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Join us and become a climate activist! Why and Why Now?

We could point to so many reasons, for example the U.N Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) which has been vetted by the governments of 195 nations and Greta Thunberg, the world’s most passionate teen climate activist, who described the report as “solid summary of the current best available science.” We see the changes, smell the burning fires and feel despair.

Why and why now? We share the words of Rabbi Shoshana Friedman of Boston who writes:

“Nothing but sweeping systemic policy change will make a difference at scale, and nothing but massive, organized social movements have ever accomplished such reforms. As a mother, I look to the new climate movement with a mixture of anguish and hope. The movement is powerful precisely because the crisis is upon us. Climate change is here: smoke drifting from fires in the West, heat waves, weeks of heavy rain — these will be features of my 3-year-old’s summers forevermore. His world is burning, and I cannot save him from that…..When my family brings glass containers for take-out or saves up for an electric car, we don't do it because it changes the world. We do it because it changes us. Buying local, insulating, forgoing plane trips, eating less meat and the like build our integrity and our relationships. They make for more resilient communities. They are the baby sprouts of a more life-affirming, sustainable society. They are spiritual practices. But we must never delude ourselves or our children that these sorts of actions are “doing our part” for the climate.”

If you’ve been waiting for the right moment to become an activist, here it is. Put down the trash bag and gloves, and get out there with like minded folks like your life depends on it, because, it does!

We can choose to feel overwhelmed and depressed by the headlines and think we can’t make a real difference, or we can come together as a synagogue community and think of all of the ways we CAN make a difference in reducing carbon and preventing our world from further heating up and destroying life for our children and grandkids.

Questions? Email Nechama Tamler at or Rabbi Shelly Lewis at


There is a story told in the Talmud (Avodah Zarah, 8a) about Adam, the first human.  As winter approached, Adam saw that the days were shortening, and the nights getting longer.  He feared that this increasing darkness was due to his sin.  But, when the solstice arrived, and the days again began to lengthen, Adam saw that this was “the order of the world,” and observed a festival “for the sake of Heaven.”
Now we are about to observe our festival in the winter darkness, shining the lights of our Chanukah candles out to the world, bringing light to the night.  Each little candle isn’t so much, but as the song says, “Each of us is a small light, but together we are a strong light.”
Climate crisis is our generation’s “encroaching darkness.”  Unlike the winter dark that frightened the first human, this is not “the way of the world” but is absolutely due to the actions of human beings.  What “light” can we create to counter this new “darkness”?
As carbon dioxide levels climb, trapping heat and making it more and more difficult for life on earth, we can act by planting trees.  Trees sustain life. They absorb carbon dioxide and give out oxygen. Scientists believe that planting trees is an essential part of the effort to limit climate change.
JTree is a collaborative campaign by a variety of Jewish organizations that share a commitment to addressing climate change. Our organizational partners come from all over the world and all walks of Jewish life. It is part of an even larger effort to plant millions of trees throughout the national forests of the United States.
Kol Emeth is a JTree partner in this effort.  Just as we start by lighting one little candle, leading to a great blaze by the end of Chanukah, we may start with one little sapling, but together we can plant many forests.  We have our own page for donations at JTree:
Even a small gift makes a difference -- each dollar given plants a tree!  A gift of chai, life —18 dollars —will plant 18 trees. For double chai —36 dollars , you plant 36 trees! 
Looking for Chanukah gifts?  How about making a gift to the planet this Chanukah, in honor or in memory of a loved one?  Kol Emeth’s JTree participation has already raised over $1000.  We are aiming for a total of $5782.
Elaine Moise, JTree liaison for L’olam Va-ed: Urgent Action to Save Our Planet 
If you would like to be on our L'olam Va-ed email list, please contact Shelly Lewis ( or Nechama Tamler (
Mon, May 16 2022 15 Iyyar 5782