JIFA leads the Jewish community in thinking carefully about what it means to eat animals. At a time when 99% of animals raised for food come from factory farms, reconnecting people to the source of their food is essential to our work. The desire to get closer to the realities of where our food comes from, and the increasing popularity of plant-based diets, are encouraging signs of changing times. It inspires the work we do at JIFA, and we hope it inspires you to join us in bringing Jewish values into everyday life through ethical eating.
- In JIFA’s [service-learning] workbook, students will find everything they need to design a service-learning project that helps farmed animals in honor of their bar/bat mitzvah.
- Check out the brand new Amir/JIFA curriculum: Jewish Compassion for Animals which features lesson plans for kids ages 8-16, originally designed for summer camps with gardens or farms.
Kosher Slaughter Education
In summer 2016, The New York Times reported on a demonstration of religious slaughter at a highly regarded wilderness-themed Jewish summer camp. As a follow up, JIFA addressed the role that educational kosher slaughter demonstrations play in a response published by The Jewish Daily Forward. The increasing popularity of seeing religious slaughter first hand gives us hope. Making farmed animals and their deaths visible forces us to bring our Jewish values into our everyday food choices.
- This past summer, JIFA awarded Eden Village Camp a mini-grant in order to source higher welfare animal products. Eden Village decided to use the money to source high welfare slower growing breeds from Robairah farms, a local pastured kosher poultry producer. Read more about the food at Eden Village Camp.
- JIFA provides direct support to synagogues, camps, Hillels and Moishe Houses that seek to highlight animal welfare as a Jewish value in their food purchasing decisions. Check out JIFA’s Buying Guide for a preview of our new resources.
- Over the past year, JIFA’s work promoting higher welfare poultry was covered in the media :
- The country’s tastiest chicken will soon be kosher, JTA, January 2016
- Better Kosher Chicken, Increased Jewish Engagement, and Impact Investing, EJewishPhilanthropy, August 2016
- The Moral Future of Kosher Meat, The Forward, August 2016
- We Need to Talk About Kapparot, The Forward, October 2016
JIFA is working both at the state and national levels to link Jews to political campaigns that help animals. Here are just a few examples of campaigns that we support:
- Farm Forward’s work advising the USDA’s Long-Awaited improvements to certified organic label and advocating for better chicken genetics.
- Ongoing collaboration with the Faith Outreach Department of the Humane Society of the United States.
- Endorsement of Massachusetts YES! on Three Ballot initiative to end the cruel confinement of veal calves, egg-laying hens, and pigs.
If you are seeking resources to design an internal food policy for your Jewish institution, check out JIFA’s “Food Policy Guide.”