Overview

Jewish Outdoor, Food & Environmental Education

JOFEE is an acronym that stands for Jewish Outdoor, Food & Environmental Education. These three new disciplines – Jewish outdoor education; Jewish food education and Jewish environmental education – have grown sharply in the last dozen years. JOFEE is already renewing American Jewish life – and helping to create a better world for all – in powerful ways.

More and more people, particularly young adults, express their Jewish identity through passion for building sustainable and environmentally conscious Jewish communities. We need to learn more about this phenomenon, better understand effective strategies, and determine long-term outcomes on participants. This is an exciting first step in deeply examining this relatively new and emerging space of Jewish learning and engagement.
—Nigel Savage
 

JOFEE Fellowship: May 2016 – May 2017

The JOFEE Fellowship seeks to invigorate the Jewish educational landscape by seeding Jewish communities with a cadre of outstanding Jewish Outdoor, Food, and Environmental Educators.

JOFEE Fellows will work to effect change in local institutions and communities by organizing and running JOFEE programs that focus on education, action, and engagement.

Applications for the first cohort will be available in late August 2015 and accepted on a rolling basis.

 

learn more and apply

JOFEE events are opportunities for the public to engage with and support the very intensive work happening in the field of Jewish outdoor, food, and environmental education. Not everyone can be a Jewish food educator, or run environmental programs at their local day school, or be a Jewish farmer – but everyone can be inspired by short-term immersive experiences that motivate their ongoing engagement with JOFEE programs in their home communities. JOFEE events cultivate a community of advocates and change-makers, who are the base for raising the awareness and the funds that will enable the JOFEE field to transform what it means to be Jewish in the 21st century.

Adamah Fellowship: Summer 2015
Jun 3, 2015 - Sep 7, 2015
Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center, Falls Village, CT

The Adamah Fellowship is a three-month leadership training program for young adults in their 20s that integrates organic farming, sustainable living, Jewish learning, community building and contemplative spiritual practice.

Adamah Farm Vacation
Aug 11, 2015 - Aug 20, 2015
Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center, Falls Village, CT

Join goats, chickens, farmers, and friends for a firsthand experience of life on the farm, an amazing kids program, interactive workshops, storytelling, DIY classes and more. Flexible dates and all-inclusive rates.

Adamah Fellowship: Fall 2015
Sep 2, 2015 - Dec 7, 2015
Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center, Falls Village, CT

The Adamah Fellowship is a three-month leadership training program for young adults in their 20s that integrates organic farming, sustainable living, Jewish learning, community building and contemplative spiritual practice.

New York Ride & Retreat
Sep 4, 2015 - Sep 7, 2015
Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center, Falls Village, CT

Join the People of the Bike for our annual fully-supported ride and retreat. This exciting, diverse community Shabbat and cycling experience is open for people of all cycling levels and ages.

Sukkahfest!
Sep 27, 2015 - Sep 30, 2015
Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center, Falls Village, CT

All Streams of Judaism flow from One Source! Sukkahfest is Isabella Freedman’s annual celebration of the harvest festival featuring a radically pluralistic and inclusive atmosphere. The many become one as we all come together in our harvest-adorned lakeside Sukkah.

Hazon Jewish Food Festival - Bay Area
Oct 18, 2015 - All Day
Oshman Family JCC, Palo Alto, CA

Spend your day learning, celebrating and hands-on doing at the intersection of food, sustainability and Jewish life.

Arava Institute & Hazon Israel Ride
Oct 27, 2015 - Nov 3, 2015

Enjoy five glorious days of riding with routes for beginner, intermediate, and advanced cyclists. All routes are fully supported with rest stops, mechanics, and lead riders.

Hazon Philadelphia Jewish Food Festival
Nov 15, 2015 - All Day
Congregation Keneseth Israel, Elkins Park, PA

Spend your day learning, celebrating and hands-on doing at the intersection of food, sustainability and Jewish life.

Dec 29, 2015 - Jan 1, 2016
Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center, Falls Village, CT

Join the thinkers and doers of the Jewish Food Movement for 4 days of inspiring lectures and discussions, expert cooking demonstrations and DIY projects, fun kids and family activities, rocking New Year’s party and delicious, consciously-prepared food.

* These programs are no longer in operation

What could a Jewish community that values JOFEE look like?

It would include some (or all) of the following:

  • Integrated food policies at all the local Jewish institutions
  • Annual Jewish Food Festival
  • Teva programs integrated into Jewish day-school and synagogue-school programming
  • Jewish urban farming and food justice programs
  • Summer bus tours for teens to sustainable farms
  • Gardens at a majority of synagogues and JCCs
  • Jewish institutions using the shmita year as an opportunity for reflection and release
  • Orchards planted on Jewish communal properties, with intergenerational programming on everything from pruning techniques to orlah
  • A flourishing of local, sustainable food businesses
  • Sukkot harvest festivals
  • Prayer hikes
  • And so on

If you’re a practitioner – a Jewish food activist, a Jewish environmental educator, a Jewish outdoor leader – feel free to consider yourself within the overall JOFEE field. And if you’re involved in leading a Jewish institution, think about how you’re currently using JOFEE programs at the moment – what is working, what is not – and how you might use a greater range of JOFEE programs in the future.

This is the field that includes organizations like Adventure Rabbi, Amir, Eden Village, The Gan Project, Ganei Beantown, Jewish Farm School, the Jewish Food Justice Fellowship, Pearlstone, Ramah Outdoor Adventures, Shoresh, Wilderness Torah, Yiddish Farm – not to mention pretty much everything that Hazon does, including our CSAs, Food Conferences, Food Festivals, Adamah, Teva, Israel Sustainable Food Tour and Bike Rides.

In fall 2012, a collection of Jewish funders – Jim Joseph Foundation, Leichtag Foundation, The Morningstar Foundation, Rose Community Foundation, Schusterman Family Foundation, and UJA Federation of New York – collaborated with Hazon to conduct the first national research study on experiences that integrate Jewish outdoor, food, and environmental education (JOFEE), focusing on immersive JOFEE programs lasting four days or longer. The Improve Group and Informing Change gathered and analyzed data to explore JOFEE programs, participants, and professionals.

On March 10, 2014, Seeds of Opportunity: A National Study of Immersive Jewish Outdoor, Food, and Environmental Education (JOFEE) was released.

 

We’re grateful to the Advisory Group for their guidance throughout this research project:

Institutions

If you would like to strengthen JOFEE in your institution, please let us know what you’re interested in. We’ll be in touch to help you out.

Click here to provide us with your details.

Individual Practitioners

Between now and 2016, we would like to expand the Adva Network (a network of Adamah alumni and Teva educators) to include people who have been involved in JOFEE immersive experiences. If you’re interested in working in this space on a full- or part-time basis, please let us know. We will keep you posted on opportunities as they emerge.

Click here to provide us with your details. 

 

Jim Joseph Logo 2013

Email jofee@hazon.org to learn more or get connected.