Who We Are
The Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life (COEJL) deepens and broadens the Jewish community’s commitment to stewardship and protection of the Earth through outreach, activism and Jewish learning. Through a network of Jewish leaders, institutions and individuals, COEJL is mobilizing the Jewish community to conserve energy, increase sustainability, and advocate for policies that increase energy efficiency and security while building core Jewish environmental knowledge and serving as a Jewish voice in the broader interfaith community. COEJL has been an initiative at the Jewish Council for Public Affairs since 1993 and serves as the Jewish partner in the National Religious Partnership on the Environment.
Today, COEJL’s priorities are to mobilize the Jewish community to address the climate crisis through advocacy for appropriate legislation as well as action to reduce our own greenhouse gas emissions. COEJL challenges and supports Jewish organizations to pursue sustainability in their facilities, operations and programs in order to protect the earth for future generations.
COEJL seeks to expand the contemporary understanding of such Jewish values as tikkun olam (repairing the world) and tzedek (justice) to include the protection of both people and other species from environmental degradation. COEJL seeks to extend such traditions as social action and g’milut hasadim (performing deeds of loving kindness) to environmental action and advocacy. And shalom (peace or wholeness), which is at the very core of Jewish aspirations, is in its full sense harmony in all creation.
The Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life (COEJL) deepens the Jewish community’s commitment to the stewardship of creation and mobilizes the resources of Jewish life and learning to protect the Earth and all its inhabitants. To advance our mission, we:
- Partner with the full spectrum of national Jewish organizations to integrate Jewish values of environmental stewardship into Jewish life;
- Work with synagogues and other local Jewish organizations to bring Jewish environmental education, ecologically-conscious Jewish observance, and opportunities for environmental action to Jewish families and individuals;
- Support rabbis, educators, and Jewish scholars to develop and distribute materials that express diverse Jewish perspectives on environmental issues;
- Bring a Jewish vision and voice to issues of environmental justice and sustainability, and advocates on behalf of the Jewish community;
- Activate Jewish institutions, local COEJL programs, and individuals (both affiliated with organized Judaism and unaffiliated) in support of environmental protection efforts; and,
- Participate in inter-religious and civic coalitions to protect the environment, public health, and our common future.
For more about our partners and partnerships, click here.