Kol hakavod to Teaneck synagogue Netivot Shalom for initiating social action learning and activities into its programs.
With all the negative publicity about some Jews recently, I think it would be a kiddush haShem (sanctification of God’s name) for many synagogues to create similar social justice groups and thereby show that Jews are concerned about bettering society and that eternal Jewish values are applicable to today’s issues.
I would like to suggest that an issue such groups consider is global warming, since the world is arguably rapidly approaching an unprecedented climate-catastrophe. This is especially important for synagogues to consider as Israel is now suffering from the worst drought in its history and from periodic severe heat waves, and Israeli climate experts are projecting that global warming will cause a decrease in average rainfall of 20 to 30 percent, major storms, and an inundation of the coastal plain where most Israelis live by a rising Mediterranean Sea.
Editor’s note: Richard Schwartz is the author of “Judaism and Vegetarianism,” “Judaism and Global Survival,” and “Mathematics and Global Survival,” and director of the Veg Climate Alliance.