The Sova (Enoughness) Project is a joint initiative of the Center for Global Judaism at Hebrew College, the Baltimore Jewish Environmental Network, and the Heschel Sustainability Center. Inspired by the upcoming Shmita year which commences in September 2014 following Rosh Hashanah, the goal of the project is to raise awareness across the global Jewish community about issues of environmental and economic sustainability by engendering a multi-disciplinary conversation among Jewish studies scholars, economists, activists and communal leaders.
The 2014 Shmita year provides us with a powerful religious event around which to carry out this important spiritual and ethical discussion. Our initiative will also include: textual sources, academic articles, webinars, and the creation of a “Shmita Manifesto” to be drafted and sponsored by leading Jewish thinkers and organizational leaders and circulated widely throughout the Jewish community. The Sova Project is a member of the Hazon Shmita Project and the Siach Network.
The views expressed on this site do not necessarily reflect the views of The Sova Project or its founding partner organizations. All comments on this site are the responsibility of their writers.
Who We Are
Dr. Jeremy Benstein is the co-founder of the Sova Project and the co-founder and Deputy Director of the Heschel Center in Tel Aviv, and director of the Center’s Environmental Fellows leadership program. He holds an A.B. degree from Harvard, a master’s degree in Judaic Studies from the Schechter Institute and a doctorate in environmental anthropology from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He works extensively in leadership development and capacity building with environmental activists and educators in Israel, and has lectured widely (US, Canada, England, Italy, Spain, Turkey) on Judaism, Israel, and the environment, including the environment as a focus of shared citizenship between Jews and Arabs in Israel. Jeremy’s interests focus on the interplay of religion, culture and values with questions of sustainability, topics he has explored in his book The Way Into Judaism and the Environment (Jewish Lights Publishing, 2006). He writes a weekly column for the Hebrew newspaper Haaretz.com on the Hebrew language, and is recently remarried and lives with his spouse Annabel and their five children in Zichron Yaakov
Rabbi Nina Beth Cardin is the co-founder of the Sova Project and the founder and director of the Baltimore Jewish Environmental Network, an organization dedicated to greening her local Jewish community; the founder and director of the Baltimore Orchard Project, an organization that grows, gleans and gives away urban fruit; and a co-founder and chair of the Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake, an interfaith organization that works on behalf of the health of the Chesapeake Bay watershed and all its inhabitants.
Rabbi Or Rose is the co-founder of the Sova Project and the Director of the Center for Global Judaism at Hebrew College (HC). He also serves as Co-Director of CIRCLE: The Center for Inter-Religious & Communal Leadership Education, a joint venture of HC and Andover Newton Theological School. Rabbi Rose is the author or editor of several articles and books on Jewish spirituality, social justice, and interfaith cooperation. He recently co-edited Jewish Mysticism and the Spiritual Life: Classical Texts, Contemporary Reflections (Jewish Lights, 2011), and My Neighbor’s Faith: Stories of Inter-Religious Encounter, Growth, and Transformation (Orbis, 2012). Rabbi Rose is co-editor of “On Scripture – The Torah,” a weekly Jewish scriptural commentary appearing on the Huffingtion Post, and a member of the advisory committee of Sh’ma: A Journal of Jewish Responsibility. In 2009, he was selected as a fellow for the Shalom Hartman Institute’s inaugural North American Scholars’ Circle.
Rabbi Joshua Ratner is the Managing Editor of the Sova Project and the rabbi of Congregation Kol Ami in Cheshire, CT. Ordained by the Jewish Theological Seminary in May 2012, Rabbi Ratner was a Joseph Neubauer Fellow and also earned a Master’s Degree in Midrash and a Certificate in Pastoral Care. Rabbi Ratner is passionate about the interplay between Judaism, culture, and public policy and has worked as a rabbinic fellow both for the Rabbinical Assembly and for the Jewish Council for Public Affairs. He also received training in congregation-based community organizing and was part of the original rabbinical student cohort of Rabbis Without Borders fellows. Originally from San Diego, CA, Rabbi Ratner earned a BA in comparative religion and international politics from Columbia University and a JD from Columbia Law School, practicing law for five years before deciding to become a rabbi. He is married to Dr. Elena Ratner and they are the proud parents of Dimitri, Eli, and Gabriella.
Benjamin Barer is the Curator of the Sova Project and works as a research assistant for the Center for Global Judaism at Hebrew College and for CIRCLE: The Center for Inter-Religious & Communal Leadership Education. He is also the Assistant Editor-At-Large of State of Formation, a blog of emerging interfaith leaders. He has spent the last two years, after receiving his BA in Honours Philosophy from UBC, studying at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem where he deepened his connection to Judaism while struggling to formulate his own unique Jewish identity. He blogs regularly at whatibelievein.wordpress.com.