World leaders will be coming to New York City for a U.N. summit on the climate crisis. The U.N. secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, is urging governments to support an ambitious global agreement to dramatically reduce global-warming pollution.
We will be marching with the Jewish Climate Change Campaign, alongside other faith communities, labor unions, and environmental groups.
The Jewish part of the march will be launched by the blowing of shofars (Ram’s horns) which traditionally in this season of repentance are meant to awaken us — shake the community out of its routine and make everyone aware of their responsibilities.
The Rosh Hashanah liturgy emphasizes that Rosh Hashanah is the birthday of the world. Elul is the time of preparation for the days of repentance, so it behooves to consider our place in the world and the Jewish value of tikkun olam (repairing the world).
The Talmud tells the story of Honi, who saw an old man planting a carob tree, and asked, “How many years will this tree need to produce fruit?”
The man answered, “Seventy years”.
Honi said, “Do you think you will live for another seventy years?”
The man answered, “Just as I found carob trees in the world that my ancestors planted for me, I plant for future generations.”
Similarly, we should preserve our environment and not seek growth and consumption for their own sake.
More than 1,000 people from across Philadelphia are headed to the People’s Climate March in New York City including delegations from:
- Congregation Beth Israel in Media,
- Congregation Kol Ami in Elkins Park,
- the Germantown Jewish Centre,
- Camp Galil (Habonim Dror North America),
- Hazon Philadelphia,
- Kol Tzedek West Philadelphia Synagogue,
- Mishkan Shalom,
- Repair the World Philadelphia,
- The Shalom Center and
- Tribe 12.
On Tuesday, September 16 at noon, representatives of the more than 50 local endorsing organizations will hold a press conference at the North Plaza of City Hall in Center City Philadelphia. Representatives of labor, social, faith and environmental movements will talk about why they are supporting to the march.
The coalition will read from an official endorsement of the march by Mayor Nutter. Members will also engage in a brief public action at the plaza and in the surrounding streets to demonstrate the coalition’s solidarity.
Where to Meet on Sunday, September 21
The Jewish Meeting Point is on West 58th Street between 8th and 9th Avenues. You must enter from 9th Avenue. Look for the Jewish banners.
Multi-faith concert and prayers will start at 11:00 a.m. The March will begin at 11:30 a.m. We expect the Jewish group to step off at 12:30 p.m. or later, but it may be difficult to get there, so come early. If you cannot reach our Meeting Point you may have to join the March at another point.
Be prepared with food, hats, sunscreen, and signs and banners (no sticks). Don’t bring large backpacks or bags. Bring your shofar. Be prepared to be patient and flexible.
The route and other logistical information can be found at the People’s Climate March website. To receive last-minute updates about the Jewish contingent, please register with the Jewish Climate Change Campaign.
How to Get to New York
The Philadelphia coalition is organizing buses to the march from Center City, Eastwick, West Philly, and Northwest Philly, as well as from suburban locations: Wayne, Ardmore, Doylestown, Chester County, Pennsylvania and Cherry Hill, New Jersey.
Tickets are available for $20 or $10, with buyers asked to pay what they can. Buses will leave the morning of the march, and will return to Philadelphia in the evening.
Families are welcome, as march partners have committed to making the march peaceful and marchers will be able to drop out or go at their own pace.
Anyone interested in buying a seat on the bus or donating seats for others should go to the Greater Philadelphia delegation’s website.
Answers to many logistical questions about the Philadelphia-area buses can be found at the link above. Anyone with additional questions should email [email protected].