Farewell Mitch

04/04/2023 03:00 PM By rimma
Mitch Burnie, Director of Adamama and CEO of Compost is leaving Shalom’s Adamama to sow seeds of growth in the nearby pasture of Randwick Council. 

As director and founder of the Adamama project, Mitch has brought a love of community, sustainability, and pickling to every interaction.

Adamama was founded in 2019 as a pilot program of Shalom after a trip to the US-based Hazon’s Isabella Freedman Retreat Centre and exposure to JOFEE (Jewish Outdoor Food, Farming & Environmental Education). Mitch participated in the Adamah Fellowship in the US integrating organic agriculture, farm-to-table living, Jewish learning, community building, social justice, and spiritual practice. 

Under his guidance and supported by the JCA, Adamama, the first Urban Jewish Educational Farm in Australia, germinated from an idea to a working farm at White City. With the development of the Hakoah Club, Adamama searched for greener pastures, and finding them at the Randwick Sustainability Hub, a partnership with Randwick Council was established. 

Adamama’s team is responsible for exciting community-building projects from small courses to large-scale events. Offerings include weekly perma-bees, playgroups, school excursions, gardening and fermentation workshops, and Adamama Pickles – a fermented food offering with a 3-monthly pickle subscription. Large-scale events include SuccahFest and in 2022 Sydney’s First Jewish Food and Farm Festival. Adamama continues to be a source of inspiration to both the Jewish and general community. Mitch was recently interviewed on Gardening Australia, sharing how Adamama nurtures the growth of individuals, communities, and crops through sustainability programs and experiences. 

Rabbi Alon Meltzer, Director of Programs shares “we are deeply grateful to Mitch for his commitment to Adamama, Shalom, and the Sydney Jewish community. He nurtured Adamama from conception to fruition and leaves a strong team to usher our diverse crop of programs into the future. We look forward to seeing Adamama’s continued growth and hope to be able to make an announcement about staffing in the near future”. We wish Mitch all the best as he moves on to an exciting position in community building with our partner Randwick Council and we are delighted that he will continue to partner with our strong Adamama team which includes Wendy Dolowitz and newly hired Elik Rotenberg. 

Wendy Dolowitz, our Adamama Jnr Manager and Mud Kitchen Sous-Chef, has a background in early childhood education and brings a wealth of experience working with young children and families. Wendy leads programs for young families, playgroups, and school holiday camps. She is passionate about taking children on a journey of discovery and supporting their learning by creating open-ended, hands-on nature experiences that encourage exploration and opportunities for play.

Elik Rotenberg is Program Educator and Farm to Table enthusiast. Israeli-born Elik has worked as an informal educator for many years, most recently as the coordinator of Hatzofim, the Israeli Scouts in Sydney. Elik is passionate about teaching outdoors and believes that hands-on learning in nature can be a transformative experience for people of all ages.... and a whole lot of fun! He is happiest when getting his hands muddy and boots dirty and loves cooking the food that he has grown.

Mitch reflects “It’s been a true joy to cultivate such a fantastic community around such important concepts and ideas. Being just a small part in creating a broader sense of sustainability in the earth and in each other. I get to leave this wonderful role happy and fulfilled as I turn to new opportunities working with Randwick Council. I can’t wait to join the sustainability projects team and watch on as Adamama goes from strength to strength”. 

2023 marks Shalom's Golden Anniversary and a unique opportunity to reflect on 50 years of community connection. Shalom started as an idea, to establish and support Jewish students, and grew into an organization that innovates Jewish education, culture, and the arts across the Sydney Jewish community.  We are an organisation shaped by the passions of our staff and the evolving needs of our community. Shalom is proud of the many influential community leaders who have shared their time, knowledge, and passion at Shalom before moving on to new community roles. 

We look forward to seeing you soon at Adamama for playgroups, school excursions, working bees, courses, private workshops and community events. 

Shalom is a not-for-profit, supported by the JCA, with a mission to increase the vibrancy and engagement of the Sydney Jewish community by fostering Jewish life and learning in an inclusive way. Shalom enables people to enrich their life, culture, education and professional endeavours through Jewish activity. We engage people of different ages and backgrounds through a variety of targeted programs and special events. Focusing on people living in Sydney, we build connection and community. Shalom is about possibilities and opportunities, challenging and inspiring individuals to become…

Rebecca Solomons, Marketing Director Shalom:
Rabbi Alon Meltzer, Director of Programs Shalom:
Wendy Dolowitz, Director of Adamama Jnr:


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