Shmita project

Over the past year, Teva Ivri has been working on a new project that we hope will help transform Israel Society -- The Israeli Shmita Initiative. 

Our goal is to ensure that every person in Israel knows that the upcoming year is a Shmita year, and to empower all who seek to bring Shmita into their lives to do so in a way that is relevant and meaningful.

In December 2013, leaders representing the government, religious organizations, corporate executives, environmental agencies, and NGO's came together to write a shared vision for the Seventh Year. This groundbreaking declaration can be found here.

 

What's so special about Shmita?

 

The Israeli Shmita Initiative seeks to reestablish the Shmita year as a time of personal reflection, meaningful learning, social involvement, and environmental responsibility in Israel.

With the return to the land of Israel in the last century, Shmita has once again become a practical reality.  In the modern State of Israel, the Shmita year experience typically revolves around agricultural practices and Jewish dietary laws, and is often characterized by dispute between religious factions.  Yet beyond its agricultural and legal significance, the Shmita year presents an opportunity to learn about the important links between social justice, environmental responsibility, and Jewish life.  Today’s Israelis, who are increasingly open to exploring and creatively applying the ideas and values found in Judaism, are in a unique position to experience Shmita as a medium for both personal and societal transformation. 

Our goal is to ensure that every person in Israel knows that the upcoming year is a Shmita year, and to empower all who seek to bring Shmita into their lives to do so in a way that is relevant and meaningful.

What does The Israeli Shimita Initiative do?

The Israeli Shmita Initiative seeks to create an Israeli culture that makes learning and observing during the Shmita year a positive and unifying experience.  Our strategy is twofold: a broad-based public outreach campaign and a system of support and guidance for social and environmental action within the Shmita context.

Israeli Shmita’s strategy is twofold:  a broad-based public outreach campaign and a system of support and guidance for grassroots Shmita initiatives.  

The public outreach campaign includes news articles, a Shmita Magazine distributed by Israel Hayom  (one of Israel’s biggest newspapers), a Shmita Catalogue outlining activities workshops and tours offered, as well as a website. 

Through our leadership training programs, seminars, and study and action groups, we are helping educators and community leaders to prepare for the Shmita year and to initiate Shmita projects 

We also provide support and guidance for local Shmita projects initiated by educators and activists in the areas of community, society, and environment.  Examples of local Shmita projects include, Monthly Swap-Markets, Community Volunteer Banks, Fruit Harvesting for Distribution to the Needy, Designated Jewish Study Day in Municipalities and Businesses, and local festivals in vineyards and olive orchards. 

Israeli Shmita is a national coalition of influential partners from all sectors of Israeli Society.  Some innovative projects develop our partners include Debt Forgiveness for those most in need, a Moratorium on fishing in the Kinneret, and reduced entry fees to nature reserves. To learn more about how our partners are working to apply the values inherent in Shmita – social equity, nature preservation, community building, and spiritual growth – click here. 


How can I get involved?

Join an Educational Tour

If you are in Israel during the Seventh year, we offer an array of ways to get your hands dirty with Shmita-related experiences. In collaboration with our many partners, we offer a “7 Stations for the 7th Year” program where participants can explore topics such as:  the integration of permaculture and Shmitah; how innovative businesses are shifting the way Israel’s economy functions; what Shmitah looked liked in Biblical Times; and many more. For more information click here or email info@tevaivri.org.il.

Engage in Eco-Service Learning

Our sister organization, JiVE! (Jerusalem Volunteers for the Environment) is also offering a host of experiential education trips for you or your tour group. Activities include learning in the fields and orchards of Israel, and studying the social issues facing Israel today through neighborhood tours and meetings with government officials. For more info click here or email JiVE! coordinator Shaul Judelman at jive@tevaivri.org.il

Make a Donation

Teva Ivri is a non-profit organization, and any help you can provide financially will support this amazing project and help spread the vision of Shmita deeper into Israeli society. To donate, click here. 

 

Want more information?

Great!  We would love to hear from you!

You can check out the Israeli Shmitah Initiave English website here or you can email Teva Ivri’s director, Einat Kramer, at einat.kramer@gmail.com.