JOFEE Network Gathering

Sep 14, 2017 - Sep 17, 2017

Pearlstone Center, Reisterstown, MD

Registration is now closed.

The most powerful moment for me was sitting around the fire with everyone on the last night, singing songs together. After being a part of so many sessions that brought Judaism to life in a way I had not experienced before and feeling so connected to all others at the conference, it was at the fire that I had this a-ha moment — that this is the field where I belong and will continue on in life.
—Lizzy, St. Louis, MO



The JOFEE Network Gathering is the annual gathering place for thought leaders, enthusiasts, and program professionals throughout the Jewish Outdoor, Food, Farming and Environmental Education world. With some of the best Jewish outdoor educators from around the world leading workshops, hands on learning sessions, panel discussions, and keynote addresses, participants will take away new experiential education tools and resources and build new relationships with like-minded Jewish professionals across the country. Whether you have been a JOFEE-nik from the beginning or are newly interested in bringing JOFEE programming back to your community, the JOFEE Network Gathering is the place to be.

Join us for the opportunity to showcase new initiatives, share best practices, learn from veteran JOFEE professionals, spur collaboration, and strengthen our connections to Jewish tradition through the outdoors, food, farming, and the environment. Explore new opportunities for networking, coalition-building, and hands-on activities to engage youth, young adults, families, and more with meaningful Jewish experiences.

All who are involved, interested, and/or invested in the JOFEE space are invited to attend.

During the gathering, attendees will:

  • Learn about and engage in innovative JOFEE programming to bring back to their Jewish community or institution
  • Meet outstanding seasoned and formative leaders in the JOFEE field as well as JOFEE Fellows and other early-career professionals and educators
  • Develop and strengthen their network of educators and professionals for resource sharing and collaboration



No matter where you come from, this year’s conference has something for you!

  • Jewish Nature Connection: showcasing initiatives that engage Jewish people holistically in the context of ecology, the outdoors, and the environment.
  • How Jews Eat: explore the complex, historical, fun, thoughtful, and enigmatic relationship Jewish people have with food from the seed or egg to our mouths.
  • Jewish Sustainability Action, Activism and Advocacy: tackle the Jewish response to climate change, unprecedented political occurrences, and educating the next generation in the classroom, from the pulpit, at the JCC, or in the field.
  • Jewish Community Farming: support the emerging and ongoing education and engagement of Jewish Farmers and Educators. This track is planned in conjunction with the Jewish Community Farming Field Building Initiative. 

  • Do you have childcare?

YES! We will have childcare for ages 1+ all weekend. Price will be included in your child’s registration – please contact for more information.

  • Do you have to be a “JOFEE person” to come to the JOFEE Network Gathering?

NO! There will be professionals, lay people, and other enthusiasts from all backgrounds at the conference – if you are interested, you are welcome!

  • How much does it cost?

All-inclusive rates for the JOFEE Network Gathering start at $410.

Click here to see all rates and register now!

  • When is check-in and check-out? 

Check-in begins at 3 pm and check-out is by 10 am.

  • Where is Pearlstone located?

Pearlstone Center is located at 5425 Mt Gilead Rd, Reisterstown, MD 21136, just half an hour from Baltimore and BWI Airport.

  • How do I get there?

Click here for driving directions to Pearlstone Center.

Click here for a list of taxi companies.

Upon registering for the Gathering, you will receive access to a digital rideshare board. Offering a ride in your car will help reduce carbon emissions, cut down gas costs and make new friends! If you are looking for a ride, adding yourself to the wait list (on the right hand side of the page) is the best way to be notified when movements occur.

  • What about parking?

Parking is free for all guests. The circular drive is for loading and unloading. Overflow parking is on the grass in the center circle. Please do not park in the fire lane across from the main entrance.

  • What are the accommodations like?

Pearlstone Center features accommodations in hotel, dormitory, and log cabin style lodging. This variety accommodates a range of preferences and budgets. All lodging has free WiFi access and includes sheets, blankets, pillows, pillow cases, and towel set for each guest, soap and shampoo.

Click here for more information about the accommodations. You will have the opportunity to select your preferred accommodations when you register for the Gathering.

  • What is the food like?

Pearlstone serves healthful, delicious, farm to table food. It is certified kosher by the Orthodox Union. Pearlstone can accommodate most dietary preferences and restrictions with advance notice. You will have an opportunity to indicate your dietary needs when you register. Please contact us at or (860) 824-5991 ext. 0 to discuss your needs.

Click here for more information about the food and dining.

  • What should I bring?

You may want to bring:

  • Over-the-counter and/or prescription medications
  • Toiletries
  • Flashlight
  • Chargers for electronic devices
  • Lots of layers for warm to brisk fall weather
  • Sun protection
  • Rain gear
  • Ritual wear
  • Closed toe shoes
  • Hiking boots to enjoy the woods
  • Can my child/ren attend?

Children are welcome to attend. All attendees, including children, must be registered in advance. We offer reduced rates for children in the same room as their parent(s).

  • Are the facilities accessible?

All of Pearlstone’s public and common areas are accessible for individuals with physical disabilities. Pearlstone has accessible rooms equipped with accessible bathrooms, strobe fire alarms, lower closet bars, and roll-in showers. Please contact us at or (860) 824-5991 ext. 0 if you have accessibility needs.

  • Is there a computer I can use?

Two computers and a printer are available for guest use in the main building and will be accessible during building hours. Wireless internet is available at no cost throughout the facility and in your accommodations.

In addition to our engaging, intelligent, and thoughtful schedule, we will also be making space for small peer groups to check-in with participants throughout the weekend. We will be tackling some thought-provoking issues and we want to ensure everyone has enough time and space to sit with these issues in a safe space.