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A Typical Day

A typical day is spent on our six-acre farm, in our commercial kitchen and on our goat pasture, helping to create a sustainable business that models ecological design, financial viability and social responsibility. Evenings are spent learning about Judaism and sustainability, building community and cultivating leadership skills. Our amazing staff and assortment of visiting faculty will help you listen to and follow your soul’s yearning for ecological and spiritual wholeness, recraft a Jewish identity that sings to you, and build relationships and skills that will sustain you for the rest of your life.

6:00 am – 7:00 am: Avodat Lev (Service of the Heart)

Avodat Lev brings us together for meditation, chanting, and creative sharing each morning. We begin the day in silent meditation, which is unstructured quiet time. Instruction is available for those unfamiliar with contemplative practice. We then find our collective voice, chanting short phrases from Shacharit (the traditional morning liturgy) to open our hearts to ourselves, each other, our community and the world. Creative sharing time is led by a different member of the community each day.

7:00 am – 8:30 am: Breakfast and Chores

We eat breakfast at the ADAMAH House, take a little personal time and then head out to milk goats, water plants and take out the compost.

8:30 am – 12:30 pm: Avodat Sadeh (Service of the Field)

Fellows typically work in one of following areas:


The Sadeh

Our stunning four-acre farm along the Hollenbeck River produces over 50 kinds of vegetables, using no synthetic pesticides or fertilizers. Fellows participate in all aspects of vegetable production.


The Picklearium

Our commercial kitchen is the home of our lacto-fermented pickle and value-added product business. Fellows make pickles, sauerkraut, jam, and much more!


The Greenhouse

Fellows assist with seeding and plant propagation in our 28 x 40 foot heated greenhouse.


The ADAMAH Pasture

Goats, chickens, and bees! Fellows learn how to care for our animals in ways that reflect our highest Jewish ethics. Our animals provide honey, eggs, milk, and cheese for the community.

Kaplan Family Farm

The Kaplan Family Farm

Our fields on Beebe Hill showcase home-scale permaculture gardening and commercial-scale berry production. Fellows assist in designing, installing, and maintaining various projects on this land.


12:30 pm – 1:30 pm: Lunch in the Dining Hall

We eat most of our meals in the main dining hall at Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center.

2:00 pm – 4:00 pm: Avodat Bayit (Service of the Home)

Each fellow spends no more than ten hours per week contributing to Avodat Bayit (Service at Isabella Freedman). Avodat Bayit includes working in any of the following departments: housekeeping, maintenance, kitchen or office.

4:00 pm – 6:00 pm: Work or Limmud (Educational Seminar)

This is structured learning time. Classes are taught by ADAMAH faculty or guest lecturers and take place indoors or in the field. See below for a list of limmud classes taught during 2008.

6:00 pm – 7:00 pm: Dinner in the Dining Hall

We eat most of our meals in the main dining hall at Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center.

7:30 pm – 9:00pm: Limmud or Community Meeting

Structured educational programs are offered up to three evenings per week (one evening is free). Community meetings are held once per week. There is also a weekly leadership curriculum, as well as bi-weekly agriculture walks in the sadeh.

Click here to view a list of Limmud topics we have explored in the past. »
  • Biblical Agricultural Laws
  • Jewish Pluralism
  • Why Religion and Sustainability
  • Agriculture & Climate Change
  • If Meat, Then…
  • Kashrut 101: What it is and could be
  • Introduction to Permaculture
  • Work and Shabbat
  • Farm & Garden Planning
  • Cheese and Yogurt Making
  • Wildcrafting/Plant Medicine
  • HolyDays and the Natural Cycles
  • Seed Saving for Home Gardeners
  • Mindful Consumption
  • Blessings
  • Compost
  • Shmita
  • Bike Maintenance
  • Local Ecology
  • Introduction to Sustainable Agriculture
  • Animals, Sustainability & Tzar Ba’alei Chayim
  • Keeping the Harvest: Lacto-fermentation, Canning, Blanching, Freezing and Drying
  • Cheesemaking
  • The Book of Job and a Jewish Wilderness Ethic
  • Understanding Interdependence Day
  • Shavuot: Going Up the Mountain
  • Tisha B’Av
  • The Teachings of Rebbe Nachman

*Please note that this is an example of a typical daily schedule. Your actual schedule may differ considerably, depending on the time of year you attend and the faculty. During most mornings and most afternoons, some fellows will work in Avodat Bayit while others work in Avodat Sadeh. Field trips and environmental building projects are also a component of the curriculum.

On average, fellows can expect to spend 26 hours per week in Avodat Sadeh, 10 hours per week in Avodat Bayit, 6 hours per week in Avodat Lev, and 8 hours per week in Limmud.