Our Newest Initiative:
The Jonathan Pear Farm - חוות יהודה
aka PE'AH: Positive Education through Agriculture in our Homeland
As Hanuka approaches, we are reminded of the Jewish tradition to ignore the feelings of sloth that the ever darkening and shortening days might inspire and rather increase our activity – to increase holiness, increase light and increase meaning.

This year, even as the crisis caused by Covid adds a new dimension to the darkness we experience this time of year, Shir Hadash has decided to implement the spirit of Hanuka – and its call to grow in holiness and light – with a new and exciting project: the creation of a Jewish educational farm.

On a practical level, this endeavor involves the purchase of a small farm in the north of Israel and a commitment to work its fields and cultivate its fruits. But that is just the beginning ...

  • On a spiritual level, cultivating the land of Israel will deepen our roots to this land.
  • On a communal level, it will bring our community and friends together for meaningful fellowship, while our hard work and financial investment will strengthen our connection to the land -- and strengthen the land itself.
  • On a national level, we will contribute to the physical rebuilding and settling of Israel facilitated by the Jewish people's return to their homeland.
  • And on an educational level … well, the possibilities are numerous: Through working the land, educating ourselves on its unique commandments, aligning our activities with the Biblical seasons, and harvesting, distributing and tithing our produce -- and much more -- we will come to understand a major portion of the Torah we otherwise might not fully appreciate.
  • Moreover, as an outreach organization, we will share the physical experience of working our farm with visiting groups and in so doing hopefully offer an educational experience like none other. Topics to be explored - which in turn might help connect young Jews to their heritage - include matters of food justice, as taught through the mitzvah of leaving the corners of our fields (Pe'ah) for the poor and disenfranchised; Jewish environmentalism, as found in the Torah's call for stewardship of God's world; and spiritual development, as revealed through a farmer's appreciation of delayed gratification, his/her desire to express gratitude, and his/her ability to transform the physical into the spiritual. And that's just the beginning!
Some of the trees we will cultivate will be olive trees. They, of course, have a special relationship to the story of Hanuka, and initiating this new endeavor during this time is thus quite appropriate. Hanuka offers an appropriate motif for another reason as well -- as this is the time when just a few people decided to take on a large task despite its challenges. Adding an educational farm to Shir Hadash's repertoire of activities is indeed a significant act of growth for our small organization, but we take heart and inspiration from the Hanuka story and its model that even one small jar of oil can spread much Jewish light throughout the world.

Of course, a big reason for that confidence derives from the fantastic support we have always enjoyed from our friends both near and far.
And thus we turn to you and request you consider partnering with us in this exciting endeavor. All donations will be recognized in forthcoming e-mails, while those of "Planters" and above will also be recognized permanently on a plaque in our Jerusalem Beit Natan headquarters (such as those on the right).

Farm Founder: 36,000 NIS / $10,000

The Tree of Life Society: 18,000 NIS / $5,000

Sponsorship of a Grove (1 Dunam) of Trees: 12,000 NIS / $3,600

Planter 6,000 NIS / $1800

Sponsorship of a Tree: 1,800 NIS / $500

Supporter 1,000 NIS / $360

Friend 1 - 999 NIS / $1 - 359

To learn more about any of these opportunities, e-mail shirhadash613@gmail.com for more information (including how you can also donate appreciated securities before the end of the year and thus avoid capital gains taxes).

Alternatively, you may follow either of the below links to make a credit card payment instantly: PayPal (Israeli and Most Other Countries) or Network for Good (US tax deduction included). As always, checks to Shir Hadash are of course welcome as well -- sent to either 11 E. 86th Street, 7A / NY, NY 10028 in the US or HaPalmach 54/3 Jerusalem in Israel.
On a personal note, I conclude by noting that this new initiative is dedicated to the refuah shlema – the complete and speedy recovery – of my brother, Jonathan Pear, Yehuda Aharon ben Batya.  Jonathan is suffering from an aggressive cancer and needs a miracle to continue his good works on behalf of his family and his community in Arizona. Hanuka is of course the right time to hope - and create merits - for such a result.

And if such a miracle is not forthcoming, it is our hope that the just as he planted deep roots that continue to bear fruit -- in the form of his family, a stellar reputation, good works in the community and warm relationships with people of all backgrounds -- may this farm, too, produce fruitful experiences and educational opportunities that will improve the world through all who connect with it and learn his story.
With blessings,

Ian (Haim) Pear
US Phone 347-677-0550 / Israel 054-782-1103
shirhadash613@gmail.com / https:www.shirhadashjerusalem.com