Jews & Land
The Jews and Land Study Group is a five-part weekly online gathering to explore a people’s-level history of Jews in relationship to land--from the creation myths of the Torah to the times of sovereignty in ancient Israel, from the diasporas to immigrant farmers in the US. Together we’ll explore books, articles, and other resources on these topics. We’ll learn how we can engage with historical and religious texts in a participatory way, uncovering what stories lie at the grassroots of the past and the truths that endure today.
As a study group, we will all be participating in the learning and facilitation, and everyone will get an opportunity to shape our discussions through engaging in a popular education model of collective learning. Our hope is to share the knowledge we individually bring to the group, expand into places of interest and mystery, and uncover a level of history that does justice to people who have lived before, who live now, and who will be here when we become the history.
This is a four part series, whose goal is to aid us in understanding contemporary Jewish American life through a shared examination of our relationship as Jews to land throughout our history.
Season 1 (origins – exile from ancient Israel) is a prerequisite for participating in Season 2 (exile from ancient Israel – 1800s), just as Season 2 is a prerequisite for participation in Season 3 and so on.
Season One covers the origins and foundations of Jewish cultural, mythical, and lived history, spanning from the first humans in the garden of eden to the exile of the Jewish people from ancient Israel and Judea.
Season Two covers roughly the first 500 years of diaspora
Season Three explores the histories of Jewish encounters with indigenous communities of Turtle Island, Jewish American farming colonies, immigrant life, and contemporary Jewish American land-based culture as it relates to today's politics and social movements.
The cost of the program is a sliding scale of $27 - $72 for all five sessions and space is limited to 15 participants per section. If the cost is a barrier for your participation, please reach out to Shani at firstname.lastname@example.org for support.
About your facilitators:
Shoshana MacKay (she/her) is a beekeeper, farmer, and educator. She's farmed in several regions and currently calls Cherokee land in Western North Carolina home. She teaches a variety of topics from farm & garden skills to queer Judaism. She’s passionate about exploring the nuance and complexity too often left out of our histories while also telling them in a way that feels accessible and relevant.
Alex Voynow (he/they) is a Jewish, land-based educator, organizer, facilitator, and historian. He is a former program coordinator at the Jewish Farm School, and creator of the Jews and Land Study group. His work is grounded in the belief that learning is meant to be a collective, liberatory experience, and that redistributed and decolonized knowledge is a necessary medicine for our movements.
If you have questions about the course, you can reach out to Alex at Alex@jewishfarmernetwork.org