Panelists 2022

Rabbi Shoshana Meira Friedman

Rabbi Shoshana Meira Friedman is a writer, mother, and climate activist in Boston. She serves as the Director of Professional Development at Hebrew College, and as a rabbinic ambassador for Dayenu: A Jewish Call to Climate Action. Her song The Tide Is Rising, which she co-wrote with her husband Yotam Schachter, has spread as an anthem in the climate movement. Her writing has been published in various venues including The New York Times, YES! Magazine, WBUR’s Cognoscenti, and Rooted & Rising: Voices of Courage in a Time of Climate Crisis (Rowman & Littlefield, 2019).

Rabbi Shoshana is an alumna of the Wexner Graduate Fellowship, JOIN For Justice, and Oberlin College where she was also a Henry David Thoreau Scholar. She was ordained by Hebrew College in Newton, MA. She lives in Boston with her husband and son. More information at rabbishoshana.com.

Medicine Woman Melissa Tantaquidgeon Zobel

Melissa Tantaquidgeon Zobel (MOHEGAN) was trained in Mohegan traditional knowledge by Medicine Woman Gladys Tantaquidgeon (1899-2005). She currently serves her tribal nation in the traditional roles of Medicine Woman and Tribal Historian, in addition to her job as Cultural Media Liaison. Tantaquidgeon Zobel earned a History B.S.F.S. from Georgetown University, a History M.A. from the University of Connecticut, and a Creative Writing M.F.A. from Fairfield University. Her books on the environment and spirituality include:

Medicine Trail: The Life and Lessons of Gladys Tantaquidgeon (University of Arizona Press, 2000): On the life, spirituality and environmental perspective of her great aunt and mentor, Gladys.

Wabanaki Blues (Poisoned Pen Press, 2015): A futuristic murder mystery series, now being reimagined as a cli-fi series for the screen.

Melissa is also an award-winning writer for stage and screen. "Flying Bird’s Diary" - a feature bio pic screenplay on the life, spirituality and environmental perspective of Gladys Tantaquidgeon's great aunt and mentor. Melissa has won over twenty-five awards as a screenplay and stage play. The stage play version was a finalist in Eugene O’Neill Theatre’s 2020 National Playwright’s Conference.

Imam Saffet Abid Catovic

Imam Saffet Abid Catovic has his MBA and is a long-time US Muslim Community Organizer/Activist and Environmental Leader. He is the new Chair of the Parliament of the World's Religions Climate Action Task Force and serves on the Parliament's, Board of Trustees, and has recently been re-elected as Treasurer. He is also a member of the Statewide Clergy Council of Faith in New Jersey, a Faith in Action affiliate, and also serves on their Board of Directors. Saffet is a GreenFaith Muslim Fellow and serves as their Senior Muslim advisor. He is: the Co-founder and Chair of the Green Muslims of New Jersey (GMNJ); a founding committee member of the Islamic Society of North America’s (ISNA) Green Initiatives; a consultant to the Drafting Committee of the Islamic Declaration on Global Climate Change (2015); a founding member of the Global Muslim Climate Network (GMCN); a Co-drafter of the Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA) "Fatwa" Religious ruling on fossil fuel divestment and member of the scholars Drafting team of "Al-Mizan - Covenant for the Earth" organized under the auspices of the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) - Faiths for Earth and the Islamic World Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ICESCO) .

Saffet also serves on the Muslim Alliance in North America (MANA) Executive Board. In addition, he continues to actively serve as the Imam and Muslim Chaplain at Drew University where he also received his MA in Religion and Society, specializing in Religion and the Environment and is currently working on his Doctorate of Ministry. Most recently, Imam Saffet has been appointed to head ISNA's Office for Interfaith and Community Alliances and Government relations in Washington, DC and also serves as a member of the Advisory group on Islam at Yale Forum for Religion and Ecology.