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Hazon Educational Library

Curricula, sourcebooks, and other educational resources from and for the field of Jewish Outdoor, Food, Farming & Environmental Education

This open source collection includes resources produced by individuals and organizations throughout the JOFEE field. >Our Educational Library, like our community, celebrates the diversity of religious observance and thought and we make every effort to accommodate the breadth and diversity of the Jewish community in our programs and curricula. We hope you will take and use what is appropriate for you and invite others to do the same.

While this resource will continue to grow and evolve, it currently includes:

  •  Hazon’s online educational resources (forthcoming)
  •  Curricula produced by JOFEE Fellows during their Fellowship year
  •  Curricula and resources shared from partner JOFEE organizations

All materials are available for free download. Most are available for use and adaptation under creative commons license. Please cite authors and organizations on any materials used or adapted from these resources.

Use the filters in the bar below to narrow your search.

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.

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.

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):

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):

Early Childhood Learns about composting!

by Josh Kleymer
Mayerson JCC of Cincinnati
Through a small discussion and watching a Curious George video, the children will learn about how everyone produces trash and ways to keep said trash out of the landfill. The children will learn about composting and how it will benefit their garden. Each child will then get a piece of trash to separate into a trash bin, recycling bin or composting bin. While they are separating trash into the compost bin they will be making their own composter out of a soda bottle to keep for their classroom and watch the compost turn to fertilizer. We will then gather together for a wrap up where they will see some broken down compost and hear what they will keep from their class to put in the composter outside.

A Sukkot Mitzvah! Welcoming Bug Friends into the Sukkah

by Emily Blustein
Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta
This program is designed to foster a deeper appreciation for sukkot and for bugs. Going deeper than the idea that we build a sukkah because ?that?s what we do for sukkot?. Encouraging the invitation of guests and learning about them and appreciating them is a wonderful mitzvah. By having the participants build a miniature sukkah out of things found in nature and then inviting bugs into the sukkah, the mitzvah is upheld on a small but very important level. Fostering an appreciation for playing with nature, learning about bugs and embracing them as a part of this world is what this program is all about.

Seed Stories

by Brenden Jackson
Amir / Shalom Farm Houston
This program uses storytelling as an introduction into the importance of seeds and the connections foods play to different people and cultures. Participants will have the opportunity to connect with a specific seed/plant and learn how plants and the foods created from them, can act as a living conduits for these stories. It is also an opportunity for participants to see the connection between their Judaism and a specific plant/food, or create their own new and important connection. Lastly, using seed stories as a framework within the garden offers the opportunity to create a sense of connection and continuity between multiple groups of campers.

Todah-Giving: Garlic Gratitude

by Margot Sands
Ekar Farm
This program reclaims our American holiday of Thanksgiving by transforming it into an opportunity to embrace HaKarat HaTov (recognizing the good, or gratitude) during a quiet time on the Jewish calendar. As the farming season winds down, this program invites participants to transition into a reflective season while literally and figuratively planting gratitude for what the growing season has brought us and what is to come in the next year. Through personal reflection, exploration of the Jewish and growing calendars, and garlic planting, participants will build connections to the earth and Jewish values

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.
Age(s):

Our Soulful Flame

by Ilana Unger
Pearlstone Center
This program is an exploration of light through utilizing fine motor skills and creating space to experience the wonder of the natural world. Through hands- on opportunities students will connect with the natural world by opening their eyes to all the ways nature shines its light as well as how we shine our own light. Students will leave with an understanding that we can find light all around us in nature and we as a community will begin to question what that light represents for us individually and collectively.

Wilderness Torah’s Passover in the Desert Second-Night Seder Youth Skit: The Four Children Collaborative Performance – Art & Storytelling Around the Fire

by Daniella Aboody
Wilderness Torah
As part of Wilderness Torah's Passover in the Desert festival, for the second-night Passover seder, we are doing an off-the-page co-created celebration around the bonfire! The Passover story will come alive through the brilliant and creative minds of each of member of the village, and be experienced through the ancient art of performative storytelling.

Food Justice Shabbat Dinner

by Michael Fraade
Jewish Community of Louisville
This program brought members of the Jewish community together for a Shabbat dinner that highlighted local and ethically sourced ingredients while educating participants about issues of food justice in our city. The dinner included sharing stories, discussion questions, and conversations about ways to help promote equal food access. We partnered with a local food justice nonprofit to help facilitate the discussion and publicize upcoming partnerships between their organization and the JCC.
Age(s):

Shrinking Our Waste:Solar-Powered Shrinky Dinks

by Margot Sands
Ekar Farm
This program is an interactive introduction to the environmental Jewish value of Bal Tashchit, not destroying or wasting valuable resources. Participants will have the opportunity to explore creative ways we can reduce our carbon footprint by reducing and reusing everyday materials through a solar-oven baked shrinky dink project.

Worms: An Exploration of Earthworms

by Sarah Rovin and Shani Mink
Pearlstone Center
This program is an introduction to earthworms and their necessary place in decomposition and soil health as well as looking deeper into cycles that renew the earth and where we see this in Jewish text.

Farm Infusions: Eco-spa

by Ilana Unger
Pearlstone Center
This program is an interactive hands on activity that connects participants to the ?essence? of Jewish earth based connection. Participants will have the opportunity to harvest locally grown herbs on the Pearlstone campus, infuse those herbs collected and create a homemade hand salve and/or lip balm and learn why this is a Jewish practice. Participants will leave with an understanding that everything is connected, and that the process of infusion connects us to the heart of caring for ourselves and the earth.