Archive for the 'Jewish Farm School' Category

Mazal tov to the Joshua Venture Fellows!

The recent Joshua Venture Dual Investment Program Applications for 2010 were a wonderful example of Hazon’s impact in the Jewish community. Two of the newly appointed Fellows are directors of the two organizations in which Hazon is a fiscal sponsor:  Nati Passow of the Jewish Farm School and Zelig Golden of Wilderness Torah. A third Fellow is our friend, Eli Winkelman, the founder of Challah for Hunger, which Hazon helped grow when it was part of our food program in 2008-2009.

Job Opportunities with the Jewish Farm School


From our friends at the Jewish Farm School,  an environmental education organization whose mission is to practice and promote sustainable agriculture and to support food systems rooted in justice and Jewish traditions.

Eden Village Camp (EVC) and the Jewish Farm School (JFS) are thrilled to announce the creation of the Eden Village Farm, a 2-acre educational farm that will be a central component of Eden Village Camp. EVC is a new Jewish summer camp with a focus on environmentalism, social justice and spirituality. The farm will be a laboratory for creative and meaningful educational experiences, connecting Jewish agricultural laws to contemporary environmental and food justice issues. The farm will also host programs and volunteer events in the spring and fall.

We are currently looking to fill the following positions.

Kosher, Organic and Fair Trade Vanilla

Mike Stein with JJ Keki, president of PK cooperative

What if you knew that the organic vanilla that you were using in your recipe was not only kosher, but was grown by farmers who would not, under any circumstances, work in their gardens, harvest their trees or deliver their crop from 18 minutes before sundown on Friday until tzeit hakochavim (the appearance of three stars in the sky) on Saturday—with the same applying to all Jewish Festivals.

What if you knew that these farmers live in the deepest regions of  sub-Saharan East Africa in the area Mbale, Uganda, and that their farming cooperative consisted of Jewish, Muslim and Christian members called Peace Kawomera?

What if you knew that these farmers were being paid two and a half times the fair trade price for their beans, because a volunteer organization run by a hazzan (cantor) in Los Angeles removes the middle-man and makes every attempt to allow the farmer to receive the most that he/she can?

What if you knew that this organization, Uniting Jewish Communities and Products, UJCP, is attempting to do this for as many communities as possible throughout the world, helping them become self sufficient, providing clothes, housing, health care and education.

2009 Hazon Food Conference chair Emily Jane Freed named one of America’s ’40 farmers under 40′

Emily Jane Freed

The Mother Nature Network has released a list of the top farmers in the country under the age of 40, and Hazon’s Emily Jane Freed is recognized for her work, passion and commitment to sustainable farming practices and community outreach. Emily, who is the Assistant Production Manager for Jacobs Farms in Pescadero (northern California), comes in at #13 on the list, which, according to MNN, is compiled “with help from dozens of people in the farming industry — from farmers themselves to those who help them in the nonprofit sector to those in the media who cover them.”

NYU Student? Paid Environmental Internship and Free Environmental Conference!

Welcome to the Farm

The JNF Bronfman Green Fellowship is a ten-week Jewish and environmental learning and action fellowship.  The fellowship aims to explore the intersection of basic human needs, the environment and the Jewish tradition.

Students will meet weekly at the Bronfman Center and at site visits throughout New York City and New York State for hands-on learning and volunteering.  Students will commit to one day of volunteering and learning per week for the fall semester and will receive $150 each for their participation and the opportunity to work with professional environmental specialists to help implement a local improvement project with a budget of up to $10,000!

Jewish Farm School – Photo Contest!

Calendar Cover 2008

The Jewish Farm School (JFS) is proud to announce its first ever Calendar Photo Contest!  This contest is open to photographers of all ages and abilities and will be centered around the theme for our 3rd annual calendar:

Theme: Seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night shall not cease. – Genesis 8:22

General Information
Selected photos will be displayed in the 2009-2010 JFS Calendar as a featured photograph of the month. Winners will also receive a complimentary calendar, along with their photo published on the JFS Web site. JFS is seeking to capture your experiences with Jewish agriculture and sustainability as it relates to this year’s calendar theme.

The Jewish Food Movement: Goals for the Next 7 Years

Jewish Food Movement?

Over the past few years, a growing number of Jewish foodies, farmers, rabbis, chefs, teachers, students, families and many others have brought meaning to those words, asking why and how one can eat in a way that is both deeply Jewish and deeply sustainable.

It is time to ask a new question: where will this movement be in 7 years? Last Rosh Hashanah ended the last shmita (sabbatical year) cycle, and we’ve begun the countdown to the end of the next shmita cycle in September 2015.  Using the shmita cycle, with its wisdom about our relationship to the land as a guide, what should be the goals of the Jewish food movement? How do you envision that the Jewish community (in the United States, Israel, the entire world) will look and act differently in its relationship to food by September, 2015?

Jewish Farming Heroes in the JTA

Jewish farmer

Check out the great new press in the Jewish Telegraphic Agency on a new breed of Jewish farmers.  “Farming the land, Torah in Hand“  explains how our friends at Adamah, Jewish Farm School, Kayam and others are more than just farmers who happen to be Jewish, but are actually farming Jewishly. Click here to check it out.

One correction to the article: Kilayim is incorrectly translated as ‘holding back’ – a better translation would be ‘mixtures’ or ‘mixed species.’

One Vision for our Food Movement – Re-Writing Our Mikketz Story of Today

The conference was something incredible. I feel so blessed to be a part of this growing community and movement, and I thank those of you who joined us at Asilomar and contributed in a myriad ways to the 3rd annual Food conference. I truly look forward to witness how we all take the next steps forward, through personal choices, communal activity, public policy outreach, the development of new educational opportunities, and ….

At the conference, I was given the honor of sharing my vision for the New Jewish Food Movement, and I thought I would also share it here. So, I have shared those words below. I hope you might get some inspiration from my vision, but more importantly, I hope you will be inspired to think of how your vision fits into Hazon’s work, and even share your vision here on JCarrot.

Happy New Year

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Seven years to plan: Discussing the Shmita at the Food Conference

Six years you shall sow your land, and you shall gather in its produce.  And the seventh year you shall release it from work and abandon it, and the poor among your people will eat.” (Exodus 23:10-11)

What would you do if you had seven years to prepare for a major event? Would you plan out each year carefully, with set goals for each step along the way leading up to the big day? Would you ignore the future despite your impending sense of doom, and hope for the best? Can you even think that far ahead? Seven years are the blink of an eye and an eternity, depending on your perspective.

This year, we began another cycle of the Shmita, a biblical agricultural cycle that mandate that the land lie fallow every seven years. No crops could be planted, and that which did grow was open to everyone. One had to plan for the Shmita for years in advance, so that you didn’t starve. The Shmita today is an odd commandment: since it only applies to Israel, it has a very significant impact on the lives of everyone who lives there. Every seven years, it creates agricultural chaos. But those of us in the Diaspora are free to ignore it. Why should we plan for the next seven years?

The Day After – The State of Jewish Food Politics


(Written last night as the election results poured in…)

As I sit here watching the returns with guarded optimism, I consider the role food plays in politics. In 2004 John Kerry came to south Philly and ordered a cheese steak with provolone. You don’t do that, and Kerry was mocked on the local news. While he still won Pennsylvania, he lost the election, and I think the cheese steak gaffe was a turning point for many voters. It showed that his food choices that day were a gesture, an attempt to make a connection with a certain type of voter, and he failed miserably.

That we feel such a cultural connection to what we eat allows food to play a part in our political sphere. Food is an entry point for politicians. When they eat your sandwich, drink your beer, slurp your soup, they convey their humanness, and their ability to relate to you, your needs and concerns in the world.

American Jewish Farmers


The notion of a Jewish Farmer still raises eyebrows across much of the tribe. (Let’s face it, “My son the farmer” does not currently have the same nachas potential as “My son the doctor”).  But the idea of Jewish farming in America, which is currently being embraced by organizations like The Jewish Farm School and Adamah, has deep roots.

The Federation of Jewish Farmers, founded in 1909, brought together 13 existing associations of Jewish farmers under one umbrella.  According to the American Jewish Archives:

Hazon makes the Heeb 100

Hazon’s Associate Director of Food Programs, Judith Belasco was featured on the Heeb 100 – the illustrious list of up-and-coming Jewish musicians, foodies, artists, comedians, entrepreneurs, etc. put out every year by Heeb Magazine.  We are incredibly proud of our “100-nik” and excited to share her *mostly* accurate profile with you.  See all of the Heeb 100 here.


Text by Sabrina Jaszi
Photo by Jesse Winter

Jewish Farming – From the Field


Thanks to Moshe Cohen for this guest post. Moshe is participating in Hillel’s Sustainable Agriculture Alternative Break at Kayam Farm in Maryland and sending in “reports from the field.” The alternative break is being led by the Jewish Farm School.

“I had a convo with my chi,” said Alison Fields, recently of Indiana University, leaning on her shovel during a work break in the shade.  After our first full day at Hillel and The Jewish Farm School’s Alternative Break at Kayam Farm, we have already taken a complete tour of the grounds, dined on white mulberries right off the tree, sampled new vegetables out of the garden like garlic scapes and kohlrabi and participated in a morning Chi Gong session (hence Alison’s “chi conversation”).

Every day we have three work blocks where we split into teams to tackle a variety of assignments, working and learning together with farm staff and trip organizers. The first major project we undertook was constructing a fence to keep the deer out of the lettuce, reminding us that our food cycle intersects with other living things, as well. Some of us picked leafy greens from the garden and snuck away from the hot sun to “kasher the harvest” in the kitchen.