Rabbis ride for a greener future

By Robyn Rosen, December 3, 2009

Rabbis will lead a bike ride from Edgware to Radlett Synagogue to promote sustainable living in the Jewish community.

The Jewcycle has been organised by the London School of Jewish Studies’ responsibility unit and the United Synagogue’s Project Chesed.

It will start with a shofar blast on Sunday, the day before the Copenhagen Conference on climate change.

Rabbi Natan Levy of Shenley United said the aim was “to raise awareness in the communities about sustainability, climate change issues and the environment in general. It’s a major issue that faces humanity. When people see their rabbis taking part, it will raise the level of discourse.”

Other rabbis on the round trip cycle will be David Mason (Muswell Hill), David Lister (Edgware), Geoffrey Hyman (Ilford) and Michael Rosenfeld (Kingston).

Elsewhere, Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg of New North London Masorti is appealing to his congregation to be more environmentally aware after a green audit of his home found that his family could cut carbon emissions by half.

“I plan to keep the congregation informed of what we’ve learnt, what we hope to do and what we actually achieve by way of reduced carbon waste — and lower utility bills.”

Rabbi Wittenberg saw this as “a mitzvah in the classic sense — not just of being a good deed, but a course of action we are commanded to undertake as part of our duty towards God’s world, towards our own health and safety and most especially towards the future of all our children”.

Last updated: 4:14pm, December 3 2009