Rabbi Jacob Fine serves as the Director of Abundance Farm. For the past 15 years Jacob has worked and taught in the field of Jewish environmental and agricultural education. He has served as a rabbi and educator for a number of leading Jewish environmental organizations including the Teva Learning Alliance, Adamah, Hazon and, most recently, the Jewish Farm School, where he served as the Director of Programs (2011-2013) and now serves on its Board of Directors. A Wexner Graduate Fellow and former Rabbi and Assistant Director at Hillel at the University of Washington (2007-2011), Jacob was ordained as a rabbi from the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies in Los Angeles where he also received a M.A. in Rabbinic Studies. Jacob is also a graduate of Vassar College where he received a B.A. in environmental studies and religion. Jacob has authored widely used curriculum including "Jewish Food Rules: Principles of a Contemporary Jewish Food Ethic," and teaches widely on issues related to Judaism, ecology and food justice. Jacob can be reached at 413-584-3593 x203.
Rose Cherneff serves as the Farm Manager for Abundance Farm. Rose got her start in the farming world as a teenager working at The Food Project in Boston, MA. Since then she has worked for a variety of educational and production farms throughout New England including Sawyer Farm- a horse powered CSA, Villageside Farm- a diversified vegetable operation, and Rebel Hill Farm- a native and perennial plant nursery. Rose is interested in the ways in which farming and land-based relationships can help bring people together, and how connecting with each other can help us connect to the land.
Amy Meltzer serves as the Director of Young Family Engagement for Abundance Farm. Amy is the lead kindergarten teacher and Director of Family Engagement at Lander-Grinspoon Academy. Amy is the author of two children's books, A Mezuzah on the Door and The Shabbat Princess, and the Jewish parenting blog Homeshuling. She is a former wilderness guide, Nature's Classroom instructor, and the founding director of Teva. Amy is the 2015 recipient of the Covenant Award for excellence in Jewish education. You can contact Amy at email@example.com.
Nili Simhai serves as the Director of Outdoor Education for Abundance Farm. Nili served as the Director of Teva, a leading Jewish environmental education organization, for fourteen years. A recipient of the Covenant Award for excellence in Jewish education, Nili has been recognized for her leadership in training and counseling hundreds of educators in the tenets of Jewish environmental education. One of her current passions is outdoor classrooms in Jewish institutions.
Caryn Brause AIA LEED AP is the principal of SITELAB Architecture + Design in Northampton. The practice is a laboratory for investigating the broad context of the “site” through client-driven projects, theoretical investigations, and community collaborations. Design work examines the transformation and reuse of that which we have in abundance including existing building stock, underutilized urban and suburban landscapes, and repurposed materials. In addition to her professional work, she is an Assistant Professor in the Architecture + Design Program at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst where she leads design studios and teaches digital design, communication, and fabrication. Caryn is a member of CBI and a parent of two LGA students. She looks forward to working and celebrating together on the Farm.
Larry Fine is interested in the intersection of food and religious cultures, and has taught courses on this subject at Mount Holyoke, where he is a professor of Jewish Studies and Religion. He is also facilitates the Food Studies program at Mount Holyoke. More personally, he's convinced that informal and experiential education are critical for the rejuvenation of Jewish education at all levels. He's certain that Abundance Farm will prove to be an exceptional example of this approach, enriching each of its participating communities in truly important ways.
Adam Garretson was first exposed to gardening at the age of two, learning to eat carrots by pulling them from the ground, rubbing the dirt off and eating them in the field. Now, as a local family physician, he frequently sees the health effects of diet and the challenges to accessing fresh, affordable, healthful food. Adam lives and gardens year-round in Northampton with his wife Stephanie and two children. He is grateful for the opportunity to help improve the health of the community, teach his own children to grow food and share it with others, and play in the dirt.