As I stood amongst the crowd just a few weeks ago, I was filled with a sense of purpose and gratitude. I was gathered with around 100 Boston-area Jews in front of a Chase Bank branch, calling on Chase to divest from fossil fuels. We highlighted the urgency of the moment by showing how the climate crisis is our modern-day “10 plagues.” Our organizing was part of a national campaign by Dayenu, an organization working to mobilize the Jewish community to respond powerfully to the climate crisis.
At the beginning of April, the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reported that while some progress has been made in ameliorating global warming, there is only a slim chance of averting a rise in temperatures of 3 degrees Fahrenheit unless greenhouse gas emissions peak within three years. Three degrees may not seem like much, but the temperatures have already risen nearly 2 degrees, and the impact can be seen in unprecedented fires, storms, and heat waves around the world. This week, temperatures in India’s Punjab region, which is its bread basket, are predicted to hit a crippling 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
With a mix of younger and older residents pressing for action, Evanston City Council members approved a resolution declaring a climate emergency and committing to an immediate mobilization effort to restore climate stability.
To applause from audience members, the Evanston City Council voted 7-0 on April 25 in favor of the resolution, which draws on a statement from the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change about the dire need for action.
(Bloomberg) – Citigroup Inc. shareholders rejected a proposal that would have limited the bank’s ability to lend to projects dedicated to new oil and gas exploration as climate activists convened at the firm’s Tribeca headquarters in Manhattan. Just 12.8% of shareholders voted in favor of the measure, according to a preliminary tally at the company’s virtual annual meeting Tuesday. Investors also rejected proposals that would have required the company to examine how it treats Indigenous people and review its efforts to become an anti-racist institution.
Matzah in Hand, Local Jewish Leaders and Allies Call on Wells Fargo to “Move Their Dough” from Fossil Fuels
On April 19, Jewish leaders from Colorado Jewish Climate Action (CJCA) and Dayenu: a Jewish Call to Climate Action, Colorado Jews for Justice, and Ekar Farm gathered in front of the Denver branch of Wells Fargo Bank to call on Wells Fargo CEO, Charlie Scharf, to take immediate action to end their investments in fossil fuels. Emphasizing the urgency of the moment and lifting up the symbols of Passover, community leaders proclaimed the plagues that fossil fuel Pharaohs – coal, oil and gas companies – have inflicted on us.
Temple Beth El Rabbi Shifra Weiss-Penzias on Tuesday holds up three pieces of Passover matzah during a protest a Chase Bank in Santa Cruz. The action was part of series of protests throughout the United States and Canada during the weeks around Passover where Jews and allies are gathering outside the branches and offices of the banks and asset managers that exacerbate the climate crisis by investing their money in fossil fuels. The recently founded international movement organizing the protest is called Dayenu (“enough” in Hebrew) and Temple Beth El’s Dayenu Circle organized the local event.
Jewish groups and clergy members from the District, Maryland and Virginia held a Passover-inspired public action on April 20 demanding that U.S. banks stop funding fossil fuel projects.
Some 100 people gathered in front of the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church in Washington before marching to nearby banks, including Wells Fargo, Chase Bank and BlackRock, which are among the leading financiers of fossil fuel production around the world, according to a 2022 report by Banking On Climate Chaos. The report said these four banks provide one quarter of all fossil fuel project financing.
Cantors and musicians sang and others recited the 10 plagues of Passover and spoke about how the plagues paralleled the climate crisis. One of the plagues, boils, was likened to heat waves that can lead to heat exhaustion and death.
The event was organized by Dayenu: A Jewish Call to Climate Action, a nationwide group formed to confront the climate crisis. Protestors called for the banks to move their money out of fossil fuels and into clean energy.
Dayenu, a Jewish national nonprofit dedicated to combating climate change, held a boisterous protest outside of BlackRock’s San Francisco office Tuesday in response to what it called the corporation’s exacerbation of the climate crisis.
Local activists with the national group followed up with a protest in Palo Alto Wednesday, chanting, “no more coal, no more oil, keep your carbon in the soil!” before demonstrating outside Chase, Citibank, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo.
AMHERST — Jewish leaders, joined by area climate and social justice activists and interfaith communities, will be calling on financial institutions to end their investments in fossil fuels in an action in downtown Amherst on Thursday.
The “Move Their Dough” event, being led by the Western Massachusetts Dayenu Circle, will be held in front of the Bank of America branch at 1 South Pleasant St. Thursday at noon.
The action is timed to both Passover and Earth Day.
A new chapter of a Jewish environmental group held its first official action April 14, when it protested outside the Forest Hill branch of the Royal Bank of Canada in Toronto.
The group, called Dayenu, originally started in the United States in the summer of 2020. The Toronto chapter called on the bank to divest funds from fossil fuels and redirect them toward green tech and renewable energy companies. The group also delivered a letter to the bank’s CEO.
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