reach "A Billion Acts of Green." Your act can be as simple as planting a tree or going car-free for a day. Learn more about the Billion Acts of Green campaign and other Earth Day Network activities.
As a member of the Jewish community: As Jews we are called to be partners with God in taking care of our earth. Be a green leader at your congregation this Earth Day with our resources for ritual and worship, programming and advocacy on environmental issues and with sample program, services and more from our Greening Reform Judaism Pilot Program.
As an advocate: As Earth Day coincides with the Gulf oil spill anniversary, urge Congress to protect vulnerable coastal communities and begin building a clean energy future that protects the environment for us all. Learn more with our After the Spill: Religious Communities Restoring the Gulf campaign.
Lastly, thank you to everyone who took action and called, emailed, and visited their members of Congress and made sure that the Senate protected the Environmental Protection Agency's ability to regulate greenhouse gas under the Clean Air Act. As Mark Pelavin said in a press release, "Wednesday's votes on Capitol Hill show us how we can win the battle for clean air, but also how hard that battle will be."
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.