The Covenant Grants


Organization: Adamah, Reisterstown, MD

Grant Year: 2023

Project Director: Liana Rothman

Type of Grant: Signature

Grant Amount: $86,460 (2 years)


Curriculum Development and Training

Adamah – To train Jewish educators to address all dimensions of climate anxiety through a Jewish lens in order to cultivate the spiritual health and empowerment of Jewish teens and young adults nationwide.

What does climate anxiety or climate grief mean?

Climate anxiety or climate grief refers to feelings of sadness, mourning, despair, and anxiety provoked by a sense of loss to human and environmental society caused by the unmitigated climate crisis. A 2019 poll by the American Psychological Association revealed that 68% of US adults are experiencing some degree of anxiety about climate change, and climate anxiety is increasingly ubiquitous among Gen Z.

How does teen spiritual health and investment in Jewish wisdom relate to addressing climate concerns?

Teens can most effectively cope with climate anxiety when provided with spiritual, Jewishly-informed guidance to process their emotions and channel grief into meaningful action. The climate crisis we face today is one of the great existential threats of our generation—and just as our ancestors have done before us, we can apply Jewish historical and religious learnings to help us respond to the potential of global environmental loss.

Adamah’s Shamati initiative will mobilize the power of Jewish ancestral epistemologies—located within our traditions, texts, and rituals—to help Jewish community professionals support the mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being of Jewish teens and young adults nationwide who are suffering with climate anxiety and grief.

What is your favorite Jewish text about the environment?

A classic text that we often come back to in our climate work is the Talmudic story of Honi and the carob Tree (Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Ta’anit 23a). Throughout Jewish tradition we have been compelled by the precept of l’dor v’dor, from generation to generation—the need to preserve tradition and life and transmit it to our children. We plant the tree now, before it is too late.