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RCA Supports Torah-based Environmental Movement
Urges Partnership with Canfei Nesharim and Wide Range of Measures to Protect and Foster Torah Knowledge about the Environment from a Torah Perspective
Policies Headlines
May 1, 2007 -- Whereas the Rabbinical Council of America recognizes that the Holy Torah commands us "to work and to guard" the earth (Bereishit 2:15), and places humanity, as the pinnacle of creation, in the role of responsible stewardship toward it; and,

Whereas the RCA heeds the call of the Midrash, "Pay attention not to ruin and destroy My world, for if you do, there won't be anyone to fix it after you" (Kohelet Rabbah 7:28); and,

Whereas the RCA is committed to preserving the precious resources granted by Hashem for our children and future generations, and to serving as a model for other communities that also seek to make a difference; and,

Whereas the RCA recognizes that over the past decades, humans have changed our environments rapidly and extensively, resulting in a substantial loss of animal and plant species on Earth, and causing problems that, unless addressed, will substantially diminish the resources, such as clean air, water, and food, available for future generations; and,

Whereas the RCA recognizes that a new movement, led by the organization Canfei Nesharim, is creating the opportunity for Orthodox Jews to engage in environmental action from a Torah perspective, and is creating Torah-based shiurim, programmatic materials for synagogues, and educational curriculum for schools

Now, therefore, it is resolved that the RCA

Supports the new Torah-based environmental movement and encourages its members to partner with Canfei Nesharim to develop programs for their communities; and,

Calls upon its members to develop regular programs and shiurim for their congregations on Torah and the environment, and to teach the environmental connections to Jewish holidays; and,

Calls upon schools to develop curriculum on Torah and the environment and to organize at least two activities per year on our Torah responsibility to protect the environment; and,

Calls upon its members to take personal and communal action within synagogues, schools, and homes to protect the environment; and,

Calls upon its members to educate themselves and their constituents both scientifically and halakhically about the environmental challenges we face, and consider their implications for Jewish law.

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