It almost seems fitting that Mother Nature offered a gorgeous day in many parts of the globe as climate became the word of the day on Friday.
Millions took to the streets with signs and messages that the planet must be cared for, and that the situation is already dire. Students in school districts from New York to California got a pass from classes to attend rallies in major North American cities … and the world over.
Members of Jewish groups worldwide, including RSY-Netzer and Noam Masorti Youth from the United Kingdom and Hazon: The Jewish Lab for Sustainability were among the millions worldwide who participated in events under the banner “ClimateStrike.”
The event, which was led by student activists, comes after 16-year-old Swedish girl, Greta Thunberg, who has gained notoriety for her battle on climate change, addressed the U.S. Congress on Friday.
A coalition of Jewish activities, including Hazon, gathered at the Maxine Meyerson JCC in New York together before the rally to show their support for climate change.
Some businesses found other ways to support the initiative. SodaStream, the Israel-based company that allows people to make carbonated drinks at home, closed its global offices with its Canadian employees choosing to participate in a shoreline cleanup.
“The climate crisis is an emergency and can no longer be ignored. It is our responsibility as leaders to hear and raise the voice of the young generation today and act now,” said SodaStream CEO Eyal Shohat in a press release about the closure. “Caring for the planet is at the core of our company, and we have to walk the talk.”
And, as has become all too common these days, at least one gathering took a sideline into anti-Semitism.
Ithaca College student Alex Hartzog, an aspiring journalist, tweeted “Crowd chants ‘Free Palestine’ at the Ithaca” climate strike.
Elsewhere in the Twitter-sphere, a photo from at least one other college climatestrike event shows a Palestinian flag and some online posters used the strike hashtag to claim that the crisis disproportionately effects Palestinians.
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