Members and neighbors of Temple Israel of Sharon, led by Temple Israel volunteer Art Newman, have been raking, pruning and planting to help create a new garden space for the community. Located on land adjacent to and owned by the Temple on Alden Street, this inviting outdoor space was inspired by Leora Mallach of Ganei Beantown who spoke of the inherent value of having a Temple Garden to help share the deep roots that Judaism has in nature. Participants have ranged in age from two to over 70 years old.
The garden was made possible in part by a grant from Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP). It is currently the only such synagogue garden on the South Shore. The produce will be donated to local shelters, as part of a larger effort to provide fresh, healthy food to people in need. In addition to growing produce, the garden contains a circle of tree stumps to provide a seating area for discussion and meditation in the woods. Benches will be added to provide more space to pray, to learn and to relax.
"Being in nature is always wonderful. Building this new garden as a South Area Jewish community magnifies that. Building something together while working with old friends and meeting new ones – what an amazing way to spend some time! I even got to use a pitchfork to take turns moving grass clippings into a new composting pit that we dug ourselves. I hope everyone in the community has an opportunity to help build the garden and reap its rewards once complete. I know I'll be back to help some more, and I can't wait to relax in it," stated Temple Israel member Irene Frielich.
The garden is a work in progress and will continue to grow and flourish. Carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, broccoli, radishes, okra, zucchini and green beans comprise the initial planting. Future plans for the area include adding fruit trees and berry bushes.
This new community initiative appreciates your support. Volunteer hours are appreciated in the garden! If you would like to get involved with this volunteer project, please contact Art Newman. Financial contributions are also appreciated and checks can be made out to Temple Israel, marked for the garden.
Past Initiatives: Tikkun Olam on the Farm
Over the summer, the Gan Shalom Gleaning Project allowed the synagogue community to
- perform tikkun olam (repairing the world) by providing healthy food to those in need,
- learn about sustainable and organic agriculture,
- connect nature and mitzvot (commandments).
We helped harvest at Sharon's Moose Hill CSA organic farm in exchange for allowing us to glean fresh produce for local food banks.
The program featured opportunities to spend at least one day a week harvesting food at the Moose Hill CSA.
A percentage of the produce harvested was donated to local food banks. Participants learned about the connection between Judaism and farming. The educational sessions will included speakers on a variety of topics ranging from permaculture to Jewish environmentalism.
This project was funded in part by a CJP grant for the South Area Jewish Community, with support from Temple Israel of Sharon and Temple Israel's new community garden.
Yes, I want to get involved!