Earth Day Mitzvah Mania Cultivates Community in Chicago: This Earth Day, Slow Down and Dig In

CHICAGO, IL — The Gan Project, a Jewish social and environmental justice organization, is pleased to announce their first annual Earth Day Mitzvah Mania. The Gan Project grows organic, heirloom produce on its quarter acre Homestead located in West Rogers Park, Chicago. Of that produce, half is gleaned by the community, in accordance with the ancient agricultural practices outlined in the Torah, and half is donated to the ARK food pantry.

We see the roots of Judaism grounded in the agricultural practices of our ancestors and believe that engaging in contemporary agriculture deepens our Jewish practice.” Executive Director Jill Zenoff explained. “Earth Day is the perfect opportunity for Jewish and non-Jewish community members to come together, get their hands dirty, learn, laugh and get the Gan Project Homestead ready for the 2012 growing season.”

There will be a morning work session from 9:30am – 12:30pm, and an afternoon work session from 2:00pm to 5:00pm with a BYOPL – Bring Your Own Picnic Lunch.

Both sessions will include activities for all ages:

  • seeding and transplanting
  • building raised beds
  • composting workshops
  • bicycle maintenance workshops

The majority of activities are suited for adults and children over the age of 12. Families with children under the age of 12 are invited to plant raspberry bushes during the morning work session, beginning at 9:30am, and stay for the BYOPL. Pre-registration is required for raspberry bush planting and is limited to the first 10 families that register.

Adults can also attend as a Staff Volunteers: sign up for a minimum 2.5 hour shift between 7:30am-8:00pm to help with set up, registration, logistics, clean up, and meal support. Contact for more information or to sign up.

To support the Gan Project’s work, a suggested donation of $18 or an in-kind donation of a garden tool is requested. Everyone is welcome, regardless of ability to donate. Please see the list of requested items on the registration page for more information.

As a social and environmental justice organization, The Gan Project nourishes, protects and celebrates Jewish life through the cultivation of soil and community. The organization is building a regenerative food system that enlivens Jewish tradition, embodies Jewish values and immerses the community in a rich educational and cultural experience. If you would like more information about The Gan Project please contact Jill Zenoff at (773) 516-5877 or by email at You can also follow the Gan Project on Facebook or Twitter.

What: Earth Day Mitzvah Mania

Where: The Gan Project Homestead at Bernard Horwich JCC, behind the CJE Shwartzberg building (3003 W. Touhy Ave, Chicago)

When: Sunday, April 22nd, 2012

Free Parking Lot – Festivities Start at 9:30am

How Much: Optional $18.00 donation or in-kind garden donation

All are Welcome! – Register Online

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