Resolution on the Environment: A Green Covenant

WHEREAS the Rabbinical Assembly was a founding partner of COEJL (Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life) has articulated the Jewish responsibility to address global climate change and work towards an environmentally responsible energy policy on a personal, communal, and national level with 14 resolutions since 1991 on protecting and enhancing the environment and the quality of life for all God’s creatures;

WHEREAS the urgency of such action has been dramatically substantiated during this past year by the international scientific community (U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 2007); and

WHEREAS this call to action must have as its central emphasis the reduction of carbon emissions and the lowering of our carbon footprint.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Rabbinical Assembly call on its members world-wide to adopt the following policy and provisions in each of our institutions:


  1. We will calculate our institution’s carbon footprint, and devise a plan of energy conservation and the use of renewable energy, and/or carbon offsets with a goal of attempting to achieve a 50% reduction in carbon emissions within a five year period.
  2. We will educate and advocate for carbon neutrality in our institutions and to encourage and to help facilitate carbon reduction strategies in the homes of those in our communities. We support the current campaign of the Federation of Jewish Men’s Clubs including the Solar Ner Tamid Project (
  3. We will support legislative efforts at the local, state, national, and international levels that promote the shift from high-carbon to low-carbon energy production, such as CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) standards and public policy that promotes the use of renewable resources such as by exploring alternate sources of energy.
  4. We will undertake a special campaign to support habitat preservation and reforestation efforts worldwide and to encourage all our constituents to plant appropriate trees at home and in Israel.
  5. We will examine our current investment policies with the aim of enhancing our socially responsible portfolio to support businesses and communities that share our environmental goals.
  6. We will urge our institutions to reduce energy use and carbon output in transportation by using public transit and/or purchasing high mileage or hybrid vehicles.

Passed by the Rabbinical Assembly Plenum, February, 2008