Central Conference of American Rabbis Resolution Jewish Climate Leadership Coalition

March 31, 2022

Whereas: The climate crisis is here and is affecting the most vulnerable among us the hardest; and

Whereas: Jewish and universal values compel us to confront this challenge; and

Whereas: A coalition of over twenty major Jewish organizations has come together to launch the Jewish Climate Leadership Coalition (founding statement below), and Rabbi Hara Person, CCAR Chief Executive, has already signed on to the Coalition, as has our colleague Rabbi Rick Jacobs, President of the Union for Reform Judaism; and

Whereas: The Board’s support of this Coalition will represent an important affirmation of the CCAR’s commitment to this initiative and to the development of an organizational Climate Action Plan.

Therefore, be it resolved that the CCAR Board of Trustees authorizes the Central Conference of American Rabbis’ participation in the Jewish Climate Leadership Coalition and supports CCAR’s efforts to take action in response to the climate crisis.


March 3, 2022

Recent changes in the climate are widespread, rapid, and intensifying, and unprecedented in thousands of years. Unless there are immediate, rapid, and large-scale reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, limiting warming to 1.5°C will be beyond reach. It is indisputable that human activities are causing climate change, making extreme climate events, including heat waves, heavy rainfall, and droughts, more frequent and severe. Climate change is already affecting every region on Earth, in multiple ways. The changes we experience will increase with further warming…However, some changes could be slowed and others could be stopped by limiting warming. To limit global warming, strong, rapid, and sustained reductions in CO2, methane, and other greenhouse gasses are necessary. This would not only reduce the consequences of climate change but also improve air quality. The climate we experience in the future depends on our decisions now.Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (August, 2021) [1]

And who knows, you may have been chosen for just such a time as this.
Esther 4:14

The climate crisis is real, and it is here. Nearly one-third of Americans lived through a weather disaster last summer.[2] The overwhelming global scientific consensus confirms what we see with our own eyes: hurricanes, superstorms, wildfires, drought, dangerous air quality for months at a time—each year worse than the last.

The impact does not affect us all equally. Those in our society with less power and fewer resources, already more vulnerable, are hit hardest by the traumatic impact of climate change. Jewish values compel us to confront this crisis, and our commitment to Jewish community compels us to do so together.

Our coalition represents major Jewish organizations engaging millions of people of all ages and backgrounds, across the world. Together we recognize the urgency of the climate crisis and our obligation to do more. We commit to climate action.

Over the next six months, we will come together to learn, share, and support each other as we plan to take on new climate actions in the years ahead. By Rosh Hashanah 2022-5783, we will release our draft Climate Action Plans, with commitments from each of us. We will continue to meet regularly and to publicly report on our activities, accomplishments, and commitments at least twice a year.

The Jewish people have a long history. Our ancestors endured suffering and calamity, then rose to meet the next challenge. It is now our generation’s imperative to confront this existential crisis together with communities across the world. Our children and grandchildren need us. Our hope is not yet lost.


Jakir Manela, CEO, Hazon & Pearlstone
Marc Terrill, CEO, Associated: Jewish Federation of Baltimore
Gidi Mark, CEO, Birthright Israel
Rabbi Hara Person, Chief Executive, Central Conference of American Rabbis
Jeremy Fingerman, CEO, Foundation for Jewish Camp
Adam Lehman, CEO, Hillel International
Gideon Behar, Special Envoy for Climate Change and Sustainability, State of Israel, through the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Doron Krakow, CEO, JCC Association of North America
Amira Ahronovitz, CEO, The Jewish Agency for Israel
Eric Fingerhut, CEO, Jewish Federations of North America
Andrés Spokoiny, President and CEO, Jewish Funders Network
Russell Robinson, CEO, Jewish National Fund USA
Ilana Aisen, CEO, JPro
David Cygielman, CEO, Moishe House
Reuben Rotman, CEO, Network of Jewish Human Service Agencies
Rabbi Jacob Blumenthal, CEO, Rabbinical Assembly
Rabbi Mark Dratch, Executive Vice President, Rabbinical Council of America
Rabbi Deborah Waxman, President and CEO, Reconstructing Judaism
Rabbi Elyse Wechterman, Executive Director, Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association
Rabbi Rick Jacobs, President, Union for Reform Judaism
Rabbi Ashira Konigsburg, Chief Program Officer, United Synagogues of Conservative Judaism

[1] “Sixth Assessment Report, Working Group 1 – The Physical Science Basis.” Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. August 2021. https://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar6/wg1/downloads/outreach/IPCC_AR6_WGI_Press_Conference_Slides.pdf

[2] Sarah Kaplan and Andrew Ba Tran. “Nearly 1 in 3 Americans experienced a weather disaster this summer.” Washington Post. September 4, 2021. https:///www.washingtonpost.com/climate-environment/2021/09/04/climate-disaster-hurricane-ida/