fbpx

Hazon Educational Library: Nature and Outdoors

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):

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).

Shmita Wild Edibles Cards

by Bailey Lininger
Tamarack Camps
This program is a unique, interactive activity for a festival-style event that combines knowledge of local wild edible plants and the Jewish tradition of Shmita. For this program, the educator creates four unique "trading cards" to pass out at the event, and two examples of local, foraged food. The trading cards serve as a way to get participants interested in the connections between wild edible plants and Shmita, and the food samples demonstrate the ease and accessibility of foraging.

Etz Chaim: An Exploration

by Sarah Rovin
Pearlstone Center
This program is meant to open up participants to Torah of the forest and the farm, to see where the materials come from and to connect to the beauty and awe of a physical Torah. In the fall on the east coast, the forest comes alive with color, as the trees turn and drop their leaves and their seeds. By exploring and examining a few of the elements that make up our physical Torah, participants will walk away with an altered view and understanding of our most central text.

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.

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.

Saving Creation One Hoshanah at a Time: An alternative Hoshanah Rabbah Ritual

by Shani Mink
Pearlstone Center
This program is an interactive and connective approach to the ritual of Hoshanah Rabbah. Each day of Sukkot we say Hoshanah! meaning 'Please Save Us!?' and so, after learning the basics of Hoshanah Rabbah and exploring the boundaries what we mean when we say 'us', participants will have the opportunity to write their own 'Hoshanot' for the sake of different aspects of creation.

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.

Understanding Pollinators

by Henry Schmidt
Shalom Institute
Understanding pollinators is an hour-long educational program that teaches about the importance of pollinators in our habitat. This program uses honeybees as a 'gateway pollinator' to teach not only the wonder of honeybees but also that their story is part of a much larger ecological phenomenon.

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.

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.

What is Jewish About Cheese? Cheese and butter making workshop

by Emily Glick
Hazon - Teva
This workshop explores the history of dairy in the context of Judaism and Jewish tradition. It teaches participants how to easily make their own cheese and butter (they will leave the session being able to try both), while touching upon the modern-day dairy industry and its relation to Kashrut.
Age(s):

Philly Farm Crew Text Study

by Liora Lebowitz
Jewish Farm School
This program is to engage with both Jewish and non-Jewish environmentally themed texts after having had the experience of working on a farm. This is a discussion based program where conversations happened both in pairs and as an entire group to think about the texts presented.
Age(s):

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.