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JYCM Newsletter - 9/16/20

What's going on with the Chagim Campaign?


Over the past few weeks, we have launched our first campaign, The Chagim Campaign! The campaign is 7 weeks long, spanning the High Holidays. Each week there is a different theme and program, with connections to Judaism, sustainability and some action steps for individuals to take. During the first program, we heard from JIFA and The Open Siddur Project on the New Year for the Animals and about ways to stop factory farming. The second week we had a Shabbat service led by Rabbi Isaiah Rothstein, co-founder of JYCM. Last week we partnered with Dayenu in a text-banking event to help people register to vote in the upcoming election. This week, we will be hearing from founding board members, Bella Weksler and Sophie Raskin, who will be leading a Food and Climate Webinar with Becky O’Brian. Join us for that event tonight (Wednesday) from 6:30-7:30pm ET! For the full calendar click on this link which will take you to our calendar on our website.


Art by leadership board member Asher S.

Working Group Updates:

PR Team First, some members of the PR team have been working on creating partnerships with other like-minded organizations. One member of the PR team had the opportunity to meet with the director of the BBYO International Climate Crisis Task Force to discuss partnering with them. Members of the PR team have also been working on toolkits for Kvutzot and we will try to get 50 toolkits up by the end of the month. Additionally, members of the PR team have been trying to figure out how the Kvutzot can stay connected with us. Lastly, people on the PR team have been working on planning all the details for our teen-led panel event which is on the 21st of September, we hope to see you there!


Actions & Advocacy Team The actions and advocacy team had an awesome first event and is excited to put on another one soon. At our first-ever get out the vote (GOTV) text banking party with Dayenu, we sent around 3600 texts to swing-state voters! If you missed us this time, we will be continuing to hold GOTV events bi-weekly until the election. We are also thrilled to moderate a panel of experts who will be sharing their knowledge with us on environmental racism. We will see you soon!


Comms Team The Instagram and Facebook team have been creating posts and visuals to promote campaign events. We also just released a new song video for Havdalah! You can watch it here. The website team has been working alongside both the A&A and the PR team to create a JYCM KvutzahGroup portal, with a curriculum for our Kvutzah members, a Kvutzah map, and a place for people to communicate. We are excited to be branching out with our chapters! If you are interested in joining JYCM, email us!


We are excited to be launching this campaign, and to connect with the broader Jewish community. Visit the campaign calendar to view and register for events.


A Word From a Board Member

My name is Yonah Sadeh, I am 17 years old, a freshman in the Simon’s Rock Early College Program, and I’m from Falls Village CT. Growing up on a small organic farm, I had some experiences with sustainability practices such as composting, eating local, and living off the land. I joined JYCM because I wanted a place to take these things I knew and connect them to my Jewish roots, learning from and with Jewish teens who were also passionate about the climate. Being in JYCM for just a few months, I have already learned so much valuable information about movement ecology, connections between the Torah and the earth, website and social media development and strategies, and how to work together as a team to get something done. I have become a better leader, and I now feel more prepared to take my learnings and bring them to my school and community.

"״איזה הוא חכם? הלומד מכל אדם

"Who is wise? The one who learns from everyone."


Image by leadership board member Isaiah S.

D'var Torah by leadership board member Noah Kassis

Right now, the world seems to be falling apart. 200,000 have died from a pandemic, the West Coast is consumed by flames which destroy forests and terrorize lungs, and age-old democratic institutions seem to be crumbling in the face of a relentless authoritarian onslaught. It would be easy to imagine that we’re in end times, to mark 2020 as the year when everything becomes violence, to throw up our hands in fatalistic despair as the news gets worse and worse and—somehow—even worse.

That would be wrong. Not only for the obvious reasons—to mark 2020 as an ending is to admit defeat, to allow greed to destroy our natural world and our democracy. It would be wrong because, at its core, 2020 is not a time of endings. We must assert, with all of our faith, humanity, and love for the planet, that we live in a time of beginnings.

2020 is the founding year of JYCM—the year that we begin to rally the Jewish community to end the climate crisis. It is a year of human rights—of a movement that proclaims without equivocation that Black Lives Matter. 2020 is a year of democratic renewal—when we can demand true representation from our leaders and vote them out when they fail us. It’s a year of clarity—with fires, hurricanes, and record temperatures convincing more Americans than ever that we need climate action now. And 2020 is a year of activation—with young people assuming their place as leaders of our movements and politics demanding a just, progressive future.

Most importantly, 2020 is the first year of the Decade of the Green New Deal—our last, best chance to win the change we need to avert catastrophe. This is no ending; this is our start. This is the moment to double, triple, quadruple our commitment. This is the time when we (virtually) link arms, keep our loved ones close, and save up the fortitude, resiliency, and faith we need to build our movement for justice. A line from the Book of Esther comes to mind: “Perhaps [we] were born for such a time as this”; this Rosh Hashanah, our fight begins anew.


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