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Hampshire College Advisor for Identity and Praxis and Campus Rabbi Ellen Bernstein had unique company at the recent climate march in New York City: a collection of environmentally-minded religious leaders from all over the globe, including former Vice President Al Gore.
Bernstein recently attended the Religions for the Earth conference in New York City. The conference, which preceded the People’s Climate Change March, was designed to “offer a unique platform for the world’s ethical leaders to voice the concerns and commitments of the world’s spiritual and faith traditions,” according to the organization’s press release.
Bernstein and about 200 religious leaders — including several indigenous leaders — from around the world were invited to the conference. Bernstein spoke in the opening plenary and was one of ten invited to speak in the closing ceremony at the cathedral of St John the Divine after the march, on Sunday, September 21.
“[Getting invited there] was pretty much the biggest honor in my life,” she says.
Bernstein’s speech explored her lifelong love of nature, and how, as she came of age, she began to connect ecology and religion. That connection has formed the basis for much of Bernstein’s career. In 1988, she founded Shomrei Adamah, Keepers of the Earth, the first Jewish, and one of the first religious, environmental organizations.
She has spoken and written on the link between Judaism and ecology at length.
Video of the conference, including Bernstein’s address is available »