The theme of this year’s Scottish Interfaith Week was “Care for the Environment”, and SCoJeC was delighted to participate in a number of activities to highlight Jewish teachings about the natural world and humanity’s obligation to care for it.
The week began with a formal launch event at Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh, at which representatives of all of Scotland’s major faith communities presented a joint declaration to the Minister for Environment, Climate Change, and Land Reform, Aileen McLeod, who was about to leave for Paris to represent Scotland at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference. The declaration called on people of faith in Scotland to learn more and to be guided by their faith to take action on climate change, and urged the participants in the Paris talks to agree as ambitious a programme as possible to mitigate the effects of climate change, especially on the poorest communities throughout the world.
During the week SCoJeC speakers also presented sessions on “Jewish Stewardship of the Environment” at the West Lothian Faith Group in Broxburn, and the Gracefield Arts Centre in Dumfries, where Judah Passow’s photographic exhibition, Scots Jews: Identity, Belonging, and the Future is currently on show, and on "Hannah Frank: Art, Religion and the Environment" at the Riverside Art Gallery in Inverness.
The final event of the week was an interfaith conference hosted by the Conforti Institute in Coatbridge, at which speakers from the main religions in Scotland and the Humanist Association explained and discussed their faiths’ teachings about the environment and our obligation to protect it.