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Topic: California

Fear and Donkeys | D’varim HaMakom: The JOFEE Fellows Blog

Henry Schmidt – Shalom Institute Parshat Balak I thought Balak was a story about a donkey. That is to say, when I sat down to write this blog post, I expected to write about the talking donkey we’ll soon meet. Understandably, a talking donkey tends to get a lot of attention. However, this time I found the ending of the parsha (Torah portion), an ending I had always overlooked, to be what especially spoke to me. Let’s start with an overview. Balak, King of Moab, sees the growing people of Israel and how they have conquered all of Moab’s neighbors, leaving Moab directly next to the potential threat of this dynamite group of nomads who seem to be on a roll. Worried about the Israelite’s winning streak, he summons Balaam, a pagan sorcerer, to come and curse the Israelites. “‘There is a people come out of Egypt; it hides the Earth from view, and it is settled next to me. Come then, put a curse upon this people for me, since they are too numerous for me; perhaps I can thus defeat them and drive them out of the land. For I know that he whom you bless is blessed […]

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Shemesh and Service Work: Igniting Holiness Through our JOFEE Work | JOFEE Fellowship Cohort 2 Reflections

We were pleased and proud to graduate the second cohort of JOFEE Fellows last month at our closing seminar at the brand-new Urban Adamah farm and community center in Berkeley, CA. With this cohort’s sixteen fellows, we have now graduated 33 fellows who collectively have impacted close to 60,000 participants nationwide. Cohort three will see twenty new fellows working in fifteen host organizations. Wow! Closing seminar was a wonderful experience in celebrating the cohort’s individual and collective accomplishments and learning about the tremendous work of our partners at Urban Adamah. In the words of one fellow: “I’m blown away by the ways in which this group of people who have only come together three times over the course of a year can support each other in such deep ways. It was a joy and an honor to witness each member of the cohort as they recalled their journey and told stories from the year, and I felt totally held by the group.” This was yet another very special and talented cohort. You can see some of their final presentations here and even catch up on the live Facebook stream here. In reflecting on this cohort, I’d like to share a […]

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Walking Behind Kindess: Parashat Naso | D’Varim HaMakom: The JOFEE Fellows Blog

Jaclyn Kellner – Coastal Roots Farm; Encinitas, CA “I’d like to go to the fields and glean among the ears of grain behind someone who may show me kindness.” This statement, from Ruth to Naomi in the Book of Ruth, holds so many aspects of what a Jewish Community Farm can provide. This week’s parsha, Naso, spells out the different functions distinct groups and structures had while traveling in the desert. Naso begins by taking census of and detailing the specific duties assigned to each family line of Levites and ends by listing each tribe’s offering for the inauguration of the alter in the Mishkan. This past Sunday, I had the pleasure of co-organizing a Shavuot Festival at Coastal Roots Farm. Over 300 people attended, of all ages, both Jewish and non-Jewish. It was incredible to see an event have such strong Jewish content and influence while remaining a welcoming and accessible festival to all. The festival focused on exploring the story of Ruth and on Shavuot’s agricultural roots celebrating the start of the summer harvest. Participants danced to live klezmer music; learned how to make cheese and tend to their tomato plants; and painted, created, and wore exquisite flower crowns in celebration of the […]

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Prayer in Action: Upholding our Covenant for a Brighter Future – D’varim HaMakom: The JOFEE Fellows Blog

Daniella Aboody, Wilderness Torah – Berkeley, CA Parshat Chayyei Sarah Editor’s Note: Welcome to D’varim HaMakom: The JOFEE Fellows Blog! Most weeks throughout the year, you’ll be hearing from the JOFEE Fellows: reflections on their experiences, successful programs they’ve planned and implemented, gleanings from the field, and connections to the weekly Torah portion and what they’ve learned from their experiences with place in their host communities for the year. Views expressed are the author’s and do not necessarily represent Hazon. Be sure to check back weekly!  P.S. Interested in being or hosting a JOFEE Fellow? Applications for prospective fellows will continue to be reviewed as positions are available. The Torah portion for this week, Chayyei Sarah, begins with the death of our matriarch Sarah. We see Abraham mourn the loss of his beloved, and then immediately take action by purchasing her burial grounds—the cave of Machpela—and then sending his servant to go find a wife for their son, Isaac. Abraham says goodbye to her in an honorable way, and then makes moves to follow through on the covenant that God has made with him and Sarah—the promise of land and descendants. God makes this promise on several occasions, but only now, once Sarah has passed, […]

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In the Sukkah We Trust – D’varim HaMakom: The JOFEE Fellows Blog

Rachel Binstock, Urban Adamah – Berkeley, CA Parashat Breishit + Sukkot Editor’s Note: Welcome to D’varim HaMakom: The JOFEE Fellows Blog! Most weeks throughout the year, you’ll be hearing from the JOFEE Fellows: reflections on their experiences, successful programs they’ve planned and implemented, gleanings from the field, and connections to the weekly Torah portion and what they’ve learned from their experiences with place in their host communities for the year. Views expressed are the author’s and do not necessarily represent Hazon. Be sure to check back weekly!  P.S. Interested in being or hosting a JOFEE Fellow? Applications for cohort two are now open for both prospective fellows and prospective host institutions! Priority Deadline is October 31! Of all the Jewish holidays, I learn most about trust on Sukkot. Why? you might ask. After the New Year and the Day of Atonement, is not Sukkot the holiday of celebration and happiness? Sukkot is about trust for a few reasons. We build ourselves sukkahs – impermanent booths in which we are commanded to dwell – and in so doing we find ourselves up-rooted. We create a new home susceptible to the elements and porous to the sky. The holiday necessitates a release of control, a faith that […]

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Hazon Bay Area: Thank you

We want to thank you and our incredible Bay Area community for supporting our regional office over the years. From 2006 – 2015, Hazon Bay Area has provided Jewish Outdoor Environmental Education (JOFEE) programs, thought leadership, and community partnerships to organizations and individuals in the region. Our work has included six annual Ride and Retreat weekends that welcomed over 340 riders and raised $560,000 to support our vision, mission and our mini-grant program, three Bay Area Food Conferences that reached more than 1,400 participants, piloted Home for Dinner, a synagogue-based family meals initiative, and much more. Over the past year, among other projects, we’ve developed and published Fit to Eat – Food Security and Justice Resource and Action Guide, a resource for Jewish institutions to self-organize actions that deepen and broaden efforts to create a more just, fair food system; launched and implemented a Shmita-inspired Do-It-Yourself (DIY) series for young adults; mobilized collaborative conversations around food security among area partner organizations, and provided seed funding for several food justice-inspired projects. Most recently, we held our 3rd annual Jewish Food Festival, Farm to Table: Eating for a Sustainable Future, at the Oshman Family JCC (OFJCC), a fun-filled afternoon of learning and […]

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Stufato di Fave, Carciofi, e Lattuga Romana (Braised Favas, Artichokes, and Lettuce)

Brought to you by Joyce Goldstein On Sunday, April 27, 2014, prolific cookbook author and chef Joyce Goldstein joined Hazon in Palo Alto for the Jewish Food Festival. She shared with us the health benefits of the California Mediterranean diet and took us on a culinary journey of Sephardi recipes, including this recipe for a spring vegetable ragout to feature at your Passover seder. Ingredients 1 lemon 6 large artichokes 2 pounds fava beans, shelled (about 1 generous cup) 2 small heads romaine or butter lettuce 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, or as needed 4 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley 4 tablespoons chopped fresh basil Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste 1/2 cup water or vegetable stock, or as needed Gremolata of grated zest of 2 lemons, 6 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley or basil, and 1 tablespoon finely minced garlic 1 pound trimmed asparagus, cut into 2-inch lengths, or 1 cup shelled English peas, optional additions Instructions Fill a large bowl with cold water. Cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juice into the water. Working with 1 artichoke, remove all the leaves until you reach the pale green heart. Pare away the dark green area […]

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Why I Ride

Reflections from a Golden Gate Rider “Super” Ben Rosenthal The year was 1988. Long story short, I entered the Jewish environmental movement at an early age. Growing up in Takoma Park, Maryland, I rode frequently for pleasure, often with friends. In summer 1993, the year before I became Bar Mitzvah, my family rode in Cycle Across Maryland, a six-day, 300-mile adventure. Fast forward to 2000 when Hazon’s Cross-USA Ride arrived in D.C. My mom, De Fischler Herman, who has been the leading influence in my life of bicycling, was there to greet the riders. She then rode in the first New York Ride in 2001 and we both started riding with Hazon two years later. Why do I ride? Today, as much as possible, my bicycle is how I get around. It’s my primary form of transportation. I have not driven a car in over 15 years. In addition, it’s how I lend support to my community and show my commitment to the sustainable world we are building together. Falling in Love It was 2003, shortly after I graduated from Ithaca College, that Mom and I started participating in Hazon New York Rides together. So began a new generation of […]

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Hazon Bay Area Awards Food Justice Mini Grants

The United States’ industrial-based food system does not give equal access to healthy, nourishing food. Jewish tradition, firmly rooted in texts from the Torah, sees a direct connection between social justice, sustainable agriculture, and a call to action by interfaith partners. Hazon stands at the forefront of the New Jewish Food Movement, which incorporates multiple entries into the food justice movement through a Jewish lens. Hazon is expanding our impact on the entire Jewish sustainable food movement, bringing issues of affordability, labor practices, and access to healthy, sustainable food to the forefront of the consciousness of all who are working to improve our food systems. As part of Hazon’s capacity-building efforts, supporting great people and projects in North America and Israel, Hazon is pleased to announce Mini Grant awards to five Bay Area non-profit organizations who participated in Hazon Bay Area’s Interfaith Food Justice Convening held in October 2013. Thanks to the generous support of the Walter and Elise Haas Fund, Hazon Bay Area has allocated a total of $7500 to projects that seek to develop innovative approaches to increasing healthy food access while expanding opportunities for faith communities to engage with food justice advocacy, organizing, and education. ​Food Justice […]

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Bike Challenge

We did it!! This past May, my partner made a suggestion, “Let’s try to put more miles on our bikes than we do our cars between Memorial Day and Labor Day this year.” To some, this may seem like an impossible task, but when we bought our home a few years ago, we chose a place with a bike path in the back yard. I am an environmental educator, and our family values reflect a constant consideration of how our actions affect the other species around us. Back to the challenge… As I considered the reality of this situation, I made a pros and cons list to see if this could actually work. First, we both work from home, so our daily commute consists of walking upstairs to our office. If I have meetings, they are generally within a 5-6 mile radius from my home. Both pros for making this a reality. I love my bike, my partner got it for me as a birthday/Chanukkah present a few years ago. It also helps that my partner rides 3x a week with a local cycling club, and they average about 40 miles per outing. This was also a great year to […]

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