Pearlstone History & Land

Jack and Peggy Pearlstone were impactful leaders in Baltimore Jewish life.

After Jack passed away in 1982, his family and community felt compelled to honor his passion for informal Jewish education and deep commitment to a bright Jewish future. With support from The Associated Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore, the Jack Pearlstone Institute for Living Judaism was formed in 1987.

Pearlstone Center – 2001

After nearly 20 years of connecting people to Jewish heritage through various programs and partners, a facility dedicated to immersive Jewish experiences welcomed guests for the first time.

Kayam Farm – 2006

Pearlstone launched a community educational farm providing a space for hands-on experiential outdoor Jewish education. When a new strategic plan is implemented 5 years later, the successful Kayam Farm is formally integrated with Pearlstone Retreat Center.

Pearlstone Campus Expansion – 2017

A transition for the former Camp Milldale leads The Associated to delegate campus management to Pearlstone, expanding its scope from a 7-acre corner of the property to the entire 180-acre campus.

Pearlstone Merges with Hazon – 2023

Leadership from both organizations mutually recognize mission alignment and the impact potential of a combined entity. Each already successful on their own, the collective strength as a new merged organization has greater capacity to engage nearly 50,000 participants annually.

We are forever grateful to our leadership

Our tremendous journey has all been made possible by passionate, gifted volunteer community leaders who gave their heart and soul to our success:

Richie Pearlstone — Josh Fidler — Pacy Oletsky — Michele Lax — Ilene Vogelstein — P.J. Pearlstone — Rachel Steinberg Warschawski — Aaron Max

Land Acknowledgement

At Pearlstone, we strive to live in balance and harmony with all life. Grounded in principles of caretaking and responsible stewardship, we grow and share healthy food, we go into the wilderness to heal and gain new perspectives; we learn, pray, and engage with our traditions in chorus with the forests and living waters.

Long before we began these practices on this land, this was the sacred home of the Susquehanna and Piscataway peoples. For more than five hundred years, Indigenous communities across the Americas have demonstrated resilience and resistance in the face of violence, colonization, displacement, and genocide- all efforts to separate them from their lands, cultures, and communities.  Too often their history is erased.  

Today Indigenous peoples remain at the forefront of the global movement to build a just and sustainable future for our planet and all its inhabitants. We honor the ancestors and living descendants of the Susquehannock and Piscataway peoples, and all indigenous peoples throughout the world.  As we work towards justice, we can and will make mistakes. We will continue to work towards making it right.

Pearlstone is an inclusive Jewish organization anchored in universal values, welcoming people of all backgrounds from across our bioregion, continent, and planet. Jews have experienced exile and persecution, bigotry and violence—and while this painful history helps stir empathy with all Indigenous peoples, Jews are not indigenous to this land and therefore cannot truly understand the unique historical journey and contemporary reality of the Indigenous peoples here. 

What Jews—and all people—can do is authentically honor Indigenous peoples who have stewarded this land for thousands of years and express our love for and solidarity with Indigenous peoples, and our commitment to Indigenous rights and justice.  With open ears and open hearts, we walk alongside our Indigenous brothers and sisters on the path ahead.

What traditional territory is your city on?

Learn more about the history of indigenous people where you live.

Native Land Digital
Pearlstone | 5425 Mt. Gilead Rd, Reisterstown, MD 21136
410.500.5417 |