CJC to attend COP26 in November 2021

The Commonwealth Jewish Council is taking a leading role on environmental issues and will be participating in COP26, the global United Nations climate change conference taking place next month in Glasgow.

The climate talks will be the biggest international summit the UK has ever hosted; bringing together heads of state, climate experts, young people, civil society, trade unions etc, to agree coordinated action to tackle climate change.

CJC will be hosting a hybrid online and in-person panel, ‘Are Religious Leaders Rising to the Climate Challenge?’

The Commonwealth Jewish Council recognises that religion is one of the most potent and motivating forces in human society.

Unfortunately, far too often the power of religious communities is overlooked in international affairs and only perceived as a source of trouble rather than idealistic action for the good of Humankind. If religions and their leaders are not on board with the need to address climate change, arguably, huge proportions of the world’s population will not be moved to take the matter seriously.

This panel will explore not only what religions have to say about the topic but, more importantly, what religions are doing and can do to improve the world on this front.

Join us at 13:30 (UK) on Monday 1st November 2021 in the Science Show Theatre, Glasgow.

Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks z’’l

Jonathan Sacks had been Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth from 1991 to 2013. Throughout this period and after, he conducted a continuous programme of visiting communities large and small throughout the UK as well as making significant and long remembered visits to Australia, Canada, South Africa, Hong Kong and other countries of the Commonwealth and, of course, regularly speaking and teaching in the USA and Israel. There can hardly be a thoughtful Jew in the world, of any denomination or none who has not heard one of his talks, followed one of his podcasts, read one of his posts or studied one of his books. Further, his masterful commentaries on the siddur (prayerbook), weekly Torah readings (in Covenant and Conversation) and festival prayers breathed new life into well-worn prayers and texts, casting a scintillating fresh insight into the central texts and teachings of the Jews.

But Sacks was a Professor as well as a rabbi. He communicated far beyond the Jewish world. His books were considered valuable and uplifting by the wider public and leading world figures. Indeed, Prince Charles, in a lovely turn on Isaiah’s expression of the mission of the Jews, called Sacks a ’light unto this nation’ in his comments at Lord Sacks’s retirement from his role as Chief Rabbi.

It is no exaggeration to say that few rabbis have ever done more to help the ordinary Jew make sense of the challenging realities of the current world through the rich resource of Jewish teaching. In that, his closest parallel is Maimonides. It is no coincidence that these two both shared a fascination for how philosophy can clarify and sharpen one’s view. Both knew that Jewish teaching had much to say of value in the world’s conversations and both were unflinchingly confident in their mission – and their ability – to share all they could both with their fellow rabbis, but perhaps more importantly, with the ordinary Jew.

We mourn his loss and urge all readers of this to not let his going pass without note. If you wish to memorialise Rabbi Sacks and mark his passing in a fitting way, read something he’s written. If you do, I’m fairly sure you will want to read more – and that will be his legacy, and the one he would have wanted.

Clive Lawton
CEO – CJC
8th November 2020

Commonwealth Day 2019

Commonwealth Day, held on the second Monday in March each year, is an opportunity for individuals, communities and organisations to promote the Commonwealth’s shared values of peace, democracy and equality, and to celebrate the association’s rich diversity. This year Commonwealth Day 2019 also marks the 70th anniversary of the formation of the Commonwealth, with old ties and new links enabling cooperation towards social, political and economic development, which is both inclusive and sustainable. The afternoon service takes place in the presence of Her Majesty The Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, and other members of the Royal Family, senior politicians, High Commissioners, Commonwealth dignitaries and over 1,000 young people, with approximately 2,000 people attending in total. Please join the celebrations by sharing your messages, photos and videos with the hashtag #CommonwealthDay andConnectedCommonwealth.

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