An inaugural Interfaith Eco Slam is happening in Nachla’ot, Jerusalem tonight, hosted by the Interfaith Center for Sustainable Development (ICSD) and Rabbi Yonatan Neril. Get yourself to the rooftop of 49 Rechov Shabazi for a night of spoken-word poetry that bridges religion and ecology. The event is in honor of World Environment Day, which rolls in tomorrow.
Jerusalem-based nonprofit ICSD works to catalyze movement to a more sustainable human society, working through the active leadership of faith communities. They incite diverse individuals and larger communities to join together to promote co-existence, peace, and sustainability through advocacy, education and action-oriented projects.
Nadav Slovin began working with the group five months ago when he made aliyah. He told Green Prophet that the ICSD team noticed that World Environment day was approaching and “thought it would be cool to put on an event,” and Eco Slam was born. Tonight’s line-up features six Muslim performers and six Jewish performers, twelve unique voices expressing different facets of the unprecedented challenges we face to sustainable life on the planet.
Slovin said ICSD operates on the principle that the human struggle to sustainably interact with Earth and its resources is indicative and expressive of deeper, spiritual maladies, “As is true of most abusive relationships, the human relationship with the Earth is based on internal strife – separateness from one another, from our own emotions and deep desires, and from our traditions and our Creator.”
The group saw an opportunity in World Environment Day to create an event that helps heal our relationship with ecology and amplifies their work as an interfaith force for healing religious relationships among and between all people.
ICSD Director Rabbi Yonatan Neril considered a “sermon slam”, inspired by a New York-based organization called Jewish Public Meeting. He imagined hosting a forum for simple, poetic expressions where artists shed light on their personal relationships with religious tradition mashed up with their perceived responsibilities as environmental stewards. Tonight’s event offers an opportunity to share and listen, and not debate and solve.
The venue is small, so get there early to buy tickets (10 shekels each). Doors open at 7:45 PM and the show begins at 8:15 PM.
Can’t get to Jerusalem? Check out the ICSD webiste (link here) to learn more about their projects and how best you can support them.