Jewcology: The Leading Edge of Jewish Environmentalism
Today’s environmental challenge is one of the most significant issues facing the world, and many Jews are working to address this concern. In fact, at least fifteen established Jewish environmental organizations are running campaigns across the United States, and many other local initiatives exist in other countries, including Canada, the United Kingdom, Mexico, South Africa, Hungary, Australia, and Israel.
This Jewish environmental movement has great potential to inspire Jewish communities and others to embrace environmental values. To strengthen this burgeoning movement, a new project called Jewcology is developing leadership trainings, core teachings, and collaborative social media tools. Launched in November 2010 with the support of the ROI Community, Jewcology.com is uniting the global Jewish environmental community in making true environmental change, with social media engagement tools for Jewish environmental activists, and a shared library of Jewish environmental content for educators, lay-leaders and rabbis. Jewcology is a project of Canfei Nesharim, a registered non-profit organization.
Jewcology was originally created by nineteen young Jewish environmentalists from all around the world, who met through the ROI Community of Young Jewish Innovators, a global network created by Jewish philanthropist Lynn Schusterman. They were able to realize this vision thanks to a $50,000 grant from the ROI Innovation Fund in 2010.
In its first year, Jewcology.com received over 18,000 visits from more than 10,000 unique visitors representing 101 countries. Jewcology has built a global network of 400 registered users who are uploading resources, posting blogs, joining on-line communities and commenting on each other’s posts. Jewcology has trained 48 Jewish environmental and social justice leaders to tell their stories in a way that motivates communities to action.
In early 2012, Jewcology will launch a comprehensive series of Core Jewish Teachings — articles, source sheets and videos — on “What the Jewish Tradition Says about Protecting the Environment.” Through its use of twitter, facebook, and YouTube, Jewcology is expanding its ability to unite Jews who care about the environment, so that they can work together more effectively and engage each other in shared campaigns.
As the Jewish environmental field grows, Jewcology is pushing the movement to become more effective and better connected. Jewcology’s leadership trainings, enhanced social media technology, and collaborative global network will strengthen the Jewish environmental movement, engage a broader audience, and help Jews connect with their Jewish identities through environmental activism. Its ultimate goal is empowering the Jewish community to lead environmental change and address the global sustainability challenge.
Jewcology is currently raising funds for a $20,000 matching challenge grant to support their work in 2012. To see the progress of their campaign and share with others, visit http://www.razoo.com/story/Support-Jewcology.
Jewish environmentalists from around the world are sharing ideas and connecting on Jewcology. If you are Jewish and an environmentalist, check out Jewcology.com and sign up to join the conversation!
Photo by Evonne Marzouk.