The Northwest Jewish Environmental Project (NWJEP) commemorated Earth Day by implementing environmental education and awareness programs at the Jewish Day School and Seattle Jewish Community School. The programs were aimed at promoting awareness of global warming with fourth and fifth graders and teaching them what Jewish philosophy and ideology says about protecting the environment.
After the two components were interactively discussed, the students then wrote letters to U.S. Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell. They explained their concerns about global warming and how they wish to be handed a clean environment when they grow up.
Yaneev Golombek, NWJEP’s program coordinator who led the program, says educating youth about environmental issues is very important. “When I was in the fourth and fifth grade, environmental education was virtually non-existent and the results are often seen in the actions of my peers who live their lives and make decisions with no regard for the environment. When these kids grow up and become decision makers, they will know the importance of operating in an environmentally aware manner,” Golombek said.
He explained to the students how global warming occurs. He also explained that 10 out of the 11 hottest years on record have occurred since 1980 and how that fact must not be passed off as coincidence. In addition, Golombek also talked about places in the Torah and Jewish ideology that emphasize protecting the integrity of God’s creation.
NWJEP was founded in 1997 as a regional organization that promotes environmental education, awareness and advocacy to Jewish communities throughout the Pacific Northwest. For more information about NWJEP, visit www.nwjep.org.