On August 9th, 2010 COEJL hosted a conversation involving rabbis from five Jewish religious streams – Conservative, Orthodox, Reconstructionist, Reform, and Renewal – discussing Jewish environmental resources and sermon materials for the High Holy Days and shortly thereafter for parshat Noach. We have created a collection of Rabbinical Resources from the call for you, your synagogue and community.
Listen to to the full rabbinic conversation with Rabbi Fred Scherlinder Dobb, Rabbi Naphtali Weisz, Rabbi Daniel Swartz, Rabbi Andrea Cohen-Keiner, Rabbi Arthur Waskow, Rabbi Ethan Linden and more…
The Story of Noah and the Flood: Midrash Texts on the Preservation of Species and Human Responsibility Compiled by Rabbi David Seidenberg
COEJL’s Webinar on “The Story of Noah and its Relationship to Climate Change.
Produced October 7th
COEJL Director Sybil Sanchez hosted the webinar and began with a brief explanation about COEJL and how the organization is focused on moving the Jewish community forward on energy and environmental policy, networking with other Jewish environmental organizations, and promoting a religious understanding of our responsibilities as Jews towards our world.
Rabbi Saul J. Berman, Stern College Professor and Orthodox rabbi, began with a D’var Torah on the Jewish sources and content directly relating to environmental issues with specific references to Bereshit (Genesis) and Parshat Noach (the story of Noah). Rabbi Berman explained why as Jews we are responsible for caring for Creation and must live in a way that protects our environment and does not destroy the world in which all life exists.
Dina Kruger, the Director of the Climate Change Division at the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), covered EPA rulemakings related to greenhouse gases, including the Greenhouse Gas Reporting Rule and Program, the Light Duty Vehicle Rule, and the Tailoring Rule. Dina also discussed the agency’s Endangerment Finding, which determined that greenhouse gases threaten public health and welfare. Finally, Dina focused on ways everyone can make a difference and reduce greenhouse gas emissions as individuals.
Ken Mankoff, Scientist and public speaker formerly of Columbia University NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, and the Colorado Boulder Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics introduced the Antarctic continent, its scale, and some of the research being done there. The carbon-dioxide (CO2) concentration in the atmosphere (historically, currently, and in the expected future) was discussed, along with the potential associated sea level rise and local weather events for New York City residents.
View the Webinar here: Shabbat Noach Webinar
Canfei Nesharim’s Parshat Noach Sustainability Project
Parshat Noach Climate Video with Rabbi Yosef Blau and climate scientist Dr. Mark Altabet
The Rainbow Covenant: Establishing a Relationship with the Earth.
Torah teaching: Study and Discussion guide
Statement on Climate Change: Facts and questions answered – from Canfei Nesharim’s Science & Technology Advisory Board
Parshat Noach: A Paradigm for Environmental Consciousness Torah teaching and source sheet
Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism
Celebrate Shabbat Noah October 8-9 is Shabbat Noah, when we read the Torah portion about the Noah, the Ark, the Rainbow and the Covenant. This year, Reform synagogues across North America will join a Jewish-community wide initiative as we celebrate an environmental Shabbat in response to the Gulf oil spill crisis and our ongoing climate and energy challenges. We hope your community will commemorate Shabbat Noah and let us know what you are doing to become more environmentally sustainable.
Text Study: Parashat Noah and the Environment
Environmental: Prayers and service inserts
Prayer: Resource for the Gulf, Psalm 104
Sample Sermon on the Gulf
RAC blog post on Climate Healing Shabbat, 2009
The Shalom Center
Beginning in our founding year of 1983, The Shalom Center has developed a number of approaches — both midrashic and activist — to treating the story of Noah, the Flood, the Ark, and the Rainbow as a teaching about protection of the earth from a Flood of Fire — whether a nuclear holocaust or the climate crisis of global scorching. In 2009, we initiated the effort to affirm Shabbat Noach as “Climate Healing Shabbat,” and we also see the protection of endangered species as an organic teaching of the Noah story in a generation when the only “Ark” that is capable of protecting the planetary web of life is the whole Earth itself. Our Website, therefore, has a large number of resources for sermons, prayer, and action at: http://www.theshalomcenter.org/torah/Genesis.
• Rainbow Sign: Learning to Heal Our Planet from the Story of the Flood (July 31, 2009)
• Climate Policy: 7 Principles & a Yardstick rooted in Biblical & Jewish Wisdom (October 30, 2009)
• New Haftarah for the Rainbow Covenant: Hebrew & English text (September 19, 2003)
• “God Said to Noah”: An Old/ New Song to Avert a New Flood (November 8, 2007)
• The Return of Captain Noah (July 31, 2009)
• The Flood: From Fairy Tale to Urgent Wisdom (September 8, 2001)
• For Shabbat Noach: A Prayer for Creation (October 15, 2009)
• Brit Keshet v’ Tzit-tzit – A Covenantal Ceremony of the Rainbow & the Sacred Fringes (October 16, 2009)
JRF and the Reconstructionist Movement
JRF and the Reconstructionist Movement have assembled and developed a collection of Jewish resources on sustainability since beginning our Sustainable Synagogue initiative in 2005. We invite you to share our resources with your community or organization and make as much use of them as you can. Our hope is to motivate and educate our member communities and the Jewish world at large in sustainable practices, with the goal of reaching 100 percent participation in the years ahead. If you have additional resources to suggest, please let us know by contacting Rabbi Shawn Zevit at Szevit@jrf.org
Jewish Reconstructionist Federation (www.jrf.org)
Green Zionist Alliance
As we read about the Biblical flood and the renewal of the earth on Shabbat Noach, we will learn how to renew ourselves and the environment. Celebrate Shabbat Noach with stories, lectures and discussions in a welcoming, pluralistic setting. Explore the Jewish back-to-the-land movement and what Zionism means today. Learn about energy conservation, population growth, suburban sprawl, Negev preservation, and environmentalism during a time of war. Meet other young Jewish environmentalists from across North America. Green Israel Summit (GIS) 4 is run by the Green Zionist Alliance and co-sponsored by COEJL: The Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life, the American Zionist Movement and Hazon.
For more information and to register: http://www.greenzionism.org/programs/gis/gis4
Hazon creates healthy and sustainable communities in the Jewish world and beyond. We effect change through the direct human impact of our programs; By supporting the American Jewish environmental movement and the Israeli environmental movement; through thought-leadership (writing, speaking, teaching, campaigning).
Sign the Jewish Climate Change Campaign pledge to learn how to take action on mitigating the effects of climate change and join thousands of other Jews committing to make sustainable differences in their communities and personal lives. Also, become a friend of the campaign on Facebook!
Jews and Planet Earth: a series of articles about Jewish and environmental ethics.
Read JCarrot, our Jewish sustainable food blog for inspiring ideas on how to eat Jewishly and sustainably.