Jewish Farm School

The Jewish Farm School teaches about contemporary food and environmental issues through innovative trainings and skill-based Jewish agricultural education.

Location: Philadelphia , PA
Year founded: 2006

Description

The Jewish Farm School (JFS) teaches about contemporary food and environmental issues through innovative trainings and skill-based Jewish agricultural education. We are driven by traditions of using food and agriculture as tools for social justice and spiritual mindfulness. Through our programs we build the Jewish community’s capacity and awareness to live more sustainably, support the work of local farms and food justice organizations, and connect this work to Jewish traditions, values, and the cycles of the Hebrew calendar.

In 2013 the Jewish Farm School planted roots firmly in Philadelphia to model its work on a local level with national significance. Over the past three years JFS has become a generator of programs at the nexus of urban sustainability, food justice, and Jewish traditions, and in doing so, has built a vibrant community of participants and stakeholders. Our skills workshops regularly sell out, our Shabbat and holiday gatherings breathe new life into our celebrations and attract dozens of attendees, and we receive frequent requests to bring our programming to more partners and communities.

JFS is currently working closely with partners to create the Binyan Workshop. Binyan will be JFS’s home for sustainability skills workshops, classes, film screenings, and Shabbat and holiday gatherings, and will provide shared office and programming space for JFS and other organizations. A community library and beit midrash will be a central component of the Binyan Workshop. A broad array of Jewish organizations and informal groups will find a home to gather, pray, celebrate, and explore connections between Judaism, the environment, and social justice. The Binyan Workshop will serve as a new model of what a Jewish communal space can be, how it can be designed to best meet the needs and interests of the local community, and how together we can build vibrant and sustainable urban Jewish life.

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