Founder of food justice and sustainability program at Chicago synagogue to speak

Robert Nevel

A growing movement in the Jewish community nationwide is focused on “food justice”-the right of communities everywhere to access to healthy, fresh food. On Sunday, Feb. 12, Chicago architect and urban farmer Robert Nevel will speak in St. Louis about designing and implementing food justice programs in the community.

Nevel is founder and director of KAM Isaiah Israel (KAMII) Congregation’s award-winning, nationally recognized food justice and sustainability program. Nevel will speak from 9:30 a.m. to noon at the Saul Mirowitz Jewish Community School, 348 South Mason Road. The program is sponsored by the Union for Reform Judaism in partnership with the Saul Mirowitz Jewish Community School, the Jewish Community Center, the Jewish Community Relations Council and the PJ Library.

The Jewish Food Justice movement focuses on the understanding that our nation’s farming and food production issues are linked to the health issues of those living in areas without access to fresh fruits and vegetables. Access to fresh produce in many urban neighborhoods is limited, and in others, simply not available. Nevel, chair of KAM Isaiah Israel Congregation’s social justice committee and a member of its board of directors, began his Hyde Park synagogue’s groundbreaking food justice program in response to the problem. 

Since early 2009 Nevel’s KAMII crew has harvested and donated over 4,000 pounds of food and transformed nearly 5,000 square feet of urban congregational lawns into food producing micro farms. In addition, they created the White Rock Gleaning Program, started the Food Justice and Sustainability Young Leadership Work Study Summer Program for Chicago teens and hosted an annual food justice and sustainability weekend program.

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Nevel’s presentation will cover the history of the KAMII program and its six main components, followed by ways to get started on developing food justice and sustainability programs.

For more information and to RSVP, contact Lesley Levin at 314-628-6200 or [email protected].