Rodef Shalom Biblical Botanical Garden

Garden History

Garden History

The Largest Biblical Garden in North America

The Rodef Shalom Biblical Botanical Garden was established by Irene and Walter Jacob in 1986 to highlight the plants of the ancient near east. Each summer, a themed special exhibit augments the collection of biblical plants, focusing on one aspect of daily life and the ways our Near Eastern ancestors dealt with that aspect of their lives, making the biblical world and that of the surrounding societies real to our visitors. We see the Garden continuing the long Rodef Shalom tradition of interfaith standing, so the world of plants can bring us closer to each other.

The Biblical Botanical Garden combines beauty, education, meditation and spiritual sustenance for thousands of visitors during each summer season. The garden displays more than 100 temperate and tropical plants grown in ancient Israel in a setting reminiscent of the Holy Land. A cascading waterfall flows into Lake Kineret, or the Sea of Galilee; this becomes a bubbling stream, the Jordan, which meanders through the garden, ending in the Dead Sea surrounded by a small desert.

As two thirds of the plants are Mediterranean or tropical, they must be brought in before the earliest frost and not placed into the garden again till all such danger has past. This means that several truckloads of plants must be carefully tended during the long winter months. For this reason, our season is limited to the three summer months.

The Garden respects the love of the Bible which people throughout the world have displayed by naming plants for biblical figures. Although these plants were not grown in ancient Israel, we have planted a selection of them – specially labeled – to demonstrate this attachment to the Bible.

Ancient Near Eastern Horticulture and Agriculture:

The Biblical Botanical Garden is one of the only gardens devoted to the study of horticulture and agriculture of the ancient Near East and have sought to make this knowledge widely accessible through the creation of a special program and series of plantings each year. Every summer we emphasize a different aspect of ancient life and introduce twenty to thirty new plants, along with educational displays, literature, and lectures by specialists.




Biblical Botanical Garden
4905 Fifth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Garden HOURS

S: 10AM - 2PM
M: 10AM - 2PM
T: 10AM - 2PM
W: 10AM - 2PM & 7PM - 9PM
T: 10AM - 2PM
F: Closed
S: 12PM - 1PM


Questions / Schedule a Tour: