Cultivating Soil and Soul
I am thrilled and delighted to hand this week’s lead story to Dr. Shamu Sadeh, co-founder and director Adamah.
All the Best,
Executive Director, Hazon
PS: A number of you sent nice notes about the piece I wrote last week. I had intended to include a link to a nice piece I had written ten years previously about my Grandma. For those who are interested, here it is.
“There’s a wonderful Hebrew saying: ein yirat shamayim, bli r’iyat shamayim — you can’t have Awe of the Heavens, without seeing the heavens. It’s true! Sometimes all it takes to re-awaken to the divinity in our surroundings is to spend but a few moments alive in nature. (To better capture the wordplay, a good English equivalent might be: to feel grounded, feel the ground!) My three months as a Spring Adamahnik were a living fulfillment of this wisdom. I came to Adamah disenchanted with my Judaism, disconnected from my body, and out of touch with my spirit. But in sighting the sky and touching the soil, I was transformed into a spiritually open, intellectually exhilarated, and physically reborn partner with the Heavens. And it couldn’t have happened anywhere but Adamah.”
—Ben Greenfield, Spring 2013 Adamah Fellow
Pickling, soulful prayer, milking goats, meditation, weeding, fundraising and training for Hazon’s New York Ride, harvesting tomatoes, learning about the shepherd and the farmer in ancient Israel, picking and jamming organic raspberries, listening deeply to our neighbors, working a table at a NYC farmer’s market, celebrating Shabbat…. What do all these things have in common? They all happened this week at Adamah!
Adamah is the ancient Hebrew word for ‘earth’. Our mission is to cultivate the soil and the soul.
At Adamah, we use sustainable food production as a way of learning and practicing everything from self-confidence and ancient Jewish agricultural laws, to composting, reciting blessings, community-building, and sustainable food production. Adamah runs a 3-month fellowship program for 20-somethings, provides organic produce, goat cheese, and pickles for farmers markets in New York City as well as 100 families that are part of the Hazon CSA program in West Hartford. And we help hundreds of school groups, families, and retreat guests get their hands and soul in the soil at our 10-acre farm at Isabella Freedman.
During Tu B’ Shvat — the Jewish New Year for the trees — we did a ritual around the first tapping of our sugar maple trees. We learned about the multiple meanings of ‘seraph’ — the Hebrew word for syrup, which also describes angelic beings, and comes from the same root as the word for ‘fire’. We spoke about the right number of taps in the tree to take only 10% of the trees’ production of sap and the fact that it takes 40 gallons of sap (and lots of fire!) to make 1 gallon of syrup. What wonderful metaphors for sustainably tapping into the preciousness of the natural world which feeds us!
Every Friday afternoon the Adamah Fellows, apprenti, and staff gather for a short ceremony closing the week. We reflect on the weeds and the harvests, the learning and the growing of the week. Then we jump into the river for our mikvah, our pre-Shabbat immersion that separates the sweat of our brows from the relaxation of the Shabbat. Shabbat (which means ‘rest’) after a full week of farm work gives new meaning to the word rest!
During a recent Farm Day, we introduced visitors to the whole cycle of growing wheat: from seeding to reaping, threshing to winnowing, grinding to baking. These activities not only form the basis of agricultural work for the last 10,000 years but also the foundation for the kinds of creative work that are prohibited work on Shabbat.
To take the metaphors of the Adamah mission another step, we cultivate soil and soul to harvest pickles — and leaders! As members of the wide-ranging Hazon community, you already know Adamah alumni as past (and future) keynote speakers at the Hazon Food Conferences, as rabbis and educators who are starting gardens and CSAs, and founders of Jewish farm and food programs in Berkeley and Toronto, Baltimore and Chicago.
We are delighted to announce that the Jewish Intentional Communities Initiative will now be November 14-17, 2013 at the Pearlstone Center. This new, extended Conference will give us more time to learn and share together, now beginning on Thursday! We anticipate participants from across the country, including people who are already members of intentional communities as well as folks who are just curious and excited by the idea. We hope to learn from and share with each other, vision together, and plant seeds for communities to come.
Interested in presenting at the Intentional Communities Conference? Fill out this form to submit a session proposal.
Did you know that your company’s matching gift program could make your charitable donations go even further? Many companies have programs through which they match the charitable contributions made by their employees. Through a charitable gift matching program, your employer can multiply your gift to Hazon – sometimes even doubling or tripling your initial donation! It’s a simple way for your gifts to make an even bigger difference. Hazon participates in over 20 corporate matching gifts programs- ask your company today!
Together with the Jewish Education Project, Hazonisteaching a class for Westchester Teens.We will explore what it means to keep kosher in 2013, and how our food choices reflect our other values, Jewish and secular? We will look intoour souls and our stomachs to explore the various ways in which our food traditions interact with our Jewish traditions and our contemporary lives. We will delve into issues of food justice, reasons for eating healthy within the framework of Jewish texts, and of course create and taste delicious foods!
Mondays from 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm
Grades: 8 – 12
Dates: Sept 30, Oct 14, 28,
Nov 11, Nov 25, Dec 9
JCC Mid Westchester
999 Wilmot Road
Scarsdale, NY 10583
August 20th is the full moon, and we’ll meet at the Marshall Mesa Trailhead for an easy, multi-sensory, moon-lit hike, and then head over to local brewery Southern Sun for a late night happy hour drink.
Tuesday, August 20, meet at Marshall Mesa Trailhead
5258 Eldorado Springs Dr., Boulder, CO, at 8:00 p.m.
Should arrive around 9:30 at Southern Sun, 627 S. Broadway, Boulder, CO.
Colorado: Want To Get Dirty?
July 10, August 14, August 28, Sept 11,
5:30 PM – Dark
181 S. Oneida Street
Denver, CO 80230
Colorado: Hadassah’s Family Fun, Food, and Fitness Festival
Join Hadassah, Hazon and many other great Boulder organizations for a morning full of engaging, family-centered activities including arts and crafts, food topics, living a healthy lifestyle, childhood medical conditions, and an assorted of health-related topics.
Sunday, August 25
9:00 am – 1:00 pm
3800 Kalmia Avenue
Makom Hadash, 125 Maiden Lane, Suite 8B, New York, NY 10038, 917 426 7496
121 Steuart St., Suite 100, San Francisco, CA 94105, 415 397 7020
Boulder, CO, 303 886 5865 | Denver, CO, 303 886 4894
hazon.org | firstname.lastname@example.org
Hazon means vision.
We create healthier and more sustainable communities in the Jewish world and beyond.
We effect change in the world in three ways: