Suri lives on a Jewish collective farm — in Connecticut! She grew up in a middle class, Jewish, Italian, and Black neighborhood in northern New Jersey. She went to Jewish day school through 8th grade, took a guided tour of Israel, and still goes to shul with her mom on major holidays. She loves humanity, loves that she’s got some Egyptian heritage to set her apart from practically everyone, and loves that she’s Jewish. She is soooo bored at services in her mom’s synagogue and keeps wondering what she’s supposed to do about Tikkun Olam, this idea of repairing the world that her Jewish studies teachers kept quizzing her on year after year.
Suri loves gardening, so when she heard about an opportunity to become a Jewish organic farm intern, she grabbed it. It’s a perfect fit. Prayer services are wild: bible, meditation, drumming, and dance classes — in yurts — develop her neshama. She works with her hands in the soil; tends to goats and chickens; and eats the organic kale she rinses several times in water until the leaves are declared insect free, because unless they’re locusts, insects are not kosher. Her grandparents still don’t understand what it means that their bright, young, college-educated granddaughter is a farmer. In Connecticut?! “She’s really just working at summer camp, right? That must be it, Irv.”