Archive for : Urban Adamah

Tu Bishvat Across America (Find an Event Near You)

New Year’s Eve has come and gone which means it’s time for 2016’s first Jewish holiday: Tu Bishvat! Commonly called the holiday for the trees (or Jewish Arbor Day), Tu Bishvat is an ancient holiday that has evolved and changed throughout the centuries into a celebration of tikkun olam (repairing the world), connecting to the environment, eating seasonal and ancient biblical fruits, and having fun at seder celebrations.

Over the last decade, celebrating Tu Bishvat has moved from the fringe to the mainstream. There are lots of great opportunities and events to honor Tu Bishvat around the country. Whether you’re a synagogue goer or more of a nature lover (or both), find one near you and plug in!

New York City (with Repair the World!): On January 24, join Repair the World and Kolot Chayeinu for a mystical Tu Bishvat seder experience. Meet our awesome NYC Fellows, sing, sample a delicious variety of fruits and nuts, and get hooked into the interconnectedness of all things.

New York City: If you are looking for something truly unique this Tu Bishvat, head to the 92Y’s Enchanted Rainforest Tu Bishvat Dinner on January 22. This earth friendly dinner includes lots of locally sourced fruits and veggies and tropical sounds to highlight some great singing.

New York City: Love great music? Celebrate the holiday of the trees on January 25 at the Manhattan JCC with a concert featuring some of the city’s most compelling artists.

Chicago: On January 26, head to the Chicago Botanical Garden for a family freindly Tu Bishvat celebration. Plant a seedling, enjoy a special Tu Bishvat book reading, and explore the trees in the greenhouse.

Philadelphia: The City of Brotherly Love’s own Morris Arboretum is celebrating Tu Bishvat. From January 24-31, student groups can take part in an interactive tree education program. They’ll even get to take home a birch tree seedling.

Washington DC: The DC JCC is hosting multiple Tu Bishvat events this year – a family seder on January 25 and a brunch on the 31st that’s equal parts earth-friendly and entertaining.

Berkeley: Urban Adamah’s “divine sensory” seder (featuring farm crafted libations and a six course local, kosher menu) is sold out for the year. But check it out online because it looks amazing – and mark your calendar to get tickets early next year!

San Diego: On January 24 the Leichtag Foundation will host the Food Forest Festival, an all-day celebration featuring tree planting and a live concert.

Seattle: Have a little person in your life? On January 21 take them to The Seattle Public Library for a special Tu Bishvat story time co-sponsored by PJ Library.

Redwoods, California Join Wildnerness Torah on January 24 for an experiential and totally natural Tu Bishvat seder in the Redwood forest. Where better to celebrate than amongst the trees?

DIY / Anywhere: Don’t see an event in your area? Make one yourself! The awesome Jewish sustainability organization, Hazon put together a great collection of resources on their website to help you plan your own amazing Tu Bishvat seder.

Awesome Sukkot Events, 2014

This year, Sukkot begins on Wednesday, October 8, at sundown. It brings with it a focus on harvest, hospitality, the gift of shelter, and an abundance of good food. Meanwhile, when it comes to connecting to social issues like hunger, sustainability, and housing rights, Sukkot is ripe (pun intended!) with possibility.

Each year, congregations and communities around the country find ways to make those connections explicit. Join in the fun by checking out one of these creative and inspiring Sukkot events:

Sharing the Faith – Sukkot
October 10 and 15, Chicago
Join the Niagara Foundation in exploring Sukkot, while offering interfaith educational opportunities. From a Shabbat service, to a conversation about homelessness on Sukkot, it promises to be a worthwhile event.

Eat, Pray, Lulav: A Sukkot Harvest Festival
October 12, Berkeley, CA
Join Urban Adamah for their fourth annual harvest festival complete with opportunities to harvest fall crops, build a cob oven, take a farm tour, and enjoy live music. Bring a canned food item to donate.

Aztec-Jewish Harvest Festival at Proyecto Jardin
October 12, Los Angeles, CA
The congregation IKAR and their urban sustainable garden partner, Proyecto Jardin, are teaming up for a unique, cross-cultural Sukkot event.

Hazon Jewish Food Festival
October 12, Encitas, CA
Spend Sukkot on an honest-to-goodness Jewish ranch, and join nutritionists, chefs, farmers, rabbis, educators, and food enthusiasts in celebration of the values of the Jewish Food Movement.

Sukkot Harvest Celebration
October 14, Boston, MA
Celebrate Sukkot with the Jewish garden, Ganei Beantown, The Riverway Project and the Moishe Kavod House in Temple Israel’s organic vegetable garden and sukkah. Prepare a meal together, learn Torah, and join in an open mic.

Thanksgiving Harvest: Three Great Jewish Farming Organizations

With Thanksgiving coming up tomorrow, our collective thoughts are on family, friends and, most importantly, food! That means it is the perfect time to celebrate the world-changing work of three (yes three!) Repair the World partner organizations that put food justice, sustainable food production and the intersection of food and Jewish life at the center of their agendas.

We’ve written about these organizations before. But as turkey day (or tofurkey day, as the case may be) draws near and we break out bubbe’s pecan pie recipe, we thought we’d check back in with them to see what great, on-the-ground (and in-the-field) work they’re up to!

Adamah A pioneer in the field of Jews and farming (the program launched back in 2003), Adamah is known for it’s 3-month fellowships that combine communal living, Jewish life and learning, and sustainable farming. They are also a working CSA, providing farm-fresh vegetables to families in Connecticut, and make uber-tasty kosher, lacto-fermented pickles and cheese (more info on where to buy here).

Jewish Farm School was founded to teach participants about “contemporary food and environmental issues through innovative trainings and skill-based Jewish agricultural education.” They lead all sorts of great, hands-on, in-the-dirt programs (including running the farm at Eden Village, a Jewish environmental summer camp). Their new FeastForward initiative uses visual media (like short films) to raise awareness about food and environmental issues.

Urban Adamah Founded as a West Coast, urban version of Adamah, program participants live, farm, learn, teach, and celebrate together in Berkeley, California. Their innovative take on Jewish life and urban farming has gained widespread attention, including articles by Grist and San Francisco Chronicle. The farm also runs a variety of programs for the public, including an upcoming “earth skills” event on Nov. 29 (register here). Apply to be a fellow in 2013 here.

Are you working to transform the food system here or abroad? Tell us your story @RepairtheWorld!

An Abundance of Sukkot Service and Celebration Opportunities

There’s a Jewish tradition that you are supposed to begin building your sukkah (the temporary outdoor dwellings Jews build for the harvest holiday of Sukkot) right after Yom Kippur ends. You are literally meant to hammer the first nail into the sukkah frame directly after breaking the fast as a way of making a physical connection between the sacredness of the high holidays and the rest of the year.

Whether or not you are personally building a sukkah this year, we’ve rounded up a bunch of ways for you to celebrate Sukkot with service. And since today is the day after Yom Kippur, it’s the perfect time to “hammer in that first nail” – metaphorically, anyway! Scan the list below to find a meaningful Sukkot opportunity near you.

  • NEXT: A Division of Birthright Israel Foundation: Sukkot is all about shelter, and this year, we’ve teamed up with NEXT to show you how to fight homelessness and help those in need. NEXT is also offering up to $200 toward materials to build your own Sukkah! For those urban dwellers or not yet homeowners, host a holiday meal and NEXT will help fund your groceries or take out order.
  • Shoresh: On October 7, the Canadian Jewish environmental organization is hosting a Sukkot celebration complete with a festive meal, learning and service activities at Bela Farm.
  • Urban Adamah: Join Repair the World grantee-partner, Urban Adamah on October 7 for their Eat, Pray, Lulav Sukkot Harvest Festival. Activities include live music, worm composting workshops, farm tours, face painting, and lots of delicious fresh food.
  • Hazon: On October 7, Hazon’s Colorado community is hosting a sukkah “bike hop.” Pedal on two wheels to different sukkahs, eating, learning and traveling in carbon-neutral style the whole way.
  • Jewish Farm School: On October 8, join Repair the World grantee-partner Jewish Farm School for their Sukkot Harvest Celebration. Eat a delicious organic lunch and glean crops on a farm that will be donated to the less fortunate. This event is being held in partnership with Food Day 2012.
  • UJA-Federation New York: From Oct 15-26, join UJA’s second-annual Care to Share initiative. Symbolically fulfill the Jewish custom of gleaning by donating a portion of your fresh CSA produce, food from your garden, or fresh produce you purchased to a local food pantry.

Find out more about Sukkot’s connections to service here. Did we miss any amazing Sukkot service opportunities? Let us know in the comments below or by tweeting us at @repairtheworld.

Repair Recipe: How to Have a Farming Friendly Summer

Are you craving a summer filled with fresh veggies, time spent outside, a chance to dig in the dirt, and an opportunity to work towards food justice – but not sure how to get there? Repair the World has got you covered. We’ve crafted three easy-to-follow recipes that will have you enjoying the tastiest local produce and contributing to a more equitable food system. Check them out and get farming!

Recipe 1: Grow it yourself
Ingredients:
– 1 small backyard, community garden plot, large container, or window box
– a good amount of soil
– a few packets of seeds or plants
– lots of water
– 1-2 videos (like this or this) explaining how to grow food in an urban environment
– A couple of clicks on Ample Harvest’s website.

Take a look at your space (or lack thereof) and decide how many vegetables and fruits you want to attempt to grow. Combine soil and seeds or plants, adding water frequently until vegetables arrive. Refer to videos as needed. Donate any excess produce to help feed hungry people with Ample Harvest (make sure your local food pantries are registered on their site!)

Recipe 2: Support a local farmer
– 1 Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) membership
– 2-3 sturdy tote bags
– 7-10 reusable produce bags
– 1 volunteer shift at your CSA
– 12 weekly trips to the farmer’s market
– 1 kitchen

Pick up your locally-grown vegetables and fruit at your CSA once a week throughout the season. (Say hello to your farmer if he or she is there!) Pack your vegetables and fruit into your tote bags and produce bags. When it’s time, do your volunteer shift and help keep the CSA running smoothly. Supplement your produce haul (with bread, cheese, eggs, honey and other goodies) with weekly trips to the farmers market. Cook in your kitchen like a veggie-loving maniac! Find recipe ideas here.

Recipe 3: Go, grow and learn
– 1 summer volunteer day on the farm with Urban Adamah
– 1 weeklong sustainable agriculture/food justice workshop with Jewish Farm School (apply by May 15)
– 1 week (or month) spent volunteering on an organic farm with WWOOF
– 1 workshop on preserving your harvest through pickling and canning led by Shoresh

Check your calendar and spread ingredients liberally throughout the summer months. Pack your overnight bags and enjoy.

What’s your recipe for creating a farming friendly summer? Let us know in the comments below or by tweeting @repairtheworld.

This Tu Bishvat, Wish the Trees a Happy New Year with Service

New Year’s Eve may have recently passed, but on the Jewish calendar it is New Year’s all over again! Tomorrow we celebrate Tu Bishvat – the 15th of the Jewish month of Shivat which, according the Talmud, is the ‘Rosh Hashana L’Ilanot’ or the ‘New Year’ for Trees.’ The holiday marks the start of the fruit bearing cycle for trees in the land of Israel, celebrating the transition from winter to spring, and the time period when the sap inside trees is beginning to flow (even though, on the outside, the trees still look dormant in their winter sleep-fest.)

The arrival of Tu Bishvat reminds us of our inherent connection to the natural world. In the book of Genesis, Adam and Eve were told in the Garden of Eden to be stewards of nature, and to care for the natural world. Nature, we learn from their story, is about more than pretty vistas and resources – it is a Divine creation and valuable all by itself. There is a midrash (story) that says an angel hovers over every blade of grass telling it to grow.

This value is also expressed through the mitzvah (commandment) of ‘Bal Taschit,’ which prohibits against purposeless destruction or wastefulness of nature. According to the Torah, during times of war, the ancient Israelite army was forbidden to cut down the fruit trees around an enemy city to make arms, because it would is considered a form of unnecessary wasting. ‘Bal Taschit’ does not just apply to fruit trees during times of war, but at all times and places, to trees, water, air, and the rest of the natural world.

This year, celebrate Tu Bishvat by eating fruits and nuts – and also through tree centered and environmental service! Here are some ideas to get you started:

Attend a Tu Bishvat Seder or Party like this one that the New York Jewish environemntal organization, Hazon, is throwing – or this one, being hosted by Repair the World grantee-partner Urban Adamah in Berkeley, California.

Plant a tree! What better way to celebrate the holiday of the trees? Plant one in Israel through JNF, or plant one in your own backyard!

Grow something. Get involved with local Jewish farms like Repair the World grantee-partner, Jewish Farm School, Adamah or Kayam Farm.

Think globally, eat locally. Join a community supported agriculture (CSA) program through Hazon, find local farmers markets via Local Harvest, or donate the excess produce you grow in your backyard to Ample Harvest.

Let us know how you’re celebrating the New Year for the Trees by tweeting @repairtheworld!

Repair the World’s Top 10 Posts for Sukkot

The eight-day holiday of Sukkot – the “Feast of Tabernacles” – recalls the Israelites’ fragile dwellings during their 40 years of wandering in the desert after their exodus from slavery in Egypt.

Beginning at sundown on October 12, this “hut holiday” has many service and social justice themes: it is a joyous festival, which celebrates a healthy harvest and an appreciation for nature; it also encourages us to embrace shelter – even if it is just a hut – as both a blessing and a basic human right, and reminds us to be generous to those who are less fortunate.

Sukkot may only be eight days long, but we know these themes last year round. For some holiday inspiration, check out Repair the World’s Top 10 posts from 5771/2011 on homelessness, poverty and hunger, as well as sustainable agriculture and the environment — and share them at your sukkah tables!

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Farm in the City: Urban Adamah

In the last decade, the country’s growing obsession with local, traceable food has lured many Gen Y-ers away from the city and towards rural life on the farm. (Green Acres anyone?)

But in some cases, it has also brought the farm to the city. Urban agriculture and community garden projects are literally sprouting up in cities across the country from New York, Chicago and Detroit to Seattle and Los Angeles. In northern California, a new program called Urban Adamah is planting roots on a city block in Berkeley. (See what the plot looked like before the farm, here.) The food will be grown by fellows who’ll work together for three months and live in a communal house nearby. 90 percent of Urban Adamah’s produce will be donated to organizations serving people in need in the local community. The rest will be consumed by the fellows.
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