Join us in saying:
Dayenu: We have had enough!
But we also have enough. We have what we need to transform our world.
To secure a livable and sustainable world for all people for generations to come by building a multi-generational Jewish movement that confronts the climate crisis with spiritual audacity and bold political action.
Dayenu is building a dynamic, multi-generational movement of American Jews courageously confronting the climate crisis. We are adults, and we are teenagers. We are professionals, and we are students. We are parents, and we are retirees. We are long time climate activists, and we are people increasingly concerned and wondering what we can do about the climate crisis. Some of us draw strength from Jewish teachings and our spiritual roots. Some of us are simply seeking meaningful ways to act.
Grassroots leadership is the engine that drives our work. Through a growing network of Dayenu Circles across the country, we’re gathering, training, and taking action to advance bold solutions to the climate crisis. Learn more about Dayenu Circles here →
Dayenu partners closely with other organizations and efforts — within and beyond the Jewish community — to help bring the full strength and voice of the American Jewish community to national and global movements. We also work arm in arm with communities that are directly impacted by, and most vulnerable to, the climate crisis. Learn more about Dayenu’s allies and partners here →
Rabbi Jennie Rosenn
Rabbi Jennie Rosenn has spent more than two decades leading Jewish non-profit organizations, advocating for social change and creating dynamic new initiatives at the heart of the Jewish social justice movement. Before founding Dayenu, Rabbi Rosenn served as vice president for community engagement at HIAS, where she built a robust Jewish movement responding to the global refugee crisis.
Prior to serving at HIAS, Rabbi Rosenn spent nearly a decade growing the Jewish social justice movement as the director of the Jewish Life and Values Program at the Nathan Cummings Foundation. There she built the Jewish Social Justice Roundtable and the Selah Leadership Training Program, while spearheading initiatives to cultivate the environmental movement and women as agents of change in Israel.
Rabbi Rosenn has also served as rabbi at Columbia/Barnard Hillel, a founding board member of AVODAH: The Jewish Service Corps and Repair the World, and on the boards of the Jewish Funders Network and New York Jobs with Justice. Rabbi Rosenn was ordained by Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion where she was a Wexner Graduate Fellow. She has twice been named one of the Forward’s 50 most influential Jews in America.
Phil Aroneanu is an organizer and political strategist. He co-founded 350.org, where he helped launch and run dozens of efforts, including the campaign against the Keystone XL Tar Sands pipeline, the Fossil Fuel Divestment campaign, and the People's Climate March. He directed Bernie Sanders’ 2016 campaign in New York, helped mobilize millions to the streets and the ballot box after the 2016 elections, and directed digital organizing at the American Civil Liberties Union. Phil has also consulted and managed a variety of global, national, and state-level electoral and advocacy efforts.
Rabbi Elka Abrahamson
Rabbi Sharon Brous
Dana R. Fisher
Rachel Jacoby Rosenfield
John S. Ruskay
Rabbi David Saperstein
Rabbi B. Elka Abrahamson is President of The Wexner Foundation. She oversees the Foundation's full range of activities and imagines how the Foundation might further strengthen and educate Jewish professional and volunteer leaders in North America and public service leaders in the State of Israel. Rabbi Abrahamson has been associated with the Foundation for many years. She was the Director of the Graduate Fellowship Program and Vice President prior to assuming her current role in 2011.
A proud member of the Frozen Chosen, Elka, a native Minnesotan, earned her teaching degree from the University of Minnesota and spent the early years of her career creating curricula for religious schools and informal educational settings, particularly Jewish camps. Ordained at HUC-JIR, New York, Elka began her career as associate rabbi at Peninsula Temple Beth El, San Mateo, CA. She then served, with her husband, Rabbi Martin (Misha) Zinkow, as co-senior rabbi at Mount Zion Temple in St. Paul, MN.
Rabbi Abrahamson, well known as a dynamic speaker and engaging teacher is relentlessly optimistic about the Jewish future owing to the remarkable leaders she encounters in her rabbinate, many of them Wexner Alumni. She serves as High Holiday Rabbi at the 92nd Street Y in New York City and has been published in magazines, books and journals. She is a popular scholar-in-residence, presenter, and keynote speaker for a wide variety of Jewish organizations. She received the Bernard Reisman Award as an outstanding member of the professional Jewish community and is the 2019 recipient of the Mandelkorn Distinguished Service Award.
Elka is an avid student and dedicated teacher of Mussar. She also loves a good football game, especially if the Vikings (or Buckeyes) are winning.
Shifra Bronznick is a strategist to social sector networks, organizations and leaders. Her ongoing partnership with Auburn has deepened its influence and impact on the multi faith movement for justice. Shifra created the groundbreaking Better Work, Better Life paid leave campaign. The Men as Allies initiative she launched has influenced creative approaches to diversifying thought leadership across sectors. The leadership programs she designs support hundreds of women in cultivating their full potential and advancing social change. Her change management consulting projects have affected the trajectory of many leading organizations in the Jewish community and across the nonprofit field.
Shifra was Founder and President of Advancing Women Professionals & the Jewish Community, recognized annually by the philanthropic guide, Slingshot, for leadership and innovation. She co- authored Leveling the Playing Field with Didi Goldenhar and Marty Linsky. Her action research projects with the Nathan Cummings Foundation, including Visioning Justice, strengthened the field of Jewish social justice and led to the creation of the Selah Leadership program and to the establishment of the Jewish Social Justice Roundtable. The leadership consultant to the White House Project for over a decade, recently, Shifra and her colleague Didi Goldenhar piloted a new philanthropic curriculum for Women Moving Millions.
Shifra has been chosen three times by The Forward as one of the fifty most influential Jews. She received the 2019 Lives of Commitment award from Auburn Seminary, the Leading Lights award from the Future Work Institute, the Distinguished Leader award from A Better Balance and is a Ford Foundation Public Voices Fellow. Shifra was a senior fellow at NYU’s Research Center for Leadership in Action and she teaches strategic leadership at NYU Wagner Graduate School for the Executive Masters in Public Administration program. Previously, Shifra was the Executive Vice President of Swig, Weiler and Arnow Management Company where she oversaw business operations and spearheaded philanthropic initiatives.
Rabbi Sharon Brous is the senior and founding rabbi of IKAR, which launched in 2004 with the goal of reinvigorating Jewish tradition and practice and inspiring people of faith to reclaim a moral and prophetic voice. IKAR, one of the fastest growing and most influential Jewish congregations in the country, is credited with sparking a rethinking of religious life in a time of unprecedented disaffection and declining affiliation. Brous’s TED talk, “Reclaiming Religion,” has been viewed by more than one million people and translated into 14 languages. In 2013, she blessed President Obama and Vice President Biden at the Inaugural National Prayer Service, and in 2017, she spoke at the Women’s March in Washington, DC. Brous was named #1 on the Newsweek/The Daily Beast list of the most influential Rabbis in America, and has been recognized numerous times by The Forward and the Jerusalem Post as one of the fifty most influential Jews.
Josh started the creative collective [GOOD POLITICAL] to work with friends on things that matter, including helping the Parkland students with digital communications for March For Our Lives, leading the creative launch of Michelle Obama’s initiative, When We All Vote, and as Senior Creative Advisor to Governor Tony Evers defeat of Scott Walker in Wisconsin.
Josh advised The Democrats on creative and served in the Obama administration as Director of Digital Strategy for the U.S. Department of Labor. He was also Video Director for the 2016 Democratic National Convention's digital efforts. Josh previously worked for President Obama’s reelection campaign, the Government of Israel, and Charlie Sheen. It is likely the only thing all three have in common.
Keya Chatterjee is Executive Director of US Climate Action Network (USCAN), and author of the book The Zero Footprint Baby: How to Save the Planet While Raising a Healthy Baby. Her work focuses on building an inclusive movement in support of climate action. Keya's commentary on climate change policy and sustainability issues has been quoted in dozens of media outlets including USA Today, the New York Times, Fox News, the Associated Press, The Washington Post, and NBC Nightly News. Prior to joining USCAN, Keya served as Senior Director for Renewable Energy and Footprint Outreach at the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), where she worked for eight years. Before that, Keya was a Climate Change Specialist at USAID. Keya also worked at NASA headquarters for four years, communicating research results on climate change. Keya was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Morocco from 1998 to 2000. She currently serves on the board of the Washington Area Bicycling Association. Keya received her Master's degree in Environmental Science, and her Bachelor's in Environmental Science and Spanish from the University of Virginia.
Isha Clarke is a high school student born, raised, and educated in Oakland, CA with a passion for intersectional activism. She knows that threats to the environment disproportionately affect people of color and indigenous communities, low-income folks, and young people. It is essential to know this while fighting for environmental justice so we can create a just and equitable world while maintaining a livable climate.
Dana R. Fisher is a Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Maryland. Her research explores democracy, civic participation, activism and environmental policymaking with recent studies focusing on the youth climate movement and the American Resistance. She has authored over sixty peer-reviewed research papers and book chapters and has written six books. Her most recent book is American Resistance (Columbia University Press 2019).
Professor Fisher has written about her work for the Washington Post, TIME, the American Prospect, and other outlets. She has presented her work to the media, federal agencies, foundations, and other organizations, including the National Science Foundation, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine. Fisher is currently serving as a Contributing Author for Working Group 3 of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Sixth Assessment Review (IPCC AR6) writing about citizen engagement and activism.
Dr. Mirele B. Goldsmith is an environmental psychologist, educator, and activist. Mirele is an expert in how to change human behavior to solve environmental problems and build a sustainable future. She is the founder of Jewish Earth Alliance, a national advocacy coalition raising a moral voice on climate change to the US Congress. Mirele attended the UN Summit on Climate Change in Copenhagen and was the lead Jewish organizer for the People’s Climate Marches in New York and Washington. She directed Hazon’s Jewish Greening Fellowship, a program funded by UJA-Federation of New York that mobilized 55 synagogues, JCCs, day schools, and social service organizations to respond to climate change. Mirele’s writings on Judaism and sustainability have been widely published and she has shared Jewish environmental teachings in Jewish and interfaith settings from Kathmandu to the Salisbury Cathedral to the Parliament of World Religions.
Rachel Jacoby Rosenfield is Executive Vice President at the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America, where she shapes the vision and strategy, leads the staff, oversees programs and operations, and develops the culture. Previously, she was Director of Experiential Education at the American Jewish World Service, and the founding director of the Jewish Greening Fellowship, an initiative to cultivate environmental change leadership among Jewish communal professionals, reduce the environmental impacts of non-profit organizations in the New York area, and generate meaningful responses to global climate change. Rachel is a teacher, writer and speaker—skills honed early as a scholar of literature and developed throughout her career as an educator and curriculum writer. Rachel holds an M.A. in Comparative Literature from the University of California at Berkeley. She lives with her husband, a psychiatrist, and is the mother of two (almost) grown children.
Chloe Maxmin, 27, is the Representative for the rural Maine House District 88, the first Democrat to win the District 88 seat. She serves as the youngest woman in the Maine legislature. Chloe’s expertise and focus is on building a durable, values-based movement — with a particular focus on rural regions — to combat the climate crisis.
Chloe was raised on her family’s farm in Nobleboro, Maine, and has been a community organizer for 15 years. Chloe co-founded Divest Harvard – a campaign calling on Harvard University to divest from fossil fuels that ultimately drew 70,000 supporters. In 2015, after graduation from Harvard, Chloe returned to Maine. Her life-long climate activism has won her broad recognition.
Aliza Mazor is the Chief Field-Building Officer for UpStart. UpStart partners with trail-blazing leaders to create a more just, vibrant and inclusive Jewish community. As Chief Field-Building Office, Aliza supports an alumni network of over 100 organizations, helps to craft Collaboratory, an annual gathering of Jewish game-changers, and serves on the Leadership Team. Prior to joining UpStart, Aliza was the Executive Director of Bikkurim: Advancing New Jewish Ideas. In parallel to her service at Bikkurim, Aliza has worked as an independent consultant to non-profits and philanthropies in many fields including social entrepreneurship, human rights, international development, community development, anti-poverty work, women’s rights, and the intersection between documentary film and social activism. Aliza has developed curricula in non-profit management and consults on strategy, fundraising, and board development, executive transitions and management. Aliza has also served as associate director of an international public foundation, director of development for a regional management assistance organization, and director of training for a national social justice organization.
A Chicago native, Aliza, spent fifteen years living and working in Israel and holds an MSW in Social Welfare Planning from the Paul Baerwald School of Social Work at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. She currently lives in New York City.
Bill McKibben is an author and environmentalist who in 2014 was awarded the Right Livelihood Prize, sometimes called the ‘alternative Nobel.’ His 1989 book The End of Nature is regarded as the first book for a general audience about climate change, and has appeared in 24 languages; he’s gone on to write a dozen more books. He is a founder of 350.org, the first planet-wide, grassroots climate change movement, which has organized twenty thousand rallies around the world in every country save North Korea, spearheaded the resistance to the Keystone Pipeline, and launched the fast-growing fossil fuel divestment movement.
The Schumann Distinguished Scholar in Environmental Studies at Middlebury College and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, he was the 2013 winner of the Gandhi Prize and the Thomas Merton Prize, and holds honorary degrees from 18 colleges and universities. Foreign Policy named him to their inaugural list of the world’s 100 most important global thinkers, and the Boston Globe said he was “probably America’s most important environmentalist.”
A former staff writer for the New Yorker, he writes frequently for a wide variety of publications around the world, including the New York Review of Books,National Geographic, and Rolling Stone. He lives in the mountains above Lake Champlain with his wife, the writer Sue Halpern, where he spends as much time as possible outdoors . In 2014, biologists honored him by naming a new species of woodland gnat — Megophthalmidia mckibbeni — in his honor.
Joelle Novey directs Interfaith Power & Light (DC.MD.NoVA), through which hundreds of congregations of all faiths across the DC area and Maryland are responding to climate change as a moral issue. She speaks widely throughout the region about the role of religious communities in responding to the climate crisis, and is particularly encouraged that her own Jewish community is now being called nationally to coordinated climate action by Dayenu. She is grateful to be part of several grassroots Jewish communities, including Tikkun Leil Shabbat, Minyan Segulah, and the National Havurah Committee.
Dr. John Ruskay has served in senior positions of leadership in the North American Jewish community for over 40 years. In each position, he has focused on seizing the opportunity to strengthen and renew Jewish life in the most open, accepting context in which Jews have ever lived. He served as Executive Vice President of UJA-Federation (1999 to 2014), Education Director of the 92nd Street Y (1979 to 1985), and Vice Chancellor of the Jewish Theological Seminary (1985 to 1993). He earned his PhD in Political Science from Columbia University.
In 2016, President Obama appointed Dr. Ruskay to a two-year term as a Commissioner of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom. Dr. Ruskay is EVP Emeritus at UJA Federation, a Senior Fellow at the Jerusalem-based Jewish Policy Planning Institute, a Special Advisor to the Israel Policy Forum, and a Mentor in the Mandel Foundation Leadership Program. Dr. Ruskay has been an activist for over fifty years, including as a founder of the New York Havurah, Breira, the Abraham Joshua Heschel School, and the Coalition on the Environment in Jewish Life (COJIL). He also served for over a decade as Treasurer of the National Religious Partnership for the Environment (NRPE).
Dr. Ruskay writes and lectures widely, and has received numerous honors including honorary degrees from Hebrew Union College (HUC), Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS), Yeshiva University (YU) and the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College (RRC). Dr. Ruskay lives in New York with his wife Robin Bernstein. Together they have five children and nine grandchildren.
Rabbi David Saperstein currently serves as the President of the World Union for Progressive Judaism. Designated by Newsweek Magazine as the most influential rabbi in America and by the Washington Post as the “quintessential religious lobbyist on Capitol Hill,” for decades he directed the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, representing the Reform Jewish Movement, the largest segment of American Jewry, to the U.S. Congress and Administration.
For over two years (2015-2017), Rabbi Saperstein served his nation as the U.S. Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom, carrying out his responsibilities as the country’s chief diplomat on religious freedom issues. Also an attorney, he taught seminars on Church–State law and Jewish Law for 35 years at Georgetown University Law Center.
During his career, Rabbi Saperstein served on the boards or executive committees of numerous prominent U.S. interfaith and public interest organizations including the NAACP, the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the National Religious Partnership on the Environment and the World Faith Development Dialogue.
A prolific writer and speaker, Rabbi Saperstein has appeared on most major U.S. television news and talk shows. Internationally, he has been interviewed by television, radio, and print media in over fifteen countries. His articles have appeared in the Washington Post, New York Times, and Harvard Law Review. His latest book is Jewish Dimensions of Social Justice: Tough Moral Choices of Our Time.
He currently serves as a Senior Fellow at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service's Center for Jewish Civilization as well as the Senior Advisor for Strategy and Policy for the Union for Reform Judaism.
Rabbi Saperstein is married to Ellen Weiss, an award-winning journalist, and has two sons, Daniel, a musician, and Ari, an artist and writer.
David Turnbull is the Strategic Communications Director at Oil Change International, developing communications, campaign, and narrative strategies to bring Oil Change’s research on the financing, influence and impacts of fossil fuels to the public, the media, and decision-makers. Prior to his current position with Oil Change, David was Executive Director of Climate Action Network – International, a global network of nearly 1,000 organizations in dozens of countries coordinating and advocating for global solutions to the climate crisis. David also currently serves as Board Secretary for the US Climate Action Network, and was Chair of the organization's Board from 2016 to 2018. He was previously a member of the Board of Directors for SustainUS, a youth-led organization focused on sustainable development and the climate crisis. David lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife and two young children, all of whom inspire him to fight for a safer climate everyday.
Frequently Asked Questions
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 →