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Educational Resource Library: Group-building

Weaving Community

by Ashley Davenport
Abundance Farm / Gan Keshet Preschool
Traditionally, weaving has deep roots in the Jewish culture. The craft of weaving is one of the 39 crafts that the Jewish people used to create the Mishkan (tabernacle) in the desert. Weaving, and many of the actions associated with weaving are mentioned specifically in the 39 Melachot, the list of labor forbidden on Shabbat. Although many of the traditional Jewish weaving techniques have been lost to exile, modern day ritual objects are often still made from woven materials, including challah covers, kippot and tallis. Looking back, history shows us that the nomadic Israelites used what fibers they had on hand, such as camel, goat, and sheep, to create their clothing and dwellings. These ancestral methods were simple. Using this simplicity as inspiration, the loom for this project is crafted from sturdy cardboard, the warp is made using cotton string, and the weft consists of long pieces of recycled fabric. Simplicity is often key in introducing new textile art projects to preschool age children. These projects are multifaceted and engaging to young minds, integrating core skill sets such as language and literacy development through oral storytelling, problem solving, pattern recognition, and fine motor development.

What They Breath Out, We Breathe In: Photosynthesis, Respiration, and Jewish Theology

by Frances Lasday
Hazon - Teva
This activity aims to give educators a thorough understanding of photosynthesis, respiration, and the carbon cycle so that they will feel more comfortable teaching it to their students. Educators will also consider how Jewish theology can relate to and inform the ways that we think and teach about this topic in Jewish settings. This session was developed specifically as part of a series of science intensives for Teva educator training 2018.
Age(s):

We are Shepherds like our Fathers Before Us (Meet the Goats)

by Rebecca Remis
Eden Village West
Through this activity, campers will be able to walk goats to pasture, learn a melody to Psalm 23, and relate shepherding goats to shepherding humans (through social norms).

Torah Theater: Ancestral Wisdom in the Wilderness

by Becca Heisler
Wilderness Torah
This program draws from the strength of our ancestors and the robustness of Jewish tradition, while preparing for a wilderness challenge.

Tu B’Shvat Family Nature Hike

by Jared Kaminsky
Shoresh
This program is an opportunity for families to celebrate Tu B'Shvat through learning about local ecology, connecting to nature, and understanding the essence of this Jewish holiday on a community hike.
Age(s):

Staff Training Sessions on Group Management, Questioning Strategies, and Blending Jewish and Scientific Learning

by Bailey Lininger
Tamarack Camps
These staff training sessions focus on essential skills for the educators that work at Tamarack Camps during our Outdoor Education seasons: facilitating meaningful discussions with students, and managing groups of a variety of sizes, especially large groups (which we consider to be over 30).
Age(s):

Shmita with Acorns

by Rachel Aronson
Hazon
This program can be incorporated into holiday programs for a harvest holiday (Sukkot, Passover, or Shavuot) especially during a Shmita year. It provides an interactive introduction to Shmita, including the basis of Shmita in Jewish text and the connection between Shmita and sustainable agriculture.
Age(s):

Meditations in the Desert

by Ryan Kaplan
Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta
Participants will engage in an immersive reflective experience, through guided and silent meditation in a nighttime desert setting.

Inclusivity: an Exploratory Conversation for JOFEE Organizations

by Sofia Marbach
Wilderness Torah
Although most JOFEE (Jewish Outdoor, Food, Farm, and Environmental Education) organizations weren't born of a mission to tackle them head on, we encounter questions of social justice in our work every day. While our programs may be boiled down into descriptors like ?outdoor education,? ?pickling workshop,? or ?holiday retreat,? JOFEE organizations exist within a broader world of Judaism, human socialization, and all their globalized complexities.
Age(s):

Gratitude: God, Heschel, and Neruda

by Henry Schmidt
Shalom Institute
An hour-long program designed to explorer Heschel's philosophy of Radical Amazement. It is a lower-energy, discussion-based program that benefits from a garden or similarly beautiful location.

Degel – What we stand for

by Eli Weinbach
Hazon
Everyone has things they stand for and qualities they value. Grounding ourselves in the Biblical texts about Tribal flags the Midrash there, we will use flags as an opportunity to think about what symbols we can use to describe ourselves and what we value. Participants will learn about themselves and get to make their own flags that serve to unify what they stand for with where they came from.

Becoming Shomrei Adamah

by Bailey Lininger
Tamarack Camps
This is a program that is intended to serve a large audience with a wide age range and little or no experience in the natural world or with nature-based Judaism. It is a stations-based program in which small groups (in this case, groups of 4-8) travel from activity to activity on a rotation, spending about twenty minutes at each station. In order to serve such a wide age range and interest/experience level, the stations are diverse in topic and activity, with the intention that all participants will find themselves challenged and engaged in at least a few of the activities, if not all.