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On Earth Day, Reform Jewish Leader Calls for Climate and Energy Action

Saperstein: “It is unacceptable to remain wedded to polluting sources of energy that threaten our environment, our economy, and our health.”

Contact: Kate Bigam or Rachel Cohen
202.387.2800 |

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 22, 2009 — In commemoration of the 39th annual International Earth Day, Rabbi David Saperstein, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement:

This year the Reform Jewish community celebrates Earth Day with a renewed sense of hope for the future health of our planet, and a renewed commitment to building a safer, more sustainable environment for ourselves and our children.

While we face many environmental challenges, none is more urgent or provides more immediate opportunity for progress than global climate change. As we confront this increasingly severe environmental, economic, and security crisis, we urge Congress and the Administration to redouble their efforts to care for our environment through the pursuit of comprehensive climate and energy legislation such as the draft American Clean Energy and Security Act.

As Jews, we are deeply committed to stewardship as a moral principle; we are commanded in the Book of Genesis “to till and to tend” our Earth and are called throughout our text to care for our Earth and all its inhabitants. We in the Reform Movement have made great strides toward living out this value in the last year, launching our online Greening Reform Judaism resource in February and strengthening our advocacy work on the state, local, and national levels.

Our commitment is reflected in a resolution, adopted this morning by the Commission on Social Action of Reform Judaism, that expresses our belief as people of faith that it is unacceptable to remain wedded to polluting sources of energy that threaten our environment, our economy, and our health. This Earth Day, we in the Reform Jewish Movement reaffirm our dedication to protecting our planet and call on our partners in faith communities, in Washington, and around the world to join us in confronting environmental challenges.


For more information on the Union for Reform Judaism’s Greening Reform Judaism initiative, visit

The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism is the Washington office of the Union for Reform Judaism, whose more than 900 congregations across North America encompass 1.5 million Reform Jews, and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, whose membership includes more than 1,800 Reform rabbis.

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