9 2019

The Holocaust and the Human Side of Climate Change

9:15AM - 1:00PM  

Beth Lida Forest Hill Congregation 22 Gilgorm Road
Toronto, ON
416 489 2550

Shabbat Service and Lecture


Lecture by Reb Joshua Schwartz, Spiritual Leader of Beth Lida


How can we expect to understand the historical trauma of the Holocaust, whose scale and scope exceed anything we can imagine? It is no wonder there has been a decline in public knowledge about the Shoah. Besides our increasing distance from it, in approaching the Holocaust's sheer magnitude, how can we do anything but shrink away?


The possibility of drastic climate change in the near future can confound us in much the same way. We can barely grasp the impact that rising global temperature and sea levels may have on the planet. But one thing the Holocaust can show us is the impact such conditions can have politically, on the world's most vulnerable populations. We are seeing the beginnings of this phenomenon, with refugees being forced to relocate due to cataclysmic weather, or due to political turmoil that has its roots in environmental instability.


In this talk, we will dig deep into the political workings of the Holocaust, how Jews and others were stripped of their basic rights and subjected to mass population transfer and eventually mass murder. We will look to the future, to confront the risk that those in power may leave the most vulnerable to suffer the impact of climate change. By learning from the past, we can look to the future and say: never again.