Shoresh was established in 2002 to lead the Jewish environmental movement in the Greater Toronto Area. Through educational programs and grassroots initiatives rooted in Jewish social and environmental values, our mission is to build a more connected and ecologically sustainable community.
In 2009, Shoresh opened the Kavanah Garden as its flagship programming space. The Kavanah Garden hosts over 1400 community members annually through our educational and hands-on programs, workshops, and events, producing over 500 pounds of fresh vegetables each season for community members in need. In addition to programs at Shoresh's Kavanah Garden, we facilitate workshops and events at schools and shuls across the GTA, host an annual Jewish Food Conference at the Miles Nadal JCC, coordinate a network of Jewish Community Support Agriculture Programs, and are developing a rural centre for sustainable land-based Judaism at Bela Farm in Hillburgh, Ontario!
Risa Alyson Cooper
Risa is an ardent educator, environmentalist, and urban homesteader! She completed her B.A. Honours at Queen’s University in Comparative Religious Studies, and her M.A. at the Centre for the Study of Religion at the University of Toronto, focusing on Contemporary Jewish Environmental Ethics. Upon graduating, Risa moved to rural Connecticut where she worked as a Jewish environmental educator at the Teva Learning Centre for three years. She then transitioned into small-scale organic farming as a member of the Adamah Jewish Farming Fellowship where she grew vegetables on a four-acre farm, worked in a raw goat-milk dairy, and dabbled in the art of fermentation. In 2008, Risa returned to her native Toronto to work as the Director of Shoresh and to establish the Kavanah Garden, bringing together her experience in Jewish outdoor education with her love for Canadian soil and the plants and people that it sustains. Risa believes that growing food sustainably is an expression of her deeply-rooted Jewish ethics. Her favourite vegetable is the beet.
Director of Community Outreach
Sabrina is a professional shmoozer, networker and pollinator-protector! She started working with Shoresh in 2011 after spending six years working and volunteering in the Jewish Food Movement in New York and Israel. She participated in the Adamah Fellowship in 2005, graduated from the Eco-Activist Beit Midrash in Jerusalem in 2006 and worked as the program assistant for Hazon from 2006-2007. Upon returning to Toronto, she got an M.A in Environmental Studies from York University with a focus on pollinator protection in urban centres. Sabrina loves working as the Director of Community Outreach for Shoresh and looks forward to helping the nurture organization and all of its amazing projects (especially the honey bee hives at Bela Farm).
Director of Education
Rachel Rosenbluth is a permaculture enthusiast who is committed to Jewish environmental education, and building meaningful and sustainable communities. She graduated from McGill University in East Asian Religion and International Development Studies (Environment and agriculture focus). She worked as a senior staff at Camp Solelim, and lived in Israel for a couple years, both on a gap year, and returning to develop her Jewish knowledge and practice at Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies. She has had valuable experiences doing environmental field research in East Africa and volunteering on sustainable agriculture farms in Israel and in Kenya, where she developed an interest in spiritual, personal and community development. She is passionate about Tikkun Olam, and sees Jewish gardening as a holistic way to better the current food systems, promote environmental sustainability, and contribute to promoting an intentional and just world.
Dr. Michael Schecter
Dr. Andrea Most
Rabbi Ilyse Glickman
Rabbi Aaron Levy
Shoresh thanks all of the organizations, foundations, corporations, and government departments that have supported us over the past several years.
We would also like to acknowledge with gratitude the significant contributions made by all of our individual donors, and the very generous in-kind support we have received from individuals and community partners.
- Joshua Venture Group
- United Jewish Appeal Federation of Greater Toronto
- SixPoints Jewish Venture Philanthropy Fund
- Environment Canada: EcoAction Community Funding Program
- The Ontario Trillium Foundation
- Earth Day Canada Community Environment Fund/Sobey’s Ontario
- Evergreen/Walmart Green Grant
- Shell Environmental Fund
Shoresh is a participant in Genesis: UJA's Centre for Jewish Innovation.