“The 8th year is harder than 7th.”

– Shimon Chazut, Israeli farmer observing his 7th shmitah.

The upcoming 6-8 months are a critical period to help the 3,453 shmitah-observant Israeli farmers make it through the remainder of the shmitah cycle [see chart] and get back on their feet. Your help is urgently needed now.

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As the chart illustrates, shmitah does not actually end with Rosh Hashanah of the 8th year. Planting begins at various points during the year depending on the type of crop, for a combination of halachic, agricultural and economic reasons.

And for Israel’s farmers and their families, the challenges of shmitah do not end with replanting, but only months later with the harvest and the opprtunity to bring their crops to market. The expense of replanting while awaiting the first harvest – this is the added struggle of the “8th Year of Shmitah.”