A Shofar Near You

Today is Rosh Chodesh Elul: we are one month away from Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year.

The tradition is to blow and hear the shofar every day this month, except on Shabbat. The shofar blasts create an awakening, a gift, a moment to choose again: who are we, and who do we want to be?
This summer has been full of wake-up calls. The earth cries out before us, as we find ourselves in a new climate reality.
  • The planet is hotter than it’s been in thousands of years
  • Vermont saw two months’ worth of rain in two days
  • India and Japan experienced extreme flooding
  • Scorching streets in Texas, Florida, Arizona, Spain, and China
  • Ocean temperatures considered “beyond extreme”
  • Unprecedented, ongoing Canadian wildfires
  • Tragic loss of life through all of these disasters, and most recently in the horrific wildfires in Lahaina, Hawaii—with the death toll still rising

So as the new year appears on the horizon, where do we look for hope?  Where and how do we find the strength and inspiration we need?

Collective action is an essential remedy in these moments. That’s why I’m inspired by Adamah’s new Climate Action Fund, and why we are proud today to announce the first round of loan recipients. I’m also inspired by Adamah’s recent request to serve as a prime recipient for the Department of Energy’s Renewing America’s Nonprofits (RAN) grant program. If Adamah is selected, we look forward to working with our partners at the Jewish Federations of North America, the Orthodox Union, the JCC Association, and many others, to identify and support impactful energy efficiency projects across the American Jewish community. Over 200 Jewish organizations have expressed new interest in working with Adamah on energy efficiency projects through the RAN grant program, which means we are now connected with well over 400 American Jewish organizations prepared to prioritize energy efficiency and emissions reductions! This gives me hope.

Love is the powerful medicine in these moments too, and my partner, Nets, and our kids—Lev, Shama, Yovel, and Amani—are my remedy. Buoyed and blessed by their love, I keep going. Good news like the landmark climate case out of Montana certainly helps. I’m also blessed by the incredible people I get to work with at Adamah, at Pearlstone and Isabella Freedman; in our community impact hubs in Detroit, New York, Baltimore, Southern California, and Atlanta; our staff and board and supporters and partners. Every Teva educator, Adamah farm fellow, JYCM teen, and Adamah Campus leader. Every founding partner of the Jewish Climate Leadership Coalition, and all 231 members who have joined over the past 18 months.

More than once this summer, I’ve broken down trying to think about and talk to my kids about this. I feel so heartbroken for what they—and kids everywhere—are living through now and what they will step into as they grow up. In the midst of this crisis, and as the high holidays loom, it can be hard not to feel overcome by grief, anger, or both. All I can do, all any of us can do, is root ourselves in love and commit ourselves to action.

The earth’s reverberations are ringing in my ears, in all our ears. So I will try to blow the shofar with my kids a lot this month—praying for the love and action we need.

Who has a shofar near you?


Jakir Manela
Chief Executive Officer