Reimagine society. Renew Jewish Life.

The Shmita Project is working to expand awareness about the biblical Sabbatical tradition, and to bring the values of this practice to life today to support healthier, more sustainable Jewish communities.

What is Shmita?

Commonly translated as the ‘Sabbatical Year,’ Shmita literally means ‘release.’ Of biblical origin, this is the final year of a shared calendar cycle, when land is left fallow, debts are forgiven, and a host of other agricultural and economic adjustments are made to ensure the maintenance of an equitable, just, and healthy society.  The questions about how Shmita actually worked – if it actually worked – are enormous. The possibilities for social change are thrilling.

The next Shmita year starts Rosh Hashana 2021. The Shmita Project invites you to explore the following questions: What might this Shmita year look like in a modern context? In Israel and beyond? And not just for farmers, but for businesses, for families, for communities, for each of us individually? How can we best prepare for it? And how might the wider Shmita cycle hold the key to approaching the economic, environmental and societal challenges we are facing today?

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Special Recent Posts

Vayetze: The Meaning of Seven by Aharon Ariel Lavi

Vayetze: The Meaning of Seven by Aharon Ariel Lavi

November 24th, 2020

Shmita is the seventh year, following six regular years — and numbers in the Torah are not incidental, but rather a channel for meaningful ideas. The first, and most renowned, appearance of the number seven is obviously the seven days of creation. Later, Noah invites seven couples of the pure[...]

Shmita is Here!

  • Learn more about the background, practices, and spiritual significance of the Shmita tradition, as well as its rich potential to transform our lives.
  • Join the Shmita Network if you’re interested in exploring how to incorporate the Shmita vision into the work of your own organization or community life.
  • Organize a Shmita-inspired event for your own local community, synagogue, farm, or school.
  • Download a four-page Shmita Supplement that includes thoughts on how Shmita relates to technology, economics, food, climate change, and Israel, plus a Shmita seder and suggestions for how to live a Shmita-inspired year.
  • Read about how Adamah is observing Shmita on our farm in Connecticut.

We hope this website will provide you an opportunity both to deepen your learning about Shmita, as well as support your own process to renew the Shmita tradition today.

For direct access to our resources, blog posts, and events, join the Shmita Network.

Shmita Project Founding Partners