A Biblical Garden Grows in Jacksonville

A Biblical Garden Grows in Jacksonville
Dr. Larry Kantor, Goldie Lansky and Reverend Dr. Bez in front of the Date Palm planted in honor of Goldie’s many years of service to Congregation Ahavath Chesed. Lansky is holding a gold-painted shovel that Dr. Bez made especially for her.

Congregation Ahavath Chesed announced the construction of a Biblical Garden in front of its sanctuary. Funding for the project is provided by the Dr. Larry & Kathy Kanter Jewish Preservation Fund and Temple Congregants. Reverend Dr. Ed Bez, of the Biblical Gardens Society – USA, is furnishing design and construction supervision. 

On Wednesday, March 17 at 12:00 noon, the garden’s centerpiece Date Palm was planted to honor Goldie Lansky, for her 12 years of dedicated service as Executive Director, prior to her recent retirement. Cantor Carrie Barry will lead a dedication ceremony at the garden on Saturday, March 20 at 6:30 PM, prior to the Havdalah Service.

As sponsor of the project Dr. Larry Kanter commented: “The biblical garden is a joint effort between church and synagogue. It will add an educational and spiritual experience to the Jacksonville community.” Regarding the garden’s design, Dr. Bez commented: “Fostering a feeling of connection with both the natural and biblical worlds is one of my primary goals in the development phase of The Temple’s Bible garden project.”

David Kaufman, President of the Board of Trustees stated: “It’s a privilege for our congregation to be the setting for this special garden. Ours and one being constructed at nearby Christ the Messiah Church, are the only Biblical Gardens on the First Coast.” The gardens, designed to complement each other, will stand as commitments to interfaith cooperation and understanding.

Gene Meyers, Executive Director of The Temple said, “we are pleased for the opportunity to share The Temple’s meaningful garden with our neighbors and other houses of worship. We hope it will offer visitors a sense of true Biblical history as we bring a little bit of the past alive.”

Chartered in 1882, Congregation Ahavath Chesed is one of the oldest reform synagogues in the USA. It is firmly rooted in tradition yet focuses clearly on the present and future of Judaism.

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