Welcome to JOFFICE SPACE!
In this podcast series from Hazon, we explore the interdependent ecosystem of people and organizations shaping the world of Jewish Outdoor, Food, Farming & Environmental Education today. Thanks for listening!
How to Listen:
JOFFICE SPACE is co-hosted and produced by Yoshi Silverstein, Director of the JOFEE Fellowship, and Hannah Henza, JOFEE Program Manager. Season One is edited by our summer JOFEE programs intern Leora Nevins, and distributed by the Hazon Marketing & Communications team.
JOFEE programs are made possible by a growing web of staff, participants, volunteers, lay leaders, donors, organizations, institutions, and foundations. In particular, our national JOFEE work at Hazon is made possible by funding from the Jim Joseph Foundation.
In episode 1 we interview the folks at GrowTorah: Yosef Gillers, Chief Soul and Soil Cultivator (AKA Founder, Executive Director) and Sara Just-Michael, Lashon HaTov (“good speech”) Propagator (AKA Communications Associate + Garden Educator). Sara JM is also a fellow in the current cohort of the JOFEE Fellowship!
We chat about:
- How GrowTorah was originally conceived, incubated, and founded;
- Why they’re filling a pressing need in the Orthodox Jewish community;
- How Torah informs their work and programs;
- The four core curricular values at the foundation of all the nature-based Jewish learning experiences they cultivate;
And much, much more.
Come dig in with us!
In episode two we interview legendary JOFEE educator and Shoresh Executive Director Risa Alyson Cooper, and Cohort 3 JOFEE Fellow and Shoresh Assistant Director Jared Kaminsky. What a blast! Listen in to hear about Shoresh’s commitment to community supported beekeeping, formative rendezvous-by-canoe JOFEE experiences in the pale Canadian moonlight, and how to center your heart-based work as an educator even while holding all the responsibilities of running a non-profit organization.
After you listen follow Shoresh over on Facebook and Instagram; and join us at the 2019 JOFEE Network Gathering: Aug 30, 2019 – Sep 2, 2019 at Urban Adamah in Berkeley and Walker Creek Ranch in Petaluma, CA.
In episode three we spend time with Hazon Detroit Director, Wren Hack, and Manager of Sustainability and Outdoor Engagement, Brittany Feldman. Tune in to hear about the Metro Detroit commitment to authenticity in multicultural partnerships, solar energy production, and regional farming knowledge. They are a great example of a team who juggles many different projects while nurturing strong interpersonal relationships.
After you listen, follow Hazon Detroit on Facebook and Instagram; and join us at the 2019 JOFEE Network Gathering: Aug 30, 2019 – Sep 2, 2019 at Urban Adamah in Berkeley and Walker Creek Ranch in Petaluma, CA.
In episode four, Yoshi and Hannah interview… each other! Listen up for great wisdom from their work as the JOFEE program team at Hazon. The delights, challenges, and fascinations with strengthening a professional web of JOFEE are shared in this episode.
Additional highlights include how JOFEE weaves together a web of individuals for broader change and impact; how Jewish camping as a movement can be seen as a useful parallel for the work we’re doing; and highlights and lessons from our own professional growth and journey both separately and as a team.
We end by discussing how we stay actively and personally connected to nature in addition to our active professional JOFEE careers. Hannah reminds us all to just “get outside” and we hope you join us at the 2019 JOFEE Network Gathering: Aug 30, 2019 – Sep 2, 2019 at Urban Adamah in Berkeley and Walker Creek Ranch in Petaluma, CA.
In episode five, we interview Rabbi Jacob Fine and Rebecca Leung from Abundance Farm. R Jacob is the Director and Rebecca is Farm Educator and a JOFEE Fellow. Tune in to hear more about their work! R Jacob talks about the role of Abundance Farm in a network of community organizations. Rebecca shares insights about relationships to land in production, educational, and Jewish settings.
Additional highlights include discussion of Northampton as a center for sustainable agriculture, and the overall progress of the educational garden movement.
We end by hearing their advice for communities wishing to get involved in JOFEE work.
After you listen, make sure to follow Abundance Farm on Facebook and @abundancefarm on Instagram. We also hope you join us at the 2019 JOFEE Network Gathering: Aug 30, 2019 – Sep 2, 2019 at Urban Adamah in Berkeley and Walker Creek Ranch in Petaluma, CA.
In episode six of JOFFICE Space, we interview Ari Eisen and Rachel Binstock from Urban Adamah. Ari is the Public Programs and Retreat Center Director, and Rachel is the Director of the Urban Adamah Fellowship.
We discuss how JOFEE spaces have become a new type of entry points to Jewish life, and the Jewish values at their cores. At Urban Adamah, the value of Peah, giving away food to those in need is centered in their programs.
Together, we look forward to grappling with concepts of place-based Judaism on Indigenous land as a community at the JOFEE Network Gathering.
This special edition episode of JOFFICE Space offers a peek into the insider fellowship cohort experience. Steven Green, from the Jim Joseph Foundation, shares JOFEE torah with the fellows, as well as why JOFEE is important to the field of Jewish education.
Next, the cohort meets with Nigel Savage, CEO of Hazon. Nigel speaks to the fellows about JOFEE successes, and answers a personal/professional question from each one. Fellows have the opportunity to share personal highlights with Nigel and Steven in order to process and report back about their incredible work.
If you are curious about the experience of a JOFEE fellow, this is a great episode to get yourself better acquainted with the ins and outs of the fellowship.
We hope to see you at the JOFEE Network Gathering from August 29 – September 2, at Urban Adamah in Berkeley, and Walker Creek Ranch in Petaluma, CA.
This special edition episode presents the Keynote from JOFEE Network Gathering 2018.
In her address, Dr. Elizabeth Andre talks about diversity in the outdoor education field, and shares findings from her work. Her teachings about privilege and diversity inform how we are hoping to expand our JOFEE work to be genuinely inclusive. We are so grateful for her support of JOFEE, and hope to build on the themes in her presentation this year at JOFEE Network Gathering. We hope you enjoy listening to Dr. Elizabeth Andre speaking at last year’s JNG.
Dr. Andre is a professor of Nature and Culture at Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin. Northland College has a specific focus on progressive environmentalism and sustainability, and Dr. Andre teaches courses such as Winter Travel & Living skills and Interpretation of the Apostle Lands.
In a new COVID-19 world Nigel Savage, CEO of Hazon speaks with Jewish leaders from around the world on what this changing landscape means for Jewish communities near and far. Originally recorded on April 12, in this episode tune in to hear Rabbi Susan Silverman and her husband Yossi Abramowitz in conversation. Susan is a Rabbi, mother, activist, and author of two books, Casting Lots, and Jewish Family and Life: Traditions, Holidays, and Values for Today’s Parents and Children. Yossi is a father, activist, and President and CEO of Energiya Global Capital as well as the founder of Arava Power Company.
In a new COVID-19 world Nigel Savage, CEO of Hazon speaks with Jewish leaders from around the world on what this changing landscape means for Jewish communities near and far. Originally recorded on April 19th, in this episode tune in to hear Ruth Messinger in conversation with Nigel Savage. Ruth has led a life dedicated to political and humanitarian activism. Ruth served as Manhattan Borough president from 1990-1998 and ran for mayor of New York City in 1997. Ruth also served as the President and CEO of the American Jewish World Service from 1998-2016. Additionally Ruth serves as a board member here at Hazon as well as trustee emerita of the Jewish Foundation for Education of Women.
In a new COVID-19 world Nigel Savage, CEO of Hazon speaks with Jewish leaders from around the world on what this changing landscape means for Jewish communities near and far. Originally recorded on April 26th, in this episode tune in to hear Alon Tal in conversation with Nigel Savage. Alon Tal is a leading Israeli environmental activist and academic. He is the founder of the Israel Union for Environmental Defense and the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies. In 2017, Tal was appointed chair of the department of Public Policy at Tel Aviv University. In 2006, Tal won the Charles Bronfman Prize for young humanitarian leadership, and used the prize money to establish the Tal Fund, which supports grassroots Israeli environmental activism.
In a new COVID-19 world Nigel Savage, CEO of Hazon speaks with Jewish leaders from around the world on what this changing landscape means for Jewish communities near and far. Originally recorded on May 3rd, in this episode tune in to hear Nati Passow, Rabbi Dani Passow and their sister Shuli Passow in conversation with Nigel Savage. Nati Passow has been a leader in the field of Jewish environmental education, was selected to the Jewish Week’s “36 Under 36,” and was a recipient of the Joshua Venture Group Fellowship for Jewish Social Entrepreneurs. Nati co-founded and ran the Jewish Farm School from 2005 to 2019. During that time he provided unsurpassed learning and inspiration to the Philadelphia and Jewish environmental community. He continues his leadership at Dayenu today supporting community organizing efforts for Jewish environmental action. Rabbi Dani Passow is a rabbi and educator at Harvard Hillel who serves as the Minyan’s Rabbinic Advisor. He lectures and writes frequently about Judaism and social justice and was awarded the 2010 Whizin Prize for Jewish ethics. Shuli Passow is a Jewish educator and communal professional who most recently served as the Director of Community Initiatives at the Jewish Funds for Justice, where she worked with synagogues across the country to support their involvement in congregation-based community organizing. She has taught widely in youth and adult education settings, and is particularly passionate about exploring issues of justice, compassion, environmentalism and economics through Jewish text. Shuli is currently pursuing rabbinic ordination at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York.
In a new COVID-19 world Nigel Savage, President and CEO of Hazon speaks with Jewish leaders from around the world on what this changing landscape means for Jewish communities near and far. Originally recorded on May 10th, we tune into this episode featuring Rabbis Arthur Waskow and Phyllis Berman in conversation with Nigel Savage. Rabbis Waskow and Berman are most well known for their political activism, writings and their support and leadership in the Jewish renewal movement. Rabbi Waskow co-founded ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal and Rabbi Berman has lead retreats at Hazon’s own Isabella Freedman retreat center.
In a new COVID-19 world Nigel Savage, President and CEO of Hazon speaks with Jewish leaders from around the world on what this changing landscape means for Jewish communities near and far. Originally recorded on May 17th, we tune into this episode featuring Andy Stern; as both a labor leader and an activist, Stern is a leading voice and a prominent advocate for people who work. He is the author of A Country That Works, which outlines a practical, cooperative approach to promote economic growth in America. In early 2010, Stern was appointed by President Obama to the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform.
In a new COVID-19 world Nigel Savage, President and CEO of Hazon speaks with Jewish leaders from around the world on what this changing landscape means for Jewish communities near and far. Originally recorded on May 24th, we tune into this episode featuring Shaul Bassi and Andi Arnovitz in conversation with Nigel Savage. Shaul is the director of the Venice Center for Humanities and Social Change. He has written extensively about the present environmental and social issues of Venice, as well as the city’s history. Andi is an American-Israeli printmaker and multimedia artist. Her work is in the permanent collections of the United States Library of Congress, the Israel National library, Yale University Library, The Magnes Collection and Yeshiva University Museum The Smithsonian Museum.
In a new COVID-19 world Nigel Savage, President and CEO of Hazon speaks with Jewish leaders from around the world on what this changing landscape means for Jewish communities near and far. Originally recorded on June 21st, we tune into this episode featuring four members of the Jewish Youth Climate Movement (JYCM) in conversation with Nigel Savage. The Jewish Youth Climate Movement was founded by Hazon in 2020. They are dedicated to mitigating climate change by empowering teens, mobilizing communities and taking action. JYCM believes in using Jewish values as a motivation to create a more equitable and sustainable world for all.
For this series, we’d like to offer some framing – Sukkot ends, each year, with a prayer for rain. Talmud tractate Ta’anit begins by asking what happens – and what we should do – if the rains don’t come.
The acute crisis of COVID-19, against the backdrop of the creeping challenge of a warming climate, are shaking our sense of invulnerability to the natural world. And they are challenging our societies’ capacities to effectively respond. We need deeper sources of wisdom to orient ourselves to these challenges.
Jewish wisdom about coping with a climactic crisis – and plague – is distilled in tractate Ta’anit, which addresses how we should respond when a change in the weather threatens our lives and livelihoods. As different as our reality is from the Talmud’s, both the rabbis and contemporary environmentalists converge on the view that dangerous disruption to the weather requires a response that touches our lifestyles, behavior and spiritual consciousness.
In these four consecutive lectures, Rabbi Yedidya Sinclair argues that people respond to existential danger from the weather through shifts in behavior and consciousness that reverberate across the divide separating pre-modern and post-modern awareness. Through exploring these places of mutual resonance between the Talmud’s world and our own, we will frame a new-old theology of climate change that offers hope to overcome this critical challenge.
In October 2020, Hazon facilitated the first ever Virtual Israel Ride with our partner the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies. This weeklong event brought the magical moments of the annual Israel Ride to a large community through a new medium. We would like to welcome you as we begin this featured episode:
Here we Join Nigel Savage, Hazon’s Founder & CEO, along with other Hazon educators from the National Programs Team, for an immersive workshop sampling different elements of Hazon’s programming including the Brit Hazon, Hazon Seal of Sustainability, the Jewish Youth Climate Movement, and Food Rescue Work in Detroit.
For more information about the Israel Ride, please visit Israelride.org. Registration is now open for 2021. Join us Oct. 19-26 2021 for 5 days of riding from Jerusalem to Eilat all in support of the crucial sustainability and peace-building work of Hazon and the Arava Institute.
Please enjoy this second episode, featuring co-hosts Hannah Perez-Postman and Adam Brock and their guest speakers, Greg Watson of the Schumacher Institute for a New Economics and Rabbi Rachel Kahn-Troster of T’ruah: the Rabbinic Call for Human Rights. This hour long conversation will be a discussion of economic justice through the lens of Shmita, during which our guests will speak about what brought them to their work as activists and what we all can do to contribute and organize for a more economically just, and equitable society.
Greg Watson, Director of Policy and Systems Design at the Schumacher Center for a New Economics.
His work currently focuses on community food systems and the dynamics between local and geo-economic systems. Watson has spent nearly 40 years learning to understand systems thinking as inspired by Buckminster Fuller and to apply that understanding to achieve a just and sustainable world.
Rabbi Rachel Kahn-Troster, Deputy Director, T’ruah.
Rabbi Rachel Kahn-Troster has spent nearly fourteen years at T’ruah: The Rabbinical Call for Human Rights, most recently as Deputy Director. At T’ruah, she has been the lead strategist on T’ruah’s human rights campaigns and heads the organizing and training of more than 2,000 rabbis and cantors. Rachel is the original #tomatorabbi, spearheading T’ruah’s critical partnership with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers in Florida, and leads Jewish community in worker-led campaigns for corporate accountability.
Please enjoy this third episode, featuring co-hosts Hannah Perez-Postman and Adam Brock and their guest speakers, Siena Mann, Campaign Manager for the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition, and Rosa Sabido, an activist and leader in the Sanctuary movement and founder of the organization Rosa Belongs Here. This hour-long conversation will be a discussion of immigrant rights work through the lens of Shmita and the Torah’s wisdom on treating “the stranger”, during which our guests will speak about what brought them to their work as activists and what we all can do to contribute and organize for a more just society for everyone.
Siena Mann: Campaign Manager, Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition
Siena has been active in justice movements since graduating from Haverford College with a B.A. in Spanish Literature in 2014. Siena moved back to Colorado and became an active local organizer in Colorado Springs in the deportation resistance movement. She helped found the Colorado Springs Sanctuary Coalition and was an active member of CIRC’s member group Grupo Esperanza. Siena joined CIRC as the South Regional Organizer from 2018-2019. As one of CIRC’s Organizing and Campaign Managers, Siena’s work now focuses on making improvements to the SB251 Driver’s License for All program, coordinating the I Drive/Yo Manejo Coalition and fighting for data privacy for all.
Rosa Sabido: Founder, Rosa Belongs Here.
Rosa has lived in the United States for more than 30 years. She works as the Secretary at the Catholic Church. For the past six years, Rosa has been granted a Stay of Removal by Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) until May 11,2017, when the agency declined to grant her most recent request. Facing deportation Rosa sought “sanctuary” while she works to remain in her community in the country she calls home, and to care for her U.S. citizen parents.
Please enjoy this fourth episode, featuring co-hosts Hannah Perez-Postman and Adam Brock and their guest speakers, Paul Sherman, Outreach Manager for Mazon, and Dr. Damien Thompson, Co-founder of Frontline Farming in Colorado and Director of the Center for Food Justice and Healthy Communities. They discuss food justice and food sovereignty through the lens of Shmita, during which our guests will speak about what brought them to their work as activists and what we all can do to contribute and organize for a more just society for everyone.
Damien Thompson, PhD
Co-founder, Frontline Farming in Colorado and Director, Center for Food Justice and Healthy Communities.
Damien is an Associate Professor of Anthropology, Department of Anthropology, Sociology and Criminal Justice at Regis University where he directs the Community Food Systems program. In addition to his training in anthropology, Dr. Thompson also holds certification in Permaculture Design and a 200-hour Yoga Alliance Teaching Certification.
Outreach Manager, MAZON.Paul has more than six years of experience in community organizing with both Jewish and anti-hunger organizations. After founding theUniversity of Denver’s chapter of Food Recovery Network, he completed a fellowship at their national office in College Park, Maryland. Paul has a B.A. in Religious Studies and International Studies from the University of Denver. Paul implements MAZON’s priorities on the East Coast by identifying and developing relationships with Jewish community-based organizations, including synagogues and anti-hunger organizations.
Enjoy this fifth episode, featuring co-hosts Hannah Perez-Postman and Adam Brock and their guest speakers, Renee Millard-Chacon Youth Program Development Coordinator at Spirit of the Sun, and Leora Cockrell, Organizer with Jews on Ohlone Land. They discuss Indigenous rights through the lens of Shmita, during which our guests will speak about what brought them to their work as activists and what we all can do to contribute and organize for a more just society for everyone.
Renee Millard-Chacon – Youth Program Development Coordinator, Spirit of the Sun
Writer, educator, Danzante Azteca, Xicana activist, and most importantly the mother of two sons. She is an indigenous womxn of Dine/Mexica decent, fighting for future generations and committed to relating climate justice to social justice. She has worked with the International Indigenous Youth Council, 350.org, Four Winds American Indian Council of Denver, Womxn From the Mountain, and Earth Day Live 2020, in hosting, organizing, and leading marches, workshops, and educational resources for social justice and environmental justice. She welcomes any respectful correspondence to start doing the tedious but powerful work of creating better relations in spaces that deserve to be healed because of the trauma from historical inequality and environmental racism.
Leora Cockrell – Organizer with Jews on Ohlone Land.
Leora grew up on Wopumnes-Nisenan-Mewuk land in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains in Northern California. Leora received their bachelor’s degree in Sustainable Agriculture and minor in Gender Studies at UC Davis. Leora is now in the Masters of Social Change Program at Starr King School for the Ministry on Lisjan, Ohlone land studying and working on right relationships with the land and Indigenous people as part of the diasporic Jewish community.
Candi Cdebaca- Member of the Denver City Council, 9th District.
CdeBaca is a proud fifth-generation native of northeast Denver, Colorado, and a graduate of Manual High School and the University of Denver. Raised by a single mother and grandparents, Candi understands the importance of tight-knit communities and stepping up for neighbors in need. Candi is also the first LGBTQ Latina and first Democratic Socialist to serve on Denver City Council. She is a fierce advocate for justice and against the criminalization of poverty, environmental racism, and the displacement of Denver’s black and brown communities.
Yoshi Silverstein- Founder and Executive Director, Mitsui Collective.
Yoshi is a Chinese-Ashkenazi-American Jew and an educator, coach, speaker, husband, and father. Yoshi was Director of the JOFEE Fellowship at Hazon from its launch through its first four cohorts, catalyzing the growth and leadership of over 60 emerging professionals working across the US and Canada in the realm of Jewish relationship to land, food, culture, climate, and community. He holds over two decades of experience in both Jewish and secular outdoor, food, farming, and environmental education.