“PROTECTING THE PLANET in a Pandemic: An Interfaith Community Program,” Congregation Agudath Israel’s 50th anniversary Earth Day commemoration, was held via Zoom on April 23, with people on some 150 devices participating. CAI in Caldwell is a Hazon “Seal of Sustainability” synagogue.
The event was cosponsored by the congregation’s environmental and interfaith committees and the Caldwell Environmental Commission.
CAI religious leader Rabbi Alan Silverstein highlighted the commitment of protecting and sustaining the environment shared by various faiths and the civic community.
Rabbi Ari Lucas, CAI associate rabbi, spoke about the influence kosher laws have on the movement to reduce “industrial meat” from diets. “The laws of kashrut place greater restrictions on animal products to remind us we should be disciplined in consuming meat,” he said, “and to sensitize us to the sanctity of all life and our responsibility to all of God’s creations.”
Other participants included Dominican Sister Honora Werner of Caldwell, who cited Catholic writings calling for the protection of the environment, and Hakan Yesilova, editor of “Fountain Magazine,” who represented the Peace Island Institute and provided perspectives on environmentalism from Muslim teachings. Ann Marchioni, vice chair of the Caldwell and Essex County environmental commissions, described the bodies’ work, encouraged widespread support of their goals, and urged attendees to “use less of everything.”