Lauren Zinn

About Lauren Zinn

Lauren Isenberg Zinn designs simulation games and educational experiences. Her systems theory approach to learning has reached students from ages 3 to 83. Her mantra of Responsible Religion for an Integral Age has guided her teaching from five years at a local religious school to twenty at ZinnHouse. Along the way, she became ordained as an interfaith rabbi and led Congregation Jewbilation in Ann Arbor, MI, USA. Inspiration comes from her loving husband, two adult daughters, son-in-law, and teaching/learning Judaism. Given her entrepreneurial ventures in mixed-media art (LIZO: Lauren I Zinn Originals) and urban farms (Michigan Agritours), Jubilandia!, the simulation game, unites Lauren’s many passions including family, farming, fairness, philosophy, gaming, and art. The game can be reproduced as a kit containing everything a teacher, parent, or trainer needs to lead it with various size groups and age ranges.Lauren holds a Ph.D. in Educational Planning, a Certificate in Gaming Simulation Design, a Masters in Philosophy including Philosophy for Children. She has presented at numerous interfaith and religion education conferences. Lauren currently creates communications, develops programs, manages donor relations, and plans events for an organization bringing together international students to engage in and learn from each other’s diverse cultures.


Welcome to Jubilandia!, the simulation game. Simulations often model systems and shmita is a system for sustaining resources (land) and relationships (economic). Simulating the shmita system serves as a teaching tool for ensuring a sustainable world. Design elements include scenarios, roles, rules, pulses, cycles, accounting, etc. Together, the language of these elements is the future.Like many ritual objects, this game is meant to be used! How? Playing Jubilandia! every shmita -every 7 years – is a way to bring the ideas and intention of shmita to the foreground and to affect positive change in our lives with the land and with others. I had the fortune of being able to test this game for two shmitas. The first time I ran it, my students were inspired to create ‘shmita projects’ that raised awareness about food justice. One is now in college studying environmental stewardship. I don’t know how many times a ritual object must be used for the same occasion before it’s considered a tradition, but I’ll play Jubilandia! in 2028-29 with new and former students, trainers, educators, and spiritual leaders.This simulation game can be easily reproduced as a lesson plan with instructions on how to play, materials needed, debriefing notes, and suggestions to adapt Jubilandia! for home, school, or large scale events. Coming scenarios will reflect economic sustainability (shmita) and land reclamation (yovel). The game could also be produced as a kit with all items included.Jubilandia! invites players to think critically and act imaginatively for food, land, and economic justice – the hallmarks of shmita.