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Reform Jewish Movement Observes International Earth Day
In observance of the 36th International Earth Day on April 22, 2006, Mark J. Pelavin, Associate Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued a statement noting, “This Earth Day, we take stock of how far we have come, and how much further we must go to ensure our children and grandchildren inherit a healthy earth.”

Pelavin: This Earth Day, we take stock of how far we have come, and how much further we must go to ensure our children and grandchildren inherit a healthy earth.

Contact: Emily Kane or David Morrill Schlitt, 202.387.2800, news@rac.org

Washington, April 21, 2006 – In observance of the 36th International Earth Day on April 22, 2006, Mark J. Pelavin, Associate Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement:

As we observe the 36th International Earth Day, we note the significance of the number 36 in Judaism as a doubling of 18 – the number associated with “chai” or life. It is an appropriate reminder of the importance of a healthy earth in sustaining life.

This week also marks the end of Passover, an annual reminder of our connection to and dependence on the earth. Just as the plague of pestilence in Egypt wreaked havoc, the sea provided a path to freedom. Today, we worry no less about the earth’s ability to sustain us. Will our water sources remain potable? Will our air quality deteriorate? Will the land continue to provide us with sustenance? We ask these questions not only on Earth Day, but each day of the year.

The last 36 years have seen an ever growing understanding of the impact of human activity on the environment. Recycling is a part of our everyday lives. Car manufacturers are improving fuel efficiency and developing new environmentally-friendly technologies. Still, experts tell us that each year 7 million Americans get sick from contaminated tap water. The United States continues to be the world’s biggest greenhouse gas polluter, pouring billions of tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Forests continue to be depleted and children are increasingly exposed to carbon dioxide. There is a long way for us to go.

As we enjoy the beauties of the spring season, we recommit ourselves to the Biblical mandate l’ovdah, u’l’shomrah, to serve, to till, to guard, to tend (Genesis 2:15). This Earth Day, we take stock of how far we have come, and how much further we must go to ensure our children and grandchildren inherit a healthy earth.



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