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Jewish Youth Climate Movement

The Jewish Youth Climate Movement was founded by Hazon in 2019.
We are dedicated to mitigating climate change by empowering teens, mobilizing communities, and taking action.
JYCM believes in using Jewish values as a motivation to create a more equitable and sustainable world for all.

Support the JYCM Climate Activism Institute and Shabbaton this summer by donating here!

Learn from our National Leadership Board Members about who we are and what we do in our video here!

The Future We Make: How Jewish teens are taking action with Hazon
Check out this great PJ Library pamphlet on climate action featuring JYCM leaders!

 

Learn more about JYCM at jewishyouthclimatemovement.org

 

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Meet the 2021-22 JYCM National Leadership Board!

Lucy, 12th grade (Newton, MA): Lucy is enthusiastic and active in politics and climate advocacy, particularly on a local level. She volunteered over the summer for her senator’s re-election campaign and is looking forward to canvassing for the upcoming election as she did in 2016 and 2018. She is a Co-President of her school’s Climate Collective as well as a member of the MA Youth for Climate Justice’s Actions and Mutual Aid team. She is a member of NFTY NorthEast and her temple’s youth group. Lucy likes writing and making art. She is excited about her second year in JYCM because the program is the perfect intersection between climate activism and the Jewish values that fuel our fight.

Lila, 11th grade (Brookline, MA): Lila is a founding member of JYCM’s national leadership board. She also founded the Temple Beth Zion JYCM Kvutzah in Brookline, MA. She is a member of her school’s Mock Trial club and ASL club. She is also a dedicated ballet dancer and former girl scout. She spends her summers at Eden Village Camp and enjoys camping and the outdoors. Lila believes we can make change and sees the JYCM teen board as having great potential to create new ideas and projects to inspire change in the Jewish community around us and all over the world.

Noa, 11th grade (Pittsburgh, PA): She is very active in her school’s environmental club and recently took on the position of co-president. While in 10th grade, they focused on finding a remedy for curating a more structured, effective recycling system throughout her school year, and were successful in doing so. She’s a part of her school’s honors jazz band, and also assists in stage crew for school plays/musicals. Outside of school, Noa loves to play guitar, listen to music, and hang out with friends in their freetime. She also loves hiking, kayaking, and enjoying the outdoors. Noa is very excited to assist in the growth of JYCM!

Sarah, 11th grade (Brookline, MA): Sarah is active and interested in electoral as well as community organizing. She has worked on multiple local, state, and national campaigns for multiple candidates and issues. She is involved with her local chapters Sunrise and other community organizations. She thinks the climate crisis is the foremost issue of our time and by taking bold climate action we can solve the climate crisis as well as beginning to remedy many systemic problems. She believes that the Jewish community is uniquely suited to help tackle the climate crisis.

Asher, 12th grade (Miami, FL): Asher is very passionate about environmental justice. As a life long Floridian Asher gained this passion when he found out that his home and almost all of South Florida is likely to be underwater by the end of the century. Asher is founding board member and is so thankful to be apart of JYCM. Apart from JYCM Asher is a Climate Leadership Informational Program Coordinator at his school where he and his group have become climate speakers with the Cleo Institute (a environmental 501c3 group in Florida) and they have given 30+ presentations on climate change at his school. Asher is also a strategist for the Cleo Institute where he helps with recruiting for the organization. He participated in the Friday For Future Miami internship where he learned more about climate change and did various projects to educate the public. He is also the founder and president of his school’s Environmental Club. Apart from helping the environment Asher enjoys politics, helping animals, and helping people. Asher has phone banked for various candidates he also participated in the ACLU Summer Advocacy Institute. Asher is also a writer for his school’s newspaper, the Roar Post, where he writes articles relating to politics. Asher did a three month program at his local Humane Society. Finally, Asher is a tutor with a non profit called Bored of Boredom, which tutors predominantly low-income kids for free. For fun enjoys he enjoys biking, swimming, and cooking. 

 Alex, 12th grade (Los Angeles, CA): Alex is extremely passionate about climate change action and currently leads a research study on how to mitigate the effects of global warming. She placed second in the Los Angeles County Science Fair and fourth in the California State Science Fair for her research. She has been a member of her school’s Varsity Water Polo team throughout high school and mentors younger students new to her school. She is also the Tzedakah Coordinator for her school’s Jewish Student Alliance. During her free time, she enjoys reading (around three books a week) and playing acoustic and electric guitar.

Shifra, 8th grade (Northampton, MA): Shifra is an avid horseback rider. She is an activist in the menstrual justice movement and has worked with local shelters in Western Massachusetts to make women’s lives more equitable. She is excited about being part of a community that cares about one of the most pressing issues of our time through JYCM. In her spare time, Shifra loves to read, bake and play with her dog, Brutus.

 

 Julia Levin, 10th grade, (Baltimore, MD): Julia is passionate about climate activism, social justice, and how they intersect with her Jewish identity. She is the lead of the Justice, Equity, and Anti-oppression team at Sunrise Baltimore, a member of the Climate Change Committee at her school, and is currently in the process of creating the first JYCM Kvutzah in Baltimore. In addition, she is a writer for The Postscript, her school newspaper, a fellow for Joe Vogel For Delegate, a member of her school’s Model UN team, and the captain of her school’s Debate team. She is also Ashkelon BBYO #5407’s Shli, vice president of Jewish enrichment and community service, and a member of BBYO’s Maimonides Moot Beit Din team.

Sofi, 12th grade (Ann Arbor, MI): Sofi has been interested in the climate and a greener world since she was in fourth grade and first started learning about the environment. Throughout middle school, she was on her school’s Green Team, which became Eco Innovations as it progressed. As one of the leaders of the club, she worked on their Solar at STEAM Project, trying to get solar panels for the school. She presented in front of the city council energy commission and spoke with the mayor of Ann Arbor as part of the project. At her new school, Maranda is in Feminist Club, QSA (Queer-Straight Alliance), and Service Club. She plays indoor and outdoor field hockey and enjoys reading. She is excited about working with teens from across the country, to create a meaningful difference, and help with the Climate Crisis.

 Hannah, 10th grade (Boston MA): Hannah is a president of Boston Latin School YouthCAN, and enjoys organizing and making change. She has coordinated community action against climate change and gun violence, and has spent much of her time lobbying, phonebanking, and working on local political campaigns. She is also passionate about music, writing, Judaism, and of course, Camp Ramah.

 

 Ria, 12th grade (Ann Arbor, MI): Ria has been an active member of the fight for climate action since sixth grade, when she read about Greta Thunberg’s school strikes and realized she had to take action. She served in many youth organizing groups throughout middle school that taught her how to fight for change. When Ria joined high school, she began participating in climate protests throughout her town. Currently, Ria serves as an organizing member of the Freeman Environmental Education Youth Council (FEEYC), which seeks to educate and inform the community on the importance of protecting local environments. Recently, Ria led a booth for FEEYC at her town’s Earth Day celebration that allowed participants to transplant native plants. Ria is extremely excited to work with teens who are just as passionate about protecting the climate as she is, and she hopes that participating in JYCM will help her grow more connected to her Jewish heritage. When she is not fighting for climate justice, Ria serves as the editor of her school’s magazine, builds sets for theater, and leads Feminist Literature Club.

 Yosef, 12 grade (Ann Arbor, MI): Yosef values traditional Jewish philosophy with Tikun Olam and living in harmony with the natural world. Yosef is a graduate of The Mountain School of Milton academy which is a semester boarding school in Vershire, Vermont that embodies environmental awareness and activism. Yosef plays an active role in the Youth Action Committee at the Ann Arbor YMCA which runs and organizes volunteer projects. Yosef loves canoe trips, rock climbing, hiking and making new friends.

 Abby, 12th grade (Tenafly, NJ): Abby is entering her senior year of high school in Tenafly, New Jersey. Her favorite classes include economics and science research. Both in and out of school, Abby has been connected to environmentalism and Judaism. As president of her school’s Green Team and founder of the Combating Antisemitism Club, Abby is very passionate about intertwining both climate justice and Jewish principles. Additionally, she has connected with her Jewish roots by volunteering at Temple Emanu-El of Closter, becoming a StandWithUs Leventhal Intern, and holding leadership positions on her BBYO chapter board. This year, in collaboration with the Tenafly Nature Center, Abby organized a town-wide trash pick-up on Earth Day, obtaining a sponsorship from Subaru Love Promise; she also began developing a local CSA chapter with Community Chest of Englewood. Abby spends her summers doing environmental engineering research. In her free time, Abby enjoys spending time with friends and family and playing tennis. She got involved with JYCM after attending the Virtual Climate Orgnaizaing Summit and is excited to work with her peers in the upcoming year.

 Lexie, 8th grade, (Boulder, Colorado): They enjoy the performing arts; they act, dance, and sing. They like to write music, and are looking for ways to inspire others to climate justice with their songs. They are part of Allies and Sources of Strength at their middle school, and are working on starting an activism club based on empowering students to take action in the world. They are also part of Dayenu, another Jewish Climate movement, where they recently sang a song they wrote named “Enough is Enough” at the All Our Might Colorado protest. Lexie was awarded the Boulder Optimists’s Citizenship Award for their activism and their positive impact on the school. Lexie is super glad they found JYCM, and can’t wait to see where it takes them!

 Beila, 12th grade (Chappaqua, NY): Beila is enthusiastic about social justice and community organizing. She is an activist in the reproductive rights movement, and has worked with NYC based organizations to mobilize youth and provide them with resources to help them organize their own communities. Beila has also been an eager presence in the climate justice movement, collaborating with local youth-led organizations to plan strikes and protests in support of specific pieces of climate legislation. She spends her summers at Eden Village Camp, loves to be outdoors, and is a self identifying hippie. She is excited to be a part of a Jewish community of young activists who feel as passionate as she does about doing everything we can to stop the climate crisis.

Abby, 12th grade (New York, NY): Abby is passionate about creating a more sustainable future through legislation and community-based initiatives. She is a founding member of the Central Climate Initiative which is run through Central Synagogue in New York City. The Central Climate Initiative has hosted a speaker series, participated in a phone banking campaign, and lobbied and advocated for both New York City and New York state climate legislation. Abby is also a member of the youth council for a climate progressive New York City council candidate. In school, Abby is an active member of the Student-Faculty Advisory Committee where she proposes changes to make the Student handbook more relevant and uses restorative justice practices to respond to handbook infractions. Outside of school, Abby volunteers weekly to teach a fourth-grade Hebrew class. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, baking, and recipe development.

Daniel, 12th grade (East Greenwich, RI): Daniel is an avid environmentalist who is passionate about the fight to mitigate climate change. Daniel founded the Temple Torat Yisrael Kvutzah, the first Kvutzah created in Rhode Island. He has led rallies in support of environmental causes, including fiery protests against Chase Bank’s support of fossil fuels. When not engaging in activism, Daniel is a competitive gymnast that loves the pommel horse and rings. He is an avid reader of fantasy books who enjoys athletic endeavors like frisbee, ping-pong, tennis, and basketball. Daniel’s main goal in life is to have a positive impact on the world, which is why he is so excited to be a part of JYCM.

Ellah, 9th grade (Carmichael, CA): Ellah lives with her parents and three siblings in Carmichael, California. She attends Arden Middle School and is a member of Congregation Beth Shalom, Carmichael, where she is part of the teen Neshama social justice program. She enjoys cooking, swimming and trumpet playing as well as Shofar sounding for the High Holy Days. Ellah celebrated her Bat Mitzvah in March 2021 and for her project she raised funds for 4Ocean, an organization that works around the world to clean waterways from plastic pollution. She is very passionate about environmental stewardship and justice. Ellah is excited to join the JYCM National Leadership Board and hopes to make a difference in her community at large.

Lio, 9th grade, they/them (Teaneck, NJ): I have been part of the climate movement since I was a baby fighting with my Zayda. I have been an activist with FFFNYC (Fridays for future) and an ally with the Coalition of Immokalee workers fighting for labor rights in the field of florida. If there is a protest in my area I will try my hardest to make sure I am there. When I was in 6th grade I led a walkout right outside my school with 5 kids (including me). I love fighting for justice and being in jewish spaces. In my spare time, I love playing soccer, hula hooping and playing with my dog.
 

Noah, 10th grade (Boulder, CO):
Noah is active as a co-founder of the Students Demand Action chapter in his school. He is also a participating member of the school’s sustainibilty club and has in the past launched other sustainable initiatives, such as composting in his school and at home. Noah is also a firm believer in public transportation or other alternative transport in and between cities. If you can’t find him, he is usually skiing or planning trips he’d like to take.
 
 Tova, 9th grade (Ann arbor, MA): Tova is a passionate fighter for environmental justice, particularly on the individual level. She loves helping and encouraging people to live sustainable lives, as well as living one herself. She believes that for environmental justice to be attained, individuals and institutions both need to take part in the fight. In addition to striving for a clean and safe world, Tova is passionate about feminism, LGBTQIPA+ rights, economic justice, racial equity and other social justice issues. Otherwise, Tova’s interests include writing, socializing, making music, and a plethora of other things. Her work as a writer is award-winning and has been published in multiple spaces. She’s Modern Orthodox, and Judaism has always been an instrumental and active part of her life. She loves the community at JYCM, and is excited to be able to work for change with a group of other Jewish teens.

Ava, 12th grade (Houston, TX): Ava is a dedicated climate activist, a nature enthusiast, and a passionate musician from Houston. She is the founder and president of her school’s Climate Action Club, and actively participates in her city’s Climate Action Plan Implementation Group and Sunrise hub. She loves camping and spends as much of her time in nature as possible, which is one of the reasons she is so passionate about environmental work. Ava has gone to Jewish Day School her entire life and feels extremely connected to the extensive Jewish community in Houston. In her free time, Ava enjoys songwriting, playing piano and guitar, reading, and hiking. She is extremely excited about connecting with other energized young people to care for the earth and support the climate movement.

Izzy, 11th grade, (Stamford, CT): Izzy is an extremely bubbly individual who loves being involved in taking on actions to combat our climate crisis. She’s the president of the environmental, debate, and book clubs at her school. Whether it be creating a new recycling system at her school or the next month’s book, she’s extremely passionate. When she’s not at school, you can find her playing guitar or praying. Being a modern orthodox Jew, Izzy finds that Judaism and environmentalism can be connected, which is why she’s super excited for her first year of being part of the Jewish Youth Climate Movement.

 Ella, 10th grade (New York City): Ella has been very involved in climate activism. She leads a chapter of a climate organization called Earth Guardians in Manhattan. Ella got involved in environmental justice in 2019 when there was the global climate strike and has been active since. She believes that everyone can make a difference no matter how small, and hopes to educate people to live a more sustainable life. Ella is very connected to both her Israeli and Jewish roots, and is happy to have found an intersection in the climate movement. Outside of school, Ella also loves playing soccer, doing debate, going to the beach and reading.  Ella is very excited to join the JYCM Leadership Board and make a positive impact!

Amber, 12th grade (Sharon, MA): Amber’s is involved in a number of social justice activities including the Jewish Climate Action Network where she recently served as the youth coordinator for the 2021 JCAN National Climate Action Conference. In addition, she is the political lead for the Blue Hills chapter of the Sunrise Movement. Amber is the education coordinator for the Sharon High School Environmental Club and also serves as a member of the Asian Coalition of Massachusetts. She has worked on political campaigns for a number of candidates in Massachusetts who support the Green New Deal and other green legislation to help reduce climate change, as well as to provide a more equitable environment for all people. Amber is a committed soccer player and enjoys playing lead guitar in her high school rock band.

 Sara Pearl, 11th grade (Hollywood, FL): Sara Pearl began her environmental activism in 5th grade as a co-founder of the Temple Solel King Tides Walk, which recently won the National 2022 Project Green Schools Green Difference Awards for Climate Education and Action. She is also a selected teen lobbyist on the topic of the environment and has accepted a position as a Policy Fellow for her State Representative. Additionally, Sara Pearl is the Social Media Editor of her school newspaper, President of her school’s Art Club, Vice President of Mary Ann’s Tutoring, and the Coxswain for the Varsity Boy’s Crew Team. She is particularly interested in science communication, and aims to use her position on JYCM to build bridges across environmental organizations around the country and world.

Sophia, 12th grade (Ann Arbor, MI): Sophia is a senior from Ann Arbor, Michigan who is passionate about connecting Jewish principles and climate justice! She is involved in a JYCM kvutzah in her hometown along with an affinity group for Jewish students she started at her high school. When she’s not studying, you can find her playing tennis, at a Model UN conference, competing on her public speaking team, or volunteering her time to a local political campaign. Sophia sees climate change as the existential crisis of our generation, and has committed herself to taking action and fighting for climate justice. When she learned about the Jewish Youth Climate Movement, she saw it as an opportunity to connect with likeminded Jewish teens and make a difference in our world.

Shayne, 10th grade (Livingston, NJ): Shayne has always been connected to Judaism and environmentalism. Shayne goes to a conservative Jewish day school in West Orange, NJ, so has always been immersed in Judaism. Shayne’s earliest memory related to environmentalism was when he was in kindergarten. It was right before the 2012 presidential election and his whole school was gathered together for an event, and he went around telling the high schoolers to vote for Obama since Mitt Romney was a supporter of coal. Since then, Shayne has always been very involved in environmental causes. Shayne ran a biweekly column in the Middle School Newsletter explaining ways to reduce your carbon footprint, and he has spoken publicly multiple times to the student body about climate change. Shayne’s Bar Mitzvah project was raising money for carbon offsetting projects in India and Mozambique, and his Dvar Torah was connecting Parashat Noach to climate change. Although Shayne always advocates for climate action and is a member of a number of climate-related groups, Shayne has never really gotten to be involved in any hands-on activism, so Shayne is very excited to get to fight for climate action with JYCM.

Ilana, 11th grade (Merion, PA): Ilana is an energetic, caring teen who is passionate about the earth, social justice and mitigating climate change. Ilana founded the JYCM kvutzah at Beth Am Israel and enjoys working with her group to spread awareness about climate change subjects and do projects in the community such as caring for the synagogue veggie and herb garden. In her freetime, Ilana plays sports and does art; she is also the graphics editor for her school newspaper. She loves being outside and adventuring in nature and therefore feels a commitment to save the Earth and its environment. Ilana is so excited to become more involved in this movement!

 Julia, 12th grade (New York, NY): Julia will be starting her senior year of high school this fall. She is passionate about social justice and climate activism. Julia is a captain on her debate team and is involved with her school’s liberal activism board and environmental club. She also works in the student government and writes articles for her school’s newspaper. In her free time, she enjoys playing the piano, learning about music, and spending time with friends and family. She looks forward to continuing her climate activism from a Jewish lens, and is very excited to be working with JYCM.

Rivka, 12th grade (Teaneck, NJ): Rivka Schafer is a queer, gender non-conforming Orthodox Jew who is passionate about art, nature, and activism. As a climate activist and LGBTQ+ rights advocate, their life’s goal is to inspire others and change the world for the better. Rivka’s hobbies include acting, photography, singing, painting, swimming, and hiking. Rivka has volunteered for the Bergen County Zoo, Pony Power, Peace 4 Paws, and the Tenafly Nature Center. They have worked for Grow Torah, a Jewish farm camp, and as the Assistant Head of Nature Programming for Camp Ramah. They are on the Teaneck Chapter Board for NCSY and are a co-chair on the Steering Committee for Keshet. They have been dubbed “the ray of sunshine” by their friends and love to emulate positivity. In their free time, you can find them taking photos in the forest, singing along to music, swimming in a pool, or curled up on their couch reading a cheesy romance novel.

 Michelle, 11th grade (New York City, NY): Michelle has a passion for the environment. She uses her background in environmental science and ecology to inform her community about climate justice. Michelle is an active member of her school’s environmental club, where she works to make her school a more sustainable environment. Michelle is particularly passionate about climate justice, and is devoted to spreading awareness on aspects of the climate crisis that may go unnoticed. She is excited to bring this commitment to JYCM, as she works with a community of jewish teens that are passionate about protecting the environment.

Ilan, 12th grade (San Diego, California): Ilan is a 12th grader from San Diego, California. He enjoys making documentaries about social justice issues. His past work includes an award-winning  documentary called “Fighting for Environmental Justice: The Health Crisis at the US-Mexico Border.” This film is a call to action to face the pollution crisis at the San Ysidro border community.  Ilan also created another documentary as a Youth Peace Leader at the University of San Diego’s Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice called “Documentando a los Indocumentados” which portrays the challenges faced by immigrants in the United States. He received the President’s Volunteer Service Award for his leadership role in the Alliance of Youth Advocates, an intra-school youth organization which created a startup in the form of an Immigrant Resource Center. Ilan is also the founder and president of his school’s Sustainability Task Force. As a first generation Hispanic living in the US-Mexico border region, Ilan feels that it is his duty to work to better the lives of immigrants. Ilan is also a cellist and a competitive fencer.

Sonja, 12th grade (San Jose, CA): Sonja has a passion for life sciences, as well as exploring the intersections of social action and Judaism with her community. These combined interests have brought her to JYCM! Living in California especially, she has seen the impact of climate change on nearby communities with wildfires and rising temperatures and wants to take action on all levels to combat the climate crisis. She founded the JYCM Jewish Silicon Valley Kvutzah and is a member of her school’s environmental club. Additionally, she is an active leader in BBYO, a Jewish youth group, and the head of the photography department at jGirls+ Magazine, where she helps Jewish teens share their stories about climate change and everything beyond. Sonja loves playing volleyball, exploring nature and traveling, and spending time with friends and family. She is looking forward to expanding her knowledge on the climate crisis and taking direct actions with the leadership board this year

Amitim College Cohort Bios:

Sophie, College Fellow (Westlake Village, CA): Sophie is entering her senior year in high school in Los Angeles, California. She has been fascinated with science, nature, and environmentalism since she was young, and has developed a strong passion for climate activism in recent years. Working with organizations such as Fossil Free California, her local youth commission’s environmental sub-committee, and EcoSchools has given her a platform to create positive, tangible change. She is excited to begin her journey with JYCM to continue spreading Tikkun Olam. She likes dance, music on vinyl, and good food and friends.

Isaac, College Fellow (Lexington, MA): Isaac is passionate about climate justice as well as economic justice and is fascinated by their intersection. He has volunteered for the Sanders campaign as well as participating in strikes, protests, and counter-protests. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his friends, being outdoors, especially with his dog, and being active in his temple community. Isaac is a leader in LEFTY, the Lexington Federation of Temple Youth, as well as a member of several student organizations, including the Lexington chapter of Diversify Our Narrative, a student-run coalition of students working to improve curricula and students’ mental health, and he writes and edits for the Student Newswire, an independent student-run news organization that is published in a local magazine as well as online. Isaac is committed to being an agent of positive change through JYCM, and he is confident that they will change the world.

Alexa, College Fellow (New York, NY): Alexa Goldman is a senior from New York City with a passion for protecting the environment.  She is the social media director of her high school’s green team, as she hopes to spread needed awareness about climate change.  Over the summer, she became involved with the New York Association of Realty Managers (NYARM) to help regulate benchmarking around the city to help buildings identify their environmental impact.  She is very involved in her temple community, from being a part of the youth group board and tutoring teens for their upcoming bar and bat mitzvahs.  She is excited to have the opportunity to combine her passions of climate justice and Judaism through JYCM, and she hopes to become an environmental engineer. 

Elijah, 12th grade (West Hartford, CT):  is a rising senior and lives in West Hartford, Connecticut. He is a competitive gymnast who loves to travel and is very passionate about the environment. He is the head of his school’s student Jewish organization called Chai and is the co-head of the Model United Nations team. He is also treasurer of his school’s student foundation. While on a service trip to the Dominican Republic in November of 2019, he was able to see the real-life effects of climate change which put things into perspective of how vast this issue is. He started to get really involved in climate change/justice in 10th grade when he went with his confirmation class to the L’taken social justice weekend in Washington DC. While lobbying his representatives and senators on climate change and learning more about the issue, he felt empowered to continue on with the work that is required to preserve our earth. He recently got involved in a local Teen Leadership and Philanthropy Organization through Jewish Teens Connect, where we were able to raise money through fundraisers and donations. After raising over $2500, we gave out grants to local organizations fighting issues like homelessness. He believes that teens have the power to create impactful change in the world and should get involved in problems that will affect our future. Coming from an interfaith and interracial household has shaped his perspective on many issues including climate change, and he is so excited to use that perspective in this work!

Aliza, College Fellow (Bethlehem, NY): Aliza is very passionate about social justice. She is involved in many local groups such as Students for Peace and Survival and Genders and Sexualities Alliance at her school, as well as her local Sunrise Movement hub. In her free time, Aliza likes to read, run, play, and ultimate frisbee. She is excited to continue finding new ways that Judaism can inspire social change.

 

Isadora, College Fellow (Teaneck, NJ): I’ve always wanted to advocate for climate change and speak/learn additional information about environmental problems, but I never knew where to look and how to get there. When I heard about JYCM I was instantly interested in joining and being part of a movement that helps solve and advocate for this major problem going on in the world, especially from a Jewish perspective.

 

Naomi, College Fellow (Bloomfield, MI): Naomi is passionate about sustainability, specifically in the context of food. She has maintained a plant-based diet since early elementary school and loves to experiment with vegan baking. Outside of environmental activism, she works with the National Equity Project and participates in competitive public speaking and various musical theater activities. Naomi believes that you shouldn’t have to be of voting age to make your voice heard; after all, it is her generation that will be affected by climate change the most. What excites her most about being a part of the Jewish Youth Climate Movement is the opportunity to combine leadership skills and Jewish values to effectuate change in the fight against the climate crisis. 

Penelope, College Fellow (Brooklyn, NY): Penelope has always passionate about environmentalism, social justice, and Judaism. She went to Eden Village Camp as a kid, where she came to appreciate and love the connections between the three. Since middle school, she has engaged with climate activism in many ways: attending marches and school walkouts, doing hands-on volunteering at urban farms, raising money for environmental organizations, learning about food justice and environmental policy in school classes and summer programs, and lobbying her representatives in Albany and D.C. to pass climate legislation. In the summer of 2020, Penelope attended the ACLU Summer Advocacy Institute. This past fall, Penelope was a Biden 2020 campaign fellow, working 10+ hours a week to Get Out the Vote in Michigan. Penelope has been involved with the Jewish Youth Climate Movement since its founding in April 2020.

Rachel, College Fellow (New York, NY): Rachel is a member of Central Synagogue and has come to embrace her love of Judaism through the social justice work she has done there. Rachel co-founded a climate change initiative at her synagogue during the early months of the COVID pandemic, where she has run a speaker series with environmental experts, worked on legislative coalitions for city and statewide climate legislature, and worked to improve the sustainability of her synagogue. Rachel is also involved in her local politics by serving on her congressperson’s youth cabinet, as well as working on a City Council campaign. At school, Rachel is on the secretariat of her school’s Model UN team and participates in her school’s Finance and Investment Club where they made it to the finals of a national competition.

Sarah, College Fellow (Durham, NC): Sarah is a first-year college student studying biology and philosophy on the pre-med track. Last year at JYCM, she served as the Education Director and Shmita Campaign Co-Captain and was a member of the Policy Working Group and Songwriting Empowerment Initiative. She is also a JWA Rising Voices alum, HaZamir International Choir alum, Fresh Ink for Teens Editorial Board alum, and a member of the Tikvah Fund’s Collegiate Forum. She is passionate about approaching the climate crisis from an intersectional lens that incorporates education, activism, and social justice. She hopes to remain connected to the movement through the Amitim Fellowship.

Emily, College Fellow (Los Angeles, CA): Emily is a senior living in Los Angeles California. Inspired by both academic and life experiences she aspires to make a difference in the climate movement and fight toward climate justice. It is through her Jewish camp community that Em started feeling drawn and connected to nature. This past year, she helped to organize an art exhibit honoring intersectionality and brings that creativity to her activism. She feels that unconventional mediums are necessary when spreading awareness. Em hopes to work with her peers to highlight the urgency of the climate crisis as a whole and the ways in which it disproportionately affects certain populations.

Michael, College Fellow (West Palm Beach, FL): Michael is a published journalist and nonfiction writer, with words seen in Teen VogueMission Magazine, The Forward, and the SinceParkland project by The Trace and The Miami Herald. He also serves as a Fellow for When We All Vote, a nonpartisan voter registration organization founded by Michelle Obama. Michael‘s past experiences include serving as the 2020 International Social Action/Tikun Olam Vice President for United Synagogue Youth (USY) and interning for More Like America, a progressive PAC working to elect BIPOC, women, and LGBTQ+ people to public office in four battleground states. In 2018, Michael interned as an Organizing Fellow for the Lauren Baer for Congress campaign (FL-18). In his free time, Michael loves reading and writing, watching and reviewing movies, going to the beach, hiking, and enjoying the nature around him.

Bella, College Fellow (Boulder, CO): Bella is a senior from Boulder Colorado that loves climbing and hiking. When she’s not at school or on the wall, she is working with a number of local and national organizations on climate justice. She is involved with her temple youth group as the Social Action Vice President and has grown up surrounded by her Jewish community at her summer camp GUCI. In school, she is the president of her environmental club and is the Parent and Teacher Outreach Director of her local Diversify Our Narrative chapter. She plans to major in environmental studies in college and commit her life to climate justice.

Sophie, College Fellow (Tulsa, OK): Sophie grew up very connected to Judaism and the Earth. She started volunteering at Earth Day events at a young age while also advocating to and with friends regarding sustainability. She spent a summer working as a teacher at a program called Farm to Table, a camp used to help teach young children about farm-to-table cooking. To this day, Judaism is a central part of her life, with her being involved with BBYO and being the youth chair of her synagogue board. At her school, Sophie is in the National Honor Society, speech and debate, and is vice president of Rise Girl Up. Out of school, she is in Junior Ambassadors, a teen program with the local food bank, a Madrichim, a volunteer at Women in Recovery, and a musician. She feels that her role in this battle of the environment is to speak up and be loud because the majority of the population’s complacent behavior makes it a necessity when wanting to see change.

Raphi, College Fellow (New York, NY): Raphi is the co-founder and co-president of the Environmental Club at her school. Raphi sees it as her personal responsibility to take action to work on the climate crisis. She is not optimistic that the situation will improve on its own, but she is positive we can make a difference if we work together and take the necessary steps, which is why she is thrilled to be part of JYCM, which commits itself to remain aware, making others aware, and taking direct action. Raphi loves journalism and creative writing.

Eli, College Fellow (Tulsa, OK): Eli was born and grew up in Tulsa with a very strong and supportive Jewish community. Eli is on the Board of Directors of his synagogue, and has been an active member of his local BBYO chapter. Along with leadership roles in his Jewish community, Eli is also a competitive cyclist and went to Nationals last year for cyclocross. When he heard about the Jewish Youth Climate Movement, he was immediately intrigued by the thought that the young Jewish population could rally and combat and help other people and groups lead their own efforts to help combat climate change.

Tali, College Fellow (Grand Rapids, MI): Tali is passionate about envisioning a better world through a Jewish environmental justice lens. She cares deeply about social justice and making the world a better place- core Jewish values which she learned at Jewish summer camp. She is a co-coordinator for Sunrise Movement Grand Rapids,  helping to plan and speaking at climate strikes and leading trainings for other young people. She also has a strong interest in other areas of social justice, interning on a congressional campaign over the summer, founding and running the feminist club at her school, and volunteer tutoring refugee students in her community. Outside of all that, she loves walking her dog, watching movies, and playing scrabble. She is excited to continue working with other passionate young people to make a more equitable and livable planet.

Anna, College Fellow (New York, NY): Anna is dedicated to environmentalism and improving the world. She first became involved in climate activism at the beginning of high school, when she co-founded her school’s Environmental Club. Since then, she has attended climate strikes, spoken publicly, and written on behalf of the environment. Anna is particularly interested in the power of activism through storytelling. She finds meaning in the intersection between Judaism and climate activism and believes that Tikkun Olam compels us all to improve the world through climate action. Anna‘s other interests include literature and biology. In her free time, she is almost always reading.

Yonah, College Fellow (Falls Village, CT): Yonah grew up on a farm and next to a Jewish environmental education center. When he was a kid, he would “mix biodiesel” in the bathtub, because their car ran on used vegetable oil. His family harvested their own vegetables, made pickles and goat cheese, and used a composting toilet. Now as a teen, Yonah wants to build off of those practices and advocate for a better future. Yonah is interested in filmmaking and photography and started his own freelance business, making short films, promotional videos, and filming local events. He now wants to combine his activism with his filmmaking and photography skill, to document and spread the word about the climate movement, and show teens like himself what they can do to get involved in the youth climate movement and lower their carbon footprint.

Joel, College Fellow (Lexington, MA): Joel is a student at Lexington High School in Lexington, MA, and attends Temple Isaiah. He enjoys learning about history and biology, skiing, and playing soccer. He is co-president of Temple Isaiah’s youth group, LEFTY, and debates in the Policy division for his high school.

 

 

Staff Bios:

Liana Rothman is the Co-Founder and Director of the Jewish Youth Climate Movement. From Apr. 2018-Jan. 2020, Liana was an Adamah Fellow, Teva Educator, and JOFEE Fellow. Before that, Liana worked as the community organizer and interfaith educator and counselor for Kids4Peace Jerusalem. Liana received her B.A. from Tel Aviv University, and is currently an MPA Candidate at New York University for a degree in nonprofit management and public policy. Liana loves to go on hikes, spend long hours on porches with friends, and is committed to building a more just and loving society.

Abby Bresler is the Jewish Youth Climate Movement Manager. She has a background in youth climate justice organizing and helping movements center diversity, equity, and inclusion. She co-founded and co-coordinated a disability justice team in a major climate movement, as well as a local organizing hub and an accessibility group on her college campus. Abby is excited to be working in a setting that combines her passions for social justice, the environment, and Judaism. In her free time, Abby enjoys cooking, writing poetry, singing, and spending time outdoors.
 
Madeline Canfield, a sophomore at Brown University from Houston, TX, is the JYCM Organizing Coordinator. As a climate justice organizer, she has worked with the Sunrise Movement at both national and local levels, primarily conducting community partnership work and planning actions from mass testimony at city council to youth-led protests. She is a co-founder and former General Coordinator of Houston Youth Climate Strike, an organization of primarily high school students that orchestrates school strikes, participates in public workshops and panels, and advocates for statewide climate policies. Through this work, she has helped design and served as a lead for the Youth Implementation Working Group for the Houston Climate Action Plan. She is also a co-founder of the organization Jewish Teens for Empowered Consent.
 
headshot of Erin Viola Erin Viola (they/she) is the NY Kvutzah Cohort Organizer. They received their B.A. from Tufts University in Arabic and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and is excited to bring an intersectional feminist lens to JYCM organizing. Erin has a background in anti-violence organizing and restorative justice. In their free time, you can find Erin putzing around their fire escape garden or cooking elaborate meals with loved ones.

Rabbi Isaiah Rothstein serves as a Rabbinic Scholar and Public Affairs Advisor for The Jewish Federations of North America. Previously, he was the Rabbi-in-residence for Hazon. He is the Co-Founder and Adult Mentor of the Jewish Youth Climate Movement. Growing up in a multi-racial Chabad family in Monsey, NY, Isaiah sees himself as a human bridge, connecting disparate parts of the Jewish community. Isaiah went to Yeshiva University for rabbinical school and to receive his Master of Social Work. During his spare time, Isaiah is a Jewish Engagement and Diversity Consultant with his organization, the Union Street Sanctuary, and plays music with his band Zayah. 

 

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