Jewish Initiative for Animals is supported by
Emanuel J. Friedman Philanthropies has supported both animal welfare and Jewish communal projects for several years. Their commitment to aligning these causes with the launch of Jewish Initiative for Animals has already inspired close to 100 Jewish organizations to pilot new materials in Spring and Summer 2016. As JIFA empowers Jewish leaders with a demonstrated compassion for animals to establish ethical food policies, Jewish institutions across the country are getting animals on the agenda as we fight factory farming together.
The Leichtag Foundation honors the legacy of Lee and Toni Leichtag through igniting and inspiring vibrant Jewish life, advancing self-sufficiency and stimulating social entrepreneurship in coastal North San Diego County and Jerusalem. In 2015, the Leichtag Foundation established Coastal Roots Farm, a nonprofit community farm and education center in Encinitas, CA where we nourish connections—to ourselves, our neighbors, and the land. Inspired by Jewish wisdom and centuries-old agricultural traditions, we practice sustainable farming and share our harvest with communities that lack access to healthy food. Coastal Roots Farm is a member of the North County Hub, a creative and collaborative coworking space with a community of social entrepreneurs, including the national offices of the Jewish Initiative for Animals. JIFA staff will also support our farm to have the highest levels of care and welfare for our farm animals, as well as collaborate throughout the year on innovative programming for the local community.
The Foer Foundation is internationally best-selling author, Jonathan Safran Foer’s, nonprofit organization and a co-sponsor of the Jewish Initiative for Animals. Foer is a founding board member of Farm Forward, the parent organization executing JIFA, and his book Eating Animals inspires much of JIFA’s work for farmed animals. Jonathan Safran Foer has a special appreciation for the Jewish Initiative for Animals and will be personally involved in several JIFA events. We’re especially excited that Jonathan has teamed up with Natalie Portman and Twitter founders Biz Stone and Evan Williams to turn Eating Animals into a feature-length documentary and we will be doing several joint events with The Foer Foundation and JIFA upon its release.
Hazon and JIFA are collaborating on a variety of projects that support summer camps, synagogues, and other Jewish institutions in connecting Jewish values and environmental practices. Through providing top notch resources for rabbis, educators and lay leaders, we are building a more sustainable world that reflects our values – for the animals, for us, and for our communities. At Hazon’s recent annual food conference, there were over ten sessions highlighting animal welfare. Hazon also hosts Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center, Teva and Adamah Farm, three programs who are pioneers in the field of Jewish food education.
The idea for the Jewish for Initiative for Animals originated out of a collaboration brokered by Farm Forward between the eleven-million member HSUS and Hazon, the largest Jewish environmental organization in North America. We’re incredibly proud to continue to work with the HSUS to support animal protection efforts in the Jewish community. We’re especially glad to collaborate with HSUS in encouraging faith-based institutions to institute ethical food policies that align their buying with their values. HSUS advocates eating less meat and avoiding products from factory farms—what they call the Three Rs: reducing, refining (preferring higher welfare products), and replacing animal products. We’re also proud to be partners in their Fill the Bowl program, which encourages faith-based institutions to add the collection of food for pets to existing food drives—email us a JIFA@farmforward.com for a free Fill the Bowl packet especially designed for use at Jewish institutions.
Pearlstone & JIFA are collaborating to highlight heritage poultry, humane treatment of animals, and sustainable food service. Pearlstone is establishing a flock of heritage poultry, prominently placed for maximum visibility and impact on over 13,000 retreat guests and 5,000 program participants annually. Pearlstone farmers are also developing educational curricula and activities featuring a heritage flock.
Amir & JIFA are collaborating in co-writing curriculum and supplementary resources for their 32 camps to utilize in the summer of 2016. These programs will lead to high quality care of animals at each camp, meaningful exploration of animal ethics in Jewish tradition, and each camp establishing ethical food policies based on their own self-examination and priorities. All parties agree that “long term impact” and “changing culture” are high priorities for this collaboration.
Eden Village Camp is a Jewish summer camp and educational farm at the forefront of ethical food and farm-to-table education. The Eden Village kitchen is one of the leading institutional kosher sustainable kitchens, with strict organic and ethical purchasing guidelines for each and every ingredient. Since it began operation in 2010, they have served fewer than 60 meat meals out of more than 2000 meals, preparing only kosher, pastured-raised poultry. Campers and program participants are engaged with the entire farm operation – from composting and harvesting to humane care of chickens and milking goats. Eden Village farmers are collaborating with JIFA to produce a high quality animal husbandry guide to be followed by dozens of Jewish farm education programs across North America.