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The People’s Climate March: Jewish Community Events to Know About

The People’s Climate March: Jewish Community Events to Know About

Hand holding up a sign that reads Climate Action Is Our Obligation at a protest rally

Since January, there have been multiple attempts to withdraw efforts toward environmental conservation and adaptation and mitigation of climate change. Congress has used its power under the Congressional Review Act to challenge regulations adopted under the Obama administration, and recently, President Trump issued an executive order that would rewrite environmental regulations on coal and gas emissions, and the future of the United States’ participation in the Paris Agreement is unclear.

It is important for us to raise our voices in opposition to rolling back environmental regulations and other measures to prevent further climate change. Faith communities are coming together in our belief that the Earth is sacred and must be protected. Midrash Ecclesiastes Rabbah 7:28 tells us: “Do not destroy and desolate my world, for if you corrupt it, there is no one to set it right after you.” Jewish tradition teaches that it is the responsibility of those who believe that God created the world to maintain our environment for future generations.

There is an opportunity at the end of April to gather in support of environmental protection measures: The People’s Climate March is happening in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, April 29, 2017. There will be sister marches in cities across the country for those who cannot join in D.C. There are many opportunities to join the Jewish community around the march, and Jewish participation in the People’s Climate March and Shabbat is being coordinated by Jewish Climate Action Network, Hazon, Interfaith Power and Light with support of the GreenFaith and the Shalom Center.

Here is what you can do to join the Jewish community in solidarity in support of the Peoples Climate March:

  1. Join Interfaith Power and Light (IPL) in standing in solidarity with the march. Whether you will be in D.C. or if your community wants to support the march from home, sign up with IPL to receive information and resources to get your community involved. 
  2. To celebrate our national parks and public lands, National Religious Partnership for the Environment is challenging the religious community to conduct 100 sermons and prayers for our public lands. Commit your congregation to having a sermon dedicated to protecting our national parks and public lands by May 15.

If you are coming to the D.C. area, we encourage you to join with the Jewish communities in support of the march. If you are coming from out of town, IPL has set up a Shabbat hospitality network. If you are interested in hosting other Jewish supporters coming from out of town, please fill out this form. If you are in need of a place to stay, you can sign up here.

Here are some events happening in D.C. around the march:

  1. Join the Pearlstone Center and Hazon in Jewish Environmental Advocacy Days on April 26-27.
  2. Interfaith Power and Light is hosting a Kabbalat Shabbat and expert panel discussion on Judaism, Climate and Pollution at Adas Israel Congregation (2850 Quebec St NW). Registration and payment for dinner required.
  3. Sixth & I will be hosting a Shabbat Open House & Seudah Shlishit Meal on Saturday April 29 from 4-7pm.

Whether or not you participate in the march, there are many ways to take action and protect the environment. You can learn more at our environmental issues page. You can also urge your Members of Congress to support meeting the United States’ pledge to the Green Climate Fund (GCF). The GCF is an international fund aimed at supporting developing countries, who are least responsible for climate change but are bearing the brunt of its impact, in their adaptation and mitigation to climate change.

Liz Mitlak is the leadership development associate at the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism. Originally from Indianapolis, IN, she is a member of Indianapolis Hebrew Congregation and graduated from Miami University of Ohio with a degree in social justice studies.

Liz Mitlak
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