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January 25, 2019  RSS feed

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Scholar-in-Residence to speak on climate change issues

Rabbi Daniel Swartz Rabbi Daniel Swartz Rabbi Daniel Swartz of Scranton, PA, will speak on the social justice dimensions of climate change when he serves as Scholar-in-Residence at Congregation Beth Israel in Sun City Center on Sunday, Feb. 17 at 2 p.m.

Rabbi Swartz is spiritual leader of Temple Hesed of Scranton and the executive director of the Coalition of the Environment and Jewish Life (COEJL). An initiative of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, COEJL seeks to deepen and broaden the Jewish community’s commitment to stewardship and protection of the Earth through outreach, activism and Jewish learning. COEJL is mobilizing the Jewish community to conserve energy, increase sustainability, and advocate for policies that increase energy efficiency and security.

Rabbi Swartz’s lecture, open to the public, is titled “Laudato Si and the Sages: Caring for our Common Home.” It will explore parallels between Pope Francis’ encyclical on climate change, Laudato Si, and a wide variety of Jewish texts.

The cost is $5 per person payable at the door. RSVP by Sunday, Feb. 10 to Betty Schare at (248) 568-7610 or

The rabbi has published both peer-reviewed and popular science articles on issues ranging from plant ecology to global climate change and has also published studies of religious traditions and environmental values, including “To Till and To Tend: A Guide for Jewish Environmental Study,” “Action; Jews, Jewish Texts, and Nature: A Brief History” and “In This Sacred Earth: Religion, Nature, Environment.”

The rabbi also wrote a children’s book, “Bim and Bom: A Shabbat Tale.”

Rabbi Swartz holds degrees from Brown University in geological sciences and in environmental policy. He has received numerous academic honors, including prizes, scholarships, and a scholastic excellence award from the Hebrew Union College, the Senior Prize in Environmental Studies from Brown, and election to both Phi Beta Kappa and Sigma Xi.

He has served as the spiritual leader of Temple Hesed since 2006, adding new programs. Under his guidance, his temple’s already active social action committee has continued to expand their programs, including work on “greening” the congregation, one of his deepest passions. He has said, “I have helped people find a passion for their faith because I am passionate about Judaism. I believe our tradition calls on us to build a world that is not only more just but also where love for our fellow human beings can blossom.”

While serving at Temple Shalom of Chevy Chase, MD , he served in a variety of functions, including family educator and at a number of prominent social justice organizations. He was the founding coordinator for Greater Washington Interfaith Power and Light,, which works to address moral and practical dimensions to energy use, served as associate director of the National Religious Partnership for the Environment, which works across faith communities on environmental issues, and director of Congregational Relations for the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, the Reform Movement’s Washington Office and social action arm.

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