Moment is proud to present Groundswell, a solutions-based series of Q&As highlighting 10 grassroots Jewish changemakers confronting the climate crisis, coinciding with the international climate change conference in Glasgow, also known as COP26.
COP26—which stands for the 26th Conference of the Parties—is organized by the United Nations and, for the most part, outcomes will be driven by the actions of a few powerful parties. Moment offers this series to readers in the hope that the insights of people engaged in specific, grounded, environmental practices will be a useful counterpoint to coverage of the overarching climate negotiations.
“Humanity is at a turning point where we either evolve into a renewed harmonious relationship with the part of ourselves we call the earth, or drive ourselves off of a cliff into oblivion due to climate catastrophe,” says Rabbi Zelig Golden, of Wilderness Torah in Northern California (one of our 10 interviewees). “Our role as human beings is to remember that we are the earth, we are part of the earth, and that we have a profound impact and influence, and this is physical, this is spiritual, and this is cultural.”
According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, climate change is already “widespread, rapid, and intensifying,” with unprecedented and irreversible shifts in our planet’s water cycle, ocean chemistry, permafrost, and heat waves already underway. Climate change is already affecting every region in the world, and the window of action to avoid a 1.5 Celsius rise in temperatures is narrowing.
In this situation, it’s easy to feel despair. Every interviewee had stories of hurricanes, fires, smog, and other serious consequences of human-caused climate change. Yet, these organizers have found not only hope and meaning in their work, but also unexpected community, allies, and connection. They have found tools and strength from their own resilient Jewish lineage, as well as from the communities around them. Several cited the well-known passage from Pirkei Avot, “You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to desist from it.”
In addition to posting on the website, Moment will be sharing each Q&A on social media. We encourage you to follow our accounts to be linked directly to the conversation and additional resources.
Links to interviews will be posted below as they are published.
November 1: Kristy Drutman on Content Creation
November 2: Hannah Fine on Community Resilience
November 3: Rachel Binstock on Spiritual Adaptation
November 4: Gidon Bromberg on Regional Interdependence
November 5: Naomi Tsur on Solving Cities
November 6: Jamie Margolin on Shifting Culture
November 7: Dev Noily on Following Indigenous Leadership
November 8: Abby Bresler on Climate and Disability Justice
November 9: Alon Eliran on Forest Cities
November 10: Zelig Golden on Earth-Based Judaism
November 11: Groundswell Wrap Up: Paradigm Shift in Process
Top photo credit: Sam Moore for Wilderness Torah