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JYCM Newsletter- 12/03/21

Updates from JYCM's Shmita Campaign!

  • November was focused on land. We led presentations on issues ranging from the intersections of food, climate change, and Judaism, to environmental racism. We participated in a conversation with Jewish activist elders, including Rabbi Arthur Waskow and Ruth Messinger, on the future of climate justice work in the Jewish community.

  • In partnership with NFTY and the URJ, JYCM completed our second JYCM Climate Activism Series, which is designed to educate and help Jewish teens across the country take action on climate justice. The program runs for six weeks. Reach out to us if you are interested in bringing this learning series to your community!

  • Coming up! Shmita Campaign Event - JYCM and Green Jobs! This Thursday, December 9th from 8-9pm ET. Register here! Our speakers are Nicole Horberg Decter, a labor union organizer who has devoted her career to securing equity and dignity for workers, and Adam Parker, a consultant who has been an entrepreneurial leader in community action and energy efficient organizations for decades. They will be discussing the history of green jobs, what green jobs currently look like, and finally how we can improve green jobs in the future both in terms of equity and inclusion and also in terms of workers rights.

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.


QUOTE OF THE MONTH: One who considers severing themselves from the people must sever their soul from the source of its vitality. Therefore, each individual Jew is greatly in need of the community.” — Rav Kook


Welcome to our new JYCM Kvutzot!

We now have 36 Kvutzot (chapters) - welcome to our newest members:

Kavua Learning Gardens in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada (JYCM is international!)

San Diego Jewish Academy

JYCM Los Angeles Kvutzah (supported by the Shalom Institute)

Temple Beth Sholom, Cherry Hill, NJ

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


A Word from a Board Member

Hi! My name is Sophia Rich (she/her) and I’m from Ann Arbor, Michigan. I’m sixteen and a junior in high school. In my free time I like to read, compete in public speaking competitions, and work on local political campaigns. I’ve grown up surrounded by nature and have inherited my appreciation for the environment from my family. I became passionate about climate activism a few years ago when I saw a guest speaker at my school. I then began to get involved in local environmental organizations. I heard about JYCM from a local rabbi in my town and immediately became eager to join the movement. From there, I joined the National Leadership Board on the Communications team and started a Kvutzah in Ann Arbor along with another board member.

I’ve loved meeting everyone at our board meetings and am continually impressed by everyone’s many talents and passion for climate justice. I’m so thankful to be a part of JYCM and can’t wait to see what else we’re able to accomplish as a movement!


Sharing our Stories

Microbeads are the first thing that comes to mind when I think about my introduction to climate issues. They’re found in hand soaps, face scrubs, toothpaste - and they end up in our oceans. In fourth grade, I was shown photos of plastic islands that float in our oceans, as well as animals trapped in and filled with plastic. My fourth-grade teacher, Ms. Wilson, instilled alarm about how we were treating our world and catalyzed my interest in the environment.

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

We'd like to introduce this month's story written by one of our board members, Sofi. You can read her full story here.


FROM THE FIELD! Highlighting our partners:

Hola! We're Jewtina y Co., a Jewish and Latin organization on a mission to nurture Latin-Jewish community, identity, leadership and resiliency, and celebrate Latin-Jewish heritage and multiculturalism. At Jewtina y Co. we believe in the power of storytelling as a medium of liberation as well as an expression of resilience! We created the VOCES Project to elevate narratives from any person who identifies as Latin and Jewish. Community members are invited to write their own story in their own words, exploring themes related to having a multicultural and intersectional Jewish identity. We have an online living library of stories from Latin and Jewish folks around the world, check it out! You can also listen to seasons 1 and 2 of the VOCES Podcast to get to know some of our contributors. Feeling inspired to share your story? We'd love to include your voice in our VOCES Project archive. Share your story here! Follow us @jewtinayco -

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