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JYCM Newsletter - 11/2/20

Introducing: The JYCM Storytelling Campaign!

JYCM is proud to announce our Storytelling Campaign, which we envision as a vital next step in expanding our movement at the grassroots level and spreading our message throughout the Jewish community. We hope to amplify individual stories to develop one unified but diverse Jewish climate narrative.

To bring all Jewish institutions into this movement with us, we must show Jews across the country that the climate crisis jeopardizes our very identity and future as a sustained community. Climate action can define what it means to be Jewish. JYCM members will learn how to craft and deliver powerful stories in many different formats and approached from a variety of angles. These stories are not limited to the campaign; we will compile a bank of stories, art, poetry, and D’var Torahs that will be relevant and can continue to be used well into the future.

The campaign was launched internally this past week with two summits (on October 22 and October 25) planned and led by JYCM’s intern and coordinator, Madeline Canfield and Abby Bresler. The summits educated JYCM board members about the historical background of environmental activism and Jewish activism, and the overlap between the two. We also discussed our movement’s role in rethinking the Jewish climate narrative and drafted our own stories which will begin to shape the foundation of the narrative we’re trying to create. It was so exciting to hear everyone's ideas and experiences, and it's going to be amazing to turn all of this energy into action during our campaign.

This coming week, small subteams created for the campaign will brainstorm next steps and begin launching the campaign externally. Our eventual goal is to involve the entire American Jewish community in environmental activism. To do so, we will equip Jewish youth with the skills, experience, and excitement to make Tu B’shvat 2021 the most powerful day it can be by mobilizing their own communities to take action!


Image by Haley Schusterman


JYCM Team Updates

JYCM was very busy this October. We wrapped up the Chagim Campaign with a Sukkot song event and were really in Get out the Vote campaigns, partnering with Dayenu and other youth led organizations to reach 500,000 climate concerned voters in key states.

There are only a few days left until the most important election of our lives. This year, the future of our democracy is on the ballot. I've lately found myself thinking of the famous quote from Rabbi Hillel: “If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am only for myself, what am I? And if not now, when?” It is our collective responsibility to do everything we can for a better future by electing politicians who will do everything in their power to mitigate climate change and support other key issues. You have probably already given the election some thought or maybe even voted, but it's too important to sit this one out. If you're eligible and haven't voted yet, please do. Then, call your friends and family who you think might be on the fence about candidates or only going to vote in the presidential election. Tell them that every race, no matter how small it may seem, is important. And lastly, get involved to get out the vote: phone banking and text banking is a really effective and COVID-19 safe way to make a difference. All you need to do is look up candidates in your area and they will be thrilled to have you helping them. Thank you for your work!


JYCM Kvutzot/Groups are growing!

We have launched our first five kvutzot (chapters) - welcome to:

Bernard Anshe Emet Day School in Chicago

Temple Isaiah in Lexington, MA

Congregation B'nai Emunah in Tulsa, OK

B'nai Jeshurun in New York City (joined in October)

Congregation Rodef Sholom Marin in San Rafael, CA (joined in October)

Some of the executive board members met with these Kvutzot for their first meeting already and we are so excited to keep growing. JYCM also had some exciting opportunities to present with other groups this month. We moderated another environmental racism panel at the Hazon Seal of Sustainability Summit, spoke at the JNFA's general assembly, led a workshop at the Jewish Emergent Network Yom Kippur event, spoke at YMHA's Teen Social Justice Film Series, and spoke at a Hazon Vision Rides event.

To learn more about building a JYCM Kvutzah, visit our Kvutzah page here.


Working Group Updates:

PR Team

The JYCM PR team has been working on developing a partnership with NFTY and other youth and climate groups. The PR team has also been working on getting supporting Jewish institutions in building JYCM Kvutzot. If you're interested in joining or creating a Kvutzah, please contact us!

Actions & Advocacy Team

Actions and Advocacy has focused on getting out the vote ahead of this pivotal election. We have continued to work with a number of partners to contact voters and give them information on how to vote safely and securely. Be sure to vote by November 3rd!

Comms Team

The Comms team held their Sukkot and Song event, livestreamed on JYCM’s Facebook page! Watch some of JYCM’s board members sing Hashkiveinu, and hear Rabbi Isaiah Rothstein’s song and Sukkot teaching! We are winding down our work for the Chagim Campaign, but still putting out posts on our Facebook and Instagram. We are coming out with a new Shabbat song soon as well, so stay tuned for that! The campaign calendar on our site is now changed to a general calendar, so it will now show any upcoming JYCM virtual events. We have begun developing designs and a store to sell JYCM merch. Our number one priority is to produce and manufacture sustainably while also promoting our brand. We have hopes of releasing our JYCM online store by December. Stay tuned for more updates!


"But man is a part of nature, and his war against nature is inevitably a war against himself."

- Rachel Carson


A Word from a Board Member

My name is Lucy Waldorf, I use she/her pronouns and I am from Newton, Massachusetts. In the genesis of my activism, at the age of eleven or twelve, I was introduced to climate organizing for the first time at my temple’s “Tzedek Sundays.” The speaker at the event shared with us the formidable facts of the crisis and the limited time our planet has left. Maybe it was too much for my younger self to handle or maybe I was simply overreacting, but after that presentation I believed that climate organizing was not for me.

But here we are. I am not sure exactly when but at some point I realized that all that was holding me back was fear. Fear of the undeniable facts that Climate Change presents. It would be easy to say that I am no longer scared, but it would be untruthful. Now I know that we are all afraid of this existential crisis. There is nothing wrong with being fearful but rather what we choose to do with our worries. For a while, I chose to suppress my fear but I began to realize how much it was eating away at me. I had so much more to lose by doing nothing. Now as I organize for Climate Justice, I use my fear as a rallying cry. Not only as a motive for myself but as a plea to others. In this scenario, the only thing we have to fear is NOT fear itself. We have plenty to fear; the ticking clock, the extreme weather, and the complicit corporations, but it’s how we confront that fear and carry it with us as we fight for our future that counts.


Image by Leadership Board Member Bella


Support Our JYCM Vision Rides Team!

Over the summer, Hazon launched The 2020 Vision Rides, and we have created a JYCM Rides Team! Join our team and participate in a communal effort to ride, bike, walk, run 60,000 miles and raise $120,000. 80% of funds raised will go directly to JYCM, 10% to an organization of the Leadership Board's choosing and the last 10% into general Hazon funds. You can join our team on Strava to track your miles and have any outdoor activity you do be counted as part of the Vision Rides. We have raised over $7,000 - will you help us reach our goal of getting to $10,000!?

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