Tag Archives: Jewish

Youth to legislators: Please act on climate change.

IMG_7813Alex Waskovich (15 years old, a 10th grader at Abington Heights High School) gave this speech to the staff of Senator Casey’s and Representative Marino’s office on March 7, as part of a teen social justice weekend organized by the Union of Reform Judaism’s Religious Action Center.

Hello. My name is Alex Waskovich, and I am from Temple Hesed in Scranton. I am here to talk about an issue that is currently troubling the entire world: climate change. Some may say this issue is not as urgent as others, but if it continues to progress, the world as we know it may change permanently, for worse.

In the 20th and 21st century, climate change has loomed over the world.  The signs are clear. Continue reading

Ta’anit Esther

Facebook event page to spread the word by sharing and inviting friends.  Originated by Philadelphia PA IPL co-chair, Rabbi Malkah Binah Klein.Ta'anit Esther

Join me in fasting on the Fast of Esther, or Ta’anit Esther, to pray for Divine mercy and to gain courage in speaking out and taking action on behalf of sustainable life on Earth.

Ta’anit Esther is a traditional Jewish dawn-to-dusk fast (no food or water) the day before Purim, based on Esther 4:16. Queen Esther risks her life to save her people, and in preparing for this courageous act, she calls for a communal fast. I call upon people of all faiths to join me in this fast, as a transformation of our unsustainable global economy will require all of us working and sacrificing together.

POSTPONED GERMANTOWN Multifaith Celebration of Reclaiming the Tree of Life: A Tu B’Shvat Experience

POSTPONED due to forecast. Will be rescheduled.

This celebration will be led by leaders from the member congregation Tikkun Olam Chavurah.  The celebration will immediately precede the showing of Chasing Ice (the January chapter of the film series organized by the Climate Action Team of St. Martin in the Fields).  Both events will be at First United Methodist Church of Germantown : the celebration begins at 1:30, the film begins at 3:00 in the same location.  Participants are welcome to join in one event or both, as they wish.

JOIN US as we explore the four worlds of the mystics with fruit, song, meditation, and learning.  Explore questions of community, responsibility for our planet, wisdom about trees, and our relationship to the trees that surround us and give us life.

***Bring pictures of trees you love and of the fruit of trees you find sustaining.***

RSVP to Barbara Granger  to help us plan!.

Join us on the 24th and make a long term commitment to the trees of our world!

POSTPONED. BRYN MAWR: an Interfaith Tu b’Shevat Seder for EVERYONE

Image provided by Rabbi Yitzhak Nates

Image provided by Rabbi Yitzhak Nates

POSTPONED due to forecast (church building will be closed).  Will be rescheduled.  Date TBA.

A rooted, creative, mystical, musical, Jewish and environmental Holy Day (the New Year of the Trees) will be held at the Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church (map and address below).

Have a light dinner beforehand, then come to enjoy and learn about Jewish mysticism, and about how we can together walk a bit more lightly on our planet.  Fruits, nuts, and a bissel of cake will be part of the seder (service).

Screen Shot 2015-12-31 at 8.32.06 AM

Click the image to download the PDF flier. Share with your congregation and your neighbors!

Rabbi Yitz encourages interested folks to be in touch in advance!  Send any sorts of questions —or email him about any way you might like to participate.  Musicians that would like to join are most welcome (Cantor Daniella is a collaborative music leader!), or people may share (in advance) any “green” songs,  from their faith traditions or beyond. 

If possible, let us know that you’ll join us,** so we can be sure to have plenty of food to share.   Free-will offerings will be gratefully accepted.

Cosponsored by PA Interfaith Power & Light and the Main Line Jewish Community Derech HaLev, and hosted by Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church

*We’ll plan for people to be able to leave by 8:30, but if there is lots of energy and interest to continue, some folks may stay on just a bit longer.

**RSVP to info@paipl.org.   We will send a single reminder email with indoor directions to the room we’ll be in to everyone who RSVPs.  Both our shopping list and our meeting room choice depends on about how many people will join in, but we don’t want RSVPs to keep any last-minute joiners away!

Upcoming Event HIGHLIGHTS

Because our Events listing draws directly (and chronologically) from our events calendar, there are a few upcoming items that you’ll want to see coming,  mark your own calendar, and share.  You will want to know about:

One of the wonderful Interfaith Moral Climate Advocacy workshops, headlined by Justin Wright of Active Neutrals, and in partnership with PennFuture will be held on Presidents’ Day, February 15.  REGISTRATION is open now, FLIERS are available.  Click to learn more and sign up.  Co-sponsored by PA IPL, the Eco-Justice Ministries of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting and the Creation Care Task Force of the NE PA Synod (Lutherans).

WORLD WIDE: Earth Hour  Saturday, March 19

——RELIGIOUS CALENDARS: Tu b’Shevat and Lent, with resources anyone can use——

Tu B’Shevat (the “Jewish new year of the trees”) begins January 24 at sundown (the 15th day of Shevat).  Join all-are-welcome celebrations in BRYN MAWR  or GERMANTOWN 1/24. Find resources generously shared by COEJL and the Shalom Center to explore more on your own.  Your RSVP is important to our planning for both of the celebrations linked above.

On the Christian calendar, Lent  begins with Ash Wednesday, which falls on February 10 this year.  It is a time of preparation, reflection and, for many, fasting, so it’s a great time to think about a CARBON FAST or a Lenten text study linked to climate change.  The Ecumenical Carbon Fast designed by the New England Regional Environmental Ministries is excellent, and we see no need to re-invent the wheel!  Anyone may sign up now for 2016 once-a-day Lenten emails.  To get a glimpse at what you’ll be getting, browse the 2015 resources.  Each week has a biblically-linked theme and includes actions to take, both as an individual and with a congregation.   If you are a Christian pastor in a congregation that follows the Common Lectionary, you may find this lectionary-based weekly sermon reflections on the lessons useful, whether you choose to use them during Lent or periodically throughout the year.

People of other faiths may wish to sign up for the Lenten emails (or browse the 2015 materials) in order to mine them for inspiration in connection with periods of fasting and reflection in your own tradition.  Would you like to use the inspiration to craft tailored resources drawing on your own scriptures and traditions?  We’d love to make sure the effort is well-spent by sharing it far and wide.  We’ll even help!

A prayer for the midpoint of the Paris talks.

Check back here for a one-a-day series of actions and solutions from now until 12/11, while the international climate talks (COP 21) are going on in Paris.

YairaThis prayer was written by Yaira Robinson of Texas IPL.  She wrote it for her home congregation to use on the Shabbat before the climate talks began.  Today is not Shabbat.  It is the midpoint of the climate talks.  It is the second Sunday of Advent (Christian), and the first night of Hanukkah (Jewish).  It is 2 days before Rohatsu, and we are all readying for the return of our Northern Hemisphere light beginning on the Solstice.

Tonight is a great time to settle in for a prayer that links us to the depths of our own faith traditions, that asks for help, and hope, a way forward through fear, rooted in deep conviction; asks for forgiveness, and for strength for us all, leaders and regular people alike.

Yaira’s beautiful prayer is below; her original post can be found here.  Do click through on the images to learn more about the art and artists.

We have some links to Paris COP background and more Abrahamic resources prepared in connection with the Harrisburg and Philadelphia vigils. Looking for resources from non-Abrahamic faiths?  Find the links you want on this page of encyclical-linked resources.

A Prayer for Paris Climate Talks

Adonai Eloheinu, v’Elohei Avoteinu v’Imoteinu—
Lord our God and God of our Ancestors—

God who separated the light from the darkness,
upper waters from lower waters,
and seas from land.

"Burning Bush" Isaac Brynjegard-Bialik Image Source

“Burning Bush” Isaac Brynjegard-Bialik Image Source

God who appears in a whirlwind,
in a burning bush, and
as strangers standing at an open tent.

Do You remember?
You freed us from that Narrow Place and
guided us through the wilderness,
appearing as a pillar of cloud by day,
and as a pillar of fire by night.

Do we remember?
You thundered, shook the mountain, and gave us Torah.
We were awestruck. We said:
“We will do and we will hear!”

Help us remember.
God, we’ve kind of messed things up.
We didn’t mean to. It was science and progress,
electricity and cars and plastic!

Chris Jordan "Cellphones #2, Atlanta 2005" from Portraits of American Mass Consumption

Chris Jordan “Cellphones #2, Atlanta 2005” from Portraits of American Mass Consumption

Plastic is amazing, God.
So useful.

But now, we’ve upset the delicate balance of Your Creation—
this beautiful, wildly diverse, interconnected,
pulsing, breathing planet full of life—

The storms are stronger now.
Drought more frequent, more severe.
Ice is melting, seas are rising, crops are shifting.

Hunger and disease, disaster and thirst
lead to suffering
and strife
and people—so many people—
having to leave home
in search of a safe place to live.

We didn’t mean for this to happen.
But now we know.
And now that we know, we are responsible—
we must act.

Please help us, God.
We need to make some changes, and fast—
but it’s hard.
We can do it—but it’s going to require a lot of work,
and we’ve never had to cooperate quite like this before—
all of us, all your diverse peoples, all over the world.

Climate change is a big challenge.
We’re going to have to work together,

But it’s really, really hard.

Leaders from 196 countries are about to meet in Paris
to try to agree on a way forward.

God, please help them.
Give them wisdom, and the courage to do what’s right—
rather than what’s politically expedient.

God, please help us.
Global warming is scary.
Change is hard.
Give us strength, imagination, and hope.
There’s so much we can do, right here at home.
Help us meet new challenges with hearts that are open
and attuned to You.

the "tree" of the Lena Delta wilderness in Russia. Image Source

the “tree” of the Lena Delta wilderness in Russia. Image Source

For this little blue planet,
gift of water and breath and life amazing—
Thank you, God.

Please be with us.
Guide us.
Help us mend our ways,
and repair—

And let us say: amen.