Environment

The Jewish Center for Justice is dedicated to combating the negative impacts of climate change, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, investing in alternative energy sources, and protecting vulnerable populations most affected by environmental injustices.

The Book of Genesis shows our obligation to act as stewards of the earth, a moral mandate that drives our support of practices and policies that maximize our ability to protect the environment.

 

  • More than 50% of all people who live within two miles of a toxic waste facility in the United States are people of color. Communities of color have higher exposure rates to air, water, and toxic pollution because they live in high proximity to landfills, heavy industry, oil and gas plants, lead paint, and hazardous waste sites. (Source: NRDC)
  • 9% percent of South LA residents live within 500 feet of a truck route, 8% percent live within 500 feet of a manufacturing facility, and at least 51 active oil wells still operate in residential neighborhoods. Due to all this heavy air pollution, South LA has some of the highest asthma rates in the U.S. (Source: SCOPE.)
  • In the United States, food waste is estimated at between 30-40% of the total food supply, equaling approximately 133 billion pounds and $161 billion worth of food in 2010. (Source: USDA’s Economic Research Service)
  • At our current resource usage, it now takes 1.5 years for the Earth to regenerate the ecological resources and services needed by humanity in one year’s time. (Source: Global Footprint Network.)

Connections: Jewish Sources

God said: Take care not to spoil or destroy My world, for if you do, there will be no one to repair it after you. — Midrash Kohelet Rabba 7:13

And God took Adam and placed him the Garden of Eden to work it and guard it. — Genesis 2:5.

When in your war against a city you have to besiege it a long time in order to capture it, you must not destroy its trees, wielding the ax against them. You may eat of them, but you must not cut them down. Are trees of the field human to withdraw before you into the besieged city? Only trees that you know do not yield food may be destroyed; you may cut them down for constructing siegeworks against the city that is waging war on you, until it has been reduced. — Deuteronomy 20:19‑20

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