JYCM Newsletter- 11/1/2021
[Image Description: A photo of four members of the JYCM national leadership board at the BlackRock action. Three of the youth wear gray long sleeved shirts with JYCM’s logo and name in yellow. Two are wearing cloth masks, and all four are smiling. Other protesters at the event are visible in the background.] Image Credit: Shayne Cyrtrynbaum
Updates from JYCM's Shmita Campaign!
On October 18th, members of JYCM led an action in New York City demanding that BlackRock's CEO Larry Fink stand by his Jewish values and end its funding of the fossil fuel industry and human rights violations. For the first time ever, protesters were able to fully shut down entrances to BlackRock headquarters. Nine people, including 3 rabbis, were arrested at this peaceful protest. Watch a video on the action here.
On Thursday, October 28th, JYCM board members and Jakir Manela, CEO of Hazon, discussed Judaism, youth climate justice, and how to rally our communities to create change, in preparation for COP 26 – the United Nations Climate Change Conference. You can watch the recording of the session here.
SIGN THE PETITION! JYCM co-sponsored this project with Young Jews for a Green New Deal. "In the spirit of l’dor v’dor / fun dor su dor, the Jewish value of responsibility to future generations, this petition urges members of Congress to support the Green New Deal by passing several acts."
JYCM co-sponsored a digital rally that occurred October 28th: Dayenu Jewish Day of Action to Build Back Better! American Jews came together to urge lawmakers to pass the Build Back Better Act, with funding for climate, justice, jobs, and care.
Reminder: Each month of our Shmita Campaign will revolve around one central value (a Shmita Midah) present within biblical and Talmudic teachings on Shmita: Food and Agriculture, Debt and the Economic System, Land, Work and Rest, Equity and Justice, and Time. Each month will consist of teach-ins, policy education events, and direct actions corresponding to the themed month of the campaign. The Shmita Campaign provides the structure to recruit energized youth and garner commitments from our Jewish leaders that our institutions will actively participate in the global movement to pursue a sustainable and just world for all. We are issuing a call to our institutions to support these Seven Shmita Campaign Commitments.
[Image Description: A photo of protesters holding posters in front of a building at the BlackRock action. There are two rows of protesters. In the first row, members of JYCM speak into a pink microphone.] Photo Credit: Jonathan Kopp
[Image Description: JYCM protesters holding up signs of varying colors and messages at the BlackRock action. The signs read, “Jewish Youth for Climate Justice” / “System Change not Climate Change” / “L'dor v'dor - divest for our future” / "We deserve a future," all in bold, capital letters.] Photo credit: Sharon Cyrtrynbaum
QUOTE OF THE MONTH:
“To see what is right and not do it is lack of courage.” -Confucius
Welcome to our new JYCM Kvutzot!
We now have 34 Kvutzot (chapters) - welcome to our newest members:
Gann Academy, Newton, MA
Kellman Brown Academy, Voorhees, NJ
Golda Och Academy, West Orange, NJ
To learn more about building a JYCM Kvutzah, visit our Kvutzah page here.
A Word from a Board Member
Hi! My name is Ellah Varano, I use she/her pronouns. I am in 8th grade and I am from Sacramento, California, which is Miwko and Nisenan Land. I am very passionate about climate activism and a hobby of mine is playing the trumpet. I enjoy going to the beach and I love to travel.
I joined JYCM because I wanted to find an organization that would allow me to immerse myself in my Jewish faith and use my Jewish values to advocate for the earth. Once I came across JYCM I knew it would be a great fit.
I love JYCM because I feel like it gives me an opportunity to make a difference, help plan actions, and be a part of something that I know will make a difference in the long run.
I like JYCM because we are a youth-led organization. The Jewish Youth Climate Movement allows Jewish youth to have a chance to immerse themselves in Jewish values while getting to fight climate injustice. My hopes for JYCM is that we, as a movement, get to become very well known throughout the country. I also hope we are able to reach out to bigger institutions that can help build our movement even more.
Ellah, 8th grade, California, Actions Team
Sharing our Stories
Social Justice was never a path I actively meant to pursue. Rather, personal actions, goals, and desires forged the way for what I now consider to be a life led by social justice values. I think a lot of my passion for social justice comes from Jewish teachings I began to take part in at a young age: practices of Tikkun Olam (acts of love and kindness), Tzedakah (giving to charity), and simply offering food to your neighbor all were values shared with me over and over again until they became my own. And, while I don't like to be told what to think, in this instance I'm grateful for the values that I was presented with so early on in life.
Over the course of our storytelling campaign, we learned the importance of storytelling in the climate movement. We gave everyone a chance to learn how to tell their story and share it with everyone. In the coming months we will be sharing people's climate stories in JYCM's monthly newsletters. If you're interested in having yours featured, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Without further ado, we'd like to introduce this month's story written by one of our board members, Sasha. You can read her full story here.