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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on July 26th, 2017
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)


Interfaith-center – Jerusalem Climate Interfaith Event 1


Amidst Violence and Crushing Heat, Jerusalem Religious Leaders Agree on Urgency of Curbing Climate Change

JERUSALEM, JULY 26 – As Jerusalem experiences another wave of violent conflict and punishing heat, Jewish, Muslim and Christian leaders came together to urge people of all faiths to help curb climate change.

Rabbi David Rosen, AJC International Director of Interreligious Affairs;
Father Francesco Patton, Custos of the Holy Land;
and Kadi Iyad Zahalha, judge of the Muslim Sharia Courts in Israel
reached a consensus on the religious basis for environmental sustainability and addressing climate change. At the event, a new letter signed by 36 Israeli Orthodox rabbis was released, calling for action on climate change.

Custos Father Patton said, “We are part of creation, so we have to take care of our common home and take responsibility for creation.”


Rabbi Rosen cited Deuteronomy 30:19: “Choose life in order that you and your children shall live.” He said, “today, climate change is a matter of life and death. Because of this, everything else becomes secondary—it’s like rearranging the deck chairs on the ship Titanic as we head for the iceberg.”

Kadi Zahalka spoke to the importance of “taking care of everything for the coming generation. We need to do our part in saving and preserving nature and all the earth.”

The event was organized by The Interfaith Center for Sustainable Development (ICSD), which works to catalyze a transition to a sustainable, thriving, and spiritually-aware society through the leadership of faith communities. Overlooking the walls of the Old City, the interfaith event served as a counterpoint to the recent violence in Jerusalem’s Old City. The interfaith event focused on the critical role of faith leaders in increasing awareness about the moral obligation for environmental sustainability and curbing climate change.


Rabbi Yonatan Neril, ICSD’s director, moderated the panel and cited studies linking climate change to increased drought and extreme heat in the Middle East, which are exacerbating conflict and threat multipliers. The event was held at the Jerusalem Press Club.

Photos and video content, and the climate change letter by Orthodox rabbis are available upon request by replying to this message.

 madmimi.com/p/d2567a?fe=1&pact=1…

Press contact: Yonatan Neril: 054-723-4973,  yneril at interfaithsustain.com

Interfaith Climate Panel by ICSD-001

About the Speakers:

David Rosen

Rabbi David Rosen, AJC International Director of Interreligious Affairs, has been advancing understanding and good relations between religious communities for more than 40 years – from the time he served as rabbi of the largest Orthodox Jewish congregation in South Africa, during his tenure as Chief Rabbi of Ireland ; and throughout the last 30-plus years based in Jerusalem. In addition to interreligious representation and education, his work involves mediation and peace-building and he is deeply involved in multi-religious engagement on ecological issues. Widely recognized for his work, Rabbi Rosen was granted a papal Knighthood in 2005 for his contribution to Jewish-Catholic reconciliation and was made a CBE (Commander of the British Empire) in 2010 by H.M. Queen Elizabeth II for his work promoting interfaith understanding and cooperation.

Custos Fr. Francesco Patton

Father Francesco Patton is Custos of the Holy Land. The Custody of the Holy Land is a custodian priory of the Franciscan order in Jerusalem, founded as Province of the Holy Land in 1217 by Saint Francis of Assisi, who also founded the Franciscan Order. Fr. Patton served in various capacities in his province and also within the Order. He was twice Secretary General of the General Chapters in 2003 and 2009; Visitator General in 2003, Minister Provincial of St. Vigilium (Trent, Italy) from 2008 to 2016; President of the Conference of Provincial Ministers of Italy and Albania (COMPI)
He also served in many capacities outside of the Order: as member of the Diocesan Presbyteral Council and secretary of the Diocesan Pastoral Council of the archdiocese of Trent; professor of Social Communications at the Studio Teologico Accademico Tridentino; collaborator of the Diocesan Weekly, the Diocesan Radio and Telepace Trento; and enrolled with the journalists of Trentino-Alto Adige as publicist since 1991.

Kadi Iyad Zahalka

Kadi Iyad Zahalka is judge of the High Sharia Court of Appeals and Director of the
Sharia courts in Israel. Kadi Zahalka is an accomplished judge, lecturer, author and activist. He has filled several important positions in the Shar’i court system, including that of Director. Kadi Zahalka obtained his L.L.B. from Tel Aviv University, and his M.A. and PhD from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, with his thesis on the Muslim Minority Jurisprudence Doctrine (Fiqh al Aqalliyyat). He also served as the kadi (judge) of Haifa. He is the author of two books and many articles and has spoken widely abroad. Born in the village of Kafr Kara, in the Wadi Ara section of Israel, south of Haifa.

Custos Father Patton
 info at interfaithsustain.comwww.interfaithsustain.com
The Interfaith Center for Sustainable Development | P.O. Box 28156, Jerusalem, 9128101

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