Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter

Sowing Success

Riki Goldstein

A formerly barren schoolyard now lush with produce. A little girl buoyed by the prospect of a better future. Robin Katz and Start-Up Roots are using simple ingredients — water and vegetables — to transform lives.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Little Sarit’s brown eyes are full of wonder. She looks out at the workers who are pulling up the gray concrete of the schoolyard. Beyond the cracked fence are the crowded streets of one of chareidi Jerusalem’s poorest neighborhoods. The air is spiced with holiness, the buildings and alleys have a quaint, old-world charm. But the schoolgirls who crowd at the window together with Sarit knew of hunger and poverty before they ever heard of Chumash, dikduk, reading, and writing. They all come from homes on shaky financial footing and have often experienced other dysfunction. Today, in the yard of their rundown school building, something new and marvelous is taking place. Workers. Plans. Greenhouses. A state-of-the-art hydroponic farming system. Sarit turns to Robin Katz, the energetic American woman who’s the executive director of Start-Up Roots and the driving force behind the new project in her school. “Why did you choose us?” “I picked you girls to be the leaders in this,” Robin responds. “I see your wonderful middot and potential for leadership. You can do this and others will follow. You’ll set an example for everyone.” Sarit beams. And for once, the little girls of Beit Sara* — left behind, impoverished, at the bottom of the city’s pecking order — are at the forefront of a new and exciting campaign. But for once, it’s not a campaign for charity handouts.

To read the rest of this story, please buy this issue of Mishpacha or sign up for a weekly subscription

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.

What’s in a Name?
Shoshana Friedman “What does Writer X have to say this week?”
Atonement — Fake and Real
Yonoson Rosenblum White confessionals and faux rituals
Four Walls Coming Full Circle
Eytan Kobre All the while, there’s been a relationship in the offing...
And Yet We Smile
Yisroel Besser We are the nation that toils to be happy at all costs
Out of This World
Rabbi Henoch Plotnick Dirshu Hashem b’himatzo — we are in Hashem’s company now...
Steven and Jonathan Litton
Rachel Bachrach The co-owners of Litton Sukkah, based in Lawrence, NY
Tali Messing
Moe Mernick Tali Messing, engineering manager at Facebook Tel Aviv
Sick Note
Jacob L. Freedman “Of course, Dr. Freedman. Machul, machul, machul”
Avoiding Health Columns Can Be Good for You
Rabbi Emanuel Feldman Only one reliable guide for good health: our Torah
Endnote: Side Notes
Riki Goldstein Most Jewish music industry entertainers have side profes...
Me, Myself, and Why
Faigy Peritzman Where there’s no heart and no love, there’s no point
Can’t Do It Without You
Sarah Chana Radcliffe When you step up to the plate, you build your home team
Eternal Joy
Mrs. Elana Moskowitz The joy of Succos is the fruit of spiritual victory
The Appraiser: Part III
D. Himy, M.S. CCC-SLP and Zivia Reischer Make sure your child knows his strengths
Hidden Special Needs
Rena Shechter You won’t see his special needs, but don’t deny them
Dear Wealthy Friend
Anonymous There’s no need for guilt. I am truly happy for you