Jewish Climate Leadership Coalition Releases Climate Plans on Tu B’Shevat


Tu B’Shevat, commonly known as Jewish Arbor Day, is often an important occasion for Jewish climate activists to promote environmental stewardship and environmentally friendly policy. On this Tu B’Shevat, which took place Thursday, Adamah’s Jewish Climate Leadership Coalition collectively announced new climate action plans for the coming year to mark the holiday.

(Courtesy of Adamah)

The Jewish Climate Leadership Coalition launched in 2022 with 20 partner organizations, and has grown since then to include synagogues, day schools, JCCs and summer camps across the country. The coalition now boasts 280 partner organizations, with over 67,000 community members engaging in climate-focused programming in 2023 alone.

The recently released plan outlines the results of the coalition’s 2023 efforts, as well as its goals for the future. A press release from Adamah noted that the $450,000 in matching grants and loans to Jewish organizations that they distributed in 2023 has resulted in over $2 million worth of projects focused on sustainable infrastructure that will help Jewish organizations cut energy costs and reduce their carbon footprint.

“The exponential growth and immediate impact of the Jewish Climate Leadership Coalition has far exceeded our expectations. Thanks to our founding partners, our outstanding climate action team, our members and our climate action fund, we have quickly established consensus on this issue across hundreds of Jewish communities,” Jakir Manela, CEO of Adamah, said in a press release. “This powerful communal response represents an inflection point, building a new pillar of Jewish life grounded in the most ancient Jewish wisdom: that adam and adamah — people and planet — are one.”

In addition to installing new infrastructure, coalition members spent 2023 taking smaller steps to operate more sustainably as well. Of the members, 61% are in the process of electrifying their facilities, which reduces operating costs and greenhouse gas emissions; and 89% of members that serve food have started offering plant-based options to service people who have cut meat out of their diets for environmental reasons.

With another year under their belt, Adamah and the Jewish Climate Leadership Coalition are looking ahead to 2024 and how they can continue to promote sustainability and climate awareness in the Jewish community.

“The story being revealed through these Climate Action Plans is one of commitment, progress and hope,” said Liore Milgrom Gartner, Adamah’s deputy climate action director, in a press release. “We are seeing the myriad of ways that Jewish community organizations in the coalition are setting ambitious but attainable climate action goals, both to reduce institutional greenhouse gas emissions and to expand our collective impact by engaging our networks to undertake climate action alongside us.”

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