On a warm Sunday in June 2013, family and friends came together to dedicate the Shalom Garden, the first of several new spiritual gardens to be installed at La Casa de Maria. Located near La Casa’s agricultural area, the garden was sponsored by local therapist Kathleen Barry in memory of her husband, Roy Mankovitz, an entrepreneur and inventor who passed away suddenly in July 2011.
The Shalom Garden features the seven plants mentioned in Deuteronomy (fig, date, olive, pomegranate, grape, wheat and barley). The entrance is flanked by two palm trees, and a gathering area is bordered by olive, pomegranate and fig trees. An arbor modeled on the Sukkah, the temporary shelter utilized in the Jewish festival of Sukkot, has been installed, and grapes and etrog are planted along the perimeter of the space. The “four species” utilized in the Sukkot (citron, palm, myrtle and willow) are also featured.
La Casa was honored to have Roy and Kathleen as members of the Campaign Cabinet for our Campaign To Preserve and Renew. After Roy’s passing, Kathleen made a generous gift to the campaign to sponsor the creation of the Shalom Garden in his honor. “As we build this garden we are aware of Roy’s abiding presence and his love of La Casa de Maria,” she said during the dedication ceremony.
“We look forward to having the Jewish communities who come to La Casa use it for their gatherings, prayers, rituals and celebrations,” said Director Stephanie Glatt. “And we hope that new communities will find this a home honoring their tradition.”
Many thanks to Kathleen Barry for her support of this exquisite new garden!
(Updated 09-17-20) In the future, Shalom Garden will serve as the location of La Casa’s annual interfaith Sukkot celebration, which until Jan. 9, 2018, had been hosted in conjunction with the Montecito Shul, and in the future, will also be available for other community celebrations and assemblies.
Shalom Garden was designed by the talented and skilled Marshall Chrostowski.