In Kavana’s recent community survey, over 90% of respondents said that they were concerned or very concerned about climate change.
In Kavana’s recent community survey, over 90% of respondents said that they were concerned or very concerned about climate change. Our community’s overwhelming concern is consonant with the sense of urgency felt throughout Seattle, the region, and beyond, as evidenced in the growth of popular movements to address the climate crisis. One such movement, the Seattle Green New Deal (SGND), is quickly advancing a bold new vision for eliminating Seattle’s climate pollution by 2030 while addressing inequalities and creating good green new jobs in the process. Spearheaded by 350 Seattle and Got Green, the SGND is already supported by the Seattle City Council, nearly 200 organizations, and 5000 individuals. The SGND is a concrete way to enact several core Jewish values, including: The Biblical mandate to humanity to serve as guardians of the earth (cf Genesis 2, Leviticus 25); The Jewish value placed on responsibility, especially in the Talmud’s painstaking concern with correctly assigning responsibility for damage to life, body, and property, and requiring restitution; The Jewish imperative to preserve life, perhaps most notably in the story of Noah.
At a recent board meeting, Kavana voted to endorse the Green New Deal for Seattle. To learn more about the campaign, and to add your name to the petition asking the City Council and the Mayor to act on climate, visit https://seattlegnd.org/. To help Kavana's efforts to advance this initiative, or if you are part of an organization that you think should also endorse this initiative, please contact Kavana partner Ingrid Elliott.
The Torah is usually terse and concise, but this week's parasha, Chayei Sarah, centers around a long story that is anything but! All 67 verses of Genesis chapter 24 are devoted to a single narrative: the tale of Abraham sending his servant on a journey to find a wife for his son Isaac, and returning with Rebecca, a woman of great agency, strength and generosity.
We Jews know how to wait. That is, we deeply understand humanity's imperfections, and that the presence of injustice or cruelty in our world cannot undermine our steadfast focus on trying to achieve our vision of a more perfect, more just future. We have lots of historical experience to draw on, and much language for this kind of spiritual resilience. One line that's been swimming through my head this week is from the prayer "Ani Maamin": "v'af al pi she-yitmameah, im kol zeh achakeh lo." Translating loosely here (and transposing what we're waiting for from a messianic figure to a time characterized by messianic ideals), this means: despite the fact that it's taking a long time for the world to change in the ways we believe it should, still, we are undeterred; we will wait - and work - until we arrive at an era of peace and justice.
Yesterday was the second anniversary of the violent attack on the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. Its memory casts a long shadow for me, and this year, the anniversary feels like a powerful reminder of the very high stakes of next week’s election.