Set in seven acres of beautiful Kent countryside, Skeet Hill House was originally built in the 1600s. The house was purchased for the Brady Boys’ Club in 1943, by the Jewish Youth Fund, as a place of respite from poverty and London’s war-torn East End (visit our permanent Brady Club exhibition, hosted up the house’s famous staircase). Renamed Davidson House, it was Grade ll listed in 1973. During the last few decades, it has been used as a retreat centre for both Jewish and non-Jewish groups, to provide outdoor education and recreation. Sadeh took over the site in March 2018 and began providing environmental education and farm work, based on regenerative agriculture practices, residential programmes and volunteering opportunities.
Founded by Talia Chain, Sadeh is the first Jewish community farm in the United Kingdom and Europe. Inspired by her fellowship experience at Adamah, a Jewish farm – based program in upstate New York, Talia saw the need for a British equivalent. Under her leadership it has evolved into an inclusive environmental community contextualised within the principles of Jewish ethics and culture.
With the onset of the pandemic in March 2020, Sadeh had to stop all retreats and programs and reassess how to move forward. In April 2021, an intensive refurbishment began to create a functioning 25 bed retreat centre which would enable the Jewish community to engage with issues of climate change and environmental responsibility. The retreat centre welcomes youth, adult and children groups from across the spectrum of the Jewish community creating a revenue stream for the charity whilst providing the opportunity for children and adults to spend time outdoors in nature.
Sadeh now runs an immersive fellowship programme for future Jewish environmental leaders; educational trips for schools, shuls and community groups; grows food; engages in regenerative agriculture and much more.
Sadeh is a place of rich history
The Jewish community have been visiting the farm since the 1940s, when the Jewish Youth Fund purchased the site for The Brady Boys’ Club as a place of respite from the difficulties and dangers of life in the war-torn East End of London. However the house was originally part of Lullingstone Castle which is just across the local golf course and dates back more than 400 years.
Lullingstone, Davidson House, Skeet Hill House …..
Talia founded Sadeh in 2017. As CEO, Talia’s role includes growing the food in Sadeh’s market garden, the Sadeh fellowship programme, running education and volunteer sessions and fundraising for Sadeh’s environmental and educational projects. Talia represents Sadeh on the Board of Deputies and serves as co-chair of the Social Justice Committee. Her horticultural education includes a RHS Level 2 Diploma in Principles of Horticulture and Permaculture Design Certificate accreditation. Her Jewish farming journey began after her participation in Hazon’s Adamah programme in 2014.
Reu Refson Dye
Reu is a wholefood cook, baker and grower who has been firmly rooted in both community and commercial settings across the UK and Berlin for over 12 years. Reu’s food journey has included all sorts from setting the Guinness World Record for the Largest Vegan Cake in the World to training adults in mental health recovery in sourdough bread-making to being a Group Leader for a co-operative children’s charity. Reu has completed the RHS Level 2 Certificate in Practical Horticulture, The Orchard Project Certificate in Community Orcharding and a season of work-based training on a 20 acre mixed farm all alongside growing food at home. What brings Reu to Sadeh is a lifelong commitment to spirituality in food and a devotion to facilitating education in dynamic community settings!
Tal is the Fellowship Coordinator at Sadeh. As well as organising Fellowship programmes, Tal brings their passions as an ecologist, artist, and Jewish educator to Sadeh to provide fascinating sessions for Fellows and Volunteers, helping Sadehniks to engage with Judaism and with the other living things that share our space in the local environment.
Josh founded Lone Goat Brewing Co in 2020. The community brewery and pickle kitchen based at Sadeh tackling food waste with fermentation.
Felix has a background in queer and disabled community building, and developing jewish rituals to mark non-traditional milestones. In 2017 they attended the Urban Adamah Jewish farming fellowship which convinced them to seek out more places that would combine their interests in environmental justice and ritual – ultimately leading them to Sadeh. They are recent alum of Don’t Kvetch Organize, a programme for Jews doing grassroots organising for justice.
Jessica oversees the vast majority of the design-led projects at Sadeh, from planning designs for renovating the house to managing projects with volunteers and other artists in order to realise these plans. With a background in Literature, Education & the Arts, a desire to contribute to human & environmental wellbeing, and a devotion to utilising the arts to both prompt and promote social change, Jessica combines her love of writing, designing, and general tom-foolery to navigate the aesthetics of the Sadeh brand. Her intention is to deliver nuggets of visual joy for all who encounter Sadeh, whether that be through experiencing Sadeh online or on-site. Her wish is to inspire people to engage with solutions to the environmental issues facing us today, whether through feeding a chicken a dandelion leaf or leading an activist uprising – it very much depends on the weather.
We look to the values of our Jewish traditions and our strong heritage of social justice. Combining the teaching of landwork with Jewish education grows new leadership promoting social justice. This will support the development of a strong Jewish community in the UK, provide new ways to engage with Judaism and create Jewish leaders who will be catalysts for positive social change.
Do Not Destroy
Repairing the World
Through our residential fellowship program, our school trips, our volunteer days and more, we provide environmental education in a Jewish context. We pull up carrots while talking about how planetary health connects with human health, why looking after the environment is so important, how to get involved in outdoor activities, what Jewish agricultural traditions are and lots more.
We practice planet first agriculture from planting a variety of habitats, to our no dig veg beds, our forest garden and our Sadeh science activities. This also includes monitoring biodiversity and contributing to the scientific study of regenerative land management. This drives the development of a community of individuals with the knowledge, expertise and commitment to tackle the environmental challenges which face the human race.
We engage with the wider society on environmental issues. We plan campaigns, and work with other organisations wherever possible, demonstrating the Jewish community’s commitment to environmental justice.
We look to the values of our Jewish traditions and our strong heritage of social justice. Combining the teaching of landwork with Jewish education generates results in new leadership promoting social justice. This will support the development of a strong Jewish community in the UK, provide new ways to engage with Judaism and create Jewish leaders who will be catalysts for positive social change.