Jews have long contributed to movements for justice and positive social change in a way that is massively disproportionate to our numbers. Today we must unleash this power for passionate activism to mobilize the will of individuals, communities and governments to change course and choose life.
First and foremost, we must put our own house in order. Israel must fulfill the prophetic vision to be a “light unto the Nations”. Jewish Climate Initiative will stimulate the adoption of aggressive economic, energy and industrial policies that point the way to sustainability.
We hope thereby to help restore to Israel a mission of ethical and spiritual leadership in the world, such as was envisaged by the founders of Zionism.
We seek to be catalysts for change in the practices of industry and individuals, as well as new directions in Israeli and United States policy.
Among our programs to further these goals
- Policy Studies. Jewish Climate Initiative will research, write and commission expert studies aimed at establishing the most effective policies for combating climate change. Research areas will include:
- Guidelines on national carbon footprint reduction,
- Renewable energy targets,
- Fiscal instruments, incentives and tax policies,
- National and international carbon capping and pricing mechanisms.
- Global equity in combating climate change; incentives for developing countries to curb tropical deforestation, etc.
We will thereby ensure that our activism is grounded in sound and rigorous policy research. The results will also be informed by our Jewish Ethics Research Programs.
- Building Coalitions and Lobbying Organisations. Jewish Climate Initiative will establish coalitions with other Jewish organizations and environmental NGO’s, to build a mass movement for change and to stimulate adoption of policies that will avert and alleviate impacts of climate change.
- Jewish Climate Change Corps. The poorest and most vulnerable citizens of the world are already suffering the effects of more extreme weather events that scientists link to climate change. Jewish Climate Initiative will build an initiative, modeled on the peace corps which will organize and train Jewish youth, teens, college, post-IDF, etc., to lead and contribute to international development projects aimed at coping with the impacts of climate change.
- Jewish Student and Youth Activism. Together with Hazon, COEJL, JNF, and Heschel, Jewish Climate Initiative will build a movement to mobilize Jewish Student and Youth Activism to campaign against climate change. This could capture the imagination of thousands of Jewish students currently alienated from Jewish life. Our main inspiration in this area is the Campaign for Soviet Jewry, which not only changed the face of international politics in the 70’s and 80’s but also connected countless unaffiliated Jews with the Jewish People.