- Posted by Guest Author
- On July 15, 2021
- 0 Comments
by Melissa Kaufman
Earlier this year, during Rabbi Rosenn’s talk at the Shabbat of Environmental Justice, she mentioned a cartoon called “It’s that easy” by Tommy Siegal. It depicts how the way we talk about solving climate change has evolved over the decades, from the focus on “recycling” in the 1990s to the current focus on the need for systemic change to undo even part of the damage we have done. As a high school science teacher – someone entrusted to teach and care for the next generation- I think daily about the systemic impacts of climate change and my role in combating it. I was intrigued by the idea of a temple group focused on tackling some of the issues on a national scale.
Most of the Temple Israel events I attend are organized by Riverway. While these events offer plenty of opportunities for spiritual reflection and social interaction, one thing I miss is the opportunity to collaborate with members of the wider community and with other generations. I was pleased when I showed up (virtually) to my first Dayenu Circle meeting and saw some familiar and many unfamiliar faces. The wide range of perspectives and experiences around a shared passion for environmental change make me excited to attend each meeting. In smaller breakout rooms, I have gotten to know some of the members more deeply and I look forward to learning more from them.
Partway through our first meeting, we took a break to take some action! Dayenu has a system set up where you enter your phone number on a website, and you are called back on your phone and connected to your senators’ offices. We were given a script to use or adapt, and all 15 of us on the call were able to leave two messages. It was very empowering to see everyone (muted, on zoom) on their phones, knowing that tomorrow our senators would have 15 messages encouraging their support on green infrastructure. How often have I told myself that I should make a call, but here I was with a group of others and an arranged, structured time to do so. This meeting wasn’t just talking about the issues but doing something!
I’m excited to be part of the Temple Israel Dayenu Circle for the opportunities to make new connections to others with similar passions, engage with leaders on the local and national level, and take action about environmental justice.
Are you interested in joining our efforts? Contact Tali Puterman.