Reimagine society. Renew Jewish Life.
The goal of the Shmita Project is to significantly raise awareness of the concept of shmita in Jewish tradition, both as a way to learn about how extraordinary and rich Jewish tradition is, and to animate conversation and change in the world, based on the values and teachings of shmita and focus on environmental sustainability, rest and overwork, debt and debt relief, relationship to land, food and time, etc
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?
Special Recent Posts
January 12th, 2021
In Parshat Vaera, the action revolves around God’s command, through Moses, that Pharoah free the enslaved Israelites. Pharaoh's hard-headedness and selfishness preclude him from doing so immediately, and in response, God sends a series of plagues to Egypt. Dam, tzfarde'a, kinim... In the last year, we’ve experienced our own, very real,[...]
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.