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Notes from a Small Planet: 250 Rabbis (and One Pope) Can’t Be Wrong!

Basia Yoffe
May 12, 2015

globeRabbi Arthur Waskow of the Shalom Center reports:

As of the morning of May 11, 2015, 250 rabbis have signed a Rabbinic Letter on the Climate Crisis, calling for vigorous action to prevent worsening climate disruption and to seek eco-social justice. We are delighted to share the news of this major statement broadly during the week when we read the Torah portion (Leviticus 25-27) about the Earth’s need for a restful Sabbatical/Shmita Year.

The Rabbinic Letter was initiated by seven leading rabbis from a broad spectrum of American Jewish life: Rabbi Elliot Dorff, rector of the American Jewish University; 
Rabbi Arthur Green, rector of the Hebrew College rabbinical school; Rabbi Peter Knobel, former president, Central Conference of American Rabbis; Rabbi Mordechai Liebling, director of the Social Justice Organizing Program at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College; Rabbi Susan Talve, spiritual leader of Central Reform Congregation, St. Louis; Rabbi Arthur Waskow, director of The Shalom Center; and Rabbi Deborah Waxman, president of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College.

The seven wrote:

Our decision to do this arose out of our learning that Pope Francis will this summer issue an encyclical to the Church and the World that will address the climate crisis in the context of worsening concentrations of wealth and power and worsening degradations of poverty.

We believe it is important for the spiritual leadership of the Jewish people to speak to the Jewish people as a whole and to the world on this deep crisis in the history of the human species and of many other life-forms on our planet.

For the full text of the letter, click here. If you are a rabbi and wish to sign, click here. (Soon we will be asking other Jewish spiritual and communal leaders to join in this effort, but for now we want to highlight the rabbinic support.)

Click here to donate to the campaign.