Washington, D.C. – In response to Pope Francis’s much anticipated encyclical (“teaching”) entitled “Laudato Si,” the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA) and its initiative, the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life (COEJL) issued the following statements:
“This is an exciting time for the interfaith community as we join together to address the issues regarding climate change. The world’s poor are the ones who are going to be more immediately and severely impacted by rising oceans, polluted air, and extreme weather. As Jews, we hold the concept of Tikun Olam, repairing the world, as a moral imperative and as a call to action. This moment serves as a renewed wakeup call for all of us to address the issues of climate change, and to repair our world for both the current and future generations,” said Jared Feldman, Vice President and Washington Director of the JCPA.
“So many of us anticipated, and now appreciate, His Holiness’ words. It’s a remarkable moment of religious unity, with interfaith partners rededicating themselves to climate justice as a shared spiritual concern. And the consonance here between Jewish and Catholic teaching – concern for future generations, for social justice, and for the integrity and flourishing of all Creation — makes this a most exciting moment,” said Rabbi Fred Scherlinder Dobb, Chair of COEJL. “Now, let’s translate the excitement into real action on behalf of the Earth, the poor, and our own descendants.”
JCPA, the public affairs arm of the organized Jewish community, serves as the national coordinating and advisory body for the 17 national and 125 local agencies comprising the field of Jewish community relations.
COEJL has been an initiative of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs since 1993 and serves as the Jewish partner in the National Religious Partnership on the Environment. Today, COEJL’s priorities are to mobilize the Jewish community to address the climate crisis through advocacy for appropriate legislation as well as action to reduce our own greenhouse gas emissions.