Brattleboro Area Jewish Community, also known as Song of the Mountains Synagogue, is located on 12 acres of field, forest, and stream. With the help of their grant from the Gendler Grapevine Fund, they set out to make the land more integral to the synagogue.
Since receiving their grant, they have built steps into the hillside, created field paths and preserved a patch of milkweed for the butterflies, planted a dozen fruit trees and a half dozen blueberry bushes, created a bed for vegetables and another for heritage wheat, built a small outdoor classroom, hand-built benches, constructed a “Nearing style” three-compartment compost bin, created interpretive signs, and cleared the back of the field, which created stellar views of the forest and stream.
In early October, they held their Sukkoth Land Celebration. Gathering around their Sukkah, they discussed their intentions for the next seven years. They held a ribbon cutting ceremony, sang, and read a proclamation. This was followed by a walk down the steps to the field where they shared a moment of gratitude. They went to the stream where their leader in spirit, Cantor Kate Judd, led a handwashing and dreamed of mikvah and heard stories. They ended the celebration in their outdoor classroom singing and learning together.