Kayam Jewish Gardening Collective

Organization: Kayam Farm at Pearlstone Conference and Retreat Center, Riverstown, MD

Grant Year: 2010

Project Director: Jakir Manela

Type of Grant: Signature

Grant Amount: $50,000.00 (2 years)

Website: http://pearlstonecenter.org/welcome-to-the-new-pearlstone/

The Kayam Jewish Gardening Collective enabled a diverse group of Jewish institutions in the Baltimore area to create educational gardens or orchards as venues to use Kayam-developed curricula focused on Jewish environmental values and teachings.

Through this grant, ten gardens were established representing a variety of demographic groups (early childhood, college students, special needs, seniors, and different synagogue denominations). Garden captains from each institution attended seasonal trainings, which involved lesson-plan modeling, lectures and discussions, and hands-on gardening. Participating organizations entered the program with the notion of building community through gardening and Jewish education.

As a result of this project, The Pearlstone Center has begun offering teacher trainings and professional development around educational gardening and created a resource manual to be used by schools and synagogues across the country.