Remembering Rabbi Everett Gendler, founder of modern Jewish environmentalism

3 Apr

Rabbi Everett Gendler (August 8, 1928 – April 1, 2022) was an American rabbi, known for his involvement in progressive causes, including the civil rights movement. He has also been widely referred to as the founder of the Jewish environmental movement. About ten years ago at the Rabbinical Assembly Convention in Atlanta, he recorded a conversation with me on Jewish environmentalism. At the time, I was Spiritual Leader of Temple Torah, now Temple Torat Emet, of Boynton Beach, FL. I was experimenting with podcasting and recorded interviews with various thought leaders that were then published on Temple Torah’s podcast. That feed is no longer online. My interview with Rabbi Gendler from that series is presented here

Rabbi Gendler was active in the Civil Rights Movement and was a close ally of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In 1968, Dr. King attended the Rabbinical Assembly Convention where he was introduced by Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel. Dr. King then had a public dialogue with Rabbi Gendler.

transcript of Dr. King’s appearance with Rabbi Heschel and Rabbi Gendler was published in Conservative Judaism Journal, 22:3, 1968, pp. 1-19. This was one of Dr. King’s final major public appearances prior to his assassination ten days later.

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