Activists with the Jewish climate change group Dayenu at a New York City event in April 2021. (Photo/Gili Getz)
Activists with the Jewish climate change group Dayenu at a New York City event in April 2021. (Photo/Gili Getz)

Hot and bothered: Young Jews are demanding action on climate change

This article was produced as part of JTA’s Teen Journalism Fellowship, a program that works with Jewish teens around the world to report on issues that affect their lives.

(JTA) — On an unusually warm February day, approximately 200 Jews gathered at the Hebrew Educational Alliance in Denver, Colorado for the inaugural Colorado Jewish Climate Summit, which coincided with Tu Bishvat, the new year of the trees.

Among the attendees were about 20 teens, who filed into the sanctuary, past tables stacked with brochures on sustainability and vibrant tapestries portraying Torah stories. They clustered into wooden pews, discussing the climate workshops they would attend — or lead.

“In the Jewish community, we talk about being collective in our efforts. And climate change is the same way — it’s not what one of us does, it’s what many of us do,” said Noah Shurz, a 16-year-old from Denver who helped plan the summit.

Shira Nathan

Shira Nathan is part of the the spring 2023 cohort of JTA’s Teen Journalism Fellowship.