Learn, dream, organize! Second Jewish climate activist gathering in California

The Jewish climate movement is taking on the fossil fuel industry in California. On May 19, 2024, more than 100 people gathered at Urban Adamah in Berkeley, CA to learn, dream, and organize to KEEP a vital law that protects residential neighborhoods from oil drilling. 

The Northern CA Jewish climate gathering, organized by local leaders from Dayenu: A Jewish Call to Climate Action and the Religious Action Center (RAC) of Reform Judaism – California, prepared attendees to keep SB1137 from being overturned in the November election. SB1137, passed in 2022, establishes a 3,200 ft buffer zone between oil and gas drilling and homes, schools, and hospitals. The fossil fuel industry is spending millions of dollars to try to overturn the law in a ballot referendum in November. 

At the gathering, participants prepared to bring the campaign to keep SB1137 back to their communities and congregations to ensure that constituents understand the reality of the law and get out to vote.

Local leaders from Dayenu and the RAC-CA led the group in song, discussion, and training to practice talking about the ballot measure, and Rabbi Chai Levy of Congregation Netivot Shalom offered an opening kavanah, grounding the work in Jewish teachings. 

The gathering was just the start, kicking off a summer and fall of organizing to keep drilling out of California communities.

all photos: jungho kim | Survival media agency

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