For a dozen years now – somewhat under the radar of organized Jewish life – there’s been an explosion of activity at the intersection of Jewish life, food, the outdoors and the environment. The last dozen years has seen the founding and/or flourishing of – amongst others – Adamah, Amir Project, Eden Village, Hazon, Jewish Farm School, Kayam/Pearlstone, Ramah Outdoor Adventures, Teva, Urban Adamah and Wilderness Torah — to name just ten. Each of these organizations or programs offers immersive experiences that can – and have – transform(ed) lives.
This year, as well as our merger, we’re working with five major funders and an external research house to try – for the first time ever – to really demonstrate the impact of the field. That’s how a new acronym arose – what shorthand could we could use in place of “Jewish Outdoor, Food & Environmental Education”? And thus JOFEE – which we think is yofi (forgive us) – enters the Official Anthology of Jewish Acronyms.
One element of the work we’re doing is a long and detailed survey. It’ll take you about 20 minutes to fill out, but we hope you’ll feel that 20 minutes is well worth it – especially if your life has been touched by one or more of the more than 40 programs or organizations that have arisen in this space. More than 300 people have already completed the survey. I hope you’ll join them…..