Topic: Institutional Food Values

Old Stones, New Ripples – Reflections on the Close of JOFEE Fellowship Cohort 1 | D’varim HaMakom: The JOFEE Fellows Blog

by Yoshi Silverstein – JOFEE Fellowship Director May 18th, 2017 | 22nd Iyar 5777 | 37th day of the omer | gevurah she’b’yesod 16 Organizations. 17 Fellows. Over 500 programs. An estimated 37,000 participants in Jewish Outdoor, Food, Farming & Environmental Education (JOFEE) programs across the country. These are some of the incredible numbers emerging as we look back at our first JOFEE Fellowship cohort, who completed their closing seminar and siyum last week at our sister JOFEE organization, the Pearlstone Center outside Baltimore, MD. Behind those numbers are thousands of people encountering – many for the first time – the incredible power of a Jewish tradition steeped in deep cultural and spiritual connection with the earth, with place, with human communities and our surrounding ecosystems, with our food, and with each other.  A Jewish tradition that recognizes both the limits and abundance of the resources our home planet provides for us. A tradition that says this world is amazing – there is so much magnificence – and yet we have work to do – not to complete by ourselves, but neither to desist from doing our part. And wow did our JOFEE Fellows do their part! Here are a […]

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What’s Mine is Yours, and What’s Yours is Yours – D’varim HaMakom: The JOFEE Fellows Blog

Michael Fraade, Jewish Community of Louisville – Louisville, KY Parshat Vayera 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 and will continue to be reviewed as positions are available. Parashat Vayera opens with Abraham rushing to greet three guests who appear near his tent while he is sitting under a terebinth. “My lords,” he insists, “Let a little water be brought; bathe your feet and recline under the tree.  And let me fetch a morsel of bread that you may refresh yourselves.” He and Sarah prepare bread, milk, and a freshly slaughtered calf for their guests, who soon reveal themselves as angels and inform Abraham that Sarah will soon give birth […]

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We are How We Eat: A Jewish Approach to Food and Sustainability

Jewcology is a diverse platform for Jewish environmental activists to learn from each other in order to educate Jewish communities about our responsibility to protect the environment. Hazon is excited to share these resources with you! Hazon creates healthier and more sustainable communities in the Jewish world and beyond. Our Food Programs are an example of just one of the many ways that we promote a sustainable world for everyone. Our food resources, such as the Hazon Food Guide is a great tool will help you navigate food choices in your synagogue, JCC, camp, Hillel, or other institution. By Rabbi Yonatan Neril Rebbe Nachman of Breslov identifies the desire for food and drink as the central desire of the human being, and the one from which other desires emanate.[1] Jewish teachings can help us appreciate the food we eat and eat it in a spirit of holiness. Doing so can also help the environment, as we will explore. What does it mean to eat in a Jewish way?  First of all, we should eat when we are hungry. Rabbi Shlomo Volbe teaches that a person needs to distinguish between eating because of a healthy desire of the body (i.e., eating in order to […]

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Feeding Foodies

Feeding Foodies: Planning for the Hazon Conference

Originally Posted on The Jew and the Carrot By Anna Hanau Bring over 300+ foodies, chefs, nutritionists and rabbis together to talk about food… and you better have a good plan for what to feed them! Planning food for the Hazon Food Conference is a delightful challenge. We have a list of food values which we try to meet at all Hazon events — and yet the values themselves sometimes conflict with each other. Add the fact that we’re not throwing a dinner party for 12, and the decisions get a lot more complicated. Food procurement and institutional cooking is an area that has a long way to go in terms of sustainability, and we’re proud of our efforts to nudge us along on that route — but we’re far from there yet. Here are some of the values we try to meet, and the choices we made to get there at the 2011 Hazon Food Conference at UC Davis. 1. Local & Seasonal: Should feature fruits and vegetables that are in season in August. Ideally they are grown in Yolo County (where UC Davis is), or at least, in Northern California or California. 2. Natural, whole grain, unprocessed: In […]

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Jewish Food Movement Rising

By Daniel Infeld Last week, the California based advocacy group Roots of Change posted a video called “Food Movement Rising”. This inspiring video reminds us of the challenges that we face and the responses that we can make to our contemporary food system. The video encourages people who are passionate about the food movement to connect with each other and work together to make a better and brighter future. Michael Dimock, President of Roots of Change, has presented at the Hazon Food Conference in the past, and his organization continues to inspire our work. Here at Hazon, the video serves as a great reminder as to how we can make change in our food system through our Jewish institutions. Here in our office and at our events, Hazon has begun the conversation about what it means to serve food with our values in mind. For over 3,000 years Jewish people have kept kosher — which is to say, we’ve asked whether a particular food was fit for us to eat. We understand that our food choices make a difference not only to ourselves but to the people who produce our food and the land and the animals that provide it. […]

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Best kid with carrot - Israeli Hazon CSA

Growing Jewish Institutions

 By Naomi Rabkin Around the country, a number of synagogues, JCCs, day schools, and other Jewish institutions are doing inspiring work to integrate the physical spaces of gardens and farms into their core work of transmitting Jewish ideas and values. Last month, I highlighted the increased popularity of school and community gardens and pointed out some of the necessary measures needed to maintain them properly and maximize their impact. Innovative Jewish institutions from synagogues to JCC’s and educational farms around the country are also taking broad steps to engage members, students and teachers in Jewish garden programming. Agudas Achim a Conservative synagogue in Columbus, Ohio had installed a garden about a year ago, but as with many synagogue garden projects, the enthusiasm around it waned. When synagogue leaders heard about their congregant Ariel Kohane’s experiences in the Adamah program, they hired her as an Environmental Scholar in Residence. They saw the potential beyond offering a few “green” programs. With her experience, Kohane could develop a program that would inspire younger Jews to connect to the synagogue community through environmental ethics, food and spirituality. A new and exciting culture could grow from its garden. (more…)

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The Sustainable Food Guidelines at First Narayever, Toronto, Canada

First Narayever Congregation in Toronto, CA, recently passed a resolution regarding the food served at synagogue events. The resolution was the culmination of over a year of committee work, targeted outreach, and education. Andrea Most, project coordinator, reflects on the process of passing this resolution: “So how did we get here? First, we approached and got support from the President of the Board who agreed to chair the Ad Hoc committee. We then spent over a year studying our own practices, and also outside practices (such as reading The Omnivore’s Dilemma and watching Food, Inc.). We then put together a more formal committee, and started drafting recommendations. For a committee of 10 people, we identified 9 important areas to work on. Our final presentation to the Board was received very positively, and they voted unanimously to approve it. In the process, we decided that the words ‘to the extent possible’ were important to get the motion passed. But we feel confident that once we begin to implement these principles (and to educate people about them), they will quickly become ‘the new normal.’” The resolution reads: Moved that the Food Committee (formerly the Kiddush Committee) oversee the delivery of all food […]

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Ramah Outdoor Adventure

‘Green From the Ground Up’: Changing Food at Jewish Summer Camp

Originally posted on The Jew and the Carrot By Eliav Bock In the spring of 2010, I wrote a blog about the food we would be serving at the new Ramah Outdoor Adventure, Camp Ramah in Colorado. As the only Kosher shomer Shabbat outdoor adventure camp in the county, and one of the few camps committed to being green from the ground up, we believe that it is imperative to make the food we eat fit in with the broader mission of our camp community. Several months after our inaugural summer and well into planning our next summer, we have had a chance to take a step back and evaluate the food program in the broader context of the mission of our camp. We were warned that many campers might not be willing to eat the healthy meals provided so our staff reached beyond the standard meals of kale and brown rice to dishes that you might find in a high-end vegetarian restaurant. The menu featured fresh, unprocessed, whole grain and organic food. We ate meals like carrot pancakes and yogurt for breakfast, vegetarian tacos with a tomato and tofu filling for lunch and wheat macaroni and cheese for dinner […]

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