A climate call-to-action from the TVCJ board


The end of October is a crucial time in the fight to steer humanity off a path of self-destruction.

  • Humanity’s current course will soon lock in at least 3 degrees Celsius of climate warming (about 5 and half degrees Fahrenheit). One study calculates economic impacts of $551 trillion if the world warms by 3.7C. That is more money than exists on earth. By taking dramatic action to tackle the problem, we may still be able to limit warming to 1.5C. The damages are calculated to be 10x less at that level but still cost $54 trillion. (reference)
  • These dollar amounts alone do not convey the devastating impacts ahead for humanity if we do not take immediate, disruptive action.The difference between 1.5C and 3C of warming will determine whether an additional 300 million people living in coastal regions are displaced from their homes, and whether some cities are merely damaged or lost completely, including New York and Miami (reference). Those numbers determine how we will all be impacted by fires, flooding, storms, and food and supply chain disruption no matter where we live.
  • To meet the magnitude of this crisis, the Build Back Better bill under negotiation in Congress originally proposed critical policy changes and spending (merely!) $3.5T (over 10 years, or $350B/year), paid for completely by taxes on corporations and the wealthy. The subset of changes dedicated specifically to climate action are widely supported and may be enough to put us on the path to 1.5C. $350 billion a year would be a small amount to pay for an enormous boost to the viability of our civilization, alongside other changes with broad appeal to the public. (reference)
  • Whatever that top-line number ends up being after negotiations are complete, the critical factor is that a focus on climate action remains central, and that our strongest policy changes start NOW… Despite the popular desire for this plan to succeed, the entire bill is under threat by the 52 Senators who are refusing to take the action needed, including two Democrats and all Republicans.

There are elements here that are touchstones of Jewish history: Refugees. Social justice. Tikkun olam… The climate crisis needs every Jewish voice speaking out and demanding a commitment to action. We have three calls to action for TVCJ members today:

  • Please make one call to Congress: https://call4climate.com/
    It doesn’t matter that we live in a blue state with Democratic Senators. They must hear our voices to know how strongly they must fight against those who would stop, delay, or water down climate action. Senator Diane Feinstein in particular has been cavalier about climate action, and claims it’s because she never hears from her constituents about it. We must change that!
  • Please consider the Youth vs Apocalypse Climate Event on Friday, October 29th, and future events.
    Our kids have the most to gain or lose in the climate fight, and it’s not too early for them to get involved in demanding a better future. Talk to your kids about the youth-led movement, and support them if they want to participate. If you’d like to coordinate with other people from TVCJ who will attend the mural-painting and march in San Francisco on October 29th, mail culturaljews+oct292021@gmail.com.
  • Please consider “liking” the Facebook profile for Dayenu.
    The TVCJ Board is working to coordinate more closely with other Jewish organizations for climate action through Dayenu. Increasing their Facebook presence helps further that goal.

JCS Students Take Action!

After learning how Jews were treated in the various U.S. colonies, Jewish Culture School students wrote these notes for a letter to President Biden about why immigrants should be welcome in the United States.  They used some of the same arguments made by the Jews of New Amsterdam in their letter to the Dutch West India Company.

A message from JCFS East Bay

We’ve reached a critical and urgent moment.

The United States has almost concluded our military withdrawal from Afghanistan. Along with this pull-out is an emergency evacuation of Afghans who worked alongside the U.S. military over the past twenty years. These people and their families are now being targeted by the Taliban, and our country has an obligation to offer them safety and refuge. From just the first planeload of arrivals to Fort Lee, Virginia, JFCS East Bay committed to welcoming six large families to begin their new lives in the East Bay. And the arrivals will keep coming. By the end of this month, we will resettle more than 60 new refugees here in our community, with more to follow.

JFCS East Bay is here and ready to uphold the Jewish values of welcoming the stranger and caring for the vulnerable, as our staff and volunteers work with compassion to resettle these interpreters, drivers, and other workers and their families.

Our country has not undertaken a refugee evacuation of this size in many years, not since the Vietnam War. It is therefore time for JFCS East Bay to put our 144-year history of successful and dignified refugee resettlement into hyperdrive.

Our Refugee Services team will need a significant amount of support to pull off the demands of the next few weeks and months. This is an all-hands-on-deck moment. We are one JFCS East Bay, and this is the time to come together in service to our newest community members.

It’s time to mobilize. Here are some ways you can get involved and support our immediate refugee needs:

VOLUNTEER: Please fill out our Community Sponsorship Groups form. These groups of 4 to 6 volunteers will assist our case managers with tasks such as airport pickups, signing up refugees for their social services benefits, helping register children for school, providing ESL language support, and other related needs.

DONATE: Your financial donations are needed now more than ever to ensure we have the proper staffing to support new refugees. Please click here to make a donation to JFCS East Bay.

SUPPORT: Please consider purchasing something from our Amazon Wish List. These items are shipped to our office in Concord and put directly into the hands of refugees.

CONTRIBUTE: We are looking for gently used household items and furniture in excellent condition. Dishware, small appliances, and pots and pans can be dropped off at our Concord office by appointment. Mattresses, small nightstands, small dressers, lamps, and rugs must be delivered to our storage unit in Walnut Creek. Please contact Ami Dodson at adodson@jfcs-eastbay.org for more information.

Thank you so much for joining us in this urgent effort. Together, we can replace fear and displacement with a new home and renewed hope.

Current TVCJ Mask Policy

Thank you to all who participated in our survey about COVID safety and masking at TVCJ events. The survey revealed that:

  • About half of respondents were comfortable with indoor events. 
  • Three-quarters of respondents wanted everyone masked indoors regardless of vaccination status.
  • Only a quarter of respondents were comfortable with masks being optional, even outside. 
  • A majority of respondents were only comfortable with food if the event is held outdoors or with social distancing.

Our events bring together people from different geographical areas and include many young, unvaccinated, and vulnerable people. Based on the survey results as well as growing concerns over the Delta variant and changing government guidance, the TVCJ Board has decided on the following policies for upcoming events:

  • Events will be held outdoors; in poor weather, events will be held virtually.
  • All event attendees must wear masks except when eating.
  • Family groups will maintain 6’ distance while eating. 

We will continue to monitor new guidance and trends in the pandemic’s progression, and will make changes to these policies as needed.

We look forward to seeing you (outside) soon.

The TVCJ Board

Virtual Havdalah

Please join us on July 24th at 7pm for a short Humanistic Havdalah
ceremony and a chance to share some of our favorite Yiddish phrases.
Did you learn some growing up? Or recently on Duolingo? Come to share
or to learn…it should be an entertaining discussion.

Hope to see you there.

Free to members; suggested donation $10/non-member.

Join Zoom Meeting

Zoom Meeting ID:  568 599 7884
If a password is requested, use 123123.

International Institute For Secular Humanistic Judaism’s “Shavuot Eve Study”

May 16 – 4 PM-8:30 PM Eastern Time

Feel free to drop in anytime during the program and stay as long as you like!
Schedule Will Be Posted Soon!

Secular Humanistic Jews celebrate Shavuot with Jewish literature and ideas from all eras, not only the Torah, and we agree with the Talmud’s sages that “study leads to action.” Join Leaders and Rabbis in Secular Humanistic Judaism as they turn our Tikkun Leil Shavuot into Tikkun Olam/Repairing the world through learning experiences with people and organizations doing good here and now! REGISTER HERE.