Bellvale Community • Chester, NY

Although COVID has limited our outreach efforts, we’re doing what we can safely and look forward to when we can pick up full steam where we left off.

About Us:
Our settlement is made up of a mix of families and singles, young and old, who live, work, and worship together. Bruderhof children attend our elementary school. Many adults work on the property. Our location also runs the Bruderhof’s Breaking the Cycle program, which delivers anti-bullying and conflict resolution assemblies to middle schools and high schools in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut.

The Bellvale community is located in New York’s southern Orange County, near the New Jersey border. We are surrounded by forested hills and are lucky to have a scenic pond in the middle of our grounds. Most of our buildings were originally built as a home and school for troubled boys, established by a Catholic order in the late 1950s. The buildings now provide the Bruderhof with apartments, offices, an elementary school, a communal dining room, kitchen, and chapel.

Connecting with Neighbors:
We extend an open invitation to friends and neighbors to dine with us most Saturday evenings. Several times throughout the year we host seasonal events open to the public, such as a family fun day. We often combine efforts with area municipalities, churches, or community clubs to work on service projects, which helps build community in many directions. Our children also provide companionship at local nursing homes. And Bellvale members enjoy the events the region has to offer, such as the Warwick Applefest and Sugarloaf’s Fall Festival.

Point of Interest:
Only an hour’s drive from Manhattan, our property borders the Appalachian Trail, providing magnificent hikes right outside our back door.

Meet some of the people who live at Bellvale:

Becky: I am thirty-four-years-old and live at Bellvale, a Christian community, with my four beautiful children, aged three to ten, and my husband, Marcus. Our property sits just below the Appalachian Trail, and looks out over a lake used for boating, fishing, and skating. My children love it! I am a licensed LPN and also went to SUNY New Paltz for elementary education. While I have done various tasks while living in our intentional community, I have worked extensively in our elementary school. I enjoy how Bruderhof education combines academics, arts and crafts, and service learning, enabling the children here to grow into well-rounded adults.


Jessica: Hi, I’m Jessica. Okay, no argument, this place is gorgeous. I fall in love every day with the fifteen-acre lake, and the boardwalk, and the birds. But there’s more to this place than that. My work? I help out with web development and logistics for Breaking the Cycle, part of our outreach to local middle and high schools. But what I do, and where I live is not nearly as important as why I live in this intentional community. What gets me up every morning is the fact that I am able to be a part of a people who love and care for each other in a way that strikes at the heart of the Gospel. We’re only an hour north of NYC, so come visit us! It’s a beautiful place to live, and a radically honest way to live. And it’s for everyone. Come and see!


Sean: I’m an accountant for our community and have been living at Bellvale in southern Orange County, NY for the past twelve years. I’m married to Naomi, and we have four children. This intentional community has a population around 165 people, all living together and sharing our resources with each other. Since we’re located just an hour north of midtown Manhattan, many folks in our wider community spend their day working in New York City. However, I’m always amazed how warm and welcoming our neighborhood is, and we enjoy interacting and making friends with many of our neighbors wherever time and schedules align. Our family enjoys caring for the community’s farm animals on the weekends, as well as taking advantage of the numerous parks and hiking trails nearby.

Contact Information

359 Gibson Hill Rd.
Chester, NY 10918
United States
Tel: 845-572-3400

Established: 2001

Want to learn more?
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Choose from several different Zoom discussions hosted by Bruderhof members. Learn more.

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We love hosting guests at our communities. Options for visits are limited right now due to COVID, but please fill out the form below if you’d like to visit, and we’ll see if anything can be arranged. 

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