1:15-2:30 p.m. WORKSHOP BLOCK ONE
Beautiful, Bountiful, Borscht – KITCHEN WORKSHOP
Learn to prepare a traditional Eastern European beet borscht! We will create unique homemade flavors that are not accessible outside of the home kitchen. You can then create your own varieties — in Ukraine they add beans, in Moldova they add sauerkraut.
- Inna Khitrik first learned to cook from her father in Belarus. Inna and her son, Alex, opened Inna’s Kitchen in Newton in 2011, where they strive to preserve their Jewish culinary traditions while making them modern and relevant for today’s health conscious society. They prepare everything from scratch and value using seasonal local ingredients. In 2015 they opened a second location at the Boston Public Market, the first all locally sourced market of it’s kind in the US.
Using Our Forks to Reduce Our Carbon Footprint
The food choices we make impact our health and our local environment, and also have global impact in terms of their connection to climate change. Do you know what foods are best bought organic? Or the importance of miles travelled for sustainable food choices? In this workshop led by members of the Jewish Climate Action Network, find out how to reduce your carbon footprint with your eating habits. Participants will take home ideas and information to share with others.
- Judith Mabel is a nutritionist and biochemist, with degrees from Cornell University, Harvard University, and Boston University who has authored over 20 scientific papers. She blends traditional and complementary techniques in her private practice in Brookline, evaluating and educating her clients so that they can take an active part in their health and fitness. She specializes in Functional Medicine, digestive issues and food sensitivities. She is active in the Jewish Climate Action Network.
- Rabbi Katy Allen is a board certified chaplain and serves as an eco-chaplain and the Facilitator of One Earth Collaborative, a program of Open Spirit in Framingham designed to foster our spiritual connection to the Earth. She is the founder and rabbi of Ma’yan Tikvah – A Wellspring of Hope, which holds services outdoors all year long. She is the co-founder and President pro-tem of the Boston-based Jewish Climate Action Network, and a hospice chaplain.
Learn How to Dine Out with Your Values
The environmental and human impact of dining out has never been greater. Learn how to make dining choices that will lead to a cleaner and safer world where people can earn a respectable living. You will walk away with practical tools of how to find more sustainable restaurants… and how to make every dining choice match your values, regardless of where you are.
- In 1990, Michael Oshman founded the Green Restaurant Association (GRA), a national non-profit organization formed to shift the restaurant industry toward ecological sustainability. Oshman has helped green thousands of foodservice operations, from small mom and pops, to esteemed chefs such as Mario Batali and Eric Ripert, to MetLife Stadium and the 2014 Super Bowl. As the pioneer of the Green Restaurant® movement, Michael Oshman continues to educate consumers and restaurateurs…affecting change one bite at a time.
- Alex Galimberti is a restaurant professional turned activist. His culinary career spanned almost every position within a restaurant, from prep cook to beverages manager. Sustainability, food sovereignty, and labor and human rights in the food system are Alex’s main areas of interest. In 2013 he helped launch the Boston Chapter of the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United (ROC-United). He currently works as the National Coordinator for RAISE (Restaurants Advancing Industry Standards in Employment), a project of ROC-United.
Farms, Food Rescue, and Supplying our Food Pantries
Where does the food in our food banks and food pantries come from? What are the systems and arenas of waste that make such food distribution possible? From purchasing to donations, fresh produce to post-retail food recovery, come hear from individuals involved in feeding the hungry. They will share the models for their work and prompt you to consider what we can do as a Jewish community to help feed the hungry in our neighborhoods.
- Bernice Behar is the Director of JF&CS Family Table, the largest kosher food pantry in Eastern Massachusetts. Bernice joined JF&CS in 2010 having spent 24 years working in the financial industry. She is a member of the Agency Advisory Council (AAC) of the Greater Boston Food Bank and a long-time member of the Board of Trustees of Temple Beth Shalom in Needham, MA.
- Rabbi Jacob Fine is the Founder and Director of Abundance Farm, a food justice farm, outdoor classroom and community building space in Northampton, Massachusetts. For the past 15 years Jacob has worked and taught in the field of Jewish environmental and agricultural education. A Wexner Graduate Fellow and former Rabbi and Assistant Director at Hillel at the University of Washington, Jacob has authored widely used curriculum including “Jewish Food Rules: Principles of a Contemporary Jewish Food Ethic,” and teaches widely on issues related to Judaism, ecology and food justice.
- Ashley Stanley is a born and bred Bostonian. Since founding Lovin’ Spoonfuls in 2010, Ashley and her team have rescued and distributed more than 3 million pounds of fresh, healthy food into the social service stream. In 2012, Lovin’ Spoonfuls was a two-time winner of the Mass Challenge competition, which is the largest global start-up accelerator. She serves on the Boston Food Policy Council, and is one of Oxfam International’s Sisters of the Planet Ambassadors.
Mindful Kashrut from the Torah to the 21st Century
Why keep kosher? This has been debated since the first dietary laws were introduced in Genesis, and continues today. Examine texts that demonstrate the mindfulness behind the laws in the Torah, and understand the three main areas of keeping kosher. Participate in intriguing discussions regarding 2016 kashrut, as well as the ancient sources, to track the evolution of this major part of Jewish life. In what ways can kashrut be the most meaningful today? Can keeping kosher help us to be more aware of the food we eat and how it got to our table?
- A writer and editor, Lisë Stern covers topics ranging from software to health to travel. Her specialty is food, including recipe development, culinary customs and history, product information, and profiles of industry individuals. She is the author of How to Keep Kosher: A Comprehensive Guide to Understanding Jewish Dietary Laws. She wrote a column for the Jewish Advocate called “The Kosher Food Lover,” and is a contributor to jns.org, a wire service that supplies content to Jewish newspapers nationally and internationally.
- Rabbi Natan Margalit, Ph.D. was raised in Honolulu, Hawaii. He received rabbinic ordination at The Jerusalem Seminary in 1990 and earned a Ph.D. in Talmud from U.C. Berkeley in 2001. He has taught at Bard College, the Reconstuctionist Rabbinical College and the Rabbinical School of Hebrew College. Natan is Rabbi of The Greater Washington Coalition for Jewish Life, in Connecticut and Visiting Rabbi at Congregation Adas Yoshuron in Rockland, Maine. He is Founder and President of Organic Torah Institute, a non-profit organization which fosters holistic thinking about Judaism, environment and society. (organictorah.org) He lives in Newton, MA with his wife Ilana and their two sons.
2:45-4:00 p.m. WORKSHOP BLOCK TWO
Taking Lentils to the Next Level: Mujadra and Spiced Sauces – KITCHEN WORKSHOP
Mujadra is a staple meal in the Middle East. It is widely believed to be the dish that Jacob used to buy Esau’s birthright. Learn the secrets to take the humble lentil and rice dish of mujadra to another plane. We will prepare two sauces to complement this familiar and simply delicious dish. We will discuss how to build complex flavors with a variety of cooking techniques.
- Loni Zelfon works as the Community Outreach and Culinary Education Coordinator at Future Chefs. An enthusiast of food, cooking and the conversation surrounding it all, Loni has spent many hours learning and teaching culinary skills. She graduated Boston University with a degree in Nutritional Sciences and went on to receive a certificate in Culinary Arts. Along the way, Loni has cooked in the kitchen of Sel de la Terre, led classes with Cooking Matters and Community Servings as well as trained young chefs at Beaver Country Day Camp.
Transparency in the Fish Supply Chain
You wouldn’t buy a diamond at the hardware store, so why are you confident buying fish in the same place they sell meat and produce? Come learn about the ins and outs of the fishing industry in New England and how the fish you eat journeys to your plate. Who is your expert and what do they know?
- Jeffrey Ingber is a 20-year food and beverage industry profession and currently works as the Food & Beverage Manager for Newbridge on the Charles. He is the Founder and Owner of Kosher Catch, a company committed to catching and delivering the freshest Kosher fish that our waters have to offer. As a steward of the sea and a food and beverage professional, Jeff is committed to educating the consumer that there can be a balance between freshness, wholesomeness and sustainability.
- Molly Bajgot is a current Resident Organizer in the Moishe Kavod House in Brookline and Seafood Program manager for Red’s Best. She graduated from UMass Amherst in 2014 where she led a campaign to increase the schools purchasing of Real Food to 20% by 2020 where she learned the ins and outs of institutionalized food purchasing. She has been with Red’s Best since the Fall and cares a lot about institutional divestment from the industrialized food system and investment in a new food economy. Ask her what’s hard about this.
Which was factory farmed first: the chicken or the egg?
Come learn about the modern poultry industry and explore how the Jewish community is reconnecting with the age-old values of higher welfare poultry. Jewish Initiative For Animals and Robariah Farms will discuss their respective roles in combatting factory farming, navigating industry products and labels, and supplying the Jewish community of Boston and New England with meat that is more humane, local, sustainable, and kosher. Bonus: participants will also learn a simple way to finally understand all the labels on your egg cartons.
- Robert Friedman is co-owner of Robariah Farms (Deerfield, MA), specializing in local, pasture-raised, kosher meat. Robariah Farms provides New England with a sustainable source of meat that is locally grown and locally processed under the religious supervision of New England Kosher. Robert and wife Shemariah (both are Adamah 2004 alumni) have two beautiful children.
- Sarah Shamirah Chandler is the CCO (Chief Compassion Officer) and team leader at Jewish Initiative for Animals where she works to support Jewish institutions to establish meaningful food policies rooted in Jewish ethics and animal welfare. She recently served as the Director of Earth Based Spiritual Practice for Hazon’s Adamah Farm and teaches, writes and consults on a national level on issues related to Judaism, the environment, mindfulness, food values, and farming.
Farmworker Labor Rights: Who picks the food that we eat?
Learn about farmworkers in Massachusetts and around the country through personal experience, federal and local labor standards, and Judaic context. We’ll find out what we, as individuals and as members of Jewish communities, can do to support farmworker solidarity and justice.
- Alyssa Bauer is working for a 3rd season at Old Friends Farm, a flower and vegetable farm in Amherst. She also helps to coordinate a farmworker organizing committee along with the Pioneer Valley Workers’ Center to organize for farmworker solidarity and justice through building connections and understanding across communities to strengthen the voice and power of all farmworkers. She lives in western MA and likes to hang out with sheep, knit, call square dances, bike with her sweetie and make herbal medicines.
- Rabbi Daniel Liben has been with Temple Israel in Natick, MA since 1991. He is involved with T’ruah (The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights) and recently traveled with them to support the Coalition of Immokalee Workers in their flight for dignity and human rights of Florida tomato farmers. He’s excited to bring awareness to his community here.
- Suzanne George has been an Investigator in the Boston District Office of the US Dept of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division for 28 years. She currently serves as the Agricultural Coordinator for the Boston District Office to enforce Federal minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, child labor requirements, the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act. She has served on various agricultural enforcement activities in New England and New Jersey during her tenure with Wage and Hour. Ms. George holds a B.S in Public Administration/Economics.
Sourcing your Simcha Sustainably
Sourcing your Simcha (joyous celebration) Sustainably will be an interactive workshop to cover all of your event planning needs. We will talk about how to plan anything from a child’s birthday party to a weekly shul kiddish to an elegant wedding. We will cover what to think about when faced with the various challenges on how to Green your event. You’ll walk away full of ideas and resources to inspire you to take the next step in sustainable event planning.
- Rachel Barbanel-Fried, PsyD, is the chair of the BJFC 2016. She is a private practice clinical psychologist with specialized training in the topic of food as medicine and is passionate about the intersection of food and health. She has traveled extensively, lived abroad and taught cooking, yoga, and other topics in Bulgaria, Israel and all over the USA. She is a community builder who loves to entertain for large and small groups.
- Amy Weiss is an invitation designer, centerpiece fabricator, crafter, & party fanatic. She has an MFA from the University of Pennsylvania and worked for over 10 years in marketing and graphic design before starting her own business, Amy Weiss Design. She often uses recycled materials in her own art, centerpieces, and party decorations, and would love to discuss sustainable events with you.
- Julie Botnick is the Program Associate for the Jewish Outdoor, Food & Environmental Education (JOFEE) Fellowship and Network at Hazon. Prior, she worked on various projects from the Jewish Intentional Communities Initiative to the farm animal awareness program to Hazon’s educational materials such as Fit to Eat, the Food Guide and Audit Toolkit, and Min HaAretz, of which she is co-author. She earned her BA in History cum laude from Yale, with a thesis on the historical memory of a Zionist agricultural colony in Utah.
Backyard alchemy as Teshuva: The art (and science) of transformation
Ever wonder why people get so excited about composting? Or what Judaism says about it? This workshop will cover the larger societal and environmental merits of diverting organics from the traditional waste stream, while touching on the basics of maintaining a backyard composting operation as well as Jewish values that encourage such practice. You’ll leave understanding the difference between soil and compost and how the latter holds the potential for radical transformation of our community. Beware: there will be worms!
- Andy Brooks is the founder and president of Bootstrap Compost, Inc. — a residential and commercial food scrap pickup service. After a 10-year career as a journalist, Brooks launched Bootstrap in 2011, serving his Jamaica Plain neighborhood by bike and trailer. Now based in Malden, the company currently employees 15 people while serving over 1,500 households and 80 businesses throughout Greater Boston with a fleet of five vehicles. To date, Bootstrap has diverted close to 1,500,000 pounds of organics from landfills.
- Rabbi Ari Lev Fornari is the Director of the Boston-Area Jewish Education Program (BJEP) and works part time as a prison chaplain. He is most passionate about the intersection of education, activism and healing. Ari Lev loves to farm, cook, bike, meditate and parent his almost 2 year-old Zeev Lucca.
4:15-5:30 p.m. WORKSHOP BLOCK THREE
Local Winter Wheat Berry Salad – KITCHEN WORKSHOP
Join Chef Valerie Philmus to make a winter wheat berry salad for dinner. Learn how to prepare tasty wheat berries and other cooking techniques for cooking beans and whole grains. Featuring local grains donated by Pioneer Valley Heritage Grains.
- Valerie Philmus has been cooking since she was 8 years old. After graduating from U Mass Valerie studied at the at The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. Since then she has worked in restaurant industry on both coasts. In 2014, the family (children Sophie, Aeden, and 12 chickens) moved to East Greenwich, RI to join the community of Temple Torat Yisrael. Valerie’s Kitchen has been catering in Rhode Island baking challah and selling vegetarian soups. She loves big, bold flavors, fresh, seasonal produce and working with a variety of fresh herbs and spices.
Labelling foods containing GMOs in MA: A Case Study in Judaism, Ethics, and New Technology
The plants and animals we eat today are often very different genetically from those eaten by our parents, and the rate of change is accelerating. As consumers, we are often unaware of these changes. Come learn the basics and consider: What are Genetically Modified Organisms? As ethical eaters, how should we react to their increased use? What Jewish frameworks might be useful in forming or framing our reactions?
- Amie Lindenboim is Policy Organizer at the Northeast Organic Farming Association of Massachusetts, where her work includes advocacy for mandatory labeling of genetically engineered foods. She earned her BS in Natural Resources Policy and Law and her minor in Entomology-IPM at Oregon State University’s College of Forestry, and her JD at Seattle University School of Law. She lives and grows a vegetable garden in Brookline with her husband and young sons.
- Rabbi Aryeh Klapper is Dean of the Center for Modern Torah Leadership, Rosh Beit Midrash of its Summer Beit Midrash Program and a member of the Boston Beit Din. He previously served as Orthodox Adviser and Associate Director for Education at Harvard Hillel, as Talmud Curriculum Chair at Maimonides High School and as Instructor of Rabbinics and Medical Ethics at Gann Academy. Rabbi Klapper has published in Tradition, Meorot, Dinei Yisrael, Beit Yitzchak and other journals and has presented at numerous academic and community conferences.
G!d in the Garden: Jewish Farm Lore and the Vegetable Plot
At its origin, Judaism is the indigenous, nature-based, farming religion of our ancestors. How can we use the lessons of our farming heritage to give fresh responses to the social and environmental problems of our time? Teens will get to discuss with each other how they can have a positive impact on environmental justice issues, find ways to bring a nature consciousness to their own Jewish practices, and learn how to plan(t) a vegetable garden. This hands-on workshop will give you skills and ideas to bring back to your homes, schools, and communities. Intended for ages 13-17.
- Steve Sherman is a Jewish farm educator and an alumnus of the Adamah Jewish Farming Fellowship in Falls Village, CT. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Agro-Environmental Sciences from McGill University and has five years’ experience on production and educational farms in Rhode Island, Connecticut, Quebec, and Alaska. Now he teaches Hebrew at Temple Habonim in Barrington, RI (where he grew up) and works for Lifespan Hospitals.
- Jessica Green is a Boston-based Jewish educator and cook. She teaches at Temple Beth Shalom in Needham and has cooked and run food-focused programs for organizations including Moishe Kavod House, Workmen’s Circle, and Dance New England. She lives in Jamaica Plain and is on the planning team of Havurat Lev Shalem.
Buying Better: Improving the food policy in your shul, home, and institutions
Where do I start? How do we pay for it? How do I even talk to our chef, food service head, Rabbi, spouse…. Come dive into the process of making change, both big and small in our kitchens and facilities. The session will cover how to source better food, how to pay for it, how to talk about it, how to prioritize sustainability options, all in the context of the Jewish community. Participants will each create realistic proposals to start making change tomorrow.
- Andrew Gurwitz is the Associate Director at Eden Village Camp, an innovative Jewish organic farm camp in the Hudson Valley. He is lead architect of their sustainability and food initiatives. He has led Eden Village’s operations, visioning, and strategy since camp’s first summer. He has a wealth of camp, non-profit, operational, and start-up experience, including helping launch the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village in Rwanda, co-founding a technology start-up, and consulting for several new businesses and non-profits.