We are pleased to announce the 2017 Gendler Grapevine Project’s “HaBanim HaBonim” initiatives! With the goal of inspiring the next generation, each of our grantees proposed innovative, interesting, and engaging projects. Applicants drew inspiration from the life and teachings of Rabbi Gendler, recognizing that he incorporated his theories and teachings into physical and practical action that resonated with his congregants and the community.
Project Title: Canfei Nesharim – Gendler Grapevine Curriculum for Sustainable Living Inspired by Torah
Project Description: Canfei Nesharim will develop integrated curriculum modules to inspire high school students and their families to envision and work towards a world where the Jewish community, informed by Torah values, is educated and empowered to act to preserve and protect the environment. They will host a teacher training conference, and the curriculum will be integrated into Orthodox high-schools after the 2017 High Holy Day season. After implementation, an evaluator will assess the program, which will be adapted and further developed. The goal is to expand the program to other areas of the country and host a retreat for participating teachers to encourage collaboration, networking, and further improvements.
Edlavitch DC Jewish Community Center
Project Title: Environmental and Food Justice Family Workshop Series
Project Overview: The Edlavitch DCJCC will provide two family workshops focused on environmental and food justice initiatives. Activities and goals include a “glean and learn” workshop, a working field trip to a farm, a learning session delivered by a JOFEE fellow, a workshop focused on composting and urban gardening, and support to help families garden and compost at home.
Ganei Beantown: Beantown Jewish Gardens
Project Title: Boston Jewish Food Conference 2018
Project Description: Ganei Beanton will use their Gendler Grapevine grant to develop and implement a new workshop track focused on youth and families at the annual Boston Jewish Food Conference.
Project Title: Eco Beit Midrash Source Book
Project Description: Hazon will develop twelve 45-minute teaching segments for an Eco Beit Midrash Source Book that will be compiled into a publication that will be made available to schools and institutions interested in JOFEE. The book will be used during Teva educator training and will enable teachers to provide a deeper knowledge and awareness when teaching Jewish ecological and social justice concepts.
Houston Congregation for Reform Judaism
Project Title: Plan Bee: Honey Production in a Jewish Context
Project Description: Plan Bee’s mission is to offer a range of learning opportunities around the production of honey from an onsite bee hive. They will create curriculum tying Jewish learning to honey and honey production, weaving eco-centric values and ethics together with the cycles of the Jewish calendar and the holidays. A professional bee keeper will be involved in the hands-on process of harvesting and bottling the honey. Honey produced from the hives will be sold, used in congregational events, and gifted.
In For Of, Inc.
Project Title: Olam Ubuntu Youth Leadership Program
Project Description: Located in Baltimore, this program involves Jewish and African American youth, ages 13-15, who will participate in a joint coming-of-age educational program that fosters a sense of commitment to history and humanity. The youth will together explore Jewish and African religious teachings, traditions and culture, and their personal and academic goals. The Gendler Grapevine Project enables In For Of to implement a Sunday field trip series.
Jewish Community Centers of Chicago
Project Title: Environmental Infused Shabbat and Holiday Programs
Project Description: Through a matching grant with the Gendler Grapevine Project fund, JCC Chicago will continue its Outdoor Shabbat program where they are developing environmental-focused community programming centered on Shabbat and Jewish holidays. The outdoor environmental Shabbat and holiday programming will provide an opportunity for Jewish children and their families to be surrounded by nature, take walks through the wetlands and marshes, and celebrate under the stars. Another goal is to help this initiative become a model for other JCCs interested in outdoor Shabbat and holiday programming.
Jewish Farm School
Project Title: Shorash
Project Description: This project is a teen-focused series of workshops that uses food as a lens through which to explore a rich range of topics, including sustainability, worker’s rights, social justice, and Jewish traditions. Jewish values are at the root of the curriculum and frame deeper learning and broaden students’ Jewish literacy. Students will learn Jewish concepts through engaging and experiential activities.
Kesher Olam Day Camp Initiative/ Camp Yavneh
Project Title: Kesher Olam Day Camp Initiative
Project Description: This innovative Jewish summer camp model is for rural and otherwise underserved Jewish families who have limited opportunity to the larger Jewish community. The roving camps will emphasize the connection to place and to Israel, using locals foods to make those connections apparent. A team of camp leaders will go for one week at a time to multiple communities to run the day camps.
Project Title: Creation of a Youth Food Justice Corps and Testing the Replication of the New Roots Fresh Stop Market model
Project Description: New Roots will work with 12- to 14-year olds to help them become leaders in the food justice movement. Youth will learn from and shadow adult food justice leaders at the Fresh Stop Markets and Fresh Stop Training Institute where they will organize within the Jewish community, their schools, and other spaces they inhabit to grow the local food justice movement. New Roots will also extend their networking with other Jewish Community Centers interested in creating a Fresh Stop Market in their food-insecure neighborhood to replicate the New Roots’ model.
Oshman Family JCC
Project Title: Youth Service Havorah
Project Description: This social action program will give middle and high school students the opportunity to deepen their connection to Judaism through social action and hands-on opportunities by introducing them to social and environmental justice issues that exist in their own backyard. Teens will identify gaps they see in service needs in the community and decide together which of these to address and create projects based on their choices. YSH will give teens the tools to make change, in their own lives and in the lives of others. They will also see how relevant Jewish ideas, texts, and concepts are to their world and to making it a better place.
Temple Emanuel of the Merrimack Valley
Project Title: Wildlife Garden Project
Project Description: They will create a wildlife garden that will be certified as a Certified Wildlife Habitat by the National Wildlife Federation. The purpose of the garden is to provide food, shelter, and habitat for the wildlife in their neighborhood.