Where heaven meets Earth: Vancouver’s Jewish community now grows fresh fruit and veggies on the rooftop

Roof top garden
Just after Shavuot, on Sunday May 28, Vancouver's Jewish Community Garden was officially opened to the public. The garden of vegetables and fruit trees was built on the rooftop of a parking structure located between Beth Israel synagogue and the Vancouver Talmud Torah school. It will teach environmentalism and food security through a Jewish lens. (Daniel Bar-Dayan photo).

The Vancouver Jewish Community Garden had its official ribbon-cutting ceremony on May 28, just after the Shavuot harvest festival: a fitting debut for the $200,000 initiative. Organizers hope the tubs of lettuce and apple trees will shortly become a hub for teaching about the environment, feeding the needy and hosting Jewish events.

Located on the rooftop of a two-storey parking structure between Congregation Beth Israel and Vancouver Talmud Torah School, the garden is a collaboration between both communities and the clients of Jewish Family Services. And while you can find Jewish community gardens across the country, including Toronto’s Shoresh farms and the heart garden at Winnipeg’s Temple Shalom, the Vancouver initiative may be the only Jewish farm purposely built so close to heaven.

On The CJN Daily, we’re joined by the organizers: Congregation Beth Israel’s Rabbi Jonathan Infeld; Emily Greenberg, head of school at VTT; and Tanja Demajo, executive director of Jewish Family Services in Vancouver.

What we talked about

  • Watch a video of the construction of the Vancouver Jewish Community Garden on You Tube
  • In Toronto, the Shoresh farming agency ran a community garden in peoples’ backyards, in The CJN.
  • Read more about environmental programming gaining popularity in B.C. in The CJN.


The CJN Daily is written and hosted by Ellin Bessner (@ebessner on Twitter). Zachary Kauffman is the producer. Michael Fraiman is the executive producer. Our theme music is by Dov Beck-Levine. Our title sponsor is Metropia. We’re a member of The CJN Podcast Network. To subscribe to this podcast, please watch this video. Donate to The CJN and receive a charitable tax receipt by clicking here.