Helena Nichols Named Director of Biblical Botanical Garden

(July 11, 2019, Pittsburgh, PA) -- Helena Nichols recently stepped into the role of Director of Rodef Shalom Congregation’s Biblical Botanical Garden. 

Helena has served as the Associate Director of the Garden for more than three years, and in that time, the Garden has seen much success and growth. Helena’s passion for her work and her commitment to the Garden volunteers and the visitors who come from near and far is demonstrated in the success of the space each year.  Helena has a Masters of Arts in Food Studies from the Chatham University School of Sustainability.

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Dr. Rabbi Walter Jacob, co-founder and Rodef Shalom Congregation’s Rabbi Emeritus, will now be recognized as the Biblical Botanical Garden’s Director Emeritus, and will continue to actively serve as an important advisor to Helena and the Biblical Botanical Garden Committee. 

Rodef Shalom’s Biblical Botanical Garden, established in 1987, is the largest such garden in North America. Sitting on a third of an acre, the garden is the only one of its kind to feature an ongoing program of research and publication.

The pastoral setting includes a waterfall, a desert, a stream, and a representation of the River Jordan, which meanders through the garden from our Lake Galilee to our Dead Sea. All plants in the garden—more than 100—are labeled with appropriate biblical verses and are displayed among replicas of ancient farming tools. Among the specimens are wheat, barley, millet, and herbs valued by the ancient Israelites. Olives, dates, pomegranates, figs, and cedar trees round out the historic and educational inventory. New plants join the garden annually!

Rodef Shalom Congregation has been a beacon in the Reform Jewish community for more than 150 years. From the middle of the 19th century onward, our congregation has pushed for the modernization of Jewish thought and practice. We are a congregation made up of individuals and families; we are multi-generational, multi-cultural, interfaith and we’re saving a space for you too. Regardless of backgrounds, ours is a community that is socially engaged, spiritually mindful, and committed to ensuring the vitality of Jewish life across generations.

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Contact: Stephanie Rex

Director of Communications and Marketing

Rodef Shalom Congregation

rex@rodefshalom.org | 412.463.2942


Rodef Shalom