Why do we need a Jewish response to the climate crisis?
There are many answers to this question:
So many Jewish values call us to rise to the challenge of the climate crisis: dor l’dor/ generation to generation; shomrei adamah/protecting the earth; bacharta bahayim/choose life, bal tashchit/do not destroy; tirdof tzedek/pursue justice, and shomer ger yatom v’almanah/protecting the vulnerable. (And these are just a few of them!)
There is a diverse movement of people fighting for climate justice, including faith groups, Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities, young people, and more. At this time when we need all hands on deck, every part of the diverse American Jewish community must fully show up.
While only 2% of the population, the Jewish community has a strong voice in American society and politics.
Religious voices play an important role in shaping our national narratives and solutions, ensuring the centrality of human dignity, social justice, and the public good.
There is power in spiritually rooted activism. We bring Jewish history and experience, teachings and tradition, and faith and song to the movement.
People are grappling with this existential crisis, and we should be supporting them Jewishly to live with greater integrity and wholeness, attending to the spiritual issues raised by the crisis.
How does Dayenu complement other Jewish environmental organizations?
We believe that there are many levers for change, all of which are necessary to address the climate crisis. Dayenu complements other important efforts in the Jewish community (education, behavior change, farming and food, greening institutions, etc.) by galvanizing a national movement of Jews to advance the systemic and political changes necessary to avert climate disaster and build a different kind of world. Dayenu seeks to build on the strength of existing grassroots Jewish environmental organizations' work on the climate crisis, strengthening their capacity, and the entire Jewish community’s capacity, to engage in national climate advocacy.
What does "climate justice" mean, and how are we addressing it?
Climate justice recognizes that the impact of the climate crisis rests disproportionately on those who have been historically marginalized: people living in the global south, in poverty, in particularly vulnerable areas, and people who experience racism and other kinds of bigotry. By centering the voices of communities already dealing with the impacts of the climate crisis and inequity, we can dismantle inhumane systems, and establish a just and equitable clean energy economy and build a livable, sustainable world.
Dayenu recognizes that the climate crisis is a force multiplier, exacerbating historical inequities even as its impacts spread far and wide, into every corner of the world. That’s why we work arm in arm with communities that are directly impacted by, and most vulnerable to, the climate crisis, raising our voices alongside theirs.
What if I’m not religious? What if I’m not Jewish?
Dayenu is rooted in Jewish values and history, teachings and spirituality. We are focused on mobilizing and empowering the American Jewish community to confront the climate crisis. However, we are open to anybody who wants to join us. We welcome people of all backgrounds, no matter whether you are religious or not, or if you identify as Jewish or not.
What if I am already addressing the climate crisis through other organizations or efforts?
Great! Dayenu is part of the broader Jewish, national, and global movements working to confront the climate crisis. It’s going to take all of us working on all fronts and in a myriad of ways to confront the climate crisis. That's why we aim to partner with a variety of existing Jewish, multi-faith, and secular climate efforts and work together to raise up a powerful Jewish voice calling for bold climate solutions. Check out our allies and partners here →
How can I get involved?
The very first thing to do is sign the Dayenu Pledge and make a commitment to take courageous action in the coming year to confront the climate crisis. As our campaigns to end fossil fuel finance and advance climate policy, and our spiritual adaptation work gets off the ground, we’ll keep you updated by email, social media, and text message. There will also be opportunities to take urgent action as we forge a pathway to rebuild our economy and infrastructure in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to stay up to date with the latest.
How do I join or start a Dayenu Circle?
You can join an existing Dayenu Circle or start your own by bringing together friends, family, or neighbors in a living room, a group of students on your campus, members at your synagogue, JCC, or existing Jewish environmental group. Circles meet at least once monthly to engage in Dayenu-led climate campaigns and efforts, and to grapple with the deep spiritual and existential questions raised by the climate crisis. You don’t need to be a climate expert to join or start one — you just have to want to do something about the climate crisis. We’ll provide training and support for Circle members and leaders, including coaching, access to digital tools, guides, and resources, campaign opportunities, and connections to other Circles. If you or a group you are already a part of is interested in joining or starting a Dayenu Circle get in touch with us →