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Hazon Educational Library: Nature Exploration

Farmer Michael’s Wagon Garden

by Michael Fraade
Jewish Community of Louisville
Children planted seeds in a soil-filled wagon, which could easily be transported from classroom to classroom, and watched them grow over the course of four weeks. The culmination of the program was to bring the children and wagon out to the J's main garden to see how their plants fit into a larger picture and to allow them to sample many of the things they helped grow. The program also touched on topics such as where food comes from, Hebrew vocabulary, composting, using the five senses, and making observations.

Lag b’Omer Fire and Forest Festival

by Maya Havusha
Eden Village Camp
Invite the magic of the forest into your life! Celebrate Lag B'Omer, an ancient Jewish festival about survival and spirituality, by rejoicing with our Eden Village community. Explore new forest skills, learn about kabbalah, and of course eat yummy snacks around the fire. With new eyes learn these time tested wilderness survival skills, such as shelter and fire building, making bows and arrows, wild edible walks among others.

Shofar Stalk: Wandering to Freedom

by Miki Levran
Pearlstone Center
Participants will challenge themselves in this night time activity as they walk blindfolded through the woods towards the blast of the shofar. This will be an experience that allows them to gain more trust within themselves and the world around them without using their strongest sense, sight. While connecting to traditions of other cultures, participants will gain a greater understanding of trust and a sense of what it means to be a wandering Jew by walking towards freedom/light.

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.

Naamah and the Plants

by Rebecca Remis
Eden Village West
Before the flood while Noah was readying the animals, a midrash says his wife Naamah was collecting seeds and plants. Through this lens, we'll explore plant life cycles, seed saving, and Jewish ideas of sustainability.

Tu B’Shvat Youth Seders

by Daniella Aboody
Wilderness Torah
In the tradition of the Kabbalists (16th century mystics of Tsfat, Israel), we gather in the forest to create an experiential Tu B'Shvat seder (ceremony) that connects us to the trees and the elements, and we are taken on a journey from the physical world to the spiritual world. This oral tradition within Judaism encourages us to open ourselves to the mystery, wonder and creativity that this time of renewal and rebirth brings. During the seder, we delight in experiencing and tasting of p'ri ha-etz (the fruit of the trees) and celebrate the season together through the five senses, movement, mindfulness, ritual, and Tu B'Shvat teachings.

Natural Sofer: Torah Art Explorah

by Emily Blustein
Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta
This program is an exploration into the Jewish tradition of Torah making. Through learning the traditional process of a sofer, the participants will get a hands-on painting/calligraphy activity.

What They Breathe 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.
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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.