In Wake of Mounting Climate Disasters and the California Oil Spill, Dayenu Renews its Call for Congress to Act
“It is appalling that a few, isolated moderates in the Democratic caucus remain willing to threaten the hope of a just and livable planet for generations to come.”
New York, NY – As Congress sets a final deadline to pass a major reconciliation package supported by the overwhelming majority of the American public and the Democratic caucus, Rabbi Jennie Rosenn, Founder and CEO of Dayenu: A Jewish Call to Climate Action issued the following statement:
“After months of promises and activism, including unprecedented mobilization by the American Jewish community in support of a $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill supporting climate, jobs, and justice, it is appalling that a few, isolated moderates in the Democratic caucus remain willing to threaten the hope of a just and livable planet for generations to come. Our leaders have promised, time and time again, that they will deliver historic investments in climate that meet the scale that science demands. Now, as negotiations reach their conclusion, they must follow through.
“Last week, we celebrated the holiday of Simchat Torah, when we finish the yearly cycle of reading the Torah and immediately begin again. Right now, Congress has the opportunity to initiate a new story – one in which we realize a future with good, green jobs, affordable and accessible clean energy, and environmental justice for all. Their actions can help uphold the fundamental Jewish value of living l’dor v’dor, from generation to generation.
“We applaud the Progressive Caucus for holding the line and demanding congressional leaders move the infrastructure and Build Back Better packages forward in tandem. After a summer of nonstop climate emergencies and last weekend’s devastating oil spill off the coast of California, it is time for Senators Manchin and Sinema, as well as the few Democratic holdouts in the House, to support the just, green future we need. Our country cannot afford to miss this opportunity.”
With a $3.5 trillion budget resolution passing the House today, Rabbi Jennie Rosenn, Founder and CEO of Dayenu: A Jewish Call to Climate Action issued the following statement:
“The passage of today’s $3.5 trillion budget resolution through the House marks a critical step forward on the road towards the bold climate action that most Americans support. Amid a summer of cascading weather emergencies and a UN report showing the ways in which we are perilously close to a point of no return, we call on Congress to pass a recovery package that addresses the dire threat we face and invests in bold climate solutions, jobs, care, and justice. A package that fails to include these investments will constitute a failure by our elected representatives to address the crisis at hand.
“As we approach Rosh Hashana, the Jewish new year, we enter a time of reflection and teshuvah, atonement and turning. It is painfully clear that we must turn away from fossil fuels and towards a livable, equitable future for all. And Congress must turn our country and economy toward a just and livable future by swiftly passing a recovery package that includes a pathway to 100% clean, pollution-free energy, targeted funding for communities impacted by environmental racism and injustice, and unprecedented investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy. There is no more time to waste.
“To that end, Dayenu is mobilizing the American Jewish community to demand that their elected representatives meet the moment and go big on climate. With the Jewish new year approaching, Jews will gather to publicly sound the Shofar as part of Dayenu’s Hear the Call campaign, offering a clarion call to action for leaders to pass the climate investments we so desperately need.”
Dayenu Renews Call for Bold Climate Action as Bipartisan Infrastructure Agreement Heads Toward Passage
With a bipartisan infrastructure bill heading towards passage in the Senate, Rabbi Jennie Rosenn, Founder and CEO of Dayenu: A Jewish Call to Climate Action issued the following statement:
“Now is not the time for photo-ops and symbolic victories. We need our elected leaders to meet the moment and address the climate crisis, the existential threat of our lifetimes. We are facing a climate emergency that is accelerating before our very eyes: from wildfires in the West, extreme heat and deteriorating air quality across the country, historic flooding in the Midwest, and intensifying storms along the East Coast. During the Jewish month of Elul, we blow the shofar each day, stirring our souls in preparation for the High Holidays. In 5782, Congress must Hear the Call and take decisive action to pass an ambitious budget reconciliation bill with historic investments in and incentives for renewable energy, a Clean Energy Standard, and targeted funding for communities impacted by environmental racism and injustice. We cannot afford anything less. The time for Congress to act on climate is now.”
“While this infrastructure legislation will lead to long-overdue investments in our country’s drinking water systems, transportation, and communications, it falls short, delivering paltry investments at a time when bold action is critical. This bill entirely excludes critical investments in clean energy, energy-efficient housing, education, and care and it’s investments in electric vehicle infrastructure, electric school buses, and lead service line replacement are insufficient. In short: It does not deliver the transformative change we so desperately need if we are to build a just and sustainable future.”
With Announcement of the American Families Plan, Dayenu Calls for Swift Congressional Action for a Just, Green Recovery
With President Biden proposing the American Families Plan during his Joint Address to Congress this evening, Dayenu issued the following statement from CEO and Founder, Rabbi Jennie Rosenn:
“President Biden’s address tonight demonstrated that his administration is pursuing a path toward economic recovery that addresses racial and economic inequality and confronts the clear and present danger of the climate crisis. As the coronavirus pandemic has made clear, healthcare, childcare, educational opportunities, and other social services are crucial for our families and our society. They enable people to join or return to the workforce without worrying about their own health and wellbeing or those of their loved ones at home. If we are to build a new, clean energy economy for all, we must ensure that nobody is left behind.
“Jewish tradition is clear: it is our obligation to protect the widow, the orphan, and the stranger, those who have been made most vulnerable. This certainly includes those who for too long have faced exclusion and discrimination. If we are to truly recover from the pandemic and address climate change, we will have to reimagine and rebuild our economy to include everyone.
“Together, the American Jobs Plan and the American Families Plan are crucial first steps to help ensure a society that is more equitable and sustainable, for generations to come. There is certainly much more to do, but it’s clear the President’s proposals align with the needs and concerns of Americans: that’s why 64% support the American Families Plan.
“A critical but often overlooked dimension of a just, green recovery is the care economy. We at Dayenu believe everyone should share in the benefits of a just and sustainable future – that means economic, gender, and racial justice must be at the core of climate solutions. President Biden’s proposal goes a long way towards making this vision a reality.
“We call on Congress to swiftly pass President Biden’s sweeping economic recovery proposals and deliver bold climate action at the scale that science and justice demand.”
Dayenu Welcomes Biden’s Paris Agreement Pledge and Calls for Historic Action to Secure a Just and Livable Future
With President Biden’s announcement of the United States’ Nationally Determined Contribution, it’s commitment under the Paris Agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions over the next decade, Dayenu: A Jewish Call to Climate Action, released the following statement from CEO and Founder, Rabbi Jennie Rosenn:
“After rejoining the Paris Agreement, President Biden’s announcement regarding the United States’ Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) is an important step to place our country on a path towards a just, sustainable future. The pledge reflects the urgent need to cut emissions to avert the worst impacts of the climate crisis. As the cost of clean energy continues to fall, wildfires, storms, flooding, droughts, and other extreme weather events have made clear the very high costs of inaction. It is critical that the NDC meet the scale that science and justice demands, with the US contributing its fair share to turning the tide of the crisis. Dayenu calls on the Administration and Congress to enact bold regulations and policies to meet and exceed today’s commitment
“These emission reduction targets are promises we make to the world, but we’ve made promises before, and broken them. In Judaism, words are significant and vows are sacred. Today, we must hold one another and our leaders to these commitments because it will take all of us to fulfill our communal vows and promises. As the largest historic greenhouse gas emitter, America has a responsibility to act decisively and quickly, given the urgency of the unfolding climate crisis. Today’s announcement represents an important step in taking such action.
“Dayenu will continue to demand ongoing action from the Administration and Congress to support the transition towards a sustainable and just future. Most immediately, we need a just, green recovery from the pandemic that supports clean energy, good paying jobs, equity, and justice. To that end, we urge swift passage of economic recovery and infrastructure legislation. This is a timely opportunity to provide critical investments in energy efficiency, clean energy, and transportation. Passing this legislation would demonstrate a commitment to reaching and raising the United States’ emissions pledge, and is just one of many ways Congress and the Administration can work to slash greenhouse gas emissions and rapidly transition to the clean energy future we need.
“It is time to make bold promises and keep them.”
Buoyed by Biden’s American Jobs Plan, Dayenu Calls on Congress to Support Historic Investments in Clean Energy, Good Jobs, and Justice
“As we begin the long path to recovery from the pandemic, it’s our moral obligation to rebuild a clean energy economy that is equitable and sustainable for all, for generations to come. When faced with existential crisis, the Jewish community must respond as our biblical ancestors did in Egypt: with organizing, leadership, and decisive action.” -Rabbi Jennie Rosenn
NEW YORK, NY – As President Biden proposes the largest investment in clean energy and infrastructure in U.S. history today in Pittsburgh, Dayenu: A Jewish Call to Climate Action, released the following statement from CEO and Founder, Rabbi Jennie Rosenn:
“We applaud President Biden’s vision for economic recovery and job growth through bold climate action and a focus on racial and economic justice. With the announcement of this historic proposal, Congress has a once-in-a-generation opportunity to deliver real economic stability and benefits to Americans across the country, particularly those from historically marginalized groups, while accelerating the transition to a clean energy future. With 77% of Americans supporting further Congressional action to accelerate recovery from the pandemic, there is a public mandate for affordable, accessible clean energy and infrastructure built by American workers making a living wage. Now is the time for Congress to put the country on a path towards a just and sustainable future for generations to come.
The Passover story reminds us that when faced with an existential crisis we must respond – as our biblical ancestors did in Egypt – with dedicated organizing, leadership, and decisive action. Through Dayenu’s ongoing Just, Green Recovery campaign, the Jewish community will continue to demand swift passage of an economic recovery and infrastructure package that delivers clean energy, good jobs, and justice.”
Jewish Startup Dayenu Reaches Hundreds of Thousands of Voters Concerned About the Climate Crisis in Six Key States
Climate becomes a major voting issue in 2020 elections
Phoenix, AZ — As the fraught 2020 elections approach, the new organization Dayenu is mobilizing previously overlooked blocs of voters: Jewish and infrequent voters who are concerned about the climate crisis. With volunteers contacting hundreds of thousands of Jewish and “climate-concerned” unlikely voters in six key states — Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Minnesota, and Wisconsin — Dayenu’s non-partisan Chutzpah 2020 campaign is piloting an innovative get-out-the-vote approach that centers faith and amplifies a moral obligation to confront climate change as a decisive issue in these elections.
Halfway between the campaign’s launch and Election Day on November 3, Dayenu volunteers have already reached out to 194,396 voters in Arizona, Michigan and North Carolina. 352 individual Dayenu volunteers had conversations with 1,836 Jewish climate-alarmed voters and with 16,979 infrequent voters alarmed about the climate crisis but not affiliated with the Jewish community. Dayenu’s phone banks and text banks have resulted in 4,882 people making or confirming their plans to vote, with 42% planning to vote by mail or drop off a mail-in ballot, and 47% planning to vote early in person. Following cutting-edge political science research about “vote tripling,” Dayenu’s mobilization has prompted 2,211 people to pledge to remind three of their friends to vote.
“Voters are paying attention to the climate crisis in the 2020 elections — the question is how we can help them take action on their convictions,” said Rabbi Jennie Rosenn, CEO and Founder of Dayenu. “Grounded in our Jewish values, Dayenu is encouraging Jewish Americans to confront the catastrophic impacts of climate change, racism, and the COVID-19 pandemic, and make change on a systemic level. Together, we can build a country where all people have clean air and water, good jobs, and strong communities. But not unless we vote.”
2020’s climate-fueled catastrophic wildfires, heat waves, hurricanes and flooding, along with air pollution exacerbating the risk of contracting the coronavirus, are amplifying Americans’ concern about the climate. Three out of four Americans now describe climate change as either “a crisis” or “a major problem,” and 80% of American Jews are concerned about the climate crisis. Dayenu’s approach calls for leaders who have the chutzpah (the Yiddish word for courage) to take bold action on climate change, by cutting greenhouse gas emissions and ensuring justice, good jobs, and clean air, water, and energy for all.
By employing best-practices virtual voter communications tools, Chutzpah 2020 campaign volunteers are helping ensure that climate-alarmed voters know what is at stake in this election and how to vote safely and securely.
A young Dayenu volunteer in Phoenix named Max Sussman described his experience phone banking, saying, “it’s a different feeling organizing with other Jews. There was the automatic connection. People were really listening. I walked an older woman through the Arizona Secretary of State’s website, because she was very concerned about her ballot coming in the mail. We spent about five minutes together, making sure she was properly registered to vote by mail. This is a place we can make a difference.”
Dayenu’s effort is strengthened by more than 20 partner organizations including Interfaith Power and Light, Jewish Climate Action Network-NY, Jewish Council on Public Affairs, T’ruah: the Rabbinic Call for Human Rights, Avodah, Keshet, Uri L’Tzedek, Arizona Jews for Justice, and Jewish Youth Climate Movement.
Dayenu’s voter universe for the Chutzpah 2020 campaign was informed by modeling and research from the Yale University Program on Climate Change Communication. Yale’s research has categorized Americans into six groups based on their climate change beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors, and found that the Alarmed segment has nearly tripled in size while the Dismissive and Doubtful segments have decreased, between 2014 and 2019. Polls from key states report similar climate concerns, such as a poll finding 71% of Arizona voters agree the federal government “needs to do more to combat climate change” and 66% support stronger action by the Governor and state legislature.
Dayenu leaders and Jewish community volunteers are available to speak to the press about their experiences mobilizing for climate justice in this crucial election year. Please contact email@example.com to arrange interviews.
Media are also invited to virtually join Chutzpah 2020 campaign phone banks and text banks, by prior arrangement.
For more information about the Chutzpah 2020 campaign, visit https://dayenu.org/chutzpah.
Today, Dayenu joined more than 30 Jewish communal organizations from around the country to press Members of Congress to advance a just, green recovery to address the economic recession caused in part by the coronavirus pandemic.
While organizational sign-ons are closed, you can add your name to this letter to Congress here.
Dear Member of Congress:
As Jewish communities that care deeply for the future of this country, we pray for your strength as you continue your work to heal our nation in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Thank you for the efforts you have already made to address the pandemic. As the COVID-19 crisis surges, we ask you to act with compassion to continue to ensure robust funding for public health and economic assistance for those in need. Assistance must be provided at levels that are commensurate with the devastating impact of this crisis and directed especially to communities disproportionately impacted. We are concerned that stimulus funds intended to support small businesses and vulnerable individuals have been misdirected to polluting industries that are compromising our collective future.
As you turn your attention from immediate needs to long-term recovery, we urge you to recognize that the global climate crisis also continues to imperil our health, safety and economy. While COVID-19 continues to spread across the country, 2020 is on track to being the hottest year on record. In our most northern state of Alaska, permafrost is melting and tides are rising, forcing villages to relocate. While Southern and Eastern states face record flooding and heat waves, Western states continue to suffer a multi-year mega-drought, and agriculture is in crisis in the Midwest. The climate crisis is worsening, and costing taxpayers, insurers, and governments at all levels; Since January, according to NOAA, there have been 10 climate-related weather disasters in the United States that have each cost over $1 billion.
We also know that climate change exacerbates the coronavirus crisis. Burning fossil fuels releases particulates and emissions that negatively impact respiratory health, which can make COVID-19 even more dangerous, especially in Black, Brown, Indigenous and low-income communities.
The COVID-19 pandemic has made clear the consequences of neglecting to listen to science and prepare for disaster. This is the time to accelerate the transition to a more sustainable, equitable economy in order to achieve more resilient communities and provide cheaper, renewable sources of energy.
We urge you to act boldly to preserve human lives and all of God’s creation by adopting a stimulus and recovery plan that:
- Accelerates the transition to 100% clean energy by 2030 by incentivizing the deployment of clean energy and investing in sustainable infrastructure;
- Creates growth in the green jobs sector by requiring high standards for good jobs and provides for job training and a just transition for workers in greenhouse gas intensive industries and their communities;
- Furthers environmental justice by working in concert with community leaders to ensure that communities on the frontlines of poverty and pollution benefit from the recovery and transition to clean energy; and
- Discontinues investment in and subsidies for fossil fuel infrastructure and takes steps to hold polluters accountable.
As Jews, in moments of danger we encourage each other with the words that Moses spoke to his successor Joshua as he took responsibility for leading the Children of Israel to the promised land: chazak v’ematz, be strong and courageous (Deuteronomy 31:23). Our future depends on your strength and courage. We urge you to seize this moment to take action for a more just, sustainable, and healthy world for generations to come.
Dayenu: A Jewish Call to Climate Action
Jewish Earth Alliance
In this time of intense anger and grief, in a country where Black communities are targeted by police violence, we want to acknowledge the collective pain that this moment represents.
George Floyd. Ahmaud Arbery. Breonna Taylor. Tony McDade. All killed in acts of violence, targeted because of the color of their skin.
It’s no accident that police violence, coronavirus, and climate change all disproportionately impact Black communities. Our healthcare, housing, food, transportation and energy systems put Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities at much higher risk of contracting and dying from coronavirus, whether from poverty or dirty air.
The painful words that George Floyd uttered as he was choked to death, “I can’t breathe” reflect both the devastating, immediate human cost of police brutality and the longer-term crisis of environmental racism.