(Photo of Yonatan Malin, taken by Daniel Hirsh.)
Volunteer Spotlight: Yonatan Malin
By Katie Zakrzewski
For this month’s Volunteer Spotlight, we hear from Yonatan Malin of Boulder, Colorado. Yonatan is the leader of CCL’s Jewish Action Team and has served as co-liaison to Senator Michael Bennet’s office. Yonatan is an Associate Professor of Music Theory at the University of Colorado Boulder where teaches undergraduate and graduate courses, and his research is on Romantic Art Songs and Jewish Music. Yonatan has written a book related to his studies, called “Songs in Motion,” published by Oxford University Press in 2010. He is married with two daughters, ages 17 and 22. In his spare time, Yonatan enjoys running, hiking, playing music, and reading.
I caught up with Yonatan recently to learn more about his CCL work and what keeps him motivated to take climate action. Here’s our conversation:
How did you first get connected with CCL? When?
Yonatan: I first read about CCL in an article in the New York Times by David Bornstein (“Lobbying for the Greater Good,” May 29, 2013). It took me a little while, but a couple of years later I remembered the article and looked to see if there was a local chapter in Boulder, and there was! I have been a member since 2015.
What did you like about CCL? What made you want to get involved with the organization?
Yonatan: I like CCL’s method of meeting people where they are at and building relationships over time. I like advocating for the carbon fee and dividend policy, which we know will reduce emissions quickly while supporting those most in need. And I love the fact that CCL is truly a grassroots organization, trusting its volunteers and making use of our varied abilities, skills, and interests.
What are your main efforts or projects within CCL?
Yonatan: Over time, I think I have engaged in all the five levers of political will. I have published letters to the editor and an op-ed in “The Forward” (America’s leading Jewish newspaper). I have given presentations to Jewish Congregations around the country via Zoom. I have gained endorsements for the Energy Innovation Act from Jewish leaders and organizations. I have participated in our local chapter. And I have been in lobby meetings with Congressman Joe Neguse and Senator Michael Bennet. I was especially pleased to bring my Rabbi Deborah Bronstein to a lobby meeting with Senator Bennet via Zoom.
What keeps you motivated to do this work?
Yonatan: I am motivated by fellow CCL volunteers and climate advocates who remind me that I am not alone in this work. I want to help address climate change for my children and future generations.
Is there anything else you would like to share?
Yonatan: For Jewish members of CCL, please join the Jewish Action Team! We welcome your ideas, questions, energy, and enthusiasm.
If you want to nominate a CCL volunteer for a possible feature, fill out our nomination form here.