Kicking Off the Omer: Sowing Seeds of Sustainability

Kicking Off the Omer: Sowing Seeds of Sustainability is the 1st Annual Boston Jewish Food Conference, bringing together those interested in food, cuisine, agriculture, labor, business, health, access, history or religious practice.   It is a time for exploration and celebration, bringing vibrancy to relationships and influencing commitments to social justice, spirituality, the environment and Jewish expression.  Above all, Kicking off the Omer is a place to form community that nourishes ourselves and our communities.

It is fitting to hold this conference during the time of the Omer. The counting of the Omer that begins at Passover carries our biblical agricultural year through to Sukkot. So too our New England agricultural season follows this flow. Come explore the parallels, learn new skills and make new friends.

Kicking Off the Omer will be on Earth Day, Sunday April 22nd at Hebrew College in Newton Centre, MA. It will feature 12-16 program sessions, a community meal and keynote speaker. Woven throughout the day will be themes of Agriculture, Food Systems & Policy, Jewish Text & Thought, Food Traditions: History & Culture, Health & Nutrition and Business.

We are currently forming a planning team.  The planning team will be headed by 2 Co-chairs and assisted by liaisons from Ganei Beantown and Hebrew College.  Planning team members will help set the groundwork for what the conference will become.  Organizational partnerships are also welcomed.  This is a wonderful opportunity to become a leader, join a new community, and be a part of a new regional initiative. Our first planning team meeting will be on Tuesday Dec. 6th at 8:00pm. If you’re interested in joining the planning team, please email:

Planning team time commitments will vary throughout the year, depending on their area of responsibility. All planning team members are asked to focus in one committee areas. Please expect to work as an ambassador or on tasks for about an hour a week, with committee meeting phone calls every few weeks.

Planning Team roles include:

  • Programming – Create innovative program components & network with presenters. Discuss keynote possibilities.
  • Kids/Teens- Capacity for babysitting and/or age- appropriate educational programming.
  • Donations – Donation solicitation
  • Logistics – Creating a smooth conference experience
  • Marketing & Outreach- Identify marketing avenues and reaching out. Creating a buzz. Website updates.
  • Volunteers- We’ll need lots of volunteers on April 22nd, as well as somebody to coordinate their efforts.
  • Food- making dinner happen

Hannah Levine
2011 Co-Chair