• Lisa Elliott

Jewish Ecological Coalition

Jewish Climate Network


Contact Name Rebecca Forgasz, Vice President Email rebecca@jcn.org.au Address 128A Wattletree Road, Malvern Phone Number 0431 489 353


Charity website Website is currently being developed; interim website - https://www.facebook.com/JewishCN/ DGR Registration Link https://abr.business.gov.au/ABN/View?abn=52768480221 ACNC Page Link https://abr.business.gov.au/ABN/View?abn=52768480221

Please provide a brief, two sentence overview of the project that requires funding.

JECO is currently seeking to employ a CEO to lead the Jewish Climate Network initiative. Raising funds for the CEO's salary is the priority for our fundraising activity, and is the activity to which funding from Pool of Dreams would be directed.


Overview of Organisation The Jewish Ecological Coalition (JECO) was established in 2004 to emphasise and deepen the Jewish commitment to sustainability and to raise awareness within and beyond the Jewish community about Judaism’s strong environmental message.


The climate emergency is the foremost environmental issue of our times, so from 2020, this will become the focus of our activity, through the Jewish Climate Network initiative.


The Jewish Climate Network (JCN) was established in 2019 with the aim of catalysing the Jewish community to support and strongly advocate for action on the climate emergency. We are parents, teachers, doctors, community professionals from across the spectrum of the community who feel scared, angry, grief-stricken and overwhelmed at the enormity of the climate crisis, and the risk it poses to the health, well-being and security of our children and our community, and to human civilisation as a whole. Inspired by the Jewish value of pikuach nefesh, the saving of life, we feel we have no choice but to step up and take action.


We believe that the Jewish community has the capacity, energy and resources to be a leading force for climate action in Australia.


Describe the project that requires funding: In Australia, the Jewish community has not, to date, been particularly engaged around the issue of climate change. What has been missing are trusted and influential messengers from within our community to communicate the urgency of the climate emergency.Research shows that people process information - make sense of it, make decisions about it and take actions around it - through conversations with people they trust, who they can identify with and connect to through shared values, experiences and cultural references.A Jewish climate group can deliver emotionally compelling and resonant messages about the climate emergency within a Jewish frame of reference, and offer an accessible point of entry for Jewish people to become educated, organise and take collective action around climate change.


The Jewish community is highly educated and well-organised with significant cultural and financial clout. Activating the community on climate would send a powerful message to decision makers, significantly shift financial resources towards the climate crisis and provide a blueprint for activating other ethnic and religious communities of interest. The Jewish Climate Network was established in mid-2019 to realise the latent potential of the Jewish community to drive transformative change in government, business and culture.


Having commenced activity as an entirely volunteer-run initiative, we are now seeking to employ a highly skilled, politically savvy CEO with outstanding communication and relationship management skills who can speak with integrity and credibility on issues around climate change to the Jewish community from a uniquely Jewish perspective. The CEO will be responsible for leading implementation of JCN's strategic plan including:


  1. Overseeing delivery of our flagship program "Climate Conversations" as well as a series of events to educate the community about the climate crisis, its impact and solutions in a Jewish context;

  2. Overseeing delivery of regular communications via email and social media to engage existing supporters/members and build our membership base;

  3. Leading JCN's political engagement and lobbying activities, developing strong relationships with Jewish MPs and MPs representing electorates with large Jewish constituencies, as well as overseeing community organising initiatives to harness Jewish grassroots activism;

  4. Engaging leaders of Jewish community organisations to empower them to implement their emissions-reduction programs, mobilise their membership bases and take on leadership roles as advocates for climate action;

  5. Engaging the Jewish philanthropic community and impact investors with the aim of brokering major financial support for climate action and climate solutions.


During the coronavirus pandemic, JCN has put its community engagement and advocacy activities on hold in order to preserve funds. Together with the whole climate movement, we are giving careful consideration to how we "re-launch" in the post-COVID era, and focussing on a number of capacity-building and "back-end" activities (eg building our website, developing a training program for facilitators of our “Conversation Program”).


We believe that there are strong parallels between the sweeping and decisive action taken by governments worldwide in response to COVID-19 and the scale of action required to respond to the climate crisis. We have all now had a direct and personal experience of emergency action, which provides the climate movement with a new opportunity to communicate, educate and advocate with an immediacy and resonance previously unavailable. When we emerge from the current crisis, JCN will be ready to not only re-commence but to step up its level of activity. Recruitment of a CEO will be essential to support our aspirations and maximise our impact at this crucially important moment in time.

Please describe any collaboration you have had with other organisations in relation to this project: In the initial stage of development of the Jewish Climate Network, we worked closely with the Australian Conservation Foundation to organise a major community event in the lead up to the 2019 federal election, and support the climate movement-wide "Vote Climate" campaign, particularly in the seat of Macnamara.


We are currently collaborating with Environmental Leadership Australia, a high-impact, entrepreneurial NGO run by author and environmentalist Anna Rose that aims to build bipartisan support for climate action in Australia. ELA works with a range of diverse and influential constituency groups including conservative voters, philanthropists, farmers, professional athletes and others to help build the movement to influence local, state and federal Government policies. Anna has been a key strategic advisor of the Jewish Climate Network since its inception.


We are also in ongoing communication with Climate for Change, whose mission is to create the social climate in Australia for effective action on climate change. Their activity is specifically focussed on helping people to have conversations with their peers on climate change – something that is now being recognised by experts as key to building public support for the action we need on climate change. The model of peer-to-peer "climate conversations" has been adopted by the Jewish Climate Network as one of our flagship programs.

Funds requested from Pool of Dreams sub-fund: $40,000 towards Year 1 salary of the CEO.Ideally we would hope for multi-year support at this level to provide us with a degree of stability and certainty in our forward-planning and capacity.

Other sources of funding Funds earmarked to support CEO salary ($120,000 p.a.):

Lenko Family Foundation - $50,000


Other funds to support Jewish Climate Network (Program & Communications Coordinator salary and general operational costs):

Lord Mayor's Charitable Fund - $50,000

4S Foundation - $5,000

Climate Action Network Australian small grant - $5,000

Various other donors - $18,500

TOTAL - $78,500


For full details of our three-tiered budget model (for minimal viable product, strong effort and maximum impact) and funding targets, see funding proposal attached.

When would this project be expected to start? Recruitment of the CEO is dependent on having sufficient funds pledged for at least 12 months' salary. We hope to have reached this target in the second half of 2020.

When would you anticipate this project to be completed? The initial duration of the CEO's contract would be 2-3 years, so "completion" date would be around December 2023.

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