Statement by the President of the Commonwealth Jewish Council, Lord Mendelsohn
Climate Challenge and the Jewish World
COP26 gives the world, its leaders and its people one last chance to pull out of the destructive trajectory we currently face.
The Jewish People knows to it cost the consequences of great social upheaval and unrest. For this reason, and also simply because it is right, Jews are always to be found in disproportionate numbers fighting for social justice and against discrimination.
As leaders of one of the great international umbrella bodies of Jewish communities around the world, all my colleagues recognise that the likely outcome of failing to address the problems arising from climate change will not only impact first on the world’s poorest but will then spread around the world to the detriment of all.
We draw to the Jewish community’s attention the Commonwealth Jewish Council’s campaign on behalf of small island nations, ‘Small Islands: Big Challenges’, recognising, as Jews must, the fear and insecurity of feeling small and potentially friendless in the face of international pressures and the terrifying existential reality of lacking any confidence in the security of your home.
Further, we applaud the work of Eco-Synagogue, nurtured by the Board of Deputies, to encourage synagogue communities to address the environmental responsibilities they face. In this statement, I call upon all Jewish community institutions and organisations to follow suit, hoping to ensure that, in the urgent timescales that COP26 must address, Jews and Jewish communities are, as ever, at the forefront of constructive change.
We at the CJC are of course proud of the achievements of the State of Israel, especially in the field of water management and conservation, developing technologies which have improved agriculture, saved lives and are now commonplace worldwide. We urge the world’s governments, scientists and civil society to benefit from the remarkable technological prowess of this tiny country.
Finally, I urge the world’s leaders to recognise the potential for good of religious communities around the world. There are few more motivating powers than religious communities and constructive engagement with religious leaders and their followers could unleash untold energy for the benefit of the world’s future.
Lord Mendelsohn, President of the Commonwealth Jewish Council.
27 October 2021