Queer Jewish Farmers
What’s guiding us and what we do:
Queer community spaces have always been sites of mutual aid, ritual making, and joyous cultural creation. Queer Jewish Farmers extends that life-saving tradition, cultivating empowerment, community, and welcoming Jewish space. We value making our gathering spaces as accessible as possible for folks across the Jewish spectrum. We value uplifting the marginal and centering the invisible. With these strands, we’ve already come together for ritual events like Havdallah, a Tu B’Shvat Seder, and a workshop on making ink from oak galls, to name a few. We love collective weaving and we rotate who takes turns to teach us, guide us, inspire us. We believe we’ve all got Torah to share!
Who is this space for?
First and foremost, this space is designed for anyone who self-identifies with any identity on the brilliantly colorful LGBTQIA+ spectrum. It’s for anyone who self-identifies as Jewish, regardless of what form that takes in your life. And finally, it’s for anyone who self-identifies as a farmer or land-worker, regardless of whether you’re currently actively farming.
Identifying as queer, trans, intersex, or another identity in the rainbow is a requirement and how we maintain a safer space. If you have any questions about whether this space is for you- please reach out!
To join in, email Shoshana & Simcha at QueerJewishFarmers@gmail.com
About Your Facilitators:
Simcha Halpert-Hanson (they/them) is a teacher, song facilitator, farmer, drummer, ritual leader and fourth year rabbinical student at Hebrew College in Newton, MA. Simcha has led tefillah (prayer) workshops, klaf (animal-based holy parchment) production workshops, text study sessions and facilitated rhythmic and songful prayer experiences in many communities across the Northeast. They founded Avodas Lev Western Mass and co-founded the projects Nishmat Shoom, Queer Jewish Farmers and TransHallel. Additionally, they have been working both large and small-scale organic vegetable farming for the last five growing seasons.
Shoshana Mackay (she/her) is a beekeeper, compostodian, farmer, and educator. She farmed in Northern & Southern California, Wisconsin, and Oregon before finding her current home in Western NC. She also does live honeybee removal/rescues and teaches workshops on composting, gardening, canning, and queer Judaism. She’s a co-founder of Queer Jewish Farmers, where she brings together her passions for queer community empowerment and personalized Jewish ritual.