Climate & the Environment: Cultivating a New World
This 5782 shemita year, as we withdraw from our daily routines of production and consumption and observe a yearlong Shabbat, we are challenged to envision the world that could be with a particular focus on Climate Change and the Environment.
Join us for a panel discussion to learn about innovative solutions to our society’s entrenched challenges and how our community can engage more deeply with the issue of climate change. Our panelists’ work addresses these issues in a myriad of ways (corporate sector, advocacy, organizing), and will offer rich insights into how we as individuals and as a community can and must play a role in the fight against climate change.
The panel will be moderated by Rabbi Jennie Rosenn, Founder and CEO of Dayenu: A Jewish Call to Climate Action and will feature Christina Cobourn Herman, Program Director for Climate Change & Environmental Justice at the Interfaith Center for Corporate Responsibility; Stephan Edel, NY Renews Coalition Coordinator; and Anthony Rogers-Wright, Director of Environmental Justice at New York Lawyers for the Public Interest.
Rabbi Jennie Rosenn is the Founder and CEO of Dayenu, a new organization mobilizing the American Jewish community to confront the climate crisis with spiritual audacity and bold political action. Previously, she served as Vice President for Community Engagement at HIAS, the Jewish international refugee organization. There she created a strategy to re-introduce the Jewish community to HIAS and led the mobilization of the American Jewish community to respond effectively to the global refugee crisis. Prior to serving at HIAS, Rabbi Rosenn played a catalytic role in building the Jewish social justice movement as the Director of the Jewish Life and Values Program at the Nathan Cummings Foundation. Under Rabbi Rosenn’s leadership, the Foundation also worked to cultivate the environmental movement and women as agents of change in Israel. Before working at the Cummings Foundation, Rabbi Rosenn served as a campus rabbi at Columbia University Hillel. Rabbi Rosenn was a founding board member of AVODAH: The Jewish Service Corps and Repair the World and has twice been named one of the Forward’s 50 Jews in America. She was ordained by Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion where she was a Wexner Graduate Fellow. She lives in New York City with her husband, Rabbi David Rosenn, and their two sons.
Stephan Edel is the Coalition Coordinator of NYRenews. Stephan has been working on environmental, justice, and labor issues for over two decades. Before coming to NY Renews, Stephan was the New York Project Director for Working Families. He has worked extensively doing climate and environmental coalition work since joining Working Families a decade ago to expand and implement the landmark Green Jobs Green New York energy efficiency program and pass On-Bill Recovery financing. He previously worked as a union and community organizer before attending law school. He has a JD from The City University of New York School of Law. He also holds a Master’s Degree in Global Politics from Birkbeck College of the University of London. Stephan has worked on campaign research and legislative efforts across issues in New York and other states, and was involved with NYRenews from early on and has been an active steering committee member. Some of his proudest work is supporting efforts to build a stronger democracy, a worker-cooperative economy in NYC, and a strong climate movement across the State. City and State Magazine named him to the 2020, and 2021 Energy & Environment Power List.
Christina Cobourn Herman is Program Director for Climate Change & Environmental Justice at the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR), a 50-year-old coalition of over 300 faith- and values-based institutional investors. She has over 25 years of experience with non-governmental and faith-based advocacy organizations on human rights, sustainable development and corporate engagement on sustainability issues. Christina coordinates ICCR’s work with investors to encourage a Just Transition to a clean energy economy, enhanced methane management and disclosure across the natural gas supply chain, adoption by companies of science-based targets for GHG emissions reductions, with a focus on the finance sector, and alignment by companies of their climate lobbying and trade association memberships with the goals of the Paris Agreement. Prior to joining ICCR staff, Christina represented one of the active faith-based members of the coalition in shareholder advocacy with Fortune 500 corporations, on a range of environmental and health equity issues. She began her career on human rights and sustainable development issues in the Philippines where she served as a Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) volunteer. In subsequent years, she advocated on human rights and international debt, trade and development issues in Washington, DC for faith-based organizations.
Anthony Karefa Rogers-Wright serves as NYLPI’s Director of Environmental Justice (EJ). In this capacity, he guides and coordinates the organization’s EJ strategy, litigation, organizing, and advocacy initiatives. Prior to joining NYLPI, Anthony was the Policy Coordinator and Green New Deal Policy Lead with the Climate Justice Alliance, where he assisted with developing and promulgating local, State, and federal organizing and policy strategy for the alliance’s 74 grassroots, frontline-led organizations across the country. A veteran of social justice campaigns, Anthony helped lead the effort to make the former Colorado Health Insurance Cooperative the first health insurance provider in the state’s history to remove transgender exclusions from all of their policies in 2012. He has acted as a policy advisor for numerous candidates for elected office including Senator Elizabeth Warren’s presidential campaign in 2020, and Senator Bernie Sanders’s presidential campaigns in 2020 and 2016. Anthony was selected as one of the Grist.org “50 Environmentalists You’ll Be Talking About” in 2016 and was recently included on the New York-based City and State Magazine’s annual Energy and Environment Power 100 list. He’s written numerous articles discussing the axiomatic nexus of the climate crisis and racial injustice and has spoken on the subject at universities throughout the U.S. and in Europe. Anthony serves on the Board of Directors of Friends of the Earth, Backbone Campaign, and Center for Sustainable Economy, as well as the Advisory Committee for Evergreen Action, and is blessed to be the father of his energetic and very loquacious 5-year-old son, Zahir Cielo (aka “Bean”).