Climate gets the first response

A conference on the Jewish response to climate change is planned as the first event of new cross-communal ethics organisation called Responsibility.

Unveiling its inaugural programme as a guest speaker at Sunday’s Reform council meeting in London, Responsibility director Abigail Morris said other upcoming events would be a discussion on assisted suicide and the government’s new Bill of Rights and Responsibilities. Responsibility grew out of the defection three years ago from the Jewish Association of Business Ethics of a number of trustees unhappy at the exclusion of non-Orthodox rabbis.

But the new organisation plans a wider remit, covering a broader range of ethical issues.

Ms Morris said the organisation hoped to straddle the Jewish and secular world. She said: “One thing you often find, particularly when you talk to unaffiliated Jews, is that they feel very passionately Jewish with their secular hats on. They’ll say: ‘The reason I work for Oxfam is because of my Jewish ethics.’”

Next month’s climate change event, facilitated by the Alliance of Religions and Conservation, is part of a wider environmental programme planned to involve other Jewish social action groups and other faith groups.

    Last updated: 1:58pm, March 12 2009