JOFEE is all about learning together and around the country JOFEE educators work to create unique, relevant, and engaging content, bringing Jewish texts and ideas on our shared earth-based traditions to life. Whether you’re just beginning to explore Jewish farming and environmentalism or you’re a seasoned JOFEE educator, you’re in the right place to find unique learning and teaching materials prepared by members of the JOFEE community.
Looking for a place to start? Check out these incredible ELI talks – a quick introduction to fundamental JOFEE theology.
Zelig Golden – Founding Director, Wilderness Torah – Rekindling the Flame of Earth-based Judaism
Yoshi Silverstein – Founder & CEO, Mistui Collective and former JOFEE Fellowship Director – Community By Design: Judaism and the Torah of Place
Aharon Ariel Levi – Hakhel Director of sustainable communities; Hazon – Shmita: A Workplan for the 21st Century Economy
Additional JOFEE learning suggestions and resources can be downloaded HERE
The JOFEE Resource Bank, housed on the Seal of Sustainability website, provides a wide range of JOFEE study and teaching materials from many of our partners, including program curricula from our JOFEE Fellows, with an easy-to-use search interface that lets you filter results by audience and subject area. This is a rich resource for anyone interested in exploring JOFEE.
- Canfei Nesharim – Connecting traditional Torah texts with contemporary scientific findings, Canfei Nesharim educates and empowers Jewish individuals, organizations and communities to take an active role in protecting the environment through these 18 Core Teachings.
- Dvarim Hamakom – Each week JOFEE fellows share reflections on what they’ve learned teaching earth-based Judaism, with connections to the weekly Torah portion and the holidays.
- Food For Thought – Written by Nigel Savage and Anna Hanau, Food for Thought is designed to encourage participants to think critically about the food that they eat and the ways their food choices affect the health of their community and the planet. Food for Thought is is a 130-page sourcebook that draws on a range of texts from within and beyond Jewish traditions to explore a range of topics relating to Jews and food.
- Jew and the Carrot – From Shabbat recipes to sustainability tips, from cholent to compost from restaurants to remoulade, Hazon’s award-winning blog “Jew and the Carrot” serves as the homepage for online conversations and ideas around Jews, food, and contemporary life. Whether you’re contemplating what to make for dinner or whether conventionally raised meat is really kosher – be sure to check out Jew and the Carrots for tips, thoughts, and delicious recipes for all occasions. (In partnership with The Jewish Daily Forward)
- Jewcology.org – As the home to the Jewish environmental movement, Jewcology.org shares teachings on Jewish approaches to the environment, as well as a stellar collection of books for those who want to explore further.
- JFS Gardening Curriculum – Calling all gardeners! Explore how to make your gardening into a sustainable, spiritual, and educational experience, with step-by-step guides and lesson plans.
- Min Haaretz – This curriculum allows students from grades 5-9 to explore the question, what is the relationship between Jewish texts, traditions, and practices and the food we eat? More specifically, how does Judaism relate to all the processes and choices involved in how we grow, harvest, prepare, and eat our food, as well as manage our waste?
- Neohasid: Stop the Flood – Rabbi David Mevorach promotes a deeper Jewish connection to the more-than-human world, through teaching, liturgy, stories, and song.
- Shamayim V’Aretz – Source sheets address issues of animal welfare and meat-eating from the perspective of the Jewish tradition.
- Wilderness Torah Teachings – Thought pieces about earth-based Judaism, commentary on the weekly Torah portion and Jewish holidays, as well as teachings about the innovative work Wilderness Torah does to reconnect Jewish culture to our indigenous roots.
Relevant and Recent Articles – JOFEE in the News
- The Covenant Foundation – The WOW Metric of Success: Jewish Life Blooms on the Farm
At the core of the JOFEE mission is the belief that the Jewish community must join hands in taking responsibility for our shared earth and its resources, for “we are not free to desist from the labor” (Ethics of the Fathers, 2:19). Doing so takes change at home, at work, on the road, and in our synagogues, community centers, and other shared spaces. From cutting down emissions to eating more sustainably, we are all called upon to take action.
Hear Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org, talk with Jewish Farm School’s Feast Forward about environmental responsibility and religious communities.
What we’re engaged in as a planet is nothing less than running Genesis in reverse; we’re kind of taking those seven days and de-creating them, one species at a time, one landscape at a time.
And if the religious community is not going to stand up to defend the very first thing God did, build this beautiful planet for us, then I don’t know what it’s going to stand up for. This is the moment, and these are the people who need to be doing it.
(Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org)
Looking to take charge yourself? There is a lot you can do as an individual to make change! Check out these resources to get started.
There is a lot you can do with your organization to move further along your green journey – for more information, check out our resources and suggestions; make sure to check out the Seal of Sustainability as well.
When God created the first human beings, God led them around all the trees of the Garden of Eden and said: “Look at My works! See how beautiful they are—how excellent! For your sake I created them all. See to it that you do not spoil and destroy My world; for if you do, there will be no one else to repair it.” [Ecclesiastes Rabbah 7:13, Translation by AJWS]
This website contains information and resources about the JOFEE space.
Opinions expressed are not necessarily endorsed by every JOFEE partner organization.