Projects in Action

published on: 02-04-2014

The Siach Summit 

Teva Ivri, as a member of the international Siach Network, recently participated in a special London Shmita Summit, which drew approximately 30 thought-leaders and activists from around the world to gain exposure to Shmita initiatives, deepen their knowledge of Shmita and how it applies in a modern context, and collaborate in ways that maximize the impact of social and environmental justice projects related to Shmita.  Teva Ivri was proud to present the Israeli Shmita Network as a powerful Jewish-Israeli voice in the international converstation about Shmita.

Debt Forgiveness for Thousands of Families in Need

The Ministry of Welfare, Pa’amonim, and the Institute for Torah and the Land of Israel are collaborating to actualize the mitzvah of releasing others from their debts. Designated funds will support a unique Shmita year economic recovery program, in which debt forgiveness is the first step on the road to financial rehabilitation for Israeli families in severe need.  Approximately 10,000 benefitting families will agree to undergo a process of employment placement and financial counseling designed to help them to return to a normative, debt-free life.

Hovevei Shvi’it Leadership Course

A talented group of activists, educators, and leaders – graduates of Teva Ivri and Ma’aglei Tzedek programs – recently completed a four-month course to gain ideas and tools for observing Shmita in their schools and communities.   Course activities included text study, field trips, and meetings with local experts.  The course is designed to foster grassroots Shmita initiatives through intensive training and mentoring, as well as the administration of micro-grants to small-scale local projects.  

Municipal Shmita Observance

The Nitzanim initiative of the Jewish Renewal movement in varous municipalities started a working group on the topic of Shmita, in partnership with Teva Ivri and Kolot.  The group includes senior leaders of local governments, directors of Jewish programs, and social acitivists who are designing local Shmita projects.

Behar:  Shmita Awareness Week 

The Siach Network has marked the week preceding Shabbat Behar, when we read the commandment to observe the Shmita year, as a time to host events, teachings, and activities all focused on the possibilities of bringing the Shmita tradition to life.   The Israeli Shmita Initiative is planning Israeli events to correspond with the activities in North America and Europe during the week of May 4-10.

Kolot Graduates

The Kolot Beit Midrash, which attracts many influential leaders and educators, held a Shabbat reunion for its graduates that was dedicated to the topic of Shmita.  Aside from studying relevant texts, participants discussed the idea of cycles of seven and explored ways to manifest Shmita on the personal and communal levels.

49 Shades of Shmita

Yossi Tzuria, co-founder and former Chief Technology Officer of digital security pioneers NDS, organized a group of hi-tech professionals to compose the “49 Shades of Shmita” document, which outlines a variety of potential projects – mostly geared toward the hi-tech industry – for the Shmita year. 

Shmita in Urban Community Gardens

The Society for the Protection of Nature has joined Israeli Shmita in organizing four local conferences in urban community gardens in preparation for the Shmita year.  The SPNI and Israeli Shmita are also co-creating a social-environmental activity to be held in hundreds of gardens before and during the Shmita year.