The earth's climate is reaching a tipping point, and it's hard not to feel overwhelmed by the magnitude of the problem. The JCC is inspired by the powerful voices of young people in our world like Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swedish climate activist, who are shouting as loudly as they can, demanding that we listen to their concerns, understand the gravity of the situation, and do something now, before it is too late.

Well, Greta, we are listening.

The JCC is proud to be a member organization of the newly formed Jewish Climate Coalition, along with our steering committee partners from Hazon, the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, and the Jewish Climate Action Network NYC. The coalition is growing rapidly, and more partners and opportunities for involvement will be announced soon.

Here's how you can get involved:

  • Sep 20, 9:30 am: Community pre-rally gathering in the JCC lobby in advance of the Global Climate Strike—register here! Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and teen speakers will lead this free gathering. From here, people will be taking the subway to Foley Square and then marching together to the rally in Battery Park.

  • Sep 20, noon: Join us for the Global Climate Strike in Foley Square. This event will feature speakers and performers, including Fridays For Future movement starter Greta Thunberg and NY-based youth leaders. Register here.

  • Sep 20, 6 pm: Shabbat Shabbang Jr. dinner at the JCC for families with children of all ages, themed around the environment. Register here.

  • Sep 21, 8:30 pm: Havdalah for the Earth and Air at the JCC, featuring song and a Slichot-infused night of dedication and connection. Register here.

  • Sep 24, 7 pm: Join us for a screening of Cooked: Survival by Zip Code, directed by JCC member Judith Helfand. Register here.

  • Sep 15–20: Pop-up "Take Action" station in the JCC lobby where you can write postcards to elected officials.

Jewish tradition teaches us that we are stewards of this planet, not owners. The final words in this video on the Climate Strike will ring true to the words of Rabbi Hillel, "if not now, when?"

As we turn the corner from this year and enter into 5780, let us stand together and commit to healing the planet for the generations yet to come. I do not pretend to have all of the answers, but I do believe that together we can do much better than we are doing now.

May this be a year of reflection and renewal, and one in which we each harness our power to make positive change in the world around us.

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