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
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.
This Shabbat is #worldenvironmentday and here at the CJC we’ve spent the week looking at our role in the environmental challenges we all face.
It’s been a busy week, these are just a few of the things we’ve been up to: Started our climate network with representatives from both small and large communities; including Canada, Zimbabwe, Gibraltar, UK, Jamaica and so many others!
We’ve had our first climate champions meeting with representatives from across the commonwealth. We listened to eachother’s challenges and started to think about some global campaigns. Watch. This. Space. Our women’s climate group has started with some amazing projects already being worked on.
Thinking about our involvement with #cop26 and meeting with the amazing #makecopcount group, to work on faith involvement at this crucial event. Check out our climate change manifesto here – have a look and let us know how you’d like to be involved!