Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center (800) 398-2630
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Grow Your Garden May 1 – 5
Want to grow fresh organic vegetables at home? This hands-on retreat with Adamah Staff, Alumni and Adina Allen will give you a starting point for the ultimate backyard garden.
Early registration discount extended: Register by April 15th and save $50!

Adina Allen

Growing More Than a Garden
A Community Message from Adina Allen

Adina Allen is a third-year rabbinical student at Hebrew College’s pluralistic training program in Boston. She teaches and speaks about creating a spiritually grounded, community-based approach to sustainability that engages the Jewish community in reimagining the world we want to live in by combining text study, innovative ritual practice and sustainable living skill development. She participated in the Adamah Fellowship in 2005 and has served on the Adamah Advisory Board since 2007. Adina will be leading the Grow Your Garden retreat with Adamah staff and alumni at Isabella Freedman, May 1–5.

"Some keep the Sabbath going to church, I keep it staying at home."
— Emily Dickenson

As we know, in Judaism, the home is the center of much of our religious practice. For me, hands-on sustainable living skills have become a part of how I practice my Judaism at home.

I came to Isabella Freedman in 2005 with a desire to get my hands in the dirt and reawaken my connection to Judaism. I knew little about the joys of turning food scraps into fertile matter for a garden. Along with the other fellows in my Adamah cohort, I prayed under the full moon as the sun rose over our fields, engaged in thoughtful study of Jewish sources around food and agriculture, and gained a profound appreciation for the physical labor of working a small-scale organic farm. It was in the Adamah Fellowship that I found a full-bodied and enlivening expression of Judaism that has been a part of my life ever since.

At Isabella Freedman, I learned how beautiful and transformative Judaism could be and I became passionately committed to learning more and bringing this vision of Judaism out into the broader community. As someone who desires the rural and urban life simultaneously, my time since the fellowship has in many ways been about bringing Adamah to my city and my city to Adamah.

Six years later, I am now in my third year of rabbinical school at Hebrew College’s pluralistic program in Boston, MA. Inspired by time in the beit midrash (study hall) engaged in traditional text study and by the hands-on skills I learned while at Isabella Freedman, I am now leading and facilitating experiences that combine text study, innovative ritual practice and sustainable living skill development. I hope to inspire and give communities the skills to shift our behaviors toward more sustainable practices in a way that is hopeful and enduring. My vision is to help shift behavioral patterns that close us off from natural interconnections while opening up channels of creativity and imagination.

I have found that creating a garden at home is one of the easiest ways for me to build a full and balanced life in line with my Jewish and ecological values. I look forward to sharing with you what I have learned. I hope you can join us at the Grow Your Garden retreat in May.

Sunflower

Grow Your Garden May 1 – 5
Want to grow fresh organic vegetables at home? This hands-on retreat with Adamah Staff, Alumni and Adina Allen will give you a starting point for the ultimate backyard garden.
Early registration discount extended: Register by April 15th and save $50!

To support Isabella Freedman’s ability to provide year-round retreats for Jews of all ages and backgrounds, visit us online or call Megan Jensen at 860.824.5991 x304.

At Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center, we create transformative experiences that integrate ecological awareness, vibrant Jewish spirituality and social justice. On retreat and on the farm, our programs cultivate community, refresh the soul and rekindle purpose.

We are located 1 hour from Hartford, CT, 2 hours from NYC and 3 hours from Boston. Our 400-acre Connecticut Berkshire campus has a ten-acre farm, two lakes and miles of hiking trails. We provide year-round accommodations for up to 150 guests and serve farm-to-table kosher cuisine.

Room & Board ranges from $75 to $295 per night per adult and does not include program fees. We offer children’s programs, on-site camping, financial aid and transportation shuttles. We rent our site throughout the year for organizational retreats and family celebrations.