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JYCM Newsletter - 3/4/21

JYCM Included on Slingshot's Annual “10 to Watch” List!

Slingshot, an organization that engages young Jewish philanthropists to make lasting impact, has announced its 2021 “10 to Watch” list that highlights young organizations and projects in North America that are responding to current and timely needs in the Jewish community and beyond. The Jewish Youth Climate Movement is so honored to be among nine other incredible up-and-coming initiatives. You can read the announcement article in Alma about why Jewish innovation matters.


Board Updates

JYCM has been busy as always, finishing up our Storytelling Campaign and starting off a new period of internal reflection and movement building. We are so excited to have been joined by three new JYCM interns, Ruby Martinez, Natalia Paley Whitman, and Shaina Morrel!

Ruby is joining the Jewish Youth Climate Movement as an organizing intern. Ruby is a first-year at Oberlin College studying religion, politics, and education. Originally from Manhattan, Ruby held the position of Religious and Cultural Vice President of NFTY NAR and spends her summers at Eden Village Camp, where she found a love for the deeply woven connections between Judaism, social justice, and the earth.

Natalia is joining the Jewish Youth Climate Movement as a Strategy Intern for Spring 2021. She is a second-year student at Brandeis University, majoring in Anthropology and double-minoring in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Peace, Conflict, and Coexistence Studies. Before transferring to Brandeis, Natalia served on the executive boards of her campus Hillel and Outdoors Club, launched an Ecosia on Campus campaign, ran student health programs for her school’s Wellness Center, and once spent three weeks on a conservation crew in Oregon.

Shaina is joining the Jewish Youth Climate Movement team as the Kvutzah Group Intern. She is currently a second semester senior at the George Washington University studying International Affairs with a focus on human rights. She loves education and has developed and implemented Jewish social justice programs at her URJ summer camp, as a religious school teacher, and in her leadership positions on campus.

In the end of January JYCM planned several events in coordination with the Big Bold Jewish Climate Fest including the “Future of the Climate: A Conversation with Youth Who Founded a Movement,” a powerful event centering the voices of influential youth climate activists Jamie Margolin, Isha Clarke, Katie Eder, and Amalia Hochman. This as well as several workshops focusing on storytelling and climate narrative attended by youth from across the country as well as teens from NFTY and BBYO. In early February, JYCM co-led a program for NFTY’s National Convention, involving up to 60 teens. This successful campaign has launched JYCM into a new chapter of expanding and growing as we continue to tell our climate stories and understand the importance of public narrative in our work.

This month has been mostly dedicated to much needed rest after the campaign, inward reflection and movement building. We were honored to meet with a leader of Uprooted & Rising, an organization dedicated to fighting for better food policies in the higher education system. She shared their strategies for building movement DNA, and movement principles. This has led JYCM to our two part Movement DNA and Principles Summit focusing entirely on how to improve and grow this amazing movement!

In other news, JYCM is working to revamp our website and update our online presence. Look out for that! JYCM is focused on making change within the Jewish community and for our climate, but with the understanding that we need time to rest and reflect in order to do our best work. Please take this as a reminder that even though it feels like the world is moving at full speed ahead, we are still living in a pandemic. It is ok to not be as productive or feel your best all the time. We are all going through this together. Reach out to your friends and family to check in and allow yourself time to reflect and check in with yourself as well!


Image Credit: Rabbi Julie Danan

[Image Description: A photo of a Great Blue Heron from the torso up, its head pointed to the left and neck curved. It is illuminated by sunlight from behind and stands in front of a blue lake in which many green and brown lily pads float.]


Welcome to our new JYCM Kvutzah!

We now have 15 Kvutzot (chapters) - welcome to our newest member:

Congregation B'nai Israel of Vallejo in Vallejo, CA

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


A Word from a Board Member

Hi! I'm Orly (she/hers) from Dedham, Massachusetts, and I'm in the 8th grade at Schechter Boston. I enjoy theater, swimming, and working towards environmental justice.

I have been interested in the environment and climate issues since my 6th grade trip to Nature's Classroom in Connecticut where we had the opportunity to spend time in nature and learn about issues surrounding our climate. Afterwards I got involved in my school's green team and then JYCM.

JYCM has given me the chance to learn about a wide range of issues while also learning the practical tools we need to educate and organize our peers. I have been lucky to have amazing high-school age mentors and collaborators who have also become friends.

I am excited for JYCM to grow into a national network of teens who can work together to have our voices heard and to make change.


Sharing Our Stories

Over the course of our storytelling campaign, we've 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 the newsletters. If you're interested in having yours featured, please reach out to

Without further ado, we'd like to introduce this months story written by one of our board members, Tali. You can read her story here.

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