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News Highlights Jews in the Woods

By Rabbi David Fainsilber `14
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Rabbi David Fainsilber, a 2014 ordinee of Hebrew College, writes about the Vermont “Jews in the woods” for eJewish Philanthropy.

Those who were born in Vermont or who move here have a certain passion for life. You need to possess that if you are going to endure or, dare I say, even enjoy our cold winters! We call ourselves “Jews in the woods.” Jews in our area have intentionally moved away from the central urban and suburban experience, including its robust Jewish life, in order to be tucked away in the woods, pursuing communion with nature, and a simpler, back-to-the-land lifestyle. In some ways, I see it as a move back in time, especially for Ashkenazi Jews who lived much of recent centuries in Eastern European small communities. At the same time, it’s a forward-looking move, embracing new creative forms of Jewish life, and enabling access for new, often marginalized Jews.

For more from Fainsilber and his congregation, The Jewish Community of Greater Stowe, VT, watch our video “Leadership, Learning, and Love: Music and Chesed.”

Rabbi David Fainsilber is the spiritual leader of the Jewish Community of Greater Stowe. He was ordained through Hebrew College in 2014 and is an alumnus of Cohort 4 of the Clergy Leadership Incubator (CLI). He can often be found out in the Vermont woods, searching for connection to the Divine and people amidst the wondrous beauty of creation.

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