About The Shmita Project

The Shmita Project is working to expand awareness about the biblical Sabbatical tradition, and to bring the values of this practice to life today to support healthier, more sustainable Jewish communities. The Shmita Project works across the Jewish landscape to elevate the role that shmita- the year of rest in a seven year cycle of Jewish life- plays in today’s society.

The Shmita Year invites us to rethink the world that we live in and to tune into the ways in which we can actively make a difference. During this seventh year, God commands us to let the land rest, release debts, resolve disputes, and to open our hands and hearts to those in need. But how do we bring this tradition alive in an era when we no longer rely on the rhythms and harvest of our fields to survive.

“The Torah is a commentary on the world, and the world is a commentary
on the Torah…”

In other words: we don’t simply want to raise awareness of shmita. We also want to explore the ways that traditional teachings about shmita shed light on a significant range of contemporary issues that are directly or indirectly referenced in the concept of “shmita,” including rest and
work, relationship to land, relationship to community, relationship to debt and debt relief, definitions of community, and the issue of consumption itself.

The next shmita year starts September 6th 2021 at Rosh Hashanah.

We invite you to explore one or all of these preparations as you look forward to the next Shmita year. We believe that raising awareness about shmita is important in deepening our understanding of Jewish tradition, and in helping us to think through critical issues in the world today.