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Today is the 81st anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, one of the many battles for freedom waged by the Jewish people over the millenia. We remember those who perished fighting against the much larger, better-armed German forces, and draw inspiration from their willingness to sacrifice everything for their community.

It is also just days until Passover, and Jews worldwide are preparing for Seder night. Research suggests it is the most widely celebrated Jewish holiday, and many of us use it as an opportunity to share our culture, traditions, and history with friends from the broader community.

There is much to explore during Passover, including the whole notion of what it means to be free. This year, many will think first and foremost about the hostages who remain in Gaza, and pray for their release. We will then turn our attention to working towards other types of liberation: physical, emotional, spiritual, and more.

In addition to Passover, April 22nd happens to be Earth Day. From the Garden of Eden onwards, our tradition teaches us to be guardians of the Earth and the miraculous forms of life it sustains. Two of our advisors – Rabbi Jonathan Wittenburg and Rafi Addlestone – hope many of us will take the opportunity to consider a new kind of freedom: liberating future generations from the climate and nature crisis. They also hope to join with others to create a Global Jewry Community of Practice focused on Climate Action.

Please see below for more details about their involvement in Global Jewry and their invitation to create a proposed community of practice.

Shabbat Shalom, chag kasher v’sameach, and may this be the week the hostages return home safely,

Sandy Cardin

As leaders of EcoJudaism, a UK-based movement that empowers the Jewish community to fight climate change, we gladly accepted the invitation to become a partner of Global Jewry. We are eager to contribute to its important mission by collaborating with others around the world to help engage Jewish communities on the climate agenda.

Our efforts to enable synagogues and other Jewish institutions to make sustainable choices have taught us a great deal about the power of collective action, lessons we use every day to help the organisations we serve, and resources which they use to encourage their congregants, constituents, and supporters to live more sustainable lives.

We know there is a patchwork of organisations like us in communities around the world, all working towards a sustainable future. The ecological crises affecting us all are global in nature and as a global people, we have the opportunity to combine our energy, ideas, and experiences to scale our collective impact.

We hope to bring together prominent Jewish leaders and climate activists from around the world to join a unique global community that amplifies local efforts and works towards a unified Jewish voice on the imperative to act on climate change.

To that end, we were thrilled when Global Jewry agreed to help us form a community of practice on climate action. If you are a CEO or leader of an organisation engaging the Jewish community in climate action and are willing to join us, please click here to become part of the GJ Community of Practice on Climate Action.

As many have noted, one of the important themes of Passover is our responsibility to protect the environment. We invite you to read this piece we recently published on the subject: The Seder Plate as Earth Plate.

Shabbat shalom and chag kasher v’sameach,

Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg, Rabbi of New North London Synagogue and Senior Rabbi of Masorti Judaism

Rafi Addlestone, EcoJudaism trustee and Chief Strategy Officer, Pineapple Sustainable Partnerships

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