#HoustonStrong

#HoustonStrong

I am honored to have participated in a trip to Houston last week for disaster relief after Hurricane Harvey. It was coordinated by an organization called Nechama, and promoted in Chicago through the Jewish United Fund. When I saw the email invitation, I quickly checked my calendar and said, “Yes!” I submitted an application and was invited to take part. Nineteen people – sixteen volunteers and three JUF staff members – traveled to Texas to see...

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A Special Volunteer!

A Special Volunteer!

Last Saturday I had the honor of seeing one of my former students become a bar mitzvah. It was especially meaningful because of the close relationships I have with so many members of his family, particularly with his grandmother Judy (Gunga, as she is known), who is one of In the Gardens’ main volunteers. And yet it was even more meaningful because this gentleman has been spending the last few months here working with In the Gardens for his...

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Volunteers Make our Gardens Grow

Volunteers Make our Gardens Grow

This weekend, being a long one with the Memorial Day holiday, gave more time than usual to be in the garden. We held two volunteer days, and while our numbers were modest, our work was extraordinary. One might not realize what goes into making a garden productive and functional, let alone beautiful. And we want our garden sites to be beautiful as well as fruitful. This weekend’s objectives were to: replace an 8’ x 3’ cedar raised bed that had...

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Unexpected Interweavings

Unexpected Interweavings

Life is filled with unexpected interweavings, cycles and circles. I experienced some of these this past week on my JMMTT – Jewish Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Training – at Isabella Freedman retreat center and farm. Nestled in the woods of Falls Village, CT, about 90 minutes from the nearest airport, the center boasts trails and a pond, several greenhouses, a large network of yards and structures for goats and chickens, and extensive fields...

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Spring and the Transformative Possibility of Horseradish

Spring and the Transformative Possibility of Horseradish

Spring brings many thoughts and feelings: sunshine, the yellow pop of daffodils, a day here and there that is warm enough to play outside. For me it evokes all of these, as well as the recognition that it is time to plant the garden. This year we got our cold-loving greens in the ground early: baby lettuces, spinach, kale and collards of several varieties, cress and arugula, and my personal favorite – sugar snap peas. We planted on March 19,...

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