By Ellen Braunstein, Special to Chicago Jewish News
What better way to beat the doldrums of winter then to shop at North Shore Congregation Israel’s one-day Winter Farmers’ Market on Sunday, Jan. 28.
The market, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., will provide small, local farm producers with an opportunity to extend their income beyond the growing season.
The event is a partnership with Faith in Place, a nonprofit organization that has worked with over 1,000 houses of worship to co-sponsor programs that promote sustainable food and land use, in addition to protecting water, the climate and air.
The Winter Farmers Market, in its second year, is one of two programs the synagogue dedicates to promoting local sourcing of food, said Rabbi Ryan Daniels. The synagogue has a Mitzvah Garden, which produces hundreds of pounds of produce that is donated to Moraine Township Food Pantry and The Ark.
“We’re excited to partner with Faith in Place for the Winter Farmers’ Market,” Daniels said. “They have enabled us to be a resource for the community. It’s important to our mission to educate our community about sustainable growing, health eating and fostering relationships with local vendors and farmers.”
The produce and products for sale include winter farm-farm fresh items, honey, meat, eggs, baked goods, yarn, tea, salsa, sauces, spreads, preserves and beauty products. About 15 vendors are expected.
Last year, 250 people attended the market, which has no admission fee. “We were one of the most successful markets for the season,” Daniels said. Visitors are members of the synagogue and come from outside the community.
“It fosters a real ecumenical relationship with the community,” says Dr. Robert Levy, a congregation member and retired pediatrician, who is one of ten volunteers helping to run the event.
“It’s a nice educational experience especially for young people,” Levy said. “We use it as a teaching experience for the religious school children.”
Rabbi Daniels adds, “We’re grateful for the opportunity again to partner with Faith in Place. These events are great for NSCI, the local community and the hard-working farmers and vendors who come to sell their fabulous produce and crafts.”
For more information, email Katie Maxwell at firstname.lastname@example.org or Rabbi Ryan Daniels at email@example.com.