Shani Mink (she/her)
Co-Founder | Executive Director
Shani Mink is a seasoned farmer, experiential Jewish educator and the executive director of the Jewish Farmer Network. At the age of 18, Shani began her farming journey at Even’ Star Organic Farm while earning her degree in philosophy at St. Mary's College of Maryland. She has since studied at the Arava Institute, earned her permaculture design certificate at Hava V’Adam, worked as a farmer educator at Eden Village Camp, graduated from the Adamah Fellowship, spent time learning Torah in Jerusalem, and was part of the inaugural cohort of the JOFEE Fellowship. This last experience landed Shani as a farmer at the Pearlstone Center, where she managed annual production and the livestock operation for two years. Her work with the land has deepened her spiritual path, and the wisdom of the Jewish tradition has lent endless meaning and intention to her work as a farmer. Shani’s desire to share the depth and beauty of the connection between farming and Judaism led her to co-found the Jewish Farmer Network with SJ Seldin in 2017. The cultivation of this network is Shani's proudest accomplishment to date.
SJ Seldin (they/them)
Co-Founder | Board Chair
SJ is steward-in-residence of Yesod Farm+Kitchen, a community space near Asheville, North Carolina, dedicated to regenerative agriculture, earth-based Jewish living, and growing relationships across difference. In between adventures into the woods and waterways, they studied public policy and socio-economic injustice at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Since graduating from UNC, they have been traveling through America's side streets and byways, growing organic produce for donation at educational farms and community gardens, and consulting with organic businesses and community agriculture non-profits. Previous clients and collaborators include The Lord's Acre, Lucky Jack Coffee, Living Web Farms, Organic Growers School, Hazon, Earthaven Ecovillage, and Heartnectar Beeswax + Botanicals. SJ believes that Jewish agricultural wisdom offers modern farmers and stewards compelling questions, tools, and technologies for creating more just and regenerative communities for all.
Micha Chetrit (he/him)
Micha is a Mizrahi/Sephardi/Ashkenazi farmer living in Tucson, Arizona with with roots deeply planted in desert living. He is the close descendant of three centuries of Moroccan Jewish Desert farmers and after a 70-year-desert-diaspora, is not only the first of his family to return to living in the desert, but also the first to return to farming in this special environment. Micha is a co-founder of the Tucson-based Jewish farm and outdoor education initiative, the Midbar Project, and is eager to be joining the Board of the JFN and continue connecting Jews to the network and to the land. As Micha awaits the start of his Rabbinical School journey this fall, he spends his time farming, praying, baking for his local dietary-needs-accessible Challah business, organizing with the Mizrahi Collective, and leading Havdalah on Zoom each Saturday night in his favorite Sephardi/Mizrahi tunes. To join Micha for Havdalah email firstname.lastname@example.org!
Psachyah Lichtenstein (he/him)
Psachyah is a teacher, farmer, author, and artist. He graduated from the Rabbinical College of America and Pratt Institute of Design. Psachyah is the Director of Education at Pearlstone Center and has served the Jewish community as a mentor and teacher of Earth-Based Torah in both the US and Israel for over 20 years. As a Rabbi and speaker, Psachyah has built trans-denominational relationships across every boundary. He walks the intersection between ecology, technology, and the human spirit. Psachyah has failed his higher self many times, the least of which is writing about himself in third person.
Paul Schulman (he/him)
Board Member | Treasurer
Paul works as the Director of Finance at the Fair Food Program, where he has monitored the distribution of over 36 million dollars of Fair Food Program Premium through the supply chains of companies like Walmart, Subway, McDonald’s, and Burger King. Paul has been the lead auditor on nearly one hundred financial audits along the East Coast and has consulted with new practitioners of the Worker-driven Social Responsibility model on implementation in new industries and geographies. He has worked with Participating Growers in the Fair Food Program on how best to adapt their payroll systems to better comply with the Code of Conduct. Prior to joining the FFP, he studied finance, accounting, and math at Northeastern University, then worked for three years in corporate finance and accounting at various divisions within IBM. He then sought a job that more closely aligned with his increased interest in renewal Judaism, so joined the Institute for Jewish Spirituality, where he served as a bookkeeper. Paul enjoys gardening, cycling, hiking, trail running, KenKen, and trying any vegan food he can find. He lives with one other in Asheville, NC: his best friend, daughter, and dog, Ginger.
Judy Seldin-Cohen (she/her)
Judy is an author, speaker and community activist. Her book Recharging Judaism, co-authored with her then-synagogue rabbi, inspires and guides synagogues to civic engagement outside their building walls. Her article in Hadassah Magazine “Farmer Daughter, Uptown Mother” discusses the contrasts between her life and the one chosen by SJ Seldin, co-founder of Jewish Farmer Network. Her recent essay “Beyond Casseroles” is included in the anthology Impact: Personal Portraits of Activism, describing her community organizing work for affordable housing. Judy is an experienced non-profit board member, currently serving as board chair of A Way Home, a $26 million housing endowment and previously serving as board chair of Time Out Youth, an agency serving LGBTQ youth. She has also served on boards for her synagogue, the Charlotte Lesbian & Gay Fund, and other agencies in Charlotte. Judy joined the Jewish Farmer Network board in 2018 to assist SJ and Shani with governance. Judy lives in Charlotte NC with her husband, Jeff Cohen.