Spring Cleaning & New Beginnings

Dear All,

The sun is starting to shine and Pesach is around the corner. Now is the time to get rid of your chometz – metaphorical as well as literal. It’s not just breadcrumbs in the kitchen: it’s also old stuff in your closets, your garage, your attic. It’s old sauces in your refrigerator, or junk food in the freezer. Don’t let Pesach catch you by surprise – if you haven’t already, this weekend is the time to start your spring-clean. It’s good for your home, good for your soul, and it’s the preparation that Jewish tradition recommends in order to truly experience a sense of going free on seder night.

And this time of new beginnings is a time to invest in your own health and happiness, personal and professional…

If you’re in any way professionally interested in the JOFEE space – Jewish outdoor education; Jewish food education; Jewish environmental education – then please join us for this year’s 20th annual Teva Seminar, at Isabella Freedman, from June 9 – 13. Highlights include:

  • A series of sessions on the background, practices, and spiritual significance of the Shmita tradition, as well as its rich potential to transform our lives
  • Keynote session on the impact of Jewish outdoor, food, and environmental education, and how to grow together over the next five to ten years
  • Workshops and panels with top farmers, rabbis, activists, and Jewish outdoor, food, and environmental educators
  • Learning to be a Jewish naturalist through hikes in the woods, spiritual teachings, and eco-Torah activities

If you’re interested in great food, fresh air, and spiritual sustenance of all sorts, you’re warmly invited to join us for one of our Elat Chayyim programs. Highlights of our summer 2014 calendar include:

Finally: whether you’re in New York or the Bay Area, now’s the time to dust off your bike, take it down to the bike shop for a spring check-up – and sign up for our Golden Gate Ride, at the start of the summer, and our New York Ride, at the end of the summer. It is not the case that you get a bike, get in shape, start riding, and then sign up. That’s not how it works. What you do is: sign up, scare the heck out of yourself, and then say – wow – I really should get on my bike…

If you sign up for any of our retreats or rides between now and March 31st and type in “JOFEE” you’ll get a $60 discount.

Finally: if you’re in or near New York, please do join us at 6 pm on Tuesday April 1st, for our annual If Not Now Benefit. The tickets are not incredibly expensive. The cause – truthfully – is a good one. The honorees – Rabbi David Ingber; The Margulies Family: Rabbi Fred, Trisha, Daniel, Elisheva, Elan, & Ariel; Barbara Ribakove Gordon; and Margot Seigle – are all wonderful people. The space is a great space. And – most of all – we would love to see you.

Shabbat shalom, all best wishes,