Shoresh’s activities take place at schools, shuls, camps, parks and ravines throughout the GTA, as well as at Bela Farm and the Kavanah Garden.
At Shoresh we are committed to being Shomrei Adamah, protectors of the earth. We understand that humans have a pivotal role to play taking care of the natural world and the plants, creatures, and communities it sustains.
The land on which we live has been a site of human activity for 15,000 years. In the spirit of gratitude and allyship, we acknowledge that we are currently situated on the traditional territory of the Wendat, the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, and the Anishinabek Nations. At Bela Farm, the first nations include the Petun and the Neutral First Nations. In the Toronto area, the indigenous peoples also include the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nations, and the Metis Nation.
As Jews, we have lived as a diasporic people for centuries and many of us arrived here as immigrants and refugees who needed a safe place to land. But that also means we are settlers here on Turtle Island. It is incumbent upon us, as individuals and as an organization who have built homes and communities here, and who lovingly nourish and are nourished by this land, to acknowledge this.
At Shoresh, we are committed to learning about indigenous history and the present reality facing indigenous people. As part of the larger process of decolonization, truth, and reconciliation, we are committed to indigenous solidarity and are seeking to learn from indigenous knowledge keepers about how to live a life that is in balance with the natural world, that is rooted in gratitude and thanksgiving, and that responsibly stewards the land for the sake of those who will come after us.
Bela Farm is Shoresh’s rural home for sustainable, land-based Judaism. This 100-acre farm is home to Shoresh’s apiary, Bee Sanctuary, and native reforestation efforts.
Bela Farm gives us the opportunity to offer deep, immersive experiences for land-based Jewish learning and living, creating for participants sustained connections with self, community, and the earth.
Address and Directions
Bela Farm is located at 5750 Sixth Line in Hillsburgh, Ontario, N0B 1Z0. Please either input the entire address into your GPS, or follow our directions. Give yourself at least one hour to get to the farm from Toronto.
Spadina South to Gardiner Expressway West to 427 North to 401 West
Allan Expressway to 401 West
401 West to Trafalgar Road North
Left at 7 West (Trafalgar ends)
Right at Trafalgar North/ Balinafad
Drive through Balinafad, past flashing light, past traffic lights, and turn left at Sideroad 22 and then left on Sixth Line. The farm is on the right at 5750 Sixth Line.
Please note that the farm is not open for visits outside of scheduled programs.
For 13 years, Shoresh lovingly operated the Kavanah Garden beside UJA’s Joseph and Wolf Lebovic Jewish Community Campus in Vaughan. This beautiful half-acre garden is located on Toronto and Region Conservation Authority land and backs onto five acres of conservation land. In 2021, we transferred stewardship of the garden to the York Region Food Network (YRFN), an organization that connects and empowers people to access healthy food through education and advocacy. Shoresh will continue to have access to the site for nature-based Jewish programming, and YRFN will take over food production and distribution as well as community-based programming.
In the spring of 2014, Shoresh and Jewish Family & Child (JF&C) came together to create Maxie’s Garden, an urban sanctuary in the heart of downtown Toronto. Located in David Pinkus’ Z”L, backyard in Kensington Market, Maxie’s Garden is a haven for people, plants, and pollinators. Inspired by the mitzvah of tzedakah (justice), we created this garden to empower, educate and inspire JF&C clients through the power of nature connection and food production. Together we grow organic vegetables and herbs, make pickled beans and herbal teas and celebrate Jewish traditions in the garden. Over the years, we have built a strong community of gardeners who know how to grow food organically and experience the healing power of nature at our weekly workshops.
David Pinkus Z”L, passed away on May 6, 2021. As we mourn the loss of our teacher, friend, philanthropist and elder, we are also figuring out where and what Maxie’s Garden can look like in the future.