Jewish Outdoor, Food, Farming & Environmental Education
JOFEE stands for Jewish Outdoor, Food, Farming & Environmental Education. JOFEE experiences connect people to Judaism, community, and the natural world through hands-on, thoughtful and engaging Jewish content across different ages, Jewish backgrounds, and religious approaches.
The number of people participating in immersive (multi-day) JOFEE activities is growing explosively, from about 2,500 in 2012 to more than 6,000 participants last year. Day programs have reached over 36,000 participants since January 2016 with the help of our JOFEE Fellowship. From children at Teva to teenagers at Ramah Outdoors, from young adults teaching at Eden Village to families celebrating Passover at Isabella Freedman, from staff members at your local JCC to young professionals headed to Israel, JOFEE is changing lives.
Read Seeds of Opportunity: A National Study of Immersive JOFEE to learn more about the impact of JOFEE programming on community engagement.
If you’re a Jewish food activist, a Jewish environmental educator, a Jewish outdoor leader, a Jewish communal service professional, a Jewish fundraiser, or just plain Jewish – consider yourself well within the overall JOFEE field!
The JOFEE Fellowship
The JOFEE Fellowship seeks to invigorate the Jewish educational landscape by seeding Jewish communities with a cadre of outstanding Jewish Outdoor, Food, Farming 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 are now closed. If you are an institution interested in hosting a Fellow, or an individual interested in joining our second cohort, email firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to being in touch!
The JOFEE Gathering is an opportunity for new initiatives to be showcased, for leaders and thinkers to collaborate and for participants to strengthen their connection to Judaism through the outdoors. Experience Judaism outside. Explore JOFEE opportunities, network partners, activities, and bring back practical solutions for Jewish professionals to engage youth, young adults, and families with meaningful Jewish content.
People who participate in immersive JOFEE experiences report increased their involvement with the Jewish community. Their energy and skill helps make them leaders and enrich their communities’ Jewish life.
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
- Teva programs integrated into Jewish day-school and synagogue-school programming
- Jewish urban farming and food justice programs
- 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
- And so much more!
Most JOFEE programs collaborate with other organizations, such as synagogues, JCCs, day schools, federations, camps, and social service agencies.These collaborations and relationships also help in recruiting participants and building interest in their work.
Many Jewish organizations offer JOFEE experiences that are supported by partnerships with dedicated JOFEE organizations. These range from teaching JOFEE classes to providing spaces such as farm sites or community gardens for JOFEE experiences. JOFEE groups within Jewish organizations may support greening work in their own community, or distribute educational material about more global environmental issues. Jewish organizations embrace JOFEE practices and programming because they are important to current and potential constituents. Community leaders report that JOFEE work provides meaningful ways to engage constituents and helps create a welcoming environment, while also providing rich Jewish experiences.
Where should I start?
Read about the impact of JOFEE programming on community engagement in Seeds of Opportunity: A National Study of Immersive JOFEE
Submit listings for full-time and seasonal employment, educational, volunteer, and internship opportunities which will be listed on the JOFEE Jobs Board to email@example.com
Join educators, professionals, and representatives interested in bring JOFEE programming to their communities at the JOFEE Network Gathering
Find resources like curricula and program outlines at hazon.org/education
Check out the Seal of Sustainability to see how your organization can take their own personal greening challenge.