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Hazon Educational Library: Nature and Outdoors

Shmita Resource Library

This is a collection of shmita resources from all across the internet that Hazon has brought together in one place. Curricula, educational materials, essays, articles, audio, and video.

Shmita Sourcebook

by Yigal Deutscher, Anna Hanau, and Nigel Savage
Hazon
The Shmita Sourcebook is designed to encourage participants to think critically about the Shmita Cycle – its values, challenges, and opportunities – and how this tradition might be applied in a modern context to support building healthier and more sustainable Jewish communities today.The Shmita Sourcebook is a 120-page sourcebook that draws on a range of texts from within Jewish tradition and time, tracing the development and evolution of Shmita from biblical, historical, rabbinic, and contemporary perspectives.

Eating Animals

Hazon
Based on the bestselling book by Jonathan Safran Foer, the film Eating Animals is an urgent, eye-opening look at the environmental, economic, and public health consequences of factory farming.  Hazon created this discussion guide to be used by Jewish communities after screenings to explore the intersection of Judaism, food, and animal welfare, and start a conversation about, well, eating animals.

Fire Building – Even if its Raining

by Ren Feldman
Eden Village Camp
This program is an introduction to fire building in the rain. Participants will learn about fires and learn to how safely and efficiently build a fire. Students will leave with an understanding of renewable and nonrenewable resources and the connection between Judaism and fires.

Divine Dyeing: How to harness the holiness of color through natural dyeing

by Mira Menyuk
Pearlstone Center
This program is an interactive color exploration through natural dyeing. Participants will learn about the symbolism and holiness associated with certain colors in Judaism, specifically the blue of tekhelet that is found in Tzitzit. They will also learn how to harvest and use different parts of plants to create their own dye and take home a self-dyed bookmark.

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.

Sukkot, the Jewish Earth Day

by Darya Watnick
Edlavitch DC JCC
This program is designed to engage families with young children with the holiday of Sukkot and the festival's connection to nature and the environment. Through stories, activities and arts & crafts, families will begin to develop a relationship to the rituals and traditions of Sukkot and think about their own connection to the natural world.

Oneness: All Camp Evening Activity

by Maya Havusha
Eden Village Camp
This is a one hour program designed for campers ages 8-15 to run around, have fun, and start to think about how there are so many different people in the world, but how we are one in harmony. Oneness is a central theme in our religion and allows us to see things from different perspectives. Campers will be put to the test to work together to unlock the answers to where the most strength and power exists in the universe. Through overcoming challenges placed before them, campers will ultimately understand that we have the most strength and can make the biggest changes in the world when we put our differences aside and work together.

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.

Throwing Stones or Throwing Flowers: Exploring Our Relationship with the Public Domain

by Shani Mink
Pearlstone Center
This program presents students with the opportunity to delve deeply into the hidden messages of verse 50b of the Bava Kama (the stones text). Through text study, discussion and a hands-on activity, students will explore their relationship with the public domain. After investigating the myriad ways in which we might violate the public domain, students will actively nurture the public domain through shared intentions for community prosperity hidden inside a seed ball or planted beneath a tree.

Alef Elul: Jewish New Year for Animals

by Jaclyn Kellner
Coastal Roots Farm
During this program participants will celebrate this holiday through hands-on crafts, a ritual and by learning about heritage breed chickens. The final portion of the program is written here as a panel discussion but can be any type of learning relevant to your organization and audience

Food Systems and Jewish Values

by Margot Sands and Elizabeth Dubinsky
Ekar Farm
In this program participants have the opportunity to think beyond their own garden and analyze two food systems at play in the world--local and global.Once students grasp these two simplified food systems that represent how our food is currently produced, they will explore which system aligns best with Jewish values.

Day of Awe-some: A Rosh Hashanah Family Program

by Darya Watnick
Edlavitch DC JCC
This program is an opportunity for families with young children to engage in the Jewish rituals and traditions surrounding the holiday of Rosh Hashanah. They will be able to meet families like themselves while spending the morning creating a meaningful and educational connection with a Jewish holiday.

Beginnings: Exploring the beginning and connections between the plant cycle and Torah

by Liora Lebowitz
Jewish Farm School
This individual lesson will be exploring the beginning of creation, both in our Jewish tradition and in the lives of plants. It will be covering text from Breisheit and the connections to food/farming found in the text. This lesson will also cover hands-on experience with planting seeds and a basic knowledge of seed/plant evolution and the concepts of seed saving.
Age(s):

An Exploration of Jewish Time and Space

by Rachel Binstock
Urban Adamah
This session activates participants with a philosophical framing of holiness in time and space using Heschel's The Sabbath. Participants then map out the holiday cycle and follow its path around the seasons, moons, solar cycle, and cardinal directions illuminating the layers of connection between the Jewish concept of time and nature's. This brainstorm then leads participants into chevruta to dive deeper into learning of the main harvest holidays using Waskow's Seasons of Our Joy. All of this sets participants up to make a physical representation of Jewish time in the form of a multi-layered calendar. This calendar will hang in our office and will be used as a teaching tool to help us orient visitors to what's alive in time, both Jewishly and environmentally.
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