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.
In weeks like this one, with the climate crisis and political crises in full view, I struggle with the question of agency. Do I have any power at all to effect change? If I cannot control the "big" things that are happening in real time all around me, do my actions matter? It's easy to become dispirited and believe that we don't have much power.
A few weeks ago, Noam and I decided to introduce our kids to the movie Fiddler on the Roof. They were excited to sing along to some already-familiar songs like "Matchmaker" and "Tradition," and thought the wedding scene was beautiful. However, I had forgotten just how dark the end of the movie is. As we watched the Jews being expelled from their village of Anatevka, trudging down the road together, and pausing at the crossroads before going their own separate ways, my 10-year-old asked whether something like that could ever happen to us here in America.
Close your eyes and imagine: a hot bowl of soup simmering on the stove, crisp latkes frying in a pan, or a steaming cup of tea or hot chocolate. Can you almost smell it?! As the weather gets colder and the days darker, it's human nature to turn to "comfort foods" for warmth, satisfaction, nourishment and, well, comfort.