Shefa: Teen Internship and Apprenticeship

We will be running our Shefa Summer Program again in Summer 2018!   Applications will be open in the spring.  Contact us at with any questions!

Shefa: Teen Internship and Apprenticeship, Summer 2018

Abundance Farm is a Jewish food justice farm and outdoor classroom located in Northampton, Massachusetts. Abundance Farm is a unique collaboration at Congregation B'nai Israel with the Northampton Survival Center and Lander-Grinspoon Academy to support local food justice efforts and to create a unique, outdoor learning environment. The Farm includes a mixed fruit orchard, an educational garden, and a vegetable u-pick area for Survival Center clients and all community members.  Abundance Farm is a beautiful urban space where people of all ages, faiths, and backgrounds are drawn for nourishment, community, and learning.

This summer Abundance Farm will be offering two, 4 week programs for incoming 9th-12th graders (the Apprenticeship is also open to students entering college). The program will run 3 half-days each week (Monday, Wednesday and Friday), with Session One beginning on Monday, July 2nd and ending on Friday, July 27th, and Session Two beginning on July 30th and ending on Friday, August 24th.   

Our "internship track," is open to any incoming 9th-12th graders.  The internship offers an introduction to farming, food justice, and community building.  Interns will be introduced to many of the skills it takes to run a one acre urban farm and will also learn about the systems and structures that situate this farm within the larger food system.  Interns will also practice self reflection and community building through games, workshops on identity and justice, and communication development.

This summer we are also offering an "apprenticeship track," for teens who have already completed the internship during a prior summer and want to further deepen their farming and food justice education and develop leadership skills.  The apprenticeship offers the opportunity for Shefa alumni to build off of the farm skills they have learned in previous summers and practice teaching these skills to peers and community members.  Apprentices will also be given training and opportunities to lead community building activities such as games, reflection times, and celebrations.  Apprentices will receive training, support, and feedback as they develop as leaders throughout the session.

While Abundance Farm is a Jewish community project, this program is open to people of all faiths, beliefs and backgrounds.  We will be exploring farming, food justice, and community building through a Jewish lens, and we will also be exploring these topics through other lenses and other identities.

To get a feel for the community we're building here in our Shefa program, you can read Summer 2017's Milk With Dignity letter (click to read here), or browse the zine they created together featuring art, writing, photos, and more (click to read here).

Both the internship and apprenticeship positions require an application and an interview.  Space is limited for both positions.

Internship and Apprenticeship Activities will include:

Farm Work

  • Farm work such as seeding, planting, plant care, harvesting, and compost production;
  • Maintaining, designing and caring for the fruit tree orchard;

  • Hands-on learning about the diversity and history of small scale, sustainable farming;

  • Cultivating a relationship between the Northampton Survival Center  and Abundance Farm through the pick-your-own garden;

  • Organizing and leading community events in the garden;

Food Systems Exploration

  • Situating and analyzing Abundance Farm's efforts and contributions within the larger Northampton food shed;
  • Cultivating an understanding of how to enact change on a local and political level within the food system;

  • Learning about and engaging with national and global efforts to fight corporate power and build solidarity between local and sustainable food movements;

Personal Growth and Community Building

  • Developing personal and community practices in reflection, awareness, and growth ;
  • Exploring our own social identities and how they relate and intersect with our food shed;
  • Developing leadership skills and exploring our capacity to create change within our own communities.

Required Qualifications:

  • This is a “get your hands dirty” internship!  We will be doing hard work on hot summer days. Farm work is physically challenging (and rewarding!)  Interns and apprentices should arrive each day with motivation and energy - ready to jump into each day’s work.

  • Interns and Apprentices should be interested and excited to learn about both the nitty gritty (which weeds to pull up) and the big picture (global food movements and food justice).

  • Interns and Apprentices should have the ability to stay focused, complete tasks, and work both independently and in groups.

  • This program is designed for students entering grades 9 through 12.

  • We ask for a full commitment by interns and apprentices to the entire 4 week session for which you are applying.  You may apply to both sessions. 

  • Please note which session you are able to attend and any scheduling conflicts that might come up.  Preference will be given to applicants who can attend the entirety of a 4 week session. 

Intern Hours:
~13.5 hours per week, Session One: July 3rd- July 28th, Session Two: July 31st- August 25th

-Monday morning, 8:30-1:00  farm work and facilitating the Pick-Your-Own program

-Wednesday morning, 8:30-1 :00 farm work, workshops, and field trips

-Friday morning, 8:30-1 :00 farm work, Shabbat Shabloom, independent projects, and end of week celebration

Apprentice Hours:

~15 hours per week, Session One: July 3rd- July 28th, Session Two: July 31st- August 25th

- Initial Apprentice Training,  Friday, June 30th from 9:00- 12:00

- Monday morning, 8:00-1 :00 participating and opportunities facilitating farm work and Pick-Your-Own at Abundance Farm

- Wednesday morning, 8:00-1:00 farm work and workshops

- Friday morning, 8:00-1:00 farm work, Shabbat Shabloom, independent projects, and facilitating an end of week celebration


-Interns will earn a stipend of $200 per full session.  $100 after two weeks, and $100 upon completion.  

- Apprentices will earn a stipend of $300 per full session.  $150 after two weeks, and $150 upon completion.

- If participants attend a partial session, they will be paid based on the stipend rate for the amount of time they participate.

To Apply:  Complete this online form.

Shefa Teen Internship Application

Shefa Teen Apprenticeship Application

Applicants will be reviewed on a rolling basis- space is limited so it is to your advantage to apply early!  We look forward to hearing from you and will follow up with next steps!