People's Climate March, April 29, 2017: Climate, Jobs, Justice

While 200,000 marched through Washington on April 29, many Americans were unable to put their minds to global warming--they were distracted by unprecedented snow storms in the West, destructive flooding in the South, and murderous tornados the following day. It is to alert Americans and the world to the carbon use that links all these tragedies that we marched on the 29th. The politicians ignored us and the press distanced themselves from us, reporting this massive show of force on their inner pages and treating it as just another protest in the long string that have taken place since Trump took power. And of course, it does stand with these protests; in fact, many of us responded to an appeal from and went to the May Day protest for workers' and immigrants' rights two days later.

JCAN sent about a dozen marchers to Washington. JCAN president Rabbi Katy Allen is shown in the picture holding the march's main banner with other climate leaders from around the country. Five Bostonians carried the JCAN banner. Mirele Goldsmith of JCAN New York coordinated efforts of Jews around the country to commemorate the event. Thanks to strong coordination, we know that Jews participated in sister marches across the country, held teach-ins, and included activities appropriate for Shabbat focused on climate change.

Mirele and Joelle Novey of Interfaith Power & Light arranged a lovely dinner and panel at Temple Adas Israel on the evening before the march, following a service where Rabbi Shoshana Friedman delivered a d'var torah about climate change.

While waiting to begin the march, the faith contingent heard from musicians of many cultures. It was interesting to note a strong Jewish thread running through the music, from Rabbi Friedman's "The Tide is Rising" and "Od Yavo Shalom Aleinu" to the blast from the shofar that launched our part of the march.

The attempt by the press and politicians to bury the march and what it stands for--preferring to play up a trivial spat between Trump and Washington Correspondents Dinner that day--shows that publicizing and building our movement is up to us. Each of us needs spread news of the march and its significance to our friends and fellow congregants. In the Boston area, the "tech study" workshop called Planning Radical Carbon Reductions for your House of Worship, to be held on May 7, is the current step in JCAN's 7-year program to reduce our supporters' carbon footprints.

At the Adas Israel event, one panelist in public health reported how a week-long hike with climate experts convinced him to totally change the direction of his life and devote his career to combatting climate change. Let's all take inspiration from this and redouble our own commitments to saving the planet.