Our Story

Our Story

Jack Pearlstone had a deep commitment to the Jewish future; his service to the Baltimore Jewish community was characterized by vision, innovation, and energy. After Jack’s death in 1982, his son Richard worked with the Associated in order to create “The Jack Pearlstone Institute for Living Judaism,” developing programs and experiences that introduced Jews to their heritage and traditions. Its success led to demand for a physical retreat center, which opened in 2001. In 2007, Pearlstone launched a Jewish educational farm, which sparked strong community excitement and engagement. 

Today, Pearlstone thrives as a versatile platform, a center for Living Judaism that speaks to the social, spiritual, and ecological needs of our time.  We create common ground for individuals, groups, and families connecting through retreats, conferences, field trips, volunteering, multicultural programs, fellowships, workshops, and celebrations. 

Through immersive retreats, dynamic experiential Jewish education, and hands-on farming and sustainability efforts, the Pearlstone Center currently impacts more than 20,000 annual participants. 

Pearlstone has been recognized nationally in several important ways: 

  • Pearlstone has been featured in the Slingshot Guide for the past five consecutive years as one of the 50 most innovative Jewish organizations in North America. Less than 20 organizations across the country have been in Slingshot five consecutive times. 
  • Pearlstone is the only Baltimore Jewish organization to receive a grant from the national Covenant Foundation, which is focused on supporting the most innovative Jewish education efforts nationwide. The grant created successful Jewish community gardens across Baltimore. 
  • Pearlstone is a leader in the burgeoning new movement called Jewish Outdoor Food, Farming, and Environmental Education (JOFEE).  Through nationally funded third-party research and evaluation, Pearlstone’s deep impact has been demonstrated and multiplied over time.