Learnings from the JOFEE Fellowship

January 11th, 2018

The Jewish Outdoor, Food, Farming, and Environmental Education (JOFEE) Fellowship began in 2015 with the goal of placing three cohorts of Fellows at host institutions nationwide. To date, the Fellowship is halfway to this goal—the 17 Fellows of the first cohort have fully completed their Fellowship, and the 18 Fellows of the second cohort are well under way with theirs. Through the JOFEE Fellowship, Hazon, which designed and is implementing the Fellowship, and the Jim Joseph Foundation, which is funding the Fellowship, aim to:

1. Develop a training program that integrates Jewish and JOFEE learning and develops the Fellows as JOFEE educators;
2. Implement JOFEE programs across host institutions to help them sustain and invest in JOFEE programming; and
3. Create partnerships and resources for the JOFEE world.

The main focus of the Fellows’ work is to design and implement JOFEE programming at their placements. To support them, Fellows also receive training throughout the Fellowship, along with mentorship from a seasoned JOFEE professional.

JOFEE as a field is a relatively new concept for those involved in Jewish education. However, as revealed in research conducted in 2014 for the Seeds of Opportunity report—which evaluated the state of JOFEE overall—it is a powerful tool for targeting and engaging members of the Jewish community, particularly younger members. The Fellowship is a direct offshoot of the 2014 report, created with the primary goal to build the capacity of JOFEE educators, leading to a broader, more robust field.

The Jim Joseph Foundation and Hazon engaged Informing Change to conduct a four-year evaluation of the Fellowship. Rooted in the expected outcomes for the JOFEE Fellowship, this evaluation is designed to examine the components of the Fellowship within the framework of five evaluation questions.

Learnings from the JOFEE Fellowship, Year 2 Evaluation Report, September 2017