(AJNews) – Because the pandemic preoccupies us, it’s a challenge to prioritize other problems we simultaneously juggle. Autumn of 2020, members of Temple B’nai Tikvah, Calgary, approached the synagogue’s Board of Directors with the idea that human health and environmental health co-exist. Nor can financial sustainability and the planet’s sustainability be separated. Often, reducing waste saves money as well as natural resources. They suggested establishing an Environment Committee to help Temple reduce its environmental impacts.
At the Board meeting considering this request, Rabbi Glickman said that an Environment Committee is important, and a way to live our values as a Jewish family, environmentally conscious and responsible. The Board agreed and created an Environment Committee.
The new Environment Committee, in conjunction with the Adult Education and Social Action Committees, is very pleased to announce its inaugural Zoom talk by Dr. Tanhum Yoreh on March 22, 2021, at 6:30 PM.
Tanhum is assistant professor at the School of Environment at the University of Toronto, and author of Waste Not: A Jewish Environmental Ethic (2019), which won the 2020 Canadian Jewish Literary Award in the category of Jewish Thought and Culture. His book explores traditional histories, rabbinic literature, commentaries, and modern environmentalism to identify pivotal moments in the development of bal tashhit, the Jewish prohibition against wastefulness and destruction.
Tanhum said that his talk will focus on what it means to have a Jewish lens on environmental action.
“My research aims to be a bridge to the next step, which is the practical applications of the knowledge to make a positive impact. I’m connected to American and Israeli environmental organizations that are tackling environmental issues from a Jewish lens.
‘I found during my research that too many environmental groups were reinventing the same wheels. But recently a broader conversation is emerging among environmental entrepreneurs and activists from a wide range of Jewish expressions and other religions that are saying, ‘let’s meet and learn from each other’ and cooperate to optimize resources and share initiatives so we build collaboratively. Faith groups can come together from a place of shared values and work towards shaping the world we want to live in.”
Tanhum’s talk will generate discussion about the intended cumulative impacts arising from the Environment Committee’s mandate: (1) to show leadership for positive change in the climate crisis, (2) environmental awareness, education, and action (3) engagement to live our values as a Jewish family of environmentally conscious and responsible community members.