Thursday, May 14th | 35th day of the omer – malchut she’b’hod
We’re ending the fifth week of this seven-week journey towards the giving of the Torah, and choosing a different kind of freedom.
In the world of the kabbalists, today is associated with “malchut she’b’hod.” Hod is about beauty and simplicity and malchut is about getting out into the world and making things happen.
So it’s a day to introduce the new Jewish Youth Climate Movement. Anyone under the age of twenty today could reasonably hope to be alive in 2100. What will the world look like then? We don’t know, but the decisions and choices of those of us who are older will decisively impact, for good or for ill, those who are younger. (If you want to see a very intense example of that, check out this chart, showing opinions on Brexit, by age, in the UK, in 2018.)
This grows out of our long-term work at Teva, and out of the sense that an organization like Hazon ought to be trying, as much as we can, to support and empower and network the best of our young people. So… I hand you over now to a message from the teen board members of JYCM…
We are excited to announce that we are launching a new movement… The Jewish Youth Climate Movement (JYCM)!
JYCM is building a movement of Jewish youth who are dedicated to stopping climate change, lifting up the Jewish mandate to steward the world, inspiring youth to make a positive change, and helping our Jewish communities mobilize around healthier sustainability practices; individually and collectively, creating a healthier and more sustainable world for all.
JYCM was founded by Hazon in 2020 to create a platform for Jewish youth to organize for climate solutions and youth-led activism around the country. The platform is connecting youth in Jewish communities interested in climate activism and enabling a climate solutions movement generated and led by Jewish youth.
A Word From One Of Our Board Members
My name is Penelope Kopp, I am a high schooler in Brooklyn, NY, and I am so excited to be a founding member of the Jewish Youth Climate Movement board. I joined the JYCM because the movement is a perfect blend of all my interests: I am extremely passionate about environmentalism and politics, and Judaism plays an important role in my life. Throughout my life, all these interests have had a lot of intersection, and I have come to appreciate that my religious and cultural values back up my progressive ones.
I believe the climate crisis is my generation’s largest threat to civil rights, infringing on our right to life – literally. Climate change also contributes to other civil rights problems, such as racial and class disparities, public health issues, and the refugee crisis. As Jews, we have an obligation to help heal the world, and as teenagers, we must fight for our future. This is why I am so proud to be joining the Jewish Youth Climate Movement.
I believe that we can help save the world in a couple of ways. First, we can create sustainable changes in the Jewish spaces we are already a part of, such as helping our synagogues transition to composting or going zero-waste. Second, as a board, we can empower and unite Jewish teens to advocate for change outside our communities, such as organizing lobbying trips to pass legislation and marching together in rallies and strikes.
So far, being on the board has been awesome—everyone seems super kind, smart, and motivated. I am so excited to continue creating this movement, help make change, and see where it takes us!
What We Are Currently Working On
- We are in the process of building this movement. We are creating definitions of our work, our audience, our mission statement and goals. The founding teen leadership board is split up into different working groups and we are busy at work planning projects and next steps as we launch JYCM
- Reaching out to school newspapers and contributing articles talking about JYCM, working towards talking on radio stations and having publications feature student climate activist writers and voices
- Making JYCM a household name so Jewish leaders and communities know about us
- Advocating for legislation to be passed about responding to the climate crisis
- Communicating with other leaders outside the Jewish community to build interfaith communications and relationships and be a model of teen-led interfaith work for climate activism
We are excited to share the JYCM website: jewishyouthclimatemovement.org
Our communications team has been working hard to make it a place where we can spread the word about JYCM, share opportunities, share events, and connect with each other.
- We are making it a place where teens interested in the climate movement can come together.
- Our forum is a place for other event leaders to spread the word about their own events, and for JYCM board members to answer questions and provide links to trusted companies, products, and resources.
- For those who want to get involved but don’t know what to do, our site will include many quick, easy but impactful ways that anyone can lower their carbon footprint and help save our earth.
- We hope to not just become a climate movement that organizes rallies and events, but a helpful and powerful resource bringing youth climate activists together and using our presence as a platform for them.
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Our Founding Board: See the full list of members and bios
Wishing you well,
The JYCM Founding Leadership Board