Environment and Climate Change
The Reform Movement is committed to protecting the environment. From the pressing global crisis of climate change to advocacy on clean water and food justice, we are heirs to a tradition of stewardship and partnership in the ongoing work of Creation that goes back to Genesis.
The Reform Movement is committed to protecting the environment and ensuring a just, healthy, and safe future for generations to come. The science is clear: global climate change and pollution threaten our planet and endanger our communities. We have a sacred responsibility to care for the Earth and its inhabitants by advocating for sustainable policies addressing climate change, promoting clean air and water, and protecting wildlife. In doing this work, we must also ensure environmental justice, protecting those who have been disproportionately impacted by climate change and advocating for a just transition away from fossil fuels. Through our environmental advocacy, we carry on a Jewish tradition of stewardship and partnership in the ongoing work of Creation dating back to Genesis.
Why Should Jews Care?
The Torah teaches that humankind was created on Earth, in part, to care for and protect God’s creation (Genesis 2:15). The Talmudic concept of bal tashchit, “do not destroy,” was developed by the rabbis as an assertion of God’s holy ownership of the land. We show our commitment to Creation and to each other by preventing the destruction and degradation of our planet. As is said in a powerful Midrash, “Do not destroy My world, for if you do, there will be nobody after you to make it right again.” (Midrash Ecclesiastes Rabbah 7:13). It is our responsibility to preserve, protect, and nourish our planet. We have the power to take action to create a healthy and just future for ourselves and generations to come.
The Reform Movement’s Power for Purpose Campaign
The Reform Movement’s Power for Purpose Campaign is building power to advance environmental justice, stave off climate change’s devastation, and protect democracy. Through training and action in communities across our network, we are building power to move the White House to reflect the voters’ will and strengthen climate change regulations.
Urge Congress to Support Environmental Justice for All
For decades, environmental justice leaders have advocated for equal protection from environmental hazards, equal access to environmental benefits, and meaningful involvement in environmental decision-making processes. The Environmental Justice for All Act (S.872/H.R. 2021) would take landmark steps to realize that vision.
Clean Air Must Be a Right, Not a Privilege
RAC Day of Action: Building Power for Purpose in Washington D.C.
Related Press Releases
Reform Jewish Leader Celebrates Passage of the Inflation Reduction Act
Reform Jewish Movement Opposes Effort to Undercut Fight Against Climate Change
Reform Jewish Movement Responds to Shrinking Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments
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Learn more about the position of the Reform Movement on these key issues, and read the formal resolutions by URJ and CCAR.
Engage Your Congregation
Every Voice, Every Vote
The Reform Jewish Movement’s 2022 Every Voice, Every Vote Campaign is a nonpartisan effort, grounded in our Jewish values and commitment to racial justice, to strengthen our democracy by encouraging and protecting voter participation.
Create a "Green Team"
One congregation shares how a dedicated, hands-on team is guiding its sustainability efforts and working to reduce the synagogue’s carbon footprint.
Plan Your Own Mitzvah Day
Plan a congregational Mitzvah Day that includes clean-up projects or other projects related to environmental justice. This guide outlines the planning process.
Host a Tu BiShvat Seder
The Tu BiSh’vat celebrates our relationship with nature, but it's also a time to look at our impact on the world around us and commit to changing the way we interact with our environment.
What Our Partners are Doing
- Dayenu: A Jewish Call to Climate Action
- Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life (COEJL)
- Jewish Earth Alliance
- Interfaith Power and Light