Reviews and Comments on Torah Flora Programs

“On behalf of the Boca Raton Synagogue, we extend a heartfelt thanks to you for teaching the Beer and Wine in Torah class on Monday, for participating in our Lunch and Learn program on Wednesday, for leading the tour of Mounts Botanical Garden on Thursday, and for joining us last Shabbat. Your lectures and classes were all extremely informative, engaging, and interesting. Your breadth of knowledge and your ability to communicate it in an effective and enjoyable way resonated greatly with our membership. It was an honor to have you in our community and to learn from you. We’ve had wonderful feedback and we look forward to future opportunities to learn together.”
Rabbi Efrem Goldberg, Senior Rabbi
Rabbi Philip Moskowitz, Assistant Rabbi
Boca Raton Synagogue, Boca Raton, FL

“Dr. Greenberg was wonderfully engaging and very funny. His mix of discussion, stories, and text made for a great event that folks are still talking about. We can’t wait to have him back again!”
Rabbi James Greene, Program Director
Addison-Penzak Jewish Community Center of Silicon Valley, Los Gatos, CA

“Jon took our group on a wonderful walking tour of the flora and fauna growth around the front of our synagogue. Due to his amazing depth of knowledge we saw things with new eyes and all learned a lot by simply walking outside the doors of our building. Dr. Greenberg weaves together his knowledge of botany, Torah and Talmud in a very engaging way. We look forward to having him return soon.”
Terri Swartz Russell, Director of Family and Adult Education
Temple Emanuel, Newton, MA

“On behalf of the Congregation Rinat Yisrael Adult Education Committee, thank you for your informative and entertaining presentation last motzei Shabbos. Your breadth of knowledge, humor, and style created a unique event that was enjoyed by all. It was a pleasure learning from you, and we look forward to additional such opportunities in the future.”
Aryeh Haselkorn, Adult Education Committee
Cong. Rinat Yisrael, Teaneck, NJ

“As a medieval saying goes, God wrote a book — the world — and a commentary on the book — the Torah. Jon Greenberg’s Fruits of Freedom presentation at our synagogue was tremendously stimulating, illuminating both books. He explained aspects of the Torah tradition and the biological world that helped us understand both better. We’ll never eat maror the same way.”
Rabbi Jeremy Kalmanofsky
Ansche Chesed, New York, NY

“Jon, your talk was SO interesting, and you really presented it in a very digestible (I apologize for my pun) way. Thank you so much for your expertise and positive energy! The group clearly loved the experience.”
Sarah Mattes, Senior & Adult Programs Administrative Coordinator
Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center, San Diego, CA

“Before Pesach 2021, our shul ran a wine tasting event featuring Dr. Jon Greenberg who explained each of the four different wines and connected his observations and comments with insights from the Haggadah. The presentation was fascinating and engaging. Dr. Greenberg did his research and shared his wealth of knowledge inspiring everyone with the brilliance of the Pesach experience while enhancing everyone’s appreciation for the wines, as well.”
Elazar Muskin, Rabbi
Young Israel of Century City, Los Angeles, CA

“We had the pleasure of hosting Jon Greenberg at our synagogue for an “end of programming year” celebratory dinner. It was a pleasure to work with Jon in the lead-up to the event and to learn from him at the event itself. Jon was both knowledgeable and engaging and kept the evening flowing smoothly throughout with his explanations of the foods and how they connect to our textual history. We billed the evening as Fun and Food with Friends and got that and so much more. Quite a few of the participants have requested that we do more such events in the coming years. I highly recommend you speak with Jon about a Torah Flora event for your group as well.”
Rabbi Shawn Simon-Hazani, Director of Lifelong Learning
Har Zion Temple, Penn Valley, PA

“Thank you for presenting to our congregation as our Vivian Waxman Z”L Memorial Scholar In Residence. Those who attended your lecture commented very favorably and highly enjoyed it. We look forward to having you join us in the future and pressing you for more intellectual enlightenment.”
Leonard J. Horwitz, Chairman, Education Committee
Young Israel of Deerfield Beach, Deerfield Beach, FL

“On behalf of the Jewish Federation of the Berkshires, our heartfelt appreciation for your wonderful presentation this morning on Puzzles and Solutions in Science and Torah. Weaving together Torah and the natural world through your skillful and engaging teaching was a wonderful way to explore ancient and contemporary questions, contradictions and resolutions from our tradition.  The participants were completely engrossed in the learning. I could see the rapt attention focused on your teaching and the fascination that emerged for people as they connected to the texts, the mysteries and the solutions. We were so delighted to have the opportunity to have you back in the Berkshires and hope we’ll get to do so again soon.”
Rabbi Daveen Litwin
Director of Community Engagement and Programming
Jewish Federation of the Berkshires

“Jon Greenberg taught a lecture series during our largest retreat of the year and people have not stopped raving about it. His talks were engaging, relevant, and reached a wide audience. People were amazed at the connections he explored between botany and Torah with such depth of knowledge and clarity of language. As guests departed at the close of the retreat, many asked us to bring him back next year, which we hope to do!”
Rikki SaNogueira, Program Coordinator
Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center, Falls Village, CT

“Your presentation on Passover was fun, lively, scholarly and original. Our congregation loved the way you drew unexpected connections between ancient texts, modern science, careful observation of the natural world, and even contemporary issues of science and religion. Yashar koach! We look forward to your next visit to southern Florida.”
Rabbi Jeffrey Goldwasser
Temple Beit HaYam, Stuart, FL

“Thank you on behalf of the entire Pearlstone staff! Your sessions were engaging, articulate, visual, and deeply connected to the Torah of the Earth. It was a pleasure working with you and we look forward to many more collaborations!”
Petakya Wolf Lichtenstein
Director of Education
Pearlstone Center

“Dr. Greenberg was a dynamic and engaging speaker. His wealth of knowledge and passion for the subject matter made for a memorable evening. By bringing together knowledge from such diverse fields as biology, archaeology and Torah, Dr. Greenberg’s presentation had something for everyone while being accessible to all.”
Rabbi Garth Silberstein
Kenesset Israel Torah Center
Sacramento, CA

“Thank you so much for a fantastic Nosh N Drosh this past Shabbat! It was such a success! And the food was delicious 🙂 Your teaching was unique, fascinating, and community-building. Thank you for all of the time and effort you invested. It was wonderful.”
Rabbanit Alissa Thomas-Newborn, BCC (Board Certified Chaplain)
B’nai David-Judea Congregation, Los Angeles, CA

“Jon Greenberg has presented at Congregation Shearith Israel – The Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue twice already. He is so beloved, we are bringing him in for a third time, as a Shabbat dinner speaker. His presentations are unique, well-informed, and fascinating.”
Alana Shultz, Program Director
Congregation Shearith Israel – The Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue, New York City

“This year, my Passover hotel program hosted approximately 900 guests. Dr. Greenberg presented a series of lectures and Torah nature walks during the program that generated rave reviews. In fact, I am planning to have him appear at next year’s Passover program as well. The guests were delighted with his ability to use science and the history of food and agriculture to explain and increase their appreciation of both familiar customs and puzzling passages in the Torah and Talmud. Dr. Greenberg’s presentations enabled the participants to easily understand complex and unfamiliar rabbinic and scientific concepts, revealing beautiful and unexpected Torah insights.”
Jacob Strauss (“Flaky Jake”) of Flaky Jake Presents

“Thank you for the Shabbaton you conducted at the Westwood Kehilla in Los Angeles on July 21 and 22, 2017. Your explanations were intriguing, informative and humorous. I think the rapt attention of our congregation and guests was clear evidence of the quality of your presentations. You worked with our caterer to develop an interesting, historically accurate and delicious menu. Thank you for the Shabbaton.”
Rabbi Avi Stewart
Westwood Kehilla, Los Angeles, CA

“On behalf of our Members, Board Members and Congregants, we wish to extend our heartfelt thanks for your presentation. Thank you for coming to Shaarei Tefila and sharing your wisdom and knowledge with us. Your field of expertise is unique. You weave together Torah knowledge, Jewish history and Botanical information. Our seniors found your presentation riveting and we got lots of positive feedback. We wish you success in all your affairs. May you continue to grow with vigor, with health, strength and pride.”
Rabbi Moshe Kesselman, Bernice Gelman (Adult Education Chair), and the Shaarei Tefila Seniors
Congregation Shaarei Tefila, Los Angeles, CA

“Jon’s wealth of knowledge about all things flora and especially as it relates to Torah was hugely enjoyable, provided lots of ‘food’ for thought and conversation afterwards and will surely provide nourishment for many dinner discussions to come! I assure anyone interested in bringing him in that they will learn things outside the scope of the usual dvar Torah.”
Lily Rosenblatt, Adult Education Committee
Young Israel of Hollywood-Ft. Lauderdale, FL

“Dr. Greenberg drew a record Lunch & Learn crowd at JCC/UJA Greenwich, and now we’re inviting him back by popular demand. His riveting presentation brought scripture and botany to life and, as one participant observed, he was “super-prepared.” Other comments included, “A very innovative approach to Torah!” and, quite simply, “Excellent!”
Laura Blum, Program Director
JCC Greenwich, Greenwich, CT

“For me the subject of botany is off the beaten path. However, with rich description and patient insight Doctor Greenberg’s presentation made Pesukim in Tanach, verses and ideas – otherwise abstract – come alive. Relevant, highly intelligent and a wonderful pleasure to work with.”
Rabbi Dov Drizin, Director
Valley Chabad, Woodcliff Lake, NJ

“Thank you so much for your fascinating talk at the Bayit this past February. It was enjoyable and well-received. You were clear and interesting, and really highlighted how much botany is critical for our understanding of Torah. I enjoyed working with you, and we’d look forward to having you again.”
Rabbi Steven Exler
Hebrew Institute of Riverdale (The Bayit), New York City

“What a brilliant presentation you gave today! I hope you saw from the students’–and my–enthralled expressions that your work is quite remarkable and fascinating, and I hope as well that today will lead to many speaking engagements; you deserve a wide audience. I am grateful for your knowledge and your wonderful way of sharing it.”
Prof. Karen Shawn
Azrieli Graduate school, Yeshiva University

“On behalf of our entire congregation, I wanted to thank you for the wonderful program you presented at Kol Ami last Friday. Everyone I talked to thoroughly enjoyed the presentation and I’ve heard nothing but praise from members and guests alike. It was both informative and very interesting. How in the world do you keep all those facts at your fingertips? Your knowledge of Torah and flora seemed boundless! Apparently many people were interested in learning more about the subject, and we were very pleased with the turnout. Our small congregation rarely gets such a large crowd for any event. We are very happy that you were able to work out the logistics for this trip to South Florida, and hope that we will be able to plan a repeat performance for next season.”
Stephanie Wasserman, Administator
Congregation Kol Ami, Boca Raton, Florida

“Most of our members are elderly and have been members of our congregation for decades. As we are ten miles from Manhattan, some of the Jewish world’s best-known scholars have graced our programs. Dr. Greenberg’s presentation was as well-received as any we have offered. He received the ultimate compliment from one crusty curmudgeon who said, ‘Rabbi, I have never liked any of the speakers you’ve presented over your tenure. But this one was really interesting. If Dr. Greenberg can make it here, he can make it anywhere.’ Bravo and Yasher koach!”
Rabbi Moses A.Birnbaum, D.D.
The Jewish Center of Kew Gardens Hills, Flushing, New York

“I could have sat all day and listened to Jon share his knowledge and passion about TorahFlora. Jon’s botanical depth of knowledge and the way that he aligns it to history and to the Torah is an unique blend. In the one program that Jon presented for the Jewish Federation of the Berkshires, I went away having learned much about specific plants that are available to us and how we might discover their properties and applications in both our secular and in our Judaic lives.”
Nancy Maurice Rogers, Program Director
Jewish Federation of the Berkshires

“A thoughtful, intellectual, and relevant take on our rich Jewish history. Greenberg combines Biblical, rabbinic, modern, scientific and historical into one captivating story. A beautiful blend of the traditional, the spiritual, and the edible as we strive to live a life of consciousness and dignity toward all of God’s creations.”
Rabbi Corey Helfand
Peninsula Sinai Congregation
Foster City, CA

“You did a terrific presentation on Spices and Herbs Around the World, for Paramus Bat Sheva Hadassah.”
Rita C. Levin, Vice President of Membership
Paramus, NJ Bat Sheva Chapter, Hadassah

“I took part in a walking tour at Isabella Friedman in the summer with Dr. Jon Greenberg, and found it most enlightening and interesting! The stories he told were quite engaging and the amount of knowledge I gained in such a short amount of time was amazing. I look forward to learning more!”
Bess Adler, Principal
The Bergen County High School of Jewish Studies, NJ

“Thank you for adding an important resource in the toolbox of us Jewish educators.”
Rabbi Howard Jachter
Torah Academy of Bergen County, NJ

“It was our pleasure to have you at Cong. AABJ&D for Shabbat. Your 2 talks were extremely enjoyable and informative and I received excellent feedback. What a great win/win – we were inspired with great lectures and we enjoyed your company. You truly enhanced our celebration of Tu B’Shevat. Thanks again for a wonderful Shabbat.”
Larry Rein, Adult Education Committee
Cong. Ahawat Achim Beth Jacob & David, W. Orange, NJ

Article about Torah Flora walking tour of Coastal Roots Farm, Encinitas, CA in San Diego Jewish World, Feb. 15, 2022

Article about Torah Flora walking tour of the Montreal Botanical Garden in the Canadian Jewish News, Aug. 1, 2019

Article about Torah Flora and Purim in the Forward (online) Mar. 18, 2016

Article about Torah Flora in the NJ Jewish Standard, Dec. 3, 2015

Article about Torah Flora in the Jewish Link of Bergen County (NJ), Sept. 4, 2014

Article about Torah Flora in the New Jersey Jewish Standard, Oct. 12, 2014

Podcast of radio interview broadcast Dec. 19, 2013 on KZCT 89.5 FM, Vallejo, CA

Article in the J Weekly, the San Francisco Bay area Jewish newspaper, Dec. 19, 2013

Review of a Biblical and Talmudic botany tour of the New York Botanic Garden (Bronx, NY)

“I would like to thank you very much for the wonderful tour on Sunday. I have been to the Gardens many times but never really appreciated it. All of sudden it became so interesting, thanks to you.”
Mordechai Dinerman
Brooklyn, NY

“I attended your Torahflora botany tour yesterday at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Thank you, I enjoyed it immensely. I see that you are having a tour at the NY Botanical Gardens. If it were not so far I would be tempted to attend. Thank you again.”
Chana Lieberman
Brooklyn, NY

“Thanks for all you taught us on the wonderful Torah Flora tour.  It was an eye-opener to a field generally unknown to us. We all felt enriched by what we learned. Enjoyed by all.”
In appreciation,
Mrs. S. Cohen
Boro Park, NY

“Thanks for a wonderful (educational AND entertaining) issue!”
Michael Poppers

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *