In 2022, Adamah, along with nineteen other major national and international umbrella Jewish organizations, collectively launched the Jewish Climate Leadership Coalition.
Last year, Adamah and our founding partners released our first Climate Action Plan, articulating our goals to both reduce our own institutional greenhouse gas emissions, and expand impact by engaging our networks to undertake climate action alongside us.
Now, one year later, we, the Coalition’s founding partners, are proud to share our 2024 Climate Action Plans, which reflect on our successes and challenges in achieving our 2023 climate priorities. We also articulate goals for the year ahead that will both broaden and deepen our individual and collective climate work. This release represents a significant milestone and our next step on an ongoing journey toward a resilient and livable future.
We are proud to share the following highlights from the founding partners as well as links to the complete 2024 Climate Action Plans.
Adamah: In 2023, Adamah launched a $1.2M Climate Action Fund, which distributed $134,450 in matching grants and $318,500 in interest-free loans to support the implementation of climate solutions in Jewish community organizations across North America. This total distribution of $452,950 leveraged over $1 million in government investment. Collectively, the 14 projects funded will eliminate over 900 metric tons of annual CO2 emissions and save over $400k each year: a payback horizon of one year! In 2024, we intend to distribute an additional half million dollars, while continuing to leverage government and private funding to further the climate actions goals of Coalition members.
The Associated: In 2023, the Associated fully launched their $4.5 million 4-megawatt solar array, producing electricity equivalent to half of the Associated’s total electricity usage across its properties. In 2024, they will complete phase 2 of this initiative, doubling the total electricity produced.
Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR): Last year, CCAR published The Sacred Earth: Jewish Perspectives on Our Planet – an anthology devoted to the topic of climate change. In 2024, CCAR will explore the carbon impact of CCAR Press, their publishing arm, and identify ways to publish sacred texts and Jewish books in a more climate conscious way.
Foundation for Jewish Camp (FJC): FJC began integrating climate awareness and action into its organizational framework in 2023 by including responsibilities around sustainability to the FJC Event Coordinator’s job description, and assigning responsibility for managing sustainability efforts to the staff person who oversees FJC’s New York office. By the end of 2024, climate action work will be an assigned priority to one of FJC’s four core teams.
Hillel International: In 2023, Hillel international committed to significantly investing in movement-wide organizational learning, hosting a myriad of professional development opportunities, board seminars, and student programs. Building on these efforts, and in partnership with Adamah, Dayenu, Tikkun HaYam and others, Hillel International will both grow and deepen its movement-wide engagement in 2024. This includes making climate justice a more prominent offering in Hillel’s Service Engagement Internship, supporting the growth of Adamah on Campus, expanding Alternative Spring Break programming centered on climate action, and helping grow the participation of Hillels in the Coalition.
Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI): JAFI and Adamah will continue to explore convening a global network of Israeli and diaspora Jews who are active in the climate movement to discuss shared opportunities, challenges, and goals – to be launched in 2025.
Jewish Funders Network (JFN): Last year, JFN expanded the scale of consulting to members on climate action, reaching over 70 funders and foundations. JFN’s efforts prompted an increase in new funders entering the field of climate action, an increase of 30% in climate funding in Israel, and a new climate action funding collaboration in Israel. In 2024, JFN will continue to convene The Green Funders’ Forum (GFF), bringing together funders and foundation professionals concerned about climate change and Israel’s environment, and supporting them in strategically allocating funding for climate actions.
JCC Association of North America: Last year, the JCC Association designed and distributed to JCC executives a survey to glean climate actions being taken across the JCC Movement. With 83 responses, accounting for nearly 50% of the field, JCC Association released an executive summary to inspire internal growth at respective JCCs and collaboration amongst likeminded points of interest. For 2024, inspired by the survey insights, the JCC Association is committed to incorporating climate in their internal briefs and communications, celebrating climate accomplishments and elevating opportunities.
Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA): JFNA is committed to elevating Adamah’s work across the federation system (which in turn ripples across hundreds of Jewish communities across North America!). In 2023, in addition to co-facilitating a community of practice for federation Coalition members with Adamah, JFNA spotlighted Adamah’s Jewish Youth Climate Movement at their FedPro’s Ignite Convening on Teen Engagement. In the year ahead, JFNA will continue to work closely with Adamah to bring climate action to the forefront for federations, and to seek opportunities to support federations through federal funding opportunities for climate action.
JPro: JPro is prioritizing hosting climate-smart conferences! In 2023, and continuing into 2024, JPro is working in deep collaboration with its event planner to ensure that its 2025 conference integrates as many climate solutions into its planning and implementation as possible. This includes procuring transportation companies that have EVs or include a “no idling” clause in their contracts, and selecting caterers who are committed to reducing food waste and incorporating climate-smart ingredients as much as possible.
Moishe House: In 2023, Moishe House developed a plan for transitioning its houses and office to the cleanest energy option available by 2025! This year, Moishe House will move that work forward by mapping out its US houses that can choose their electricity source and researching clean-energy options for those locations.
Network of Jewish Human Service Agencies (NJHSA): Last year, NJHSA drafted an Emergency Preparedness Toolkit to support and strengthen their sector’s ability and capacity to respond to emergencies, including climate-driven disasters. In 2024, the Toolkit will be promoted through the network, including through a series of Crisis Response and Emergency Preparedness webinars.
Prizmah: In 2023, Prizmah helped elevate the work of the Coalition across the day school network by featuring the Coalition in its newsletters and incorporating a session about the Coalition (and other Adamah programming, including the Jewish Youth Climate Movement and Teva Day School Programs) at Prizmah’s annual conference. In 2024, Prizmah will continue to raise awareness about the Coalition and climate action work within the day school network, increasing day school participation in the Coalition by 50%.
Rabbinical Assembly (RA): In 2023, the RA secured grant funding to hire a project manager to help prioritize the value and practice of sustainability within the movement, curate educational resources, and work with the Conservative movement’s institutions to promote climate solutions. This year, this new hire will develop a “Week of Learning and Doing” related to climate action and sustainability, currently designated for Parashat Behar, May 25, 2024. As well, in 2024 the RA will continue working with Dayenu on researching fossil fuel-free investing and developing climate-friendly investment guidelines.
Rabbinical Council of America (RCA): In 2023, much progress was made in terms of the Orthodox community’s engagement in climate action, including 19 Orthodox organizations joining the Coalition (including Yeshiva University) and the Orthodox Union supporting Adamah’s application to be a Prime Recipient for the Department of Energy’s Renewing America’s Nonprofits grant application. In 2024, the RCA will encourage broader Orthodox participation in the Coalition by partnering with Adamah to launch and help lead a community of practice for Orthodox Coalition members.
Reconstructing Judaism and the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association: Coming soon!
Taglit Birthright Israel: In 2023, Birthright Israel hired Ohad Yron as its Greening Birthright Project Manager. Ohad has developed a comprehensive 5-year plan to dramatically reduce Birthright’s emissions and integrate climate education and action systemically into Birthright’s programming and activities.
Union for Reform Judaism (URJ): In 2023, the Reform Action Center (RAC), URJ’s advocacy arm, launched its 2023 Climate Campaign, known as “Power for Purpose.” This campaign was the focus of the RAC’s May 2023 DC Day of Action, during which activists from across the U.S. heard from Members of Congress as well as keynote speakers about the intersection of climate change, racial justice, and voting rights. It also involved lobby meetings on Capitol Hill, virtual/in-person events, online actions, digital downloads, and more. In 2024, URJ will install a solar energy system projected to offset 25% of URJ Camp Harlam’s (PA) annual electrical consumption, while exploring the expansion of its solar energy implementation at additional summer camps.
United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism (USCJ): As a founding partner of the Coalition, USCJ committed to helping mobilize its networks to engage in climate action. For 2023, USCJ aspired to recruit 30 North American Conservative synagogues to join the Coalition – and was successful in helping recruit 42! USCJ aims to recruit an additional 25 Conservative synagogues to join the Coalition this year, while also continuing to nurture a partnership between its youth-organizing movement, USY, and Adamah’s Jewish Youth Climate Movement.