Tikvat Israel Congregation Rockville MD

A Friendly, Participatory and Egalitarian Conservative Synagogue in Rockville, Maryland

Fresh Farm Produce Delivered to Our Shul’s Lobby

Dalit Baranoff coordinates the weekly CSA produce pickups at TI. (Photo by Amy Matathias)

Tikvat Israel serves as a pickup site for a community supported agriculture program that provides fresh produce through much of the year.

The CSA fall season, which runs for eight weeks, commenced in early October. It ends the week before Thanksgiving. A winter season, starting in January, has deliveries every other week (a total of eight produce deliveries) to the shul lobby.

“After a few years of shrinking participation, we saw growth this past summer due to the pandemic with 21 shares (produce boxes), about half of which were split between two members or two families,” said Dalit Baranoff, who coordinates the CSA at Tikvat Israel. “Due to COVID, we changed the pickup procedures this year, requiring everyone to come during a one-hour window (Wednesdays 1-2 p.m.) and take the entire box home rather than bagging their produce and leaving the box. This got people in and out of the lobby more quickly.”

In the past, CSA members have taken turns staffing the pickup table in the TI lobby. This year, as coordinator, Baranoff has handled the duties every week, letting people into the lobby and making sure everyone is masked and properly socially distanced. The goal has been to minimize the time people spend in the building.

This marks the TI CSA’s 13th year. It started in 2008.

Anyone interested in signing up for the winter produce season should contact Baranoff at dalit.baranoff@gmail.com.