A diverse group of Jewish leaders gathered at Manhattan’s 14th Street Y for the official signing ceremony of the “Jewish Environment and Energy Imperative,” part of the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life’s Jewish Energy Covenant Campaign. The declaration sets the community-wide goal of reducing greenhouse-gas emissions 14% by 2014, which is the next Shmittah, or sabbatical, year in the Jewish calendar. 51 signatories of the declaration include rabbis from the Conservative, Orthodox, Reconstructionist, Reform and Renewal movements, as well as noteworthy communal leaders.
“Each of us – as Jews, people of faith and Americans – has a personal responsibility to work toward lowering greenhouse-gas emissions and decreasing our dependence on fossil fuels,” said Rabbi Steve Gutow, COEJL co-chair, and president and CEO of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs. “This responsibility starts in our hearts and from there we must care for our homes, places of worship and institutional buildings.”
Signing the declaration are, from left to right: Rachel Jacoby Rosenfield, Jewish Greening Fellowship; Rabbi Joe Laur, Aleph: Alliance for Jewish Renewal; Rabbi Arthur Waskow, The Shalom Center; Stephen Hazan Arnoff, 14th Street Y; Rabbi David Saperstein, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism; Rabbi Mordechai Liebling, Reconstructionist Rabbinical College; Sybil Sanchez, COEJL; Rabbi Steve Gutow, JCPA; Rabbi Julie Schonfeld, The Rabbinical Assembly; Nancy Kaufman, National Council of Jewish Women; Karen Rubenstein, American Zionist Movement; Gail Hammerman, Hadassah; Rabbi Jill Hammer, Academy of Jewish Religion; and Mirele Goldsmith, Greenstrides.