Several thousand members of the Jewish community got a head start on High Holy Days shofar blowing on Sunday — sounding a Jewish alarm, so to speak, about the issue of global warming.
The participants in the People’s Climate March, which drew an estimated 300,000 environmental activists, two days before the United Nations summit on climate change, were encouraged to bring and blow their own shofars, as a “wake-up call” to governments and non-governmental organizations. The ranks of marchers included U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, politicians and celebrities.
An estimated 100 Jewish organizations, part of the Jewish Climate Campaign, participated in the major rally on the West Side, which coincided with similar events in 150 countries. An interfaith concert, which featured singer-songwriter Neshama Carlebach, preceded the event, Hazon’s “Topsy Turvy Bus” made appearances at Columbia-Barnard Hillel and the JCC in Manhattan, and Auburn Theological Seminary provided a 26-foot, diesel-powered Noah’s Ark.
Jewish participants carried signs that declared “Save Our Planet” in Yiddish.
“I was there because I worry about the inaction of people in power” about climate change, Andrew Davies, a Philadelphia native who now lives in New York City and works in the Bible Players improve duo, told the Philadelphia Jewish Exponent. “I think a lot of people were praying with their feet.”
“We’re really, really proud of how many people turned out,” said Mirele Goldsmith, director of the Jewish Greening Fellowship of Hazon, the Jewish nonprofit that “promotes creating healthier and more sustainable communities.”