BJFC 2018: Living off the Land
Sunday June 10, 2018 at Temple Israel of Boston
As Jews, we have historical roots in the land and a contemporary reputation as “people of the book.” How do we reconcile that? From agricultural best-practices to holiday celebrations and family stories, our ties to place and culture bind us together.
It’s our duty to be mindful not only of the quality of the food we put in our bodies but also the overall health of our communities. What can we learn from the cycles of the seasons, the harvests and our historical traditions to nurture our bodies, spirits, and communities?
BJFC 2017: Community Networks
Sunday, March 26, 2017 at Gann Academy
Conference Chair: Matt Brookner
Come together to gain exposure to the resources and connections in our food systems and our Jewish networks, both in greater Boston and across New England. From our prayer to our gardens, community is essential to our faith and our practice. We’ll explore the web of food sourcing, distribution, and consumption, as well as the role of culture, institutions and our homes. We’ll emphasize the questions:
- Where does our food come from?
- Who are the people in our networks?
- How do we align our Jewish values with our food values?
- When are these decisions influenced by the the agricultural and Jewish calendar cycles?
BJFC 2016: Whole Systems
Sunday, April 3, 2016 at Congregation Shaarei Tefillah
Conference Chair: Rachel Barbanel-Fried
Our focus this year is on the whole system, and how in the age of industry, feeding millions and often lacking in transparency, we are pieces of this great puzzle. What are the inputs, outputs and ramifications of our food choices? In an effort to nourish our bodies and whole selves, we’ll examine the people, places, and systems that supply us with our food.
BJFC 2015: Food Justice
Sunday, March 8, 2015 at Congregation Kehillath Israel
Conference Chair: Rabbi Emily Mathis
Food Justice: What is it and what can I do? Our day was spent looking at the many factors that impact what we eat and explored the interplay between these variables in order to understand the basic foundation of our diets. Our Jewish identities and values are similarly influenced by factors at multiple levels. We seek to recognize that the foods we eat are not always a product of free choice; constraints like economic and social inequalities prevent many people from having the freedom to make food choices. As Jewish food consumers, we hope to engage with these issues and learn where we can fit into the work being done to create a more just and equitable food system.
BJFC 2014: Shmita Summit
Sunday, April 6, 2014 at Temple Israel of Boston
Shmita literally means “to release” — every seven years the land was allowed to lay fallow, to rest. A Shmita cycle gives us an opportunity to come together and recalibrate to enable a more equitable, just, and healthy society, economy and environment. Reviving the study and application of Shmita is an incredible opportunity to engage with Judaism in a contemporary context with a set of values and practices that prompts paradigm shifting. The next Shmita year begins Rosh Hashanah 5775, September 2014. The day will start with a Shmita Seder in which we will Study texts and explore rituals to learn about Shmita. In breakout groups we will interpret and apply Shmita principles to our contemporary lives, including public space, climate change, economic systems, personal health, and synagogue policies.
BJFC 2013: Sowing the Seeds of Sustainability
Sunday, March 3, 2013 at Tufts University Hillel
We will consider:
- What are the implications of my food choices?
- What constitutes a responsible Jewish food ethic today?
- What resources exist in my community to guide my decision-making?
Tzedek tzedek tirdof: Justice, justice shall you pursue, that you may live. (Deut. 16:20)
We might ask, why does it say “justice” twice? It is justice for ourselves and justice for the other.
You can see our full lineup of workshops and presenters, as well as our Shuk happenings and vendors. You can access our Beit Midrash source sheets, if you please credit us and let us know when you use them.) We’ve also got pictures of the event.
BJFC 2012: Sowing The Seeds of Sustainability
Sunday, April 22, 2012 at Hebrew College
Conference Chair: Hannah Levine
How do Jewish traditions of dietary laws, agriculture and religion intersect with the modern pleasures and perils of sustainable food policy?
Our first annual event brought together 200 people interested in food, cuisine, agriculture, labor, business, health, access, history and religious practice for a full day of workshops, community Shuk (market) and Kosher, locally sourced dinner.