Community Garden at Temple Chai Gets New Life
Energy within our congregation to support our community garden and EcoChai, our environmental committee, as waxed and waned over the years. Busy lives and financial pressures interfered, and our garden and Eco-advocacy have been dormant. As a board member of AZIPL over this last year, I have been complaining about this state of affairs and the difficulty of recommitting, somehow looking for someone else to initiate things.
But this summer, it became very clear to me, through some spiritual inner work, that if I expected others to engage, I needed to initiate a pathway.
So I networked…I spoke to the Rabbi who leads our Shalom Center (a healing committee), the temple administrator, our youth director, the Early Childhood Director, PJ Library staff, and some garden-savvy friends. A young congregant becoming an Eagle Scout wants to make the garden part of his service project.
And we all got started…People are getting excited, and our dry, dormant garden beds are getting lots of attention! We have scheduled a kick-off meeting for interested congregants and parents on 10/16/26, just before Sukkot. Sukkot is a harvest celebration of joy and harmony, “the glory of earth fulfilled” as Rabbi Arthur Waskow says. Perfect timing!
This project is exciting because it can connect all of us back to the life energy of the earth, and so inspire us to be responsible stewards. For the children and young people, nature and food can be real. And as I approach the Days of Awe, from Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur, I feel like I am actively engaged in something deeply important to me, not just complaint from the sidelines!
More to come…..