Farm Brings Jews of All Traditions Together

By Becky O’Brien, Director of Community Engagement, Hazon in Colorado

“Hi, I’m Allison, Tuesday morning goats shift.” “I’m Emily, Sunday evening chickens!” This is how introductions started at the inspiring gathering of community members involved at the all-volunteer Boulder Jewish Commons Community Farm. I recently had the pleasure of attending this event for community members involved at the all-volunteer Boulder Jewish Commons Community Farm. The major activities at the Farm are an egg co-op named Beis Tarnagal, a goat milk co-op named Beit Izim, and a community garden grounded in the principle of tzedakah (most of the food grown is donated).

More than 40 people came together at the home of Rabbi Marc Soloway for this first gathering. While activities at the farm have been going on for a year or more, many folks had never met one another due to the nature of how the co-ops operate, with members taking weekly shifts and planning and decision-making being conducted by email.

This project has attracted a wide range of people from the Jewish community. Our beloved Reb Zalman (Zalman Schacter-Shalomi) led this diverse group of secular, Orthodox, Reform, Renewal and Conservative Jews in study. Then a dynamic World Café-style conversation ensued, as we considered what inspires us most about the farm, its strengths, and areas for improvement. Then, children to seniors and every decade in between, shared a delicious potluck as we discussed when the pregnant does might give birth, prepping the garden for early spring plantings, and ways to get more people involved.

This is but one example of the active and fun Jewish Food Movement in Colorado. Get involved and learn more at the Rocky Mountain Jewish Food Summit on April 29 at the University of  Colorado at Boulder to spend a day with these folks and others and explore the intersection of food, sustainability and Judaism. Register today!

The Boulder Jewish Commons Community Farm, Hazon and the Boulder area Jewish Food Movement were recently featured in the Daily Camera.

Becky O’Brien has worked for a variety of social justice causes in the nonprofit sector for more than a decade. She has a background in volunteer coordinating, community organizing, political advocacy, fundraising, communications and non-profit administration. She received a Bachelors Degree in Religious Studies from the University of South Florida and a Masters Degree in Religious Studies from the University of Colorado, graduating summa cum laude from both. She enjoys her family, the beautiful Colorado outdoors, volunteering, gardening, learning Spanish, fantasizing about traveling to Ireland (again), and incorporating as best she can the principles of Voluntary Simplicity.

Edited 3/19/12


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