A CALL TO OBSERVE SHABBAT NOACH, OCTOBER 23-24,
AS "GLOBAL CLIMATE HEALING SHABBAT"
This fall, Shabbat Noach -- when Jews around the world read the Torah portion about the Flood, Noah, the Ark, and the Rainbow -- comes on October 23-24, the day when a number of experts on the global climate crisis have called for world-wide actions to protect our planet from climate disaster.
This Torah passage lends itself to focusing on the danger of destruction of life on our planet, and also on the actions we need to take to prevent destruction and preserve the web of life in which the human race has emerged and created civilization.
So we --- both national and grass-roots leaders of the Jewish people -- urge all Jewish communities to observe Shabbat Noach as "Global Climate Healing Shabbat"
We invite those of all religious, spiritual, and ethical traditions to join as well at that time of year.
Please register your intent to create a local event (even if you are just beginning to plan) in both these places: ---
[Please forward this message to your friends and co-workers. Please see the statement we are appending below about the worldwide scheduled events and the key planners.]
Shabbat Noach (and/or the days just before and after) can include special prayers, sermons, Torah commentary/ midrash, songs, lectures, debates, panel discussions, resolutions, kiddushes, meals, nature-walks, stories for children, vigils, invitations to public officials and environmental activists, and other means of bringing Jewish commitment to bear on healing the earth from the dangers that over-use of fossil fuels is bringing upon us all.
Says an old Southern Black song: "God gave Noah the Rainbow Sign; No more water, the fire next time." In our generation, the Flood of Fire has come upon us in the climate crisis of global scorching and rising of the seas. We ourselves -- all of us -- must build the Ark to save humanity and all endangered life-forms. The Rainbow Sign calls us to this work of transformation.
The international observance of "Global Climate Healing Shabbat Noach" is a prelude to the crucial United Nations conference on the climate crisis scheduled for Copenhagen in December, 2009.
Almost daily reports of widespread droughts, floods, storms, wildfires and melting polar ice caps, mountain snowcaps, glaciers, and the forced migration of invasive species and diseases into new territories all cry out to us for action. Passage after passage of Torah and secular Jewish writings cry out to us that as Jews we must act more vigorously, not only in private and communal households but in shaping public policy to celebrate and heal the web of life.
We urge our own members and all Jews to contact local rabbis, Jewish educators and other scholars and communal leaders to plan "Global Climate Healing Shabbat" events that will make this Shabbat (and if you wish the days just before and after it) the beginning of a truly transformative time.
We call on Jews not only to green our own households and communal buildings but also to work for major public policy changes away from fossil fuels and toward shifts in energy use, transportation, food production, housing, and other dimensions of our society.
Jewish tradition about caring for the poor also guides us to make sure that industries and regions especially affected must get help from the whole society, and that poor countries also get special help to develop on a non-fossil path and to ward off the destructive effects of climate change.
We hope the continuing momentum of Global Climate Healing Shabbat will help the December UN conference in Copenhagen make the decisions necessary to greatly reduce threats to our climate.
Please register your intentions today in both these places: ---
Signed (partial list):
Rabbi Steve Gutow, president of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs and a leader in the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life.
Rabbi David Saperstein, director, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism.
Nancy Ratzan, President, National Council of Jewish Women.
Rabbi Arthur Waskow, Director, and Arlene Goldbard, President, for The Shalom Center, which initiated this Call.
Nigel Savage, director, for Hazon.
Debra Kolodny, director, for ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal.
Richard Schwartz, president, for Jewish Vegetarian Society of North America.
Dr. Michael Kagan and Rabbi Julian Sinclair for Jewish Climate Initiative, Israel.
Nili Simhai, for the Teva Learning Center.
Jakir Manela for Kayam Farm at Pearlstone Center.
Susan Kaplan, Chair, for Southern Arizona COEJL.
Ellen Bernstein, founder of Shomrei Adamah; author, Birthday of the Trees and The Splendor of Creation
Rabbi Nina Beth Cardin, Director, Baltimore Jewish Environmental Network.
Rabbi Amy Eilberg, St. Paul Interfaith Network.
Evan Eisenberg, author, The Ecology of Eden.
Dr. Mirele B. Goldsmith, Environmental Activist
Jo Ellen Green Kaiser, Editor, Zeek
Rabbis Sharon Kleinbaum and Ayelet Cohen, Congregation Beth Simchat Torah, NYC, a Green Menorah Covenant congregation.
Rabbi Peter Knobel, Beth Emet, Evanston IL; past president, Central Conference of American Rabbis
Barbara Lerman-Golomb, Founder, Barbara Wow Workshop; Director Educaton and Outreach, Hazon; former ED, COEJL
Rabbi Mordechai Liebling, Board, The Shalom Center
Rabbi Ellen Lippmann, Kolot Chayeinu/Voices of Our Lives, Brooklyn; Board, The Shalom Center
Rabbi Thomas A. Louchheim, Tucson
Rabbi Richard A. Marker, Co-chair, Board of World Religious Leaders
Rabbi Yocheved Mintz, President, Ohalah/ Association of Rabbis for Jewish Renewal
Rabbi Brant Rosen, Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation of Evanston IL. a Green Menorah Covenant congregation.
Max Samson, Milwaukee; Board of The Shalom Center
Lindsey Paige Savoie, Director, Shomrei Adamah of Greater Washington
Rabbi Fred Scherlinder Dobb, Adat Shalom, Washington area; Greater Washington Interfaith Power & Light, Board of The Shalom Center
Reb Zalman Hiyya Schachter-Shalomi, Boulder
Rabbi David Shneyer, Am Kolel, Washngton DC area; past president, Ohalah.
Daniel Sieradski, director, Jew It Yourself.
Rabbi Margot Stein, composer/lyricist, Guarding the Garden
Rabbi Warren Stone, Temple Emanuel, Kensington MD, a Green Menorah Covenant congregation; co-chair, environment committee of the Central Conference of American Rabbis.
Rabbi Shawn Zevit, Director of Outreach and Tikkun Olam, Jewish Reconstructionist Federation
Daniel Ziskin, PhD, Climate Scientist and President, Jews Of The Earth
Information on Jewish teachings on environmental stewardship and sustainability can be found at the websites of -----
The Shalom Center 's Green Menorah Covenant http://www.shalomctr.org
Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism http://www.urj.org/...
Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life (COEJL) http://www.coejl.org
Canfei Nesharim http://www.canfeiNesharim.org,
Hazon http:// www.hazon.org
Teva Learning Center http://tevalearningcenter.org
Adamah Fellowship http://www.isabellafreedman.org/...
Jewish Farm School http://www.jewishfarmschool.org
Jewish Vegetarians of North America http://www.JewishVeg.com
Major Global Warming-Related Events Planned for October 24, 2009
This is an invitation to help build a movement--to take one day and use it to stop the climate crisis.
On [Saturday] October 24, we will stand together as one planet and call for a fair global climate treaty. United by a common call to action, we'll make it clear: the world needs an international plan that meets the latest science and gets us back to safety.
This movement has just begun, and it needs your help.
Here's the plan: we're asking you, and people in every country on earth, to organize an action in their community on October 24. There are no limits here--imagine bike rides, rallies, concerts, hikes, festivals, tree-plantings, protests, and more. Imagine your action linking up with thousands of others around the globe. Imagine the world waking up.
If we can pull it off, we'll send a powerful message on October 24: the world needs the climate solutions that science and justice demand.
It's often said that the only thing preventing us from tackling the climate crisis quickly and equitably is a lack of political will. Well, the only thing that can create that political will is a unified global movement--and no one is going to build that movement for us. It's up to regular people all over the world. That's you.
So register an event in your community for October 24, and then enlist the help of your friends. Get together with your co-workers or your local environmental group or human rights campaign, your church or synagogue or mosque or temple; enlist bike riders and local farmers and young people. All over the planet we'll start to organize ourselves.
With your help, there will be an event at every iconic place on the planet on October 24-from America's Great Lakes to Australia's Great Barrier Reef--and also in all the places that matter to you in your daily lives: a beach or park or village green or town hall.
If there was ever a time for you to get involved, it's right now. There are two reasons this year is so crucial.
The first reason is that the science of climate change is getting darker by the day. The Arctic is melting away with astonishing speed, decades ahead of schedule. Everything on the planet seems to be melting or burning, rising or parched.
And we now have a number to express our peril: 350.
NASA's James Hansen and a team of other scientists recently published a series of papers showing that we need to cut the amount of carbon in the atmosphere from its current 387 parts per million to 350 or less if we wish to "maintain a planet similar to that on which civilization developed."
No one knew that number a year ago-but now it's clear that 350 might well be the most important number for the future of the planet, a north star to guide our efforts as we remake the world. If we can swiftly get the planet on track to get to 350, we can still avert the worst effects of climate change.
The second reason 2009 is so important is that the political opportunity to influence our governments has never been greater. The world's leaders will meet in Copenhagen this December to craft a new global treaty on cutting carbon emissions.
If that meeting were held now, it would produce a treaty that would be woefully inadequate. In fact, it would lock us into a future where we'd never get back to 350 parts per million-where the rise of the sea would accelerate, where rainfall patterns would start to shift and deserts to grow. A future where first the poorest people, and then all of us, and then all the people that come after us, would find the only planet we have damaged and degraded.
October 24 comes six weeks before those crucial UN meetings in Copenhagen. If we all do our job, every nation will know the question they'll be asked when they put forth a plan: will this get the planet back on the path to 350?
This will only work with the help of a global movement-and it's starting to bubble up everywhere. Farmers in Cameroon, students in China, even World Cup skiers have already helped spread the word about 350. Churches have rung their bells 350 times; Buddhist monks have formed a huge 350 with their bodies against the backdrop of Himalayas. 350 translates across every boundary of language and culture. It's clear and direct, cutting through the static and it lays down a firm scientific line.
On October 24, we'll all stand behind 350--a universal symbol of climate safety and of the world we need to create. And at the end of the day, we'll all upload photos from our events to the www.350.org website and send these pictures around the world. This cascade of images will drive climate change into the public debate--and hold our leaders accountable to a unified global citizenry.
We need your help-the world is a big place and our team is small. Our crew at 350.org will do everything we can to support you, providing templates for banners and press releases, resources to spread the word, and tools to help you build a strong local climate action group. And our core team is always just a phone call or e-mail away if you need some support.
This is like a final exam for human beings. Can we muster the courage, the commitment, and the creativity to set this earth on a steady course before it's too late? October 24 will be the joyful, powerful day when we prove it's possible.
Please join us and register your local event today. Click to both --
[Please forward this message to your friends and co-workers.]
Bill McKibben - Author and Activist- USA
Vandana Shiva - Physicist, Activist, Author - India
David Suzuki - Scientist, Author, Activist - Canada
Bianca Jagger - Chair of the World Future Council - UK
Tim Flannery - Scientist, Author, Explorer -Australia
Bittu Sahgal - Editor of Sanctuary magazine - India
Andrew Simmons - Environmental Advocate, St. Vincent & The Grenadines
Christine Loh - Environmental Advocate and Legislator - Hong Kong