St Kilda Shule has made history by unanimously adopting a comprehensive climate policy at its recent board meeting.
The synagogue proudly claims to be the first in Victoria to take this significant step towards addressing climate change and environmental protection.
“Torah Judaism mandates preserving the environment and I’m heartened that our shule is demonstrating strong leadership in this role,” Rabbi Yaakov Glasman said.
The policy outlines the responsibilities of shule employees, volunteers and representatives in implementing the policy, and emphasises that the responsibility for environmental and climate action lies not only with the board, president or senior management, but extends to all members of the community.
To ensure the integration of environmental considerations and climate change impacts into planning, decision-making and operations, the shule has established a dedicated climate action team consisting of the chief minister, executive director/CEO and treasurer of the day to champion environmental protection and climate action within the community.
CEO David Marlow, St Kilda Shule’s liaison with the Jewish Climate Network, told The AJN he is delighted that the shule and Rabbi Glasman have “shown great leadership by being the first shule to develop and approve a climate change policy”.
“Taking action on climate is vital if we want to provide a better future for our children and grandchildren. I am very proud to have helped drive this process for the shule,” he said.
President Janice Iloni-Furstenberg echoed these sentiments, saying she is “delighted” the board and religious leadership have unanimously embraced this policy, “which includes many steps we have already taken as an organisation and other steps to which we are working towards”.
Jewish Climate Network CEO Joel Lazar said the new climate policy is “outstanding”, and “couched deeply in Jewish values and the best science”.
“It is filled with high-impact strategies and accountability structures gleaned directly from the Jewish Climate Network’s ‘Zero Emissions Cohort’ program that finished last month,” Lazar said.