ULSTER PARK, N.Y. — Founded in 1920’s Germany, the Bruderhof (translated to “place of brothers”) is an Anabaptist Christian movement. Among other faith principles, the Bruderhof movement emphasizes pacifism, common ownership, adult baptism and evangelism. The Bruderhof has 26 settlements all over the world – 17 of which are in the United States – and all are organized around the customs in a book written and published by members of the community, Foundations of Our Faith and Calling.

On Palm Sunday, our class’s reporters spent the holiday among one of the Bruderhof’s larger settlements, listening to their members’ stories and seeking to break down barriers and understand this century-old religious crusade.

Scroll through the photos below for a glimpse of the day.

Representative members of the Bruderhof community greet visitors on a tour of the settlement.


The Bruderhof community members and visiting reporters walk in a processionary ceremony, complete with a donkey at the front of the line, to celebrate Palm Sunday.


Rolls and hot cross buns, prepared by a family on the settlement. Originating in 14th century England, hot cross buns are a Christian symbol commemorating the Biblical crucifixion of Jesus.


Currently being constructed by members, this barn will house some of the Bruderhof’s animals. Versed in construction, the community collects income from its classroom furniture-making called “Community Playthings.” Still, individual members do not hold cash or private property.
A goat, kept as a pet for Bruderhof members, in the settlement’s barn.


A father carries his daughter on his shoulders during the Palm Sunday procession around the community’s perimeter. Palm Sunday observes Jesus Christ’s entry into Jerusalem, an event mentioned in each of the four canonical Gospels.


A Bruderhof member feeds the community’s sheep.


Bruderhof members hold palm branches, ritualizing the Biblical story when palm branches were  placed in Jesus Christ’s path, before his arrest on Holy Thursday and his crucifixion on Good Friday.

All photos by Riley Farrell, April 22.