Shoresh’s activities take place at schools, shuls, camps, parks and ravines throughout the GTA, as well as at Bela Farm.


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.


In 2014, Shoresh and Jewish Family & Child (JF&C) came together to create Maxie’s Garden, an urban sanctuary downtown Toronto.  Located in David Pinkus’ Z”L, backyard in Kensington Market, Maxie’s Garden was 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 grew 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. In 2022, we transitioned Maxie’s Garden into Dawne’s Garden in memory of Dawne Ella Goldin,  Z”L, a committed gardener and Shoresh community member. Dawne’s Garden is currently housed at the Kiever Shul in Kensington Market.

Read more about David Pinkus here and Maxie’s Garden here.


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.

From downtown:
Spadina South to Gardiner Expressway West to 427 North to 401 West

From midtown:
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.


Bela Farm is a working farm, located about 1 hour’s drive from Toronto. The ground is hilly and can be quite steep in places. The rest area has picnic tables with fixed benches, and there are benches and chairs inside Beit Shoresh, our shed and gathering space. There is an outhouse on site with one step up. 


What happens at a Stewardship Day at Bela Farm? 

Bela Farm Stewardship Days are a combination of hands-on land tending work, Jewish learning, and spending time together in community. Shoresh’s land care projects at Bela Farm include reforestation efforts, building pollinator habitat of native flowers and shrubs, and a modest area of annual garlic planting. Shoresh is also involved in beekeeping at Bela Farm, the work of which is not usually part of Stewardship Days. These projects are not “typical” farm food production or animal care (other than bees!), making Bela Farm a bit different than a typical farm. 

A sample schedule for a Stewardship Day is: 
  • 10am: Opening circle, includes introduction to the land and introducing ourselves to each other 
  • 10:30am-12pm: Land work, usually involves weeding, mulching, and other tending and maintenance tasks that support the stewardship projects at Bela. Participants are encouraged to work at their own comfortable pace and take breaks whenever needed. There is no expectation of completing a given project during a stewardship day. 
  • 12pm-1pm: Lunch. Participants bring their own lunches, and we take a break to eat together. 
  • 1pm-2pm: Another facilitated activity, could include: continuing stewardship work, Jewish learning connected to the land work we are doing or another seasonal/natural theme, mindful walking, noticing birds and plants…  
  • 2pm: Departure. We usually aim to be leaving by this time to avoid rush hour traffic returning to the city. 

* note this schedule is only a sample— as an outdoor program that is based around land care, the schedule needs flexibility to be responsive to the site conditions and needs. This means a program may be adapted on the day of! 

Who are Stewardship Days for?

Stewardship Days are a program for adults who want to build relationship with nature and land through a Jewish lens and connect with each other! Activities are tailored for adults (age 18 and up); however, under-18s are welcome to join so long as they are accompanied by an adult who can support them in the activity. Adults caring for teens or young children are encouraged and welcome to tend to their needs whenever needed, stepping away from programming when necessary. Stewardship Days do not have activities tailored for children, youth, or babies; we encourage you to check out our Family Friendly Days! 

What infrastructure or amenities exist at Bela Farm?

Our main home at Bela Farm is Beit Shoresh, a roofed storage garage and gathering space with some chairs and benches inside, that we can use for shade or shelter in inclement weather. Beit Shoresh has an uneven dirt floor that is sometimes dusty. There is also an outhouse with a hand-washing station, a drinking water spigot, and several picnic tables with fixed benches.  

As a former dairy farm and pasture lands, Bela Farm is exposed, without a lot of tree cover (though our reforestation efforts are slowly changing that) and can be sunny and windy as a result. Terrain in some areas is steep and uneven, and some activity spaces are on different parts of the land within Bela Farm, spread out from each other requiring a 10-15min walk on a gravel driveway or dirt/grass path. Some areas have tall grass that is mowed semi-regularly during the season. 

Can I bring my dog?

The intention of coming to Bela Farm is to participate in the day’s program, and dogs are permitted so long as they do not hinder anyone’s ability to participate fully. Dogs can come to Bela Farm *only* under the following conditions: 

  • Dogs must be able to handle groups of people in a relaxed and sociable manner, and must be kept on-leash when requested to do so. 
  • Dog owners must always check with a Shoresh staff person for a brief conversation before bringing their dog. Failure to do so may result in a requirement for your dog to be leashed throughout their time at Bela Farm. 

 Still have questions? For further information, please email


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.

© 2018 Shoresh.